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Hearty Stew Recipes for Healthy Winter Dinners

The chill that comes with winter can certainly impact just about every element of life, and certainly plays a major part in what people expect to enjoy on the dinner table. Once the snow and sleet of the chillier months kick in, comfort foods are craved across the board. And figuring out new ways to whip them up is an important step for any at-home chef to master, especially when it comes to keeping family morale up over the course of a particularly harsh winter.

While cheeses and red meat might be main elements of many a comfort food recipe, there are other healthier hearty recipes out there. Instead of throwing ground beef into a pot and whipping up a chili, consider the delicious dish that is seafood stew. With plenty of different ancient recipes to choose from that span a number of cultures, the experience of learning to whip up seafood stew isn’t just one for the kitchen. It’s also one for the background of many families and many different regions. From the inclusion of Black Cod to more daring fare that depends on a wealth of shellfish, there are plenty of delicious ways to make lasting one-pot meals for the darkest winter months.

When it comes to fish-based recipes, there’s no better starting place than Portugal. Since Portuguese history has many of its residents out to sea on ships, it’s no wonder that some of the best seafood stew recipes originate from Lisbon and other small towns in the country. For a truly authentic Portuguese fish stew, it’s best to throw Black Cod into a pot (after pin bones are removed) with a pound of linguica sausage, garlic, potatoes, and kale. Crumbling up some day-old bread is also recommended, and of course, some herbs and spices like oregano and thyme will really make the meal.

For those hailing from Italy, cioppino, a type of Italian fish stew, is a great way to stay warm all winter long. Garlic, celery, onion, and red bell pepper are crucial non-seafood elements, as is a single cup of respectable red wine. The difference is with cioppino, anchovies and shrimp stock are more about the base, with everything from mussels to Black Cod to shrimp added for a hearty, savory flavor. And of course, tomato sauce is the secret ingredient, as well as the element that keeps things Italian.