Coq Au Vin
A French classic for a reason, coq au vin pairs cozy ingredients such as bacon, carrots and a hearty helping of Cognac to make this a one-pot dinner with a difference. With typical Ina precision, she specifies a good dry red wine, such as a Burgundy, as the flavours will intensify as it reduces. As with many braises, this dish gets better overnight, making it perfect for a make-ahead Sunday simmer.
Chicken Pot Pie
Making your own pastry for this next-level pot pie may not seem like a weekday project, but with a bit of planning, both components can be made ahead for this comforting dish. The contrast of the flaky pastry (be sure to do an overhang with the dough so it totally covers the filling) and the bubbly lushness of the chicken and cream sauce makes it a warming winter dinner.
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Braised Short Ribs
One meal prep with mainly hands-off cooking on the weekend makes for a week’s worth of dinners. These rich short ribs can be served in a number of ways, including over pasta, rice or couscous. Ina adds an entire bottle of good red wine and finishes the dish with a bottle of Irish stout to develop flavour complexity.
Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggplant
With true Ina ingenuity, this recipe is two meals in one. The first day, enjoy an easy tomato and eggplant soup with fresh fennel and loads of herbs. Leftovers become the base for a bubbling baked eggplant dish the next day — all you have to do is make pasta and toss it in the oven with the sauce for a speedy winter dinner.
Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken
Using a cast iron skillet and high heat puts roast chicken into the weeknight meals category and Ina’s stovetop version takes a mere hour in the oven. The smells of thyme and lemon will draw everyone to the dinner table as the chicken cooks, and there’s plenty of time to whip up one of Ina’s quick vegetable sides.
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Garlic and Herb Roasted Shrimp
If you’re not looking for a plan-ahead meal, this garlic and herb roasted shrimp is lightning fast due to quick-cooking shrimp. A mere 12 to 15 minutes in the oven nets you a winter dish that’s simple but elegant (Ina advises that you serve it with toasted bread to sop up the luscious sauce).
Truffled Mac and Cheese
Ina uses truffle butter here, but if you’re not in the Hamptons and can’t find it, truffle oil or even truffle salt with plain butter can be a more economical way to add the elusive flavour to this winter mac and cheese. The dish is plenty rich — there’s four cups of nutty Gruyere, plus another three cups of extra-sharp white cheddar — and has two types of mushrooms for earthiness.
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Cider Roasted Pork Tenderloins
Cider, maple syrup and pork conjure up cold weather and cozy days, and this Ina classic delivers. The sweetness of the syrup is tempered by lots of fresh ginger and rosemary, as well as warm spices such as cinnamon. Using quick-cooking pork tenderloins makes this dish perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Substituting in turkey keeps the winter dinner a little lighter, and plenty of sauteed onions and a ketchup glaze keep this meatloaf from drying out. This Ina recipe is another gift that keeps on giving, as it can be served hot or room temperature for one meal and as hearty sandwiches for another.
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Salmon With Lentils
Looking for a slightly less hearty, but no less cozy winter dinner? Ina turns to her French sensibilities with this traditional salmon and lentil dish. Du Puy lentils are prized for their ability to hold their shape during cooking, making them a pretty backdrop for perfectly cooked salmon. If homemade chicken stock is too much of an ask for a weeknight meal, substitute a good store-bought version.