Sri Lankan Cod Curry + Charred Green Beans

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Earlier this week dark clouds nipped swiftly across the state — a soggy cold front that left the ground strewn with fallen leaves. How superbly autumn, I found myself thinking.

The days since are warm and bright, but I seize every opportunity, no matter how brief, to savor seasonal, Wisconsin-like temperatures. That includes loading up a menu with cold-weather meals. Welcome back (for now), comfort food.

For you today I have flaky, buttery cod in a creamy, warmly spiced curry sauce + deeply charred green beans dry-fried with lots of onion, ginger and more spices.

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Spicy 4-Seed Gingerbread Bites

Eat Well

Among the flavors that, for me, evoke nostalgia for the holidays, cinnamon and ginger dominate. The cozy-spicy duo is hard to beat — any time of the year — and even more so when the two merge in gooey, intense gingerbread bites with other warming spices, sticky dates, a hint of orange, plus four types of seeds.

I’m sharing these today not just to prolong my love of the winter season, but also because the ingredients show some serious love to your heart for American Heart Month.

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Garam Masala

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

If you’ve seen our herb and spice collection — a full three-level cabinet + overflow in the pantry — you are well aware of my fascination at the limitless possibilities. Curiosity never killed the adventurous cook. (Unless it’s fugu. Don’t eat fugu.)

Originating in the Punjab region of Northern India, garam masala is composed of familiar spices in a blend that may not be established in your kitchen. Yet.

The name literally translates to “hot spices,” but it’s more a deep warmth than fiery heat. Must-haves are cinnamon, black peppercorns, cardamom, nutmeg, and coriander. Ginger, cloves and mace typically find their way in as well. Maybe cumin, caraway, or nigella seed (also called black cumin, or kalonji).

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Spiked Chorizo and Black Bean Chilli with Chipotle, Roasted Garlic and Plantain

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Cooked low and slow, this spicy twist on classic bean and meat chilli — with a shot of bourbon for good measure — is guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of eaters on the coldest of days. A perfect stick-with-you meal that fills your home and your belly with delicious warmth.

The recipe I’m sharing today features sweet roasted garlic, zucchini and summer squash, plantain, smoky chipotles in adobo, banana peppers and, for depth, two types of tomatoes — fire-roasted and sun-dried. To suit your taste and availability, you can vary these with in-season winter squash, dark leafy greens and sprouts, or root veg like parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potato and beets. Dried oregano, nutmeg and cinnamon add to the complex layering of classic Mexican flavors, and a scattering of fresh cilantro leaves cool and refresh as the finishing touch.

We used lean pork ground at home and seasoned in the style of chorizo, but you can use meat from fresh chorizo sausages purchased from a butcher. To make it vegetarian, omit the chorizo and stick with the black beans (canned or home-cooked from dry), or pump up the protein with additional beans, cooked lentils, or pan-seared tempeh or tofu crumbles.

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