I don't know about you, but as soon as the weather in L.A. cools down and the sky turns cloudy and grey, I rush to pull out my favorite cold-weather recipes. They're usually dusty, and sometimes even hard to find—after all, it almost never really gets cold in SoCal. By all reports, though, this weekend will be wet and chilly. Let's celebrate winter by firing up our ovens and simmering something savory over the stove. Here are five recipes to put you in the mood.
1. Roy Choi has been teasing us for months with promises of a hot pot restaurant (POT, at The Line Hotel). It's still under construction, so this weekend we're pulling out his cookbook, L.A. Son, and making the $4 spaghetti sauce. You start the recipe by making a simple mushroom stock. It simmers for hours on your stove, filling the air with a deep, earthy scent, before you add it to a simple tomato sauce and ladle deep red spoonfuls over toothsome noodles.
2. Turn this weekend's weather forecast into a scene out of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by combining this meatball recipe from Rao's in Hollywood with the above $4 spaghetti sauce. Or, just add the juicy meatballs—some of the best we've ever had—to your favorite marinara.
3. When my apartment gets especially cold, I try baking something before I resort to turning on my heater. That way, I get both a warm room and a delicious dish. Consider staying in this weekend and perfecting your pizza form. Baker and chef Noel Brohner's pizza dough recipe—inspired by the recipe used at Bestia in the Arts District downtown—is both approachable and as authentic as any home baker can get.
4. Weekend morning brunch in bed? Yes, please. Treat yourself, your sweetie, or your family to this recipe from chef Kirsten Walker of The Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village. The French toast gratin is something you can prepare ahead the night before. The next morning, tip toe out of bed without waking the dog and pop it in the oven. You'll awake less than an hour later to the smells of cinnamon and sugar.
5. Keep your oven on all weekend. Roast this leg of lamb—perhaps it will help usher in springtime?—on Sunday afternoon. It's a recipe from Farmshop's Jeffrey Cerciello. Rubbed with fragrant za'atar spice, it will make your home smell like an exotic spice market. Throw some small potatoes, shallots, and carrots into the roasting dish and dinner is done.