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3 Warm Recipes to Chase Away Winter Blues

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Toasted Steel-Cut Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 4

This recipe easily halves — just use a small saucepan. This same technique works for old-fashioned oatmeal as well. Just use 2 cups of oats and 2 cups each of milk and water. This overnight oatmeal can sit in the oven longer than the suggested 4 to 8 hours, but you may need to add a little extra water or milk to thin it.

1 cup steel-cut oats

1-1/2 cups each: whole milk and water

Pinch salt

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 170 degrees. Mix oatmeal, milk and salt in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven. Cover and set in warm oven until milk has absorbed and oatmeal is cooked, 4 hours minimum and up to 8 hours. Top as desired and serve.

Cumin-Seared Shrimp Over Confetti Slaw

Serves 4

6 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

¼ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

4 cups shredded cabbage (use a mix of green and purple for a more festive look)

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and ground black pepper

1 pound large (21 to 25 count) peeled shrimp

1 teaspoon each: ground cumin and paprika, and garlic powder

Shake orange juice concentrate, lime juice and ¼ cup of the oil in a lidded container until well mixed. Mix cabbage, carrots, red onion and cilantro in a large bowl. Add all but about 2 tablespoons of the dressing and salt and pepper to taste; toss to coat and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat while tossing shrimp with remaining oil, cumin, paprika and garlic powder. Add shrimp to hot skillet in a more or less single layer. Cook, turning only once, until spotty brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer shrimp to remaining dressing; toss to coat.

Mound a bed of slaw in each of 4 large bowls or soup plates. Top with shrimp and serve.

Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto

Serves 3 as a hearty main course, or 4 as a first course or light meal

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ ounce chopped dried mushrooms, your choice (optional, but enhances flavor)

1 cup short- or medium-grain brown rice

1-½ tablespoons each: olive oil and butter

1 package (8 ounces) sliced portabello mushrooms

1 medium onion, cut into small dice

2 garlic cloves

½ cup dry white wine

Salt and ground black pepper

½ cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

Bring broth and optional mushrooms to a simmer in a large saucepan over low heat so that broth barely simmers.

Meanwhile in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven bring rice and 2 cups of water to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, partially covered, until rice completely absorbs water, about 10 minutes. Turn rice into a bowl, rinse starch from pot, and return to burner set at medium heat; add oil and butter oil. When butter has melted add mushrooms; sauté until golden and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes longer. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Stir in rice until well coated, followed by wine; simmer until almost evaporated, a couple of minutes longer. Knowing the process takes about 25 minutes (I set a timer) start adding broth to rice about ½ cup at a time — stirring lazily at first and then more frequently toward the end — adding more only after rice has absorbed the previous amount, until rice is tender with a slight chew at the center. Stir in cheeses and adjust seasonings, including salt to taste and several grinds of pepper. Serve, sprinkling each portion with additional cheese.

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