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9 Stews To Keep You Cozy This Fall

Posted: 10/19/11 02:06 PM ET

Cozying up with a bowl of stew is our favorite way to spend a drowsy fall weeknight evening. Most stews are one-pot meals, and most get better with time -- genius! That means you get to make them in advance, maybe even on Sunday, and enjoy the fruits of your cooking later in the week. Though stews may be best enjoyed wearing sweatpants and flannel, they also wind up being quite elegant, refined enough for a dinner party (think Julia Child and Boeuf Bourguignon).

**9 Stews To Keep You Cozy This Fall**

1. Slow-Cooker Beef Stew with Red Wine
As much umami as possible is packed into this stew, via the vegetables, herbs and red wine. A secret and optional ingredient for even more flavor is an anchovy, broken up as you sauté the veggies. Be sure to dry your meat first so it browns perfectly.
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2. Late-Summer Chicken Stew
Summer's flavors get one last stand in this fragrant but not too heavy stew. Even as tomatoes and peppers still find their way to the farm stand, we're craving dinners that are warmer and more filling than salads. We solve that here by taking salad ingredients and turning them into stew.
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3. Mediterranean Fish Stew with Smoked Paprika
The spices in this bright, healthful stew are added with quite a light hand. You can ramp them up if you like, but I prefer to let the flavors of the vegetables, fish, tomatoes and wine come through. It's nice served over rice -- but better over spaghetti!
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4. Lentil Chili with Bulgur Wheat and Mushrooms
Chili, one of our all-time favorite things to serve for a group, is also a stew, though we tend to classify it in its own spicy region of the kitchen categories. In fact, this vegetarian version is so quick and easy to make, you'll barely have time to enjoy the peppery scent that wafts through your apartment before it's time to eat. Be sure to serve with cheese and sour cream.
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5. Stout-Braised Short Ribs with Soy and Honey
Give these short ribs a whirl anytime you need booze not just in your glass, but also in your meal. They're luscious and fall-off-the-bone tender. Let Garlic-Rosemary Mashed Potatoes sop up the beer-based juices.
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6. Sweet and Savory Moroccan Stew
Morocco's food always inspires us to get going in the kitchen. When Phoebe visited a few years ago, she took a cooking class with a young chef. That's where she learned to make this sweet and savory stew which has graced our buffets and dinner tables ever since.
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7. Potato, Corn and String Bean Stew
A delicious hodgepodge of vegetables is the basis of this casual vegetarian meal -- it's the kind of food you'd find at an old-fashioned vegetarian joint, like Moosewood. Substitute string beans for the original asparagus to make this fall stew transcendant, then serve with brown rice or quinoa to bring it back to earth.
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8. Chicken Tagine with Fennel, Preserved Lemons and Green Olives
There's nothing wrong with resorting to easy one-pot meals like this one during the fall, or even for the holidays. Stews tend to make people feel at home, which gives you the chance to tweak them with new and unusual flavor combinations, like this decidedly less ordinary chicken stew, flavored with green olives and preserved lemons.
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9. Ginger Chicken Meatball & Scallion Stew with Soba Noodles
Soup can solve some of the same problems as stew -- it's warming and cozy. But the same old soups can get a little tired, and you start to crave texture in addition to warmth and healthfulness. That's where these delightful, gingery meatballs come in -- not to mention yummy soba noodles. Make this untraditional fusion soup-stew all winter long.
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-- Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen

 
 
 

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