Tag Archives: comfort food

Recipe: Simple Tomato Soup

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Even though its March, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It’s still cold and I heard that there’s gonna be snow this week. Lame. My mom always used to tell me that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” All I know is, I better not still be wearing my winter coat by the end of the month. In the meantime, grilled cheese and tomato soup is always a good idea for chilly days. I thought it would be a lot harder to make tomato soup, but its actually quite simple, which I think makes it even tastier. The secret ingredient for this soup is a touch of saffron, which I bought when The Russian and I were in Spain the summer before last. I got a really good deal on it (naturally) in Barcelona.

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I know buying saffron stateside can be pricey (although I did see some in the supermarket for four bucks the other day), so if your supermarket doesn’t have any affordable options, it’s okay to skip this ingredient.
Ingredients
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes [$3]
1 yellow onion [$1]
1 box chicken stock [$2]
Minced garlic [$2]
Heavy cream [$2]
Saffron (see above)
Grilled cheese, for serving

Directions
In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, diced, and let sweat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of garlic and cook for another minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, four cups pf broth, and a pinch of saffron. Let the flavors marinate and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add a half cup (or a cup if you’re me) of cream and let simmer for another five. I decided to blend this soup a little with my immersion blender (a new toy thanks to mom) to thicken it a little. This is an optional step.
Serve this comforting soup with grilled cheese and enjoy not having to go outside just yet.

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-L

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Recipe: Beef Stew Stuffed Potatoes

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I have a love/hate relationship with rainy days. I hate going out, but while inside, reading a book, I like the sound of rain on my window. I also love eating stews on rainy days like today. Simple comfort food is always the best remedy for a wet and chilly day.
This stew is rich and meaty with soft peas and crunchy sweet white onions. Served in crispy potato bowls that just sop up the juices with mashed potatoes on top, this is a meal that is sure to stick to your ribs.

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Ingredients
2 boxes beef stock [$4]
1 bag peas [$2]
1 bag small white onions (frozen, already peeled. Trust me, you don’t want to peel these yourself) [$2]
3 lb beef roast, cut into cubes [$10]
Sherry or red wine or whatever you have on hand to deglaze, water can also be used.
1 bag potatoes, white or russet [$3]

Directions
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and use a cookie pan with a healthy amount of oil in the bottom, and place potatoes flesh side down. Cook until the potatoes are crispy, about 40 minutes or so.

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While the potatoes are cooking, empty the stock into a pan over high heat to reduce. I like to throw in some garlic cloves, thyme, and any other herbs I have on hand with a dash if red pepper to flavor the stock further.
Take another pot and coat with olive oil until just smoking. Add the meat (seasoned with salt and pepper of course) and let sear on all sides, about 10 minutes. Tale the meat out of the pan and add a splash of sherry ( my personal choice but feel free to use water or broth if you don’t want alcohol or red wine if you want a richer stew. Add the onions and let sweat for a few minutes, then add the seared meat and simmered stock. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. For a richer stew, I like to add flour mixed into a paste with some softened butter. Put into the stew along with the peas and let simmer covered for another 10 minutes or so.

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When the potatoes are ready, shell out the flesh, leaving about a 1/2 inch border. Reserve the flesh and add butter, milk, and salt and mash into creamy potatoes.

To serve, put the stew in the potato shells and top with the mashed potatoes.

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Stay dry!
-L

Recipe: Shrimp and Corn Chowdah

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IMG_2390 Talk about simple weeknight cooking! If you follow the recipe from Food Network to a T, this dish shouldn’t realistically take more thank 40 minutes.  I couldn’t find any frozen potatoes, so I used real ones, cut them up, and boiled them until tender.  Either way is fine and produces a delicious and comforting meal that everyone will enjoy.  ALSO, and this is super important: Do not skip over the step where you blend about 1/3 of the soup and re–add in back into the chowder.  It is essential for making a creamy, thick chowder that have put Boston on the chowder map (if there is such a thing, and I hope there is).

Ingredients:

1 lb shrimp [$8, on sale!]

1 quart whole milk [$3]

celery [$2]

potatoes (frozen and cubed or fresh) [$3]

1 small package frozen corn [$1.50]

seasonings (I had these on hand):Flour, Salt, pepper, fresh thyme, paprika (for the end)

Directions:

If using fresh potatoes, cut and boil them until mostly tender. If using frozen, just continue on with the recipe.

Melt some butter in a large pot and add sliced celery, the boiled potatoes, and the frozen corn.  Add the seasonings (minus the paprika) and simmer for a few minutes.  Add a few tablespoons of flour to the mixture and stir until incorporated. Add the milk and bring to a boil, covered, for about 10 minutes or so.

When all the veggies are tender and ready to go, puree 1/3 of the mixture in a blender until mostly smooth (use your best judgement) and return to the pot.  Add the shrimp (which should be peeled and such for easier chowder enjoyment). Simmer until the shrimp is cooked, about 4 minutes, and serve with a sprinkle of paprika on top. Yum.

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A quick Monday night meal that will leave all satisfied.

-L