Posts Tagged ‘comfort food’

9th January
2010
written by Steph

The finished product

The finished product

I'm assuming that those of you who are smart enough to read this blog are also smart enough to assemble a pizza on your own (plus we've held your hand before), so this will be a bit of a departure from our normal recipe series in that I'm not going to walk you through the steps here one by one.  Instead, I'm going to tell you what toppings we put on this so-called "Supreme Pizza" and focus on one of the more important parts of this dish: the sauce.  You see, when it comes to pizza, I'm insanely picky - sure it's hard to screw up, but it's also hard to get REALLY good pizza - and more often than not I'm let down the sauce component.  Most pizzas are too saucy, or rely on sauces that are too thick and akin to tomato paste, both of which are sins that will have me turning up my nose.  My favorite kind of sauce is one that tastes like true tomatoes and that are light and liquid-y rather than goopy.  Turns out I'm in luck, because this type of sauce is actually really easy to make yourself (and will have you shunning all of that tinned/jarred sauce nonsense). (more…)
6th January
2010
written by Steph

Guaranteed to cure what ails ya!

Guaranteed to cure what ails ya!

It’s cold/flu season, so I know I’m not alone when I tell you that part of my holiday this year involved lying in bed sick as a dog (though to be honest, our dogs never seem to get as sick as I do…).  It was a bummer being all snotty-yet-stuffy nosed and achey and fevered, even if my mom was there to take care of me… but then we returned to Nashville and things got worse because now my mom wasn’t even there to take care of me!  However, I’m not my mother’s daughter for nothing and I swiftly decided Tony and I needed to cook up a big pot of my mom’s chicken noodle soup, because if there’s one thing I want to eat when I’m sick, it’s that (well that and pho, but chicken noodle soup is way easier to make from home).  So today’s recipe is brought to you courtesy of my mom, because while I’m sure tons of people out there have their own CNS recipes, my mom’s is the BEST at curing what ails ya.  Trust me.  It’s got secret ingredients and everything. (more…)

10th November
2009
written by Steph
Homemade Tomato Soup with puff pastry croutons

Homemade Tomato Soup with puff pastry croutons

I don’t know about you, but to me there are few things more comforting than a bowl of tomato soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich.  Whenever it’s cold and dreary or I’m in a funk and need something warm and satisfying, this is the meal I like to have.  Normally I try to keep a few cans of Campbell’s condensed tomato soup around for that purpose, but then I finally had the brainwave that I could probably make the soup from scratch.  Don’t ask me why it’s taken me 26 years to get over the belief that tomato soup was one of those things that just couldn’t be done from home (hey, I just had my mind blown by the notion that you can make your own brown sugar… and it’s really easy too, to make it all the more embarrassing!)… For this soup, I mostly followed this Martha Stewart recipe (after years of loathing her, I have finally gone over to the darkside and am completely into all things Martha), but I did add a few things to boost up the potential flavor levels, as you’ll see. (more…)
30th October
2009
written by Steph

This dish may not look all that pretty, but I promise it tastes good!

This dish may not look all that pretty, but I promise it tastes good!

When the weather starts getting cold, I start craving comfort food – generally one pot dishes that you can fling together and let the magic happen without doing all that much to them.  The funny thing is that most of the traditional comfort foods (like mac & cheese, meatloaf, or yes, tuna noodle casserole), I never got to eat growing up!  My mom made meatloaf maybe once or twice, but the only mac and cheese I ever got was Kraft Dinner.  It was good – don’t get me wrong – but it was straight out of a box.  Don’t go thinking my mom didn’t like to cook or anything like that.  Far from it.  My mom’s a wonderful cook, but those kinds of foods just aren’t on her radar.  Growing up in Trinidad, her idea of comfort foods are things like cookup, curries, and maybe even blood sausage (but we won’t talk about that last one, that’s for sure.).  So for me, casseroles and the like are still kind of a novelty dish, as they didn’t make up the bulk of my childhood eating. Now, I don’t consider myself to be a picky eater, but one thing I really don’t like is tuna from a can.  It just really grosses me out; just thinking about its flaky texture makes me want to lie down.  I don’t think Tony’s aversion is quite as strong as mine, but he’s no fan either (isn’t it nice when your food likes and dislikes so neatly coincide with your significant other’s?), so while I can get behind the general notion of the tuna noodle casserole, I had to swap out that first ingredient with chicken breast (in theory I could have probably used that canned chicken you can buy, but when possible, I choose to not use canned meats… 😉 ).  But other than that, I stuck pretty closely to this recipe, which allowed me to circumvent using a can of condensed soup.  Don’t worry if you choose to make things easier on yourself and use this one as your basis instead – I promise not to judge! (more…)
10th March
2009
written by Steph
Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

