ARTICLE

Lovin’ Spoonful: Comfort Food To Cook On Chilly Nights

May 25, 2022 - 4 min read

When winter’s frosty fingers come a-knocking, comfort food is the name of the game. Bring on those warming soups and nourishing casseroles; the feisty curries and juicy roasts. All rounded off with a piping hot rhubarb or apple pie, plucked straight from the oven and served with a big dollop of cream. To celebrate winter soul food, we’re serving up a delicious three-course meal to warm you and your tribe. But first, how winter-ready is your kitchen? Read our lowdown on the essential small kitchen appliances that every home cook needs in winter.

Mother and daughter cook together in a cosy kitchen.
"When winter’s frosty fingers come a-knocking, comfort food is the name of the game."

What Are Winter Foods?

Nature changes the menu when it gets cold. In Australia, that means out with summer berries, melons and crisp greens; in with kiwis, rhubarb, pears and citrus fruits; dark, leafy greens like silverbeet; and root vegetables like carrots, turnips, leeks and parsnips.  Cold weather also alters our appetites by stimulating our survival impulses. Less sunshine leaves us craving more feel-good carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes, to top up the serotonin we’re missing out on.

Does Your Kitchen Need A Winter Makeover?

Having the right kitchen appliances can seriously upgrade and streamline your winter cooking operations. With a steam oven, you’ll enjoy healthier, more succulent roasts (and crispier spuds!). A slow cooker can gently simmer a spicy chickpea curry or tender beef stew packed with winter vegetables while you’re at the office. (Pair it with a rice cooker and you’ll have perfectly fluffy rice waiting for you, too when you get home). An air fryer or large-capacity microwave oven will help you cater quickly and easily for more mouths (with less cleaning up!); while a sandwich press is a lifeline for hungry households when winter snack attacks bite.

Your Winter-Cooking Appliance Checklist

Put these on the must-have list for true taste sensations.

  • Ideal for smaller households, the multifunctional Bosch Compact 45cm Steam Oven has a PerfectRoast meat probe to guarantee mouth-watering results for that minted leg of lamb; while the steam baking function adds a jolt of steam to make your chicken and roast vegies crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

  • Who can resist deep-fried food in winter? Enjoy French fries minus the guilt with the Philips Airfryer XXL Digital Smart which uses rapid air technology to add a crispy, golden brown, outer layer to food without the need for oil. Your essential go-to kitchen buddy, this air fryer grills, bakes, reheats and roasts like a dream, too.

  • Rice is the perfect side dish for many winter warmers but one of the trickiest to master. With the Panasonic Deluxe 5 Cup Rice Cooker, there’s no more guesswork. Just add water, then set and forget till it’s time to fluff and serve the rice.

  • Enjoy wonderfully even defrosting, cooking and heating (goodbye, patchy porridge) with the powerful new LG 56L 1200W NeoChef Smart Inverter Microwave in a modern, matte black finish. With its super-size capacity and high wattage, you can serve up large homemade dishes such as casseroles, risottos, jacket potatoes and gooey desserts in record time.

Soul Food Starter: Traditional Pea And Ham Soup

This hearty winter classic will smell maddeningly good while it’s simmering away in the Breville Multi Chef Multicooker 9 in 1. It can also stretch to an easy meal in itself, with some buttered bread on the side for dunking.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 3 hrs
Serves 6

Ingredients

•             1 tbsp vegetable oil
•             1 large onion, peeled and diced
•             4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
•             3 small carrots, peeled and diced
•             1 small ham hock (500g), skin removed
•             150g yellow split peas, rinsed well
•             150g green split peas, rinsed well
•             1L chicken stock
•             1L water
•             2 bay leaves
•             3 sprigs thyme
•             2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
•             Ground white pepper
•             ¼ bunch continental parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stems used in soup

Method

1.            Place the cooking bowl into the multi cooker.

2.            Press COOK to select the cooking functions. Press MENU repeatedly until the SAUTE function flashes. Press START/CANCEL to begin pre-heat (about 5 minutes). Close the lid during pre-heat only. The multicooker will beep when pre-heat is complete. Open the lid, press START/CANCEL to begin the SAUTE function.

