The Coziest Ski Weekend Recipes
You know who you are: When the forecast says snow, you can't resist the call of the slopes. When cool mountain air beckons, let us help you plan a culinary trip to the peaks. Indulge as the Europeans do, in high Alpine style: Toasting with friends, dipping forks into bubbling cheese. Even if you've been on the bunny hill all day, you deserve to après-ski with the best of them—sun on your face, drink in your hand—and still come back to a cozy scene.
You'll need to plan, shopping for specialty items to bring with you. Beyond that, the pleasure is there for the taking. If you're feeding a crowd, start the day with a savory, make-ahead strata. Set up a full roster of satisfying meals to keep everyone warm. Snowdrifts or no, what we all need is comfort, familiar and delicious. Select from traditional dishes, such as French onion soup and Champvallon and an elegant take on shepherd's pie, that are sure to warm your heart.
Coziness abounds in Alpine chalets and Dolomitian refugios, especially so for those who've earned their hearty meals out in the cold, fresh air. If you're destined to hang out in the lodge all day, or cook in a rental kitchen, be sure to get outside to work up an appetite. You can be lazy by the fire later on; there'll be chocolat chaud
for the kids, and you'll sip cognac-spiked coffee, and nibble on tender, buttery apple strudel. Or maybe you'll just play it simple: after a long day on the slopes, sometimes all we really want to come home to is a tray of the fudgiest brownies, which we eat, still in our base layers, standing at the kitchen counter.
Fontina, Speck, and Onion Strata
Kick off a wintry weekend with this satisfying baked dish, which features Italian speck, a lightly smoked ham from the Tyrolean mountains. Perfect for active days and large groups, a strata can be assembled up to a day ahead; get up in the morning and pop it in the oven to bake ready for breakfast.
Fondue for Two
Dipping into this classic après-ski dish creates a convivial mood, but it will certainly suit a romantic evening just as well. Be sure to chill plenty of crisp white wine to drink with the fondue.
French Onion Soup
Everyone loves savory, delicious French onion soup, and the bubbling cheese-topped toast makes it extra filling. Serve it for lunch or as a starter at dinner.
In the ski town of Val d'Isere in the French Alps, the rustic potato dish tartiflette is so popular that it is baked and set out in enormous casseroles at the grocery store so shoppers can scoop out as much as they want. Sliced Reblochon cheese melts into potatoes and thick-cut bacon as the tartiflette bakes.
Potato and Celery Root Rosti
For main course comfort food you can't beat a savory shepherd's pie or a rich potato gratin. If you marry the two, you have champavallon, a ground lamb and potato pie. A mushroom version is a good option for the vegetarians in your group. Both the traditional version and the vegetarian one use thinly sliced potatoes to elegant effect. A mandoline comes in handy for slicing, so if you've got one, pack it in your bags.
Coffee with Cognac
Both homey and delicate, apple strudel is found in many Alpine regions and it's perfect with a warming cup of tea or a hot toddy. Making this version is an easy proposition; it uses store-bought frozen phyllo dough. Plan ahead; if you defrost the dough in time, you can easily make the strudel when get home in the afternoon, and serve it after dinner.
Chocolate Fondue with Clementines, Candied Grapefruit Peel, and Glaceed Orange Slices
Continue the fondue fun into dessert. It's so simple to make and is a great excuse to get everyone to gather around the table again. Dip fancy candied citrus peel for the adults, clementines for the kids, or try other fruits of your choice.
When all is said and done, what can be better than a pan of perfect brownies? We love them for afternoon snacks, midnight snacks—and wrapped up in our pockets for a snack between lifts.