Chicken & Leek Pot Pie

Sometimes I’m at the grocery store and buy certain items on a whim, without fully considering how I’ll use said item in an upcoming dish.  Such was the case when I went and bought a beautiful leek, only to then realize that I didn’t really know a good recipe for them.  And then most recipes involving leeks called for more than one, and then I fortuitously stumbled upon a Jamie Oliver recipe for Chicken & Sweet Leek Pie and the day was saved! Of course, I didn’t really follow Jamie’s recipe to the note, mostly because I found it a tad fussy and I already have a pot pie recipe in my repertoire that we quite like (inspired by Elise's recipe), so I mostly just used Jamie’s concept, but made it the way I normally would make any other pot pie.  It’s a great way to use up extra roast chicken, which is how I normally come about making pot pies (though in this instance, I actually did freshly roast two chicken legs (drumsticks + thighs) specially for this dish.  If you use frozen pie crusts as I do (I don’t really bake, and I definitely don’t do anything that requires a rolling pin!), then this is a relatively effortless meal to put together, with the added benefit that it just gets better upon reheating! (more…)
21st February
2009
written by Steph

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

At the end of my last recipe post, I tantalizingly teased you with the promise of a chili recipe.  This is that recipe.  So far on this site I have focused for the most part on meals that you can fling together in a jiffy during the week.  After all, isn’t that how most of us are cooking most of the time?  However, one of my secret weapons for quick meals is perhaps the counter-intuitively named slow cooker.  I love this thing because it allows to me toss a bunch of things in a pot, forget about them, and then come back to a meal that is cooked and full of flavor.  It’s kind of like magic, or at the very least, having a little house elf to help you out in the kitchen.  I trot my slow cooker out about once a week, and its now my go-to appliance for making chili.  The thing about chili, in the end, is that the longer it cooks, the more complex and richer the flavors get, and that’s what makes a good chili.  Sure, you can get away with just simmering it on the stove for an hour or two, but how does that beat low & slow cooking for 8 hours?  Look at the numbers! OK, so the recipe I’m posting today was made with the aid of my slow cooker.  BUT I know that not all of you have one, so I will also tell you what to do if you’re going to go the traditional “pot on stove” method.  The slow cooker method is ostensibly easier since you just put everything together, making it a one step dish in the morning, but it’s not as though the other way is hard either.  Seriously though, look into getting a slow cooker, ok?  They aren’t just for making your grandmother’s casseroles or something bland and gluey, and I promise that they won’t burn your house down if you leave them unattended. Credit where credit is due, my chili recipe is inspired by Elise’s chili con carne recipe, though I must admit that I’ve never made it the way she does as my chili always has ground beef in it, and shockingly, never any bacon. (more…)
27th November
2008
written by Steph
Provided you like eggs that is (and if you don’t, I really can’t help you on that one… I’m just going to look at you funny).  I’m a big fan, personally, and this quick and easy dish (if you can call it that) combines my love of both a hard-boiled egg as well as a runny yolk.  It’s fast and simple to prepare, and incredibly delicious.  Tony & I often eat them for breakfast, but we will sometimes make them for dinner to if we’re looking for a lighter (or quick) meal that requires minimal fuss. (more…)