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Singing Praises for Stews & Braises
By Susan Nye

For foodies, chilly nights can only mean one thing: It’s time to find your favorite
stew pot, casserole or Dutch oven and whip up some warm and cozy comfort
food. Who doesn’t love a homey dinner of low-and-slow cooked goodness?

Whether it’s beef that’s braising or chicken stewing, these one-pot wonders are
perfect for overworked, multitasking mavens. Once dinner is in the oven you’ll
have plenty of time to take care of any one of the countless tasks that fill your
days (and nights.) While the pot bubbles you can you finish the laundry, answer
emails and make or take one last phone call. If you like, double the recipe and
cross another dinner off your to-do list later in the week.  

Braises and stews are also great for
entertaining. As much as we all love
a summer cookout, there’s always
a last minute juggle and mad dash
to make sure everyone is well-fed
and happy. Let’s face it; getting dinner
on and off the grill can be a bit of
an adventure when you’ve got a big, hungry crowd to feed. Half your guests
want their steaks rare and the other half medium. And there’s always one odd
duck who insists you cook it until it’s almost cinders and tough as shoe leather.

Happily, there are no special orders to worry about when you are serving,
Nana’s
Yankee Pot Roast, coq au vin or a vegetarian tagine. Unless of course,
you mixed up your guest lists and invited your vegetarian cousin for pot roast
or carnivorous neighbor for veggie stew. But that’s a whole ‘nother mess to
figure out.

While dinner gently bubbles in the oven, you can have fun at your own dinner
party. Gather around the fire for a chat or pile in front of the television to watch
the game. Or maybe a little bit both. With little or no last minute rush and
bother, you can relax and enjoy your guests. It’s great not to worry about the
game going into overtime or a late arrival ruining dinner. Just turn the oven way
down and add a touch more cooking liquid to the pot if needed. Your beautiful
braise or stew can almost always wait until that last touchdown has been scored
or a late guest breezes in.

Make no mistake; comfort food doesn’t have to be ordinary or timid. As much as
everyone loves your old fashioned chicken and dumplings, it’s fun to flex your
culinary muscles. You can find inspiration in every corner of the globe. Why not
fill your kitchen with the warmth and spice of a Belgian, Moroccan or Indian
feast?  

Celebrate the change of seasons by tracking down your favorite tried and true
recipes or experimenting with a new one. Enjoy a relaxing evening with friends
and family and bon appétit!

See Susan's recipe: Beer Braised Beef & Onions

Susan Nye writes, cooks and lives in New London. Visit her website at www.susannye.
com to learn about her new Eat Well – Do Good project. For cooking tips and more, you
can check
Susan out on FaceBook at  or watch her cook on YouTube.
© Susan W. Nye
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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Make no mistake;
comfort food doesn’t
have to be ordinary
or timid