3.            Add the oil to the cooking bowl, then add the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion softens.

4.            Add the carrot, ham hock, yellow and green split peas, chicken stock, water, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and parsley stalks. Bring the soup to the boil. The multicooker will beep when the function is complete.

5.            Press COOK to select the cooking functions. Press the MENU button repeatedly until the SOUP/STEW function flashes. Press SET to confirm the function. Press + and - to adjust the time to 2 ½ hours. Press SET to confirm the time. Press START/CANCEL to begin the SOUP/STEW function. Close the lid.

6.            The multicooker will beep at completion. Press and hold START/CANCEL to cancel the automatic KEEP WARM function. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard. Remove the hock from the soup, pull the meat from the bone, discard the bone and keep the meat.

7.            Add the thawed green peas and let the soup cool slightly. Remove the soup from the cooking bowl and blend the soup to remove the large chunks of carrot and onion. Make sure there are no bones in the soup when blending.

8.            Season with ground white pepper and add the pulled ham back to the soup. Serve with chopped parsley.

*Recipe by Food Thinkers by Breville 

Traditional Pea and Ham Soup

Comforting Main Course: Mexican Beef Tortilla Parcels

The whole family will love wrapping their hands around these toasty winter pleasers that come out of the Philips Airfryer XXL deliciously crisp and golden. Dial up the heat by throwing some jalapeno peppers in with the mince!

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients

400g lean beef mince
½ brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp taco seasoning mix
4 jumbo tortillas, warmed following packet instructions
½ cup shredded cheese
1 tomato, finely diced
1 cup guacamole or smashed avocado
½ cup sour cream
½ cup tomato salsa

Method

1. Combine beef, onion and taco seasoning in the Philips Airfryer XXL baking dish.

2. Place the dish into the basket of the airfryer with Smart Sensing Technology. Set temperature to 200°C and time to 10 minutes, cooking until browned.

3. Remove the dish from the basket and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to break up the cooked mince.

4. Place tortillas on a clean, dry surface. Spoon a quarter of the mince mixture into the centre of each tortilla, then top with cheese and tomato.

5. Fold in two opposite tortilla edges.

6. Repeat with remaining two edges to enclose the filling, creating a neat parcel.

7. Place 2 parcels in the basket, top with a small sheet of baking paper, and place remaining parcels on top. Set temperature to 180°C and time to 6 minutes, cooking until top tortillas are browned.

8. Swap positions of the parcels, then set time for a further 4 minutes until tortillas are golden and filling is hot.

9. Serve parcels with guacamole or smashed avocado, sour cream and tomato salsa.

COOK’S TIPS
Warm the tortillas before you fill them. They’ll be more pliable and easier to work with and less likely to crack when forming your parcels. Serve with shredded iceberg lettuce, baby cucumbers and natural corn chips.

*Recipe by Elle Vernon for Philips

Mexican Beef Tortilla Parcels

Dreamy Dessert: Blueberry Brioche Pies

Too cold to nip out to your local bakery for a flaky, golden pie? The  Sunbeam Pie Maker makes short work of these heavenly mini-pies that will add the perfect sweet note to any wintry night. Enjoy them with your favourite hot brew!

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 7 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients

4 slices brioche bread, cut into 24 pieces
⅓ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 eggs, whisked
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1. Place 6 pieces of brioche into each Sunbeam Pie Maker dish and divide blueberries on top.

2. In a jug, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add milk and vanilla essence.

3. Pour mixture over brioche cups.

4. Close the lid and turn on the appliance, cook for 7 mins.

5. Turn the Sunbeam Pie Maker off and allow pies to sit for 2 mins.

COOK’S TIPS

Dust pies with icing sugar; serve with cream and maple syrup.

*Recipe by Sunbeam Australia

Blueberry Brioche Pies

You’ll find everything you need for a winter kitchen makeover at The Good Guys. Visit us in-store or online to explore a huge range of steam ovens and small kitchen appliances.

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