We’re at that point in January when we want to keep those cooking resolutions going strong (more vegetarian meals! More fish! More whole grains!), but we also want some comfort and coziness. The weather is getting colder, our socks are getting thicker, and we’re craving meals that feel like a warm hug. Something like this mushroom risotto with peas, a Martha Rose Shulman recipe that has five stars and nearly 4,000 reviews. It’s a vegetarian dish that’s creamy, filling and umami-rich with plenty of browned mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. It does require a good bit of stirring, but some quiet time spent over a warm, steaming saucepan sounds pretty good right about now.
Pati Jinich’s habanero chicken and broccoli strikes a nice cozy-cruciferous balance. Cozy because it’s bone-in, skin-on whole chicken legs (which are much more luscious than their boneless, skinless counterparts) and cruciferous because, well, broccoli. Korai Kitchen’s chingri dopiaza, a recipe for shrimp with onion, tomato, chile and turmeric adapted by Alexa Weibel, is similarly vivid and bright, with a depth of flavor from both puréed and sautéed onions. Spooned over fluffy basmati rice, it’s a beautiful, warming dinner.
“Here is a one-pot meal designed explicitly for the hungriness of a long-distance runner,” Melissa Clark says of her pasta with kale pesto and roasted butternut squash. Getting the kids into their winter jackets, trudging through slush and answering all the emails certainly feels like a marathon, so this recipe applies to pretty much all of us in winter.
This point in January also means there’s a game on television, and therefore snacks on the table. Nachos never fail, especially not Pati’s bricklayer-style nachos, which are loaded with chorizo, jalapeños and melty Mexican cheese. And for something sweet, these black sesame Rice Krispies treats from Eric Kim are enhanced with butter-fried black sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil. “I doubled the batch knowing they would be a winner,” writes Joyce, a reader. “The sesame seeds cut the sweetness and make this a nice adult treat.”