by Maria Russo in Community, November 23rd, 2014
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, November 21st, 2014
From rich chocolate cake with frosting to salty french fries, meaty chili and a tower of buttery pancakes, comfort food comes in many flavors and textures, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is no exception. Ree Drummond’s Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy is a rich, hearty dinner featuring a tender, golden-brown cube steak fried with a seasoned breading, plus a side of fluffy mashed potatoes and a generous pour of smooth gravy for an over-the-top finish.
For more takes on tried-and-true culinary comfort, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, October 24th, 2014
For those of you not familiar with pecan tassies, they are bite-size pecan pies. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, they are perfect for holiday festivities and easy to prepare. We always have these on our Thanksgiving table. The pecans are freshly harvested and at their peak so they taste fantastic. And, after a big meal of turkey and dressing, one or two of these diminutive desserts are the perfect way to end the feast. A “tassie” is defined as a small cup, and these petite pies are baked in a mini-muffin tin. Pecan tassies feature the flavors and textures of pecan pie — tender and buttery crust, crunchy pecans and brown-sugar filling — all in one delicious bite.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, October 17th, 2014
I love gravy. I really love gravy. I really, really love gravy. I’d like to think that there are rivers of gravy in heaven. Gravy is a down-home comfort food that soothes, satisfies and satiates like no other. And Smothered and Covered Chicken and Gravy is extra-special. This old-timey recipe is a mash-up of fried chicken and gravy, cooked together in a skillet: Where one ends, the other starts. In other words, pretty much the most nearly perfect comfort food. Ever. Read more
by Virginia Willis in In Season, Recipes, October 10th, 2014
There are some dishes that are emblematic of a culture. Fried chicken is as Southern as kudzu and sweet tea. Lobster defines the food of New England, and chili peppers speak to Southwestern cuisine. There are many others to consider, but red beans and rice, a true Creole classic, means Louisiana country cooking. Like many of the best recipes from simple food, red beans and rice is made up of humble ingredients that, after a slow simmer, are transformed into a sustaining, nourishing bowl of down-home comfort.
by Maria Russo in Shows, October 4th, 2014
In my family, fall means a trip to the mountains for apple picking and apple cider. We love buying a variety of different kinds of apples — some to refrigerate and keep for eating, some to make jelly, and always, always a couple of pounds of cooking apples for apple pie and crisp. While I adore apple pie, I have to admit that an apple crisp is so simple and easy that it’s my go-to apple dessert. There’s no pastry to make and no dough to roll out, and with a little pep in your prep you can have dessert in under an hour.
Crisps, along with their culinary cousins — crumbles, grunts, brown betties and pandowdies — are all simple, old-fashioned, homey desserts. The desserts in this genre use a streusel-like mixture of flour or breadcrumbs, sugar, warm spices and butter, along with rolled oats and nuts. I especially love to use fresh, in-season Georgia pecans in the fall, but almonds and walnuts are great, too. Crisps are flat-out easy, and everyone loves a piping-hot fruit dessert with a sweet, buttery topping. You can serve the crisp with ice cream, whipped cream, or even creme fraiche for an ultra-indulgent dose of down-home comfort. Read more
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, October 3rd, 2014
In the spirit of fall’s shorter days and colder nights, The Kitchen co-hosts dedicated an entire episode this morning to one of autumn’s most-anticipated indulgences: comfort food. From rich casseroles to hearty stews and extra-creamy desserts, few things are better than cozying up to a satisfying meal this time of year, and The Kitchen has you covered when it comes to enjoying both savory and sweet recipes.
FN Dish wants to know, now that the change of seasons is upon us and autumn is in full swing, what comfort food is you all-time-favorite decadence? Do you keep coming back for treats like double-layer cakes or piled-high pies, or do you prefer cheesier selects like bubbly lasagna or baked macaroni and cheese? Cast your vote in the poll below to tell us your go-to pick for comfort food.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, September 12th, 2014
Somewhere along the way when women were being “liberated” from the kitchen, processed and convenience foods became dinner du jour. One-pot casseroles became a go-to for many busy moms and families. One of my favorites growing up was Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole. What’s not to love? It’s filling chicken and rice with creamy gravy, topped with cheese. It’s real down-home comfort.
Most often this indulgent casserole is made with frozen broccoli and a couple of familiar red-and-white cans of cream of mushroom soup. This version is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. It takes just a smidgen more time, but the results are absolutely extraordinary. I’m pretty adamant that down-home comfort can be made without bags and boxes. The truth of the matter is that all too often those shortcuts aren’t really timesavers and they are packed with salt and food additives. I personally really like recipes with ingredients that you can pronounce and don’t need a degree in chemistry to decipher. That gives me a very deep, satisfying feeling of comfort.
by Ricky Smith in Recipes, September 8th, 2014
What? Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy. That sounds like something a devious 6-year-old would make up, doesn’t it? Tender, buttery biscuits enrobed in dark, rich rivulets of creamy, chocolate gravy. Yes, it may sound very Willy Wonka-inspired, but Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy is actually a very old-school traditional breakfast of the Upland South.
People talk about Southern food as if it’s one cuisine, when in actuality it has many variations and subtleties, often region by region. The South can be subdivided into two principal larger areas: the Upper South and the Lower, or Deep, South. The Upper, or Upland, South is the northern border of what we define as the South in the United States. It runs from Virginia and North Carolina westward through West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, dipping into the northern realms of Alabama and Georgia. The Upland South doesn’t conform neatly to state lines, but instead is influenced by the terrain, history and culture. It’s the landscape of a diverse society and what could generally be defined as Appalachia, an area at once both incredibly poor and culturally rich.
by Virginia Willis in Recipes, September 5th, 2014
Comfort food is notoriously indulgent. Butter, cheese and potatoes make appearances in nearly every dish. Even though it’s not the healthiest cuisine in the world, we turn our heads away from the calorie count in the name of comfort and deliciousness. But even these down-home dishes can be lightened up by replacing fat-laden ingredients and opting for the oven instead of the fryer. By being more conscious about ingredients, you can enjoy these classics with a little less guilt.
Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese
If you often find yourself craving a big bowl of cheesy goodness, this recipe is going to be your new best friend. Instead of heavy cream, this version uses skim milk and low-fat sour cream, and includes part-skim mozzarella and low-fat Swiss. And for a little indulgence in the flavor department, it calls for a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
Corn has been part of the American kitchen since Colonial days, as it was a hardy crop, relatively easy to grow and resistant to insects. It was a staple of the Native American diet long before the first settlers arrived and quickly became part of the settlers’ diet. It had a long harvest that extended over a longer period of time than wheat and was cultivated extensively from New England to Georgia. There’s also a long history of corn in the hills and valleys of Appalachia, as corn was better suited to the mountainous terrain than wheat or barley. Corn was eaten fresh in the summer and dried into meal for the winter months. Practicality guided it to find its way in some form, sweet or savory, into breakfast, lunch and dinner.