3 Snow-Day Recipes to Help You Weather the Storm

by Mikey Rox on 2 February 2011 10 comments
Photo: Chip Harlan

Batten down the hatches — this week’s requisite blizzard is under way.

If you believe the hype, many of us are in for a strange sort of storm — complete with ice, snow, and tornadoes, oh my! — that some meteorologists are suggesting could be one for the records. (Isn’t that always the case lately? Ugh.)

First the bad news: It’s too late to panic and make a mad dash for your nearest supermarket. All the essentials are gone, the lines are nine deep, and you don’t have four-wheel drive. So don’t even try it. (See also: 20 Things to Have on Hand for Power Outages)

Now for the good news. You needn't stock up to make these hot and hearty dishes that hit all the right spots. They’re made from kitchen staples that you already have. Bon Appet-heat!

Breakfast: Sausage and Biscuits

You can spend an hour making buttermilk biscuits from scratch, but I’m of the opinion that Pillsbury makes as good a biscuit as I can. That’s what makes this meal so easy. Just pop open the Grands can, place the contents on a baking sheet, and pop ’em in the oven. They're risen and ready to eat in 20 minutes.

To finish this recipe off, brown one pound of ground sausage in a skillet, stir in a quarter cup of flour — and don’t forget to scrape those tasty brown bits of the bottom of the pan — and gradually stir in two cups of milk (whole milk for maximum flavor) until the gravy is thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and ladle over a set of steaming biscuits. Serve with a side of fresh or thawed mixed berries. (Recipe adapted from Bob Evans.)

Lunch: Steak BL (Minus the T) Sandwich with Basil Mayo

All credit for this sandwich goes to a restaurant I used to frequent near my hometown in Maryland, but it’s easy to duplicate from your fridge.

I use strips of seasoned flank steak or London broil and pile it on a hand-size piece of a whole grain baguette in two rows, crosswise. On top of that I add two strips of bacon, fresh arugula (although any lettuce you have will do), and shaved Parmesan. Before I make it a sandwich, I smear mayo (light, if you’d like) flecked with fresh basil on the top piece of bread. I omit the tomato because they’re slimy and gross, but you can have at it if that’s your sorta thing. Splurge with a few kettle-cooked (or veggie) chips to round it all out. (Recipe adapted from Kitchen Daily.)

Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup

You can’t go wrong with this crock-pot classic, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. First, store-bought rotisserie chicken is best because not only is the bird super juicy, but the submerged carcass will further flavor the broth. If you don’t have a rotisserie chicken on hand, roast a few bone-in breasts and thighs at home. Remember to keep the skin on for extra flavor. As for the broth, I use six cups of stock with four cups consisting of College Inn traditional chicken stock and two cups of the brand’s new Bold Stock.

Here’s where I get weird: I don’t like vegetables in my soup — it’s a consistency thing – but they’re necessary to give the broth flavor and depth. To avoid having to pick the onions, carrots, and celery out of the final product, I wrap the chopped veggies in cheesecloth, tie it up, and let it float in the stock until it’s ready to serve. If someone prefers the veggies, I add them to that person's individual bowl, and everybody’s happy. Crusty bread, crudité, and a bottle of chardonnay pair perfectly. (Recipe adapted from About's Guide to Southern Food.)

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Guest's picture
Rachel Crockett

Now I may be in the minority, but I have a feeling I'm not.
Who has fresh arugula in the middle of a snow storm? Fresh rotisserie chicken from the store when you don't have four-wheel drive? Perishable can biscuits?

I think a few recipes using commonly held pantry staples would be better. For instance, dried biscuit mix, leftover chili, or BET (Bacon egg and tomato) in case there's no London broil in the fridge.

Mikey Rox's picture

Thanks for the comment, Rachel. I appreciate what you're saying.

I think we're all different. When I looked into my fridge before I wrote the post, I found all these ingredients without going to the store. I think it depends on how much you cook and they type of foods you like to eat. That will probably determine what you have on hand most of the time.

Hope you're staying warm!

Andrea Karim's picture

OK, here's something that won't sustain you, but will keep you warm:

6 oz of hot black tea, preferably Earl Gray
3 oz gin
simple syrup to taste
lemon to taste
sprig of rosemary (or stew dried rosemary in the tea, then remove)

This will warm you to your toesies. I personally increase the gin a bit more as the night goes on.

Mikey Rox's picture

That sounds amazing, Andrea! I think that will pair nicely with breakfast or lunch.

Guest's picture
Guest

Not a single vegetable. Amazing.

Andrea Karim's picture

Amazing point! Except that arugula is a vegetable.

Guest's picture
JoAnn

SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!
I DON'T VEGGIES, DON'T DO GREEN EXCEPT FOR BROCCOLI, AND I HAVE AN ALLERGY TO EGGS. SO LOOK IN THE FRIDGE AND SEE WHAT YOU CAN COME WITH.
JOANN

Guest's picture
Lisa

Biscuits like Grands or those made with a mix are fine. To make them from scratch can be just as easy though. EASY BISCUITS...Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and oil a small pan, an 8" square or round one works fine. Place 2 cups of self rising flour and 1/3 of a cup of shortening or oil in a bowl. Using a fork or knife, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. To this add 3/4 cup of milk (or buttermilk or even soured milk). Mix again. Then dump the mix into your oiled pan. Wet your hands with oil or water and press the mixture into the pan. If desired, you can make "pull apart" biscuits by cutting the dough into squares before baking. Bake for about 12-15 minutes then enjoy!

Guest's picture
Mike31

I just tried making my own biscuits a couple days ago and it worked great. I used the recipe from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" (great book, btw). Only took about 10 minutes prep work and then 8 minutes to bake, so not really any slower than using the canned stuff. Just a little more work, but when it's cold you should be up moving around to keep warm :)

Regarding the vegetable comments, crudité is veggies too (fancy french word for cut up celery, carrots, asparagus, etc)

Mikey Rox's picture
Mikey Rox

Thanks for having my back, Mike. Every recipe included some sort of fruit or vegetable. And just because I don't like the most veggies, that doesn't mean that anyone else who prepares these dishes can't add their own. I stand by my statement, however, that tomatoes are gross.