My favorite thing to cook in the winter is a stew with turnips, leeks, white beans, and barley. I'll eat it every week with some steamed greens. White foods are good for the lungs (according to traditional chinese medicine), and if you've spent any time with me in the winter, you'll know I have a nasty cough that can use whatever help it can get.
I get a bit stuck in that rut though, to be honest. I'm still stuck there. Today I wanted to mix it up with some delicious pig. I started with a lot of diced leeks, a couple stalks of celery and some wee carrots, sauteed all that in olive oil. I bought a "picnic ham" - a rolled and smoked pork shoulder - from the Fatted Calf this morning, so I cut that up and threw it in the pot with the vegetables, adding a bunch of soaked white beans and some herbs as well.
I wanted some ribs but didn't find any at Avedano's so I settled with
some amazing looking pork rib chops. Not wanting to waste the
beautiful loin, I cut out the tournedos (dinner tomorrow - wine sauce
of some kind?) and threw the meaty ribs into the pot. Looking to cassoulet as my inspiration for the dish, I made some seasoned bread crumbs for the top. Sauteed a bunch of shallots in salted butter, then poured that over half a baguette (split and oven-dried) and chopped it up in the food processor with the zest of half a meyer lemon. These bread crumbs are now my favorite condiment.
I thought I'd bought turnips with their greens on, but it turned out they were radishes. Rookie mistake! They were so non-radish-shaped that I didn't pay attention to the translucency of the skin. Thinking it could be salvageable, I stripped the greens of their stems and steamed them with the radishes in chunks. The greens were fine - bitter and not very pungent, a nice complement to the warm unctuous stew - but the steamed radishes were fishy and stinky. Blech.
I realized halfway through stripping the greens that I had meant to use cabbage as my green because I'd bought these baby savoy cabbages that are like the kittens of the vegetable world - just try to resist their cuteness! You can't!! Anyway, I forgot about them, so I'll have to eat them another time.