Tag: comfort food

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 27th, 2014

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and MushroomsRich, hearty and deliciously creamy, macaroni and cheese may be the ultimate comfort food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up the everyday casserole with some healthful additions. Whether you round out the meal with juicy tomatoes, mild-tasting cauliflower or bright-green broccoli, there are indeed ways to incorporate fresh flavors without losing the decadence of the traditional recipe.

Food Network Kitchens put its spin on the indulgent classic with Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms (pictured above), a big-batch supper that’s simple enough to make on a weeknight. After making a triple-cheese sauce with cheddar, Gruyere and cream cheese, mix in the pasta and add garlic-laced kale, plus meaty sauteed shiitakes. “Don’t be alarmed by how much kale you start with for this recipe,” the Kitchens chefs write. “It will cook down quite a bit and pairs deliciously with the creamy pasta and shiitake mushrooms.” Finish the casserole with seasoned breadcrumbs and bake it for just a few minutes until the topping is crispy, and the cheese is gooey and bubbly. Just like with any baked mac and cheese, it’s important to not overcook the noodles in the water, since they’ll finish cooking in the oven. It’s best to remove them when they’re al dente, so they don’t turn mushy when they’re baked.

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The New Age of Casseroles — Comfort Food Feast

by in Entertaining, Recipes, January 23rd, 2014

Sloppy Joe Macaroni CasseroleThe casserole doesn’t necessarily have the most-fashionable rep around. (Tuna casserole, we’re lookin’ at you.) But don’t let that misconception hold you back. The modern casserole really is a one-dish wonder, one that comes nice and bubbly from the oven. It can take you from oven to table with no effort at all. And when you’re buried under scarves and sweaters, the thought of easy-to-access comfort food should warm you on its very own.

Classic lasagna may be the most-popular Italian one-dish wonder, but just consider it a starting point. Trisha fixes her vegan Black Bean Lasagna by layering black beans, homemade tofu ricotta and fire-roasted tomatoes between sheets of lasagna noodles.

Many casseroles come with a base of rice, but Rachael’s Make-Ahead Paella Casserole is definitely the most vibrant. For a one-pan dose of Spanish comfort, Rachael simmers rice in an infusion of saffron before joining it with chicken, chorizo, fish and even shrimp.

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Mushroom-Spinach Stuffed Shells — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 19th, 2014

Mushroom-Spinach Stuffed Shells - Most Popular Pin of the Week
This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week proves that even classic Italian favorites can have a healthy spin — and still make your mouth water. Stuff jumbo pasta shells with an irresistible filling of spinach, mushrooms and three cheeses (part-skim mozzarella, low-fat cottage cheese and Parmesan). Then bake in a garlicky fennel-seed tomato sauce until bubbly.

For more healthy everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom-Spinach Stuffed Shells

Shrimp and Grits — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, January 17th, 2014

Shrimp and Grits - Down Home ComfortDown-home comfort has caught fire in the last 10 years or so with the classic low-country dish Shrimp and Grits. It’s being served in white tablecloth restaurants from Savannah to Seattle. Perhaps the epicenter of the shrimp and grits phenomenon is Charleston, S.C. Charleston is one of the most-popular travel destinations in the United States, an absolute magnet for foodies and tourists, and home to some of the country’s finest restaurants. My friend and mentor Nathalie Dupree, who now resides in Charleston, has an entire cookbook devoted to shrimp and grits. She writes: “Shrimp and Grits, one of the South’s most beloved foods, leaves a lingering taste and a folkloric mystique that borders on the mythical. Each community and ethnic group along the region’s shorelines brings its own cultural influences to the dish.”

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10 Ways to Make Mac and Cheese — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, January 16th, 2014

10 Ways to Make Mac and CheeseFor a dish that requires just the two ingredients of its namesake, there are so many ways you can make mac and cheese happen. It can be stirred on the stove or baked till golden, donning breadcrumbs or done au naturel, filled with extras or made just with cheese, plain and simple. No matter your method, a meal of mac and cheese is sure to bring comfort.

1.Classic: With elbow macaroni, crispy breadcrumbs and the obligatory spike of powdered mustard, Alton’s top-rated Baked Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above) is probably the most iconic of them all.

2. Seasonal: For a dose of seasonal comfort, Rachael’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a different kind of creamy with just a touch of sweetness.

