This time of year in my mind is all about comfort food more than ever. It's also about getting veggies in the diet, and how difficult it can be sometimes. Let's face it at the tail end of winter it's not obvious to have nice tomatoes or other delicate veggies that are fresh. This is why cabbage can be such a great veggie to use. It's great for your health and it's got a lot of taste, and last but not least is dirt cheap!
The main: Italian sausage and cabbage stew
I invite you to refer to SimplyRecipes, Italian Sausage and Cabbage stew for a great recipe that is the ultimate comfort food for me. It's a rustic Italian type stew, the kind that must have been the daily meal back in the days during winter. It's sausages, it's white beans, white wine, cabbage, what more do you want?
This is the kind of stew you eat with a good slice of bread. Get your parmesan ready and a and what's left of that nice bottle of white wine, and you're golden. You will get rave reviews, I promise!
The dessert: Polenta almond cake with Nutella icing
The story here is Manon and I were in London a few years back. We stop by this little coffee place for Manon to get her fix, and we decide to sit down because it's a nice place. This is then that I saw the cake rack. At the top was a polenta cake with nutella icing. I had never had polenta cake, neither did I had nutella icing before. We ordered it, and we just couldn't stop eating and raving about how good it was.
So a couple weeks back those memories just hit me for a reason or another. I decided I would find that darn recipe and bake myself a polenta cake. It wasn't easy, but I was able to piece it all together.
The cake: I invite you to go for Hey, Lady grey's recipe of Orange and almond polenta cake. It's an amazing cake, and orange and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Do two recipes as described there, so you end up with two cakes that you can layer. Stop short of putting the dusting it with confection sugar.
The icing: Can you say Nutella, in my house this is like a god sent, we're all crazy about it. Making icing with Nutella is really easy. Get your favourite mixer out. For 1 part Nutella, you mix in 4/5 part of 15% cream. Add a bit of vanilla extract if you want. Mix well and you have Nutella icing. The most difficult thing about this icing is resisting eating it by the spoon before spreading it on the cake.
If you're icing is too liquid, add more nutella, or put in the fridge for 15minutes so that it's easier to spread.
Putting the cake together:
Get a pack of sliced blanched almonds. Spread your nutella icing between your two polenta cakes, and spread the exterior uniformly. Then sprinkle your sliced almonds all over on top, and glue them on the side as. The result should be that you still see part of the icing and you have almonds all over the cake.
Now just enjoy this cake, this is going to be a winner I'm sure for everyone you get to share it with.