During autumn and winter, french cuisine is in it prime. It's probably due to the rich, comforting nature of French food, made with lots of cheese, lots of meat, and lots of wine. Mmmmm. My particularly favorite dish is french onion soup, made deeply flavorful by slow-caramelized onions and hints of fresh thyme. The best (and in my mind, only) way to serve it is with a fresh baguette and melted gruyere. For many Americans, soup alone does not a meal make, so I recommend serving it with a light vinaigrette salad or small appetizer.
Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food. Unlike most people who grew up eating the traditional oven baked and ketchup-covered meatloaves, in my house meatloaf was smoked and you would receive an exasperated sigh if you so much as put meatloaf and ketchup on the same plate (that didn't and doesn't stop me from doing it anyway). So here it is, a meatloaf that is smoked to perfection and chocked full of onions, mushrooms, and italian sausage. Serve with mashed potatoes and you my friend have a perfect cold weather dinner.
If you do find yourself with leftovers, my recommendation is grilled meatloaf sandwiches. Think of a patty melt but better. This recipe is easy: swiss cheese, rye bread and a thin slice of warmed meatloaf. Spread butter on the outside of the sandwich and grill until cheese has melted and rye is toasty.
One of my favorite fall/winter meals is a bowl of steaming chili and a slice of warm cornbread. While it may be my favorite meal, the recipe that I usually make bores my father. So, this week I decided to try out a new one that used one of his favorite ingredients: chipotle. I have to say that my old recipe was blown out of the water. The smokiness of the chipotle combined with the tang of a little lime juice and the fresh flavor of the cilantro work together to create a truly great dish. I recommend topping it with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro, shredded cheese, and diced red onion. Mix everything together and the umami of flavors is sure to wow.