3. Spicy: Just because good ol’ mac is comforting on its own doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a little kick every now and then. Sunny’s Spicy Macaroni and Cheese is spiked with cayenne pepper and pepper jack cheese.

4. Easy: Nothing’s quite as heartening as knowing that dinner is taken care of. Whip out your slow cooker for Trisha’s Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese, which takes only 10 minutes of prep before coasting towards dinnertime.

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Two-Meat Chili with Scallion Cornbread — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 10th, 2014

Two Meat Chili with Scallion Cornbread - The WeekenderOne of the things I’ve learned in my years as a home cook is that you can never have too many reliable chili recipes. When I’m cooking for my sister, I go with a recipe for white turkey chili. Whenever my husband does a low-carb stint, my go-to is a batch made with ground beef and lots of vegetables. And when the weather turns frigid (like it has this week), I need a meaty, rich version that will keep us warm and comforted.

One such hearty recipe is Nancy Fuller’s Two-Meat Chili. Served with her Scallion Cornbread, it’s a good meal for days when the mercury drops. You start by crisping a few strips of minced bacon. Once it’s brown and rendered, you pull out the bacon to use in the cornbread. Then you brown your onions and peppers in all that good bacon fat. After that, the spices, tomatoes, beef, pork, beans and broth join the party.

It simmers for nearly an hour, until it has thickened and filled your house with the heady scent of meat, peppers and spices. Topped with shredded cheese and sour cream, it is the perfect thing for parties, tailgates and your next Weekender.

Before you start cooking, read these tips

Wake Up to Breakfast — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, January 9th, 2014

Wake Up to BreakfastIn the early morning hours, there’s nothing better than cracking an egg into a sizzling hot pan. Unless, that is, breakfast is fixed before you even throw off the covers. Whether you’re looking for a prework meal that beats cereal or a lazy Sunday-morning brunch, these make-ahead breakfast recipes are comforting, easy and perfect for any kind of frosty morning. All you need is some foresight — and maybe a good casserole dish.

Even at the start of the day, some like it sweet. And since French toast generally gets better the longer it soaks, it works as the perfect make-ahead casserole. Do more than add maple syrup with creations like Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Whipped Cream and Strawberries, a decadent recipe best made with day-old challah bread. Or look to a Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole that’s crunchy on the top but creamy and fluffy on the inside.

With raisins, brown sugar and a hint of rosemary, Alton’s Overnight Monkey Bread melds together for hours on end. Just stick it in the oven when the alarm goes off for a rich morning meal.

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Down-Home Comfort: Slow-Cooker Brunswick Stew

by in Recipes, January 8th, 2014

Steamy kitchen windows and tantalizing aromas in the air often mean a slowly cooked winter stew is simmering and gently burbling away in the kitchen. When it’s cold and wet outside, very few meals satisfy and satiate our souls and stomachs like a steaming bowl of hearty, thick goodness. Brunswick stew, a thick, substantial stew of meat and vegetables, fits the bill of down-home comfort.

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Simple, Perfect Chili — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 15th, 2013

Simple, Perfect Chili - Most Popular Pin of the WeekChili is a comfort food favorite (especially during football season), and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week says has it all: Ree’s recipe is a simple, perfect meal in a hurry.

Ree combines ground beef with two different kinds of beans, lots of herbs and spices, along with tortilla chips and lime wedges on the side. Sure you can eat the chili in a bowl with a spoon — but it’s a lot of fun scooping the chili onto chips too.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Simple, Perfect Chili

When Broccoli Meets Cheddar — Fall Fest

by in In Season, December 12th, 2013

When Broccoli Meets Cheddar - Fall FestBacon and eggs. Milk and cookies. Some things just go hand in hand. Broccoli and cheddar? Now that is a union of epic proportions. Luckily, there are many ways for you to indulge your broccoli-cheddar fixation, especially now that this favorite winter veggie is perfectly in season. With this trusty recipe list on your side, you have every reason to witness this fated pairing on your plate this week.

1. Perhaps the most-iconic display of broccoli and cheddar together is eaten with a spoon. Food Network Magazine’s Almost-Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup is creamy and rich, best when served restaurant style in a crusty bread bowl. For those hoping for something a little less heavy, Healthified Broccoli-Cheddar Soup is your saving grace.

2. Say goodbye to your strolls down the brisk freezer section. Make homemade Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets, like these by Food Network Magazine, by folding fresh broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese into store-bought French bread dough. No microwave required.

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