No need to order takeout when it’s easier — and cheaper — to make your own. Thinking Thai? Try my take on Curry Mee. Translation? Asian comfort food in a bowl. My recipe for coconut chicken noodle soup spiced with curry will soothe your Thai cravings — and you’ll have dinner ready in less time than it takes to wait for the doorbell to ring. Mexican sound good tonight? My spicy chipotle shrimp with arroz verde is so good you may never dream of ordering in again.
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You may think of plastic-wrapped trays of chicken breasts as the most-boring item in your supermarket’s refrigerated section, but perhaps that view is on the stunted side. This week we’re running down the line of our favorite chicken comfort foods, pitting classic recipes against new creative takes. With fresh spins on chicken pot pie, chicken piccata and more, it’s safe to say that good ol’ chicken breast has a whole lot more to offer than you might think.
1. Chicken Pot Pie
Classic Comfort: Odds are, you’ve plunged a spoon into a dough-topped chicken pot pie to scoop up the decadent, creamy chicken-and-veggie filling. Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie (pictured above) is the most-classic recipe of them all, complete with a from-scratch pastry dough topping that comes out of the oven golden.
Dining at your desk can feel sad — like eating Thanksgiving dinner with plastic utensils. (The food may be delicious, but the circumstances make it less so.) But there is a way to make eating last night’s leftovers actually pleasant — and I’m not talking about investing in one of those annoying bento lunchboxes that never have enough room for the main part of the meal. Over the years, I’ve come up with five essentials that bring dignity to lunch at work. Here’s what I always have on hand.
1. A Low, Wide White Ceramic Bowl: White because most food — even a baked potato — looks good against it. Low because it can work for salads, soups, grains or a piece of chicken. And ceramic because it can go in the microwave (cold leftovers just invite depression).
2. Real Cutlery (i.e., a stainless steel fork and spoon): They don’t have to match, so grab those oddball orphaned pieces from your silverware drawer and put them to good use. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s also a scientifically proven fact that nothing (other than North Carolina barbecue served in a Styrofoam container) should ever be eaten with a flimsy plastic fork.
Chicken pot pie may get most of the credit for being a savory twist on a classically sweet idea (fruit filling + buttery crust), but shepherd’s pie — or cottage pie, as it’s sometimes known — can play the meaty pie game too. Instead of a biscuit or pastry crust like the chicken version, however, traditional shepherd’s pie is topped with … wait for it … a thick blanket of creamy, smooth mashed potatoes. Combined with the warm and hearty filling featuring ground meat and bright vegetables, these hefty potatoes guarantee comfort food. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five takes on this satisfying supper from some of your favorite Food Network chefs, including Rachael Ray, Alton Brown and Melissa d’Arabian.
5. Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie — The secret to this fuss-free recipe is opting for frozen potato tots in place of the usual mashed potato topping. “Using potato tots instead not only saves you time but makes for a crispy topping that’s a nice contrast to the beef filling,” the chefs in our Food Network Kitchen explain.
4. Melissa’s Shepherd’s Pie — Boasting layer upon layer of flavor, Melissa’s bacon-laced beef filling is simmered in a bold beer broth before being topped with tangy garlic mashed potatoes and gooey cheese.
A single scoop of ice cream hardly sounds like a splurge. But in the case of the “Black Diamond,” recently introduced by Scoopi Café in Dubai, it inarguably is: One scoop of that stuff will run you $817, according to media reports.
On the bright side, you get to keep the Versace bowl it comes in, as well as the accompanying Versace spoon — I guess as a memento of that time you blew way too much money on a transitory treat you couldn’t even savor too long before it melted in the tropical desert heat.
If a Jew has ever been jealous of a Christmas tree or an Easter egg hunt, think of Purim as the time the tables are turned. It’s the holiday that hinges on fun — and lots of it. Treated as the Jewish equivalent of Halloween, when you pull on a costume and take part in all kinds of, ahem, “revelry,” Purim marks a celebration of the Jews rising above the villainous ruler Haman during biblical times. Beyond all the partying, ringing in this holiday also calls for the baking of Hamentaschen: triangular pastries filled with traditional poppy seeds or jam. The name harks back to Haman himself, and each doughy pastry signifies the corners of his hat (or, depending on whom you talk to, his ears or his pockets).
Whether you’re Jewish or not, fold up your own filled cookies in honor of this joyous holiday, and remember that the custom of gifting food (mishloach manot) is a big one on Purim, so bake enough for fellow revelers — or co-workers, teachers and friends.
Hot sauce will not be outdone. Mere months after French mustard maker Maille opened a high-end Manhattan boutique offering more than 20 varieties of mustards in jars and on tap (to be hand-poured into stoneware containers) and introduced its own “Mustard Sommelier” to New York City condiment lovers, a hot sauce tasting room is poised to open in Brooklyn with … wait for it … its own “Hot Sauce Sommelier.”
I know, sigh. But these purveyors of bottled heat are remarkably earnest about their endeavor, which they are cutely calling Heatonist. Previously peddling their wares in a wheeled cart, the Hot Sauce Mobile, which eventually proved unequal to their aspirations, they’ve decided to establish a permanent shop in the heart of hipster Williamsburg, where, according to a Kickstarter page set up to fund the project, they plan to set up a “charred oak hot sauce bar. Tasteful and timeless — like a fine hot sauce.”
If you want to eat and drink like a billionaire, forget the filet mignon, oysters, caviar and truffles, never mind the champagne and fine wine: Just scarf down a boatload of snack foods and soda pop.
That’s what mega-wealthy investor Warren Buffett does. At 84, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO – renowned for both his frugality and his curiously lowbrow taste in food – says he drinks at least five 12-ounce servings of Coca-Cola, made by a company he owns a great deal of stock in, every single day.
“I’m one quarter Coca-Cola,” Warren Buffett told Fortune. “If I eat 2700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola.”
Leave it to Guy Fieri to turn a simple live cooking demo into an all-out party, complete with pumping music, plenty of The Drunk Donkey cocktails and, of course, over-the-top eats. That’s just what happened at the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival when Guy dished out the cheesiest, meatiest nachos ever … in a trashcan. This nontraditional (and clean) vessel was the only container large enough to hold his super-layered snack — so large, in fact, that when it came time to serve the nachos, Guy needed a few friends’ help to flip the can over.
Click the photo below to launch an entire photo gallery of the making of Guy’s next-level nachos.
It’s no surprise that salads sometimes get a bad rap for being boring; after all, a plate of lettuce and a drizzle of dressing isn’t exactly a satisfying meal. The key to making a salad, especially a meatless one, hearty is layering flavors and textures. While traditional mixed greens are a go-to pick for lettuce, try swapping in arugula or endive to experiment with new tastes, then pair them with bold mix-ins like fresh vegetables and filling proteins, like eggs or nuts. When it comes to dressing, ditch the bottled stuff in favor of a DIY mixture — most vinaigrettes come together in mere minutes with ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Food Network Magazine’s Grapefruit-Arugula Salad (pictured above) is full of color and crunch, as it’s brimming with peppery greens, plus fresh celery and endive for a mix of crispness. While fresh grapefruit segments promise a refreshing bite, the next-level walnuts, baked with a cumin-brown sugar coating, offer a welcome smoky sweetness and a hefty crunch to round out the meal. Before serving, toss the salad with a creamy yogurt-based vinaigrette laced with lemon juice for even more citrus flavor.