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Winter Comfort Foods on a Shoestring

Cold weather means it's time for some winter comfort foods.

And "The Early Show on Saturday Morning"'s "Chef on a Shoestring" John Mooney has just the recipes to warm up your table.

"Early Show" Recipes Galore

Mooney has used his culinary talents all over the world, from India to Ireland. Next week he is opening the Bell Book and Candle in Manhattan, which boasts its own rooftop garden where he grows most - to all 0- of his kitchen produce.

He shared the recipes below of winter comfort foods, with the entrée you chose: A patty melt.


Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

2 Carrots, roughly chopped
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 medium-sized Butternut squash
1 cup heavy cream
1 qt Vegetable Stock
Grapeseed oil
1 tsp powdered nutmeg
1/2 tsp dry ginger

Roughly chop the carrots and onions. Split the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lightly coat the squash flesh with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh-side down and roast in a 350 degree oven until brown and soft, about 30 minutes.

Place a soup pot on medium-heat and begin to sweat the carrots and onions in some oil. Cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock and cream and bring to a simmer. Scoop out the flesh from the squash (discard the skin) and add to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Season with salt pepper, nutmeg and ginger. Blend until smooth and serve with sage leaf garnish.

Fried Sage:
4 Sage leaves

Remove stems from sage leaves and fry lightly in grapeseed oil. Remove from oil, drain quickly on paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.

Bell Book & Candle "Patty Melt" Burger

4 6-ounce ground beef, hand-shaped into square patties (80/20 blend)
8 Cheddar slices
1 white onion, sliced
8 slices rye bread
1-2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil

Place one slice of cheese on each slice of bread. Warm the griddle or a large frying pan on medium heat. Season each side of the burger patty with salt and pepper.

Begin by placing the burger and onion slices side-by-side on the griddle/pan. On the opposite side of the griddle/pan, put a thin layer of oil and place the bread flat with cheese side up. Cook the patty about 3 minutes on each side for medium.

Remove the patty from the griddle and let rest for one minute. Place grilled onions on top of one slice of bread, then place the patty on top of the onions.

Top off with another piece of bread, cheese side down. Cut in half and serve with a pickle spear (if desired).

For a Pear and Oatmeal Recipe, go to Page 2.

Pear & Oatmeal Crumble

Pear Filling:
4-6 Medium sized pears
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup brown sugar

Peel, core & dice the pears. Sprinkle with lemon, cinnamon and sugar. Let stand 20 minutes.

Oatmeal Crumble:
1 1/4 cups Irish Oatmeal
3/4 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup AP flour
1/4 lb soft butter cubed (1 stick)

Mix the butter & sugar; add the flour & oatmeal - it should be lumpy

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pears in the bottom of a bake-proof dish that has been rubbed with butter. Place the crumble on top and bake until brown and heated through, about 35-40 minutes.

Let stand about 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve as-is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

So, how did John wind up faring with our $40 budget?

Pumpkin Soup
Carrots 1.19
White Onion 1.05
Butternut Squash 3.56
Heavy Cream 3.59
Vegetable Stock 3.99
Grapeseed Oil 6.39
Sage .99
TOTAL 20.76

Patty Melt
Ground Beef 3.50
Cheddar 3.00
White Onion 1.05
Rye Bread 3.39
TOTAL 10.94

Pear Crumble
Pears 2.35
Lemon Juice .67
Irish Oatmeal 5.00
TOTAL 8.02

Grand Total: $39.72

John just missed the Leaders Board in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition. Here are the top finishers so far:

1. Bill Telepan $37.01

2. Marc Murphy $37.11
Ditch Plains

3. Amanda Freitag $37.17
The Harrison

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