Sunday, January 27, 2008

Comfort, anyone?

What is the real definition of comfort food? Is it the foods that you grew up eating, foods that are loaded with starches and are generally unhealthy for you but make you feel good, or is it any food that makes you happy? Whatever it is, these are my favorites right now:

Martha's chocolate black pepper cookies are incredible. The pepper makes the chocolate even more chocolatey, and the dutch chocolate isn't too sweet: just rich and delicious. I looked for sanding sugar in three different groceries and couldn't find it, so I guess it's going to require a trip to the kitchen shop because we'll be making these again for sure. I also love that you chill the dough in a log shape and then slice it to form the cookies; couldn't be easier!

Pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe is another one of our big favorites and has been for almost a year, I think. It's easy, fast and delicious, and I think we make it at least every other week.

I plan to make a chocolate souffle this week. We like making souffles for dinner around here; I get lots of help whisking the eggs and the vinaigrette for an accompanying salad. Souffle for dessert certainly sounds like comfort food to me, yes?

We make a lot of pizza, as well, and my sister gave us a delicious recipe for vodka sauce (with ham and spinach--yum!) that we make frequently. Those fit the comfort criteria, I think.

Mario Batali's Pumpkin Lune was delicious but loads of work with a hungry toddler underfoot. I'll make it again someday, but I don't think if falls under the comfort category if you're exhausted and surrounded by a mess of a kitchen when you're finished, does it?

Any other suggestions for things I should try?


  1. My main comfort food supper-wise is a pot of soup. It can be nearly any kind, as long as it is thick and porridge-like. Yum. Homemade macaroni and cheese is also a favorite. And pirogis.

    I am interested to hear that the black pepper is really a good thing. I was frightened by it in MS ginger cookie recipe and left it out. Perhaps I should give it another go!

  2. Mmmm, comfort foods! I'll have to try Martha's cook recipe. It sounds quite interesting.

    My favorite comforts: beef and vegetable stew with cornbread, pot pies, chicken noodle soup, and chili, (with lots of meat and fire roasted tomatoes). And anything sweet is fine by me!

  3. Cheesy rice and veggies was a standby dinner growing up which makes it extra comforting. Plus it is ridiculously simple. Just add some chopped veggies and cheese to a pot of rice about 10 minutes before it is done cooking and you have dinner. Do half rice/half lentils, or chunks of ham if you want extra protein.

    Also, molasses crinkle cookies (I use the recipe from the back of the Betty Crocker Cooky Book) just exude comfort to me. Molasses makes them so warm even when they are coming straight from the freezer.

  4. My comfort food is my mom's Vietnamese home cooking. I've got skills in the kitchen, but never picked up any Vietnamese. Maybe because it will never taste as good as mom's. The dishes I love are not found in restaraunts, so when she comes it makes it even more special.

  5. Cornbread, white beans and turnip greens are the perfect meal. Could it be more Southern? Skip the sanding sugar and instead rest the warm cookies on a bed of white superfine sugar. The sugar sticks to the bottom and keeps the cookies from sticking together. Works on brownies too. Also add a teaspoon and half of course kosher salt to that recipe...yum.I have 'tested' almost that whole baking cookbook!

  6. i was just thinking about this.

    i have so many....
    mac + cheese
    japanese food of all kind [miso soup w/ rice, chicken katsu,]

    i feel like my comfort food list just grows and grows....

    hope you are well !!

  7. Souffles! I am so impressed. I have tried on three separate occasions to make a souffle and to no avail. My comfort food is some yummy goat cheese melted into spaghetti noodles and tomato sauce... I'm hungry all of the sudden.

  8. Oh, souffles are really easy, actually. Get yourself a copper bowl for beating the eggs, and they're a treat to make! Hmm, goat cheese in spaghetti sounds delicious...

  9. 100% comfort food: rosa rice! Sweet rice cooked with brown sugar and wild berries. Easy, quick and supercomforting.

  10. i'd have to say chocolate chip cookie bars, and steamed broccoli velveeta mac n cheese. oh! and my family's summer staple-- grilled pork loin over a bed of white rice, black beans, and green onions. delish