German Pork and Red Cabbage – especially when made in the slow-cooker – features ingredients that taste like they were absolutely MADE for comfort-food cooking. The pork can literally be cut with a spoon, and is meltingly delicious, melding beautifully with the deep hearty sweetness of the red cabbage, with the whole thing turned up just a couple of tangy notches by the addition of vinegar and pepper.
What’s turkey without stuffing? What’s Christmas dinner without stuffing, for that matter? Sure, it’s a simple dish we take for granted, but you really, really miss it when you realize you can’t make those yummy cold turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwiches later that night from the leftovers without stuffing in them! Here’s a foolproof recipe that will bring back this comfort food for you.
Is there anything in the ranks of comfort food that comes close to evoking childhood memories like cabbage rolls do? (Well, at least for those of us with strong European, and Eastern European heritage). I think because these little bundles of delight are so often served as part of a hearty perogyfest, they’ve maybe become guilty by association with those wonderful but unfortunately gluten-packed pillows of goodness, and have thus metaphorically slid off the plate, to become a wistful pre-GF memory.
One of my absolute favorite dishes in this great Canadian culinary mosaic has got to be the stellar Korean dish called Bebimbap. Bebimbap literally means “mixed rice” in Korean, and it starts with a base of warm rice in a bowl, topped with seaweed, vegetables, sometimes meat, kimchee, and an egg – sometimes raw, sometimes poached, and an array of choices when it comes to sauce to flavor things. Even if you don’t have a pantry full of Korean specialties, you CAN make your own yummy version of bebimbap tonight.
Red Beans and Rice. It’s a phrase that’s usually said with the kind of reverence one uses for elemental dishes, identity food, stuff that defines a culture – things like “Apple Pie a la Mode” or “Sachertorte” or “Pierogies”. In this case, it’s a close cousin to that other staple of Cajun cuisine, jambalaya, and in many respects, it embodies many of the defining flavors of Louisiana cooking.
If you have a slow-cooker, (a.k.a. a crock pot), and a good variety of spices in your kitchen, along with that ultimate of cheats, a bottle of liquid smoke flavoring, I have news. You too can make your own Slow-Cooked Barbecue Brisket – one that comes awfully close to the low-and-slow delights of southern cooking.
Beef Borscht. There are many delicious ways to make this comfort food, every one of which is based on that humble, often-maligned and often-rejected root vegetable, the stalwart red beet. You don’t like beets? Yeah, most people don’t. But believe me when I tell you that through some mysterious process, when it’s turned into a soup, it transforms into something really sublime.
What if you combined all those great Mexican flavors into a slice that fit perfectly into the shell – a gravity-resistant filling that could bring back the hard taco’s glorious hand-food reputation? Hey – somewhere along the line someone’s Italian Nonna figured out a meatball sandwich would be way less messy if the meatballs were meatloaf – so why not make a Taco Meatloaf?
With a few ingredients and some imagination, you can actually whip up a proteinaceous, satisfying, and spicy start to the day, with these Basil-Pepperoni Egg cups. Puffed up like a great soufflé in the oven, and served with the last of the GF bread from the freezer, this is as good as any restaurant fare.
Summer! It really is a time when you can get away with making a meal in 12 minutes and still look like a genius. Many of the males of our species do this by firing up the barbecue, putting a couple of potatoes in the microwave, and heating up a can of baked beans – voila, the epitome of grill dining. But it doesn’t take a whole lot of extra effort to ratchet this meal up a notch or two, and produce a Ribeye Steakstravaganza, a true flavor-craver’s delight.
As the nights get hotter, bring home a bit of the Middle East, with Pomegranate Molasses Rib Chops, served with quinoa flavored with slivered almonds, alongside a sweet mache salad garnished with grilled plums, raisins and almonds and dressed with grapefruit balsamic and olive oil.
It’s that time of year – the time when many Calgarians decide our visitors from many lands can have the city for a couple of weeks while we do some quiet vacationing somewhere else. Don’t get me wrong, Stampede’s a good time (but we who live here usually take it in smaller sips). So – how does one celebrate the beginning of the greatest outdoor show on earth? Sure, you could head downtown at zero dark thirty and secure a prime spot on the curb for the Stampede parade, but this year, I think I’d rather have a relaxing and celebratory event at home – one that can be done in your PJ’s, watching CTV’s impeccable coverage – a Stampede Parade Brunch in Bed.
We’re well into barbecue season, so let’s make up some Grilled “Fauxican” Chicken. And let’s slip in a fruit that makes a great vegetable – watermelon, seasoned with salt, pepper, and honey, and also seared on the barbecue. Serve with a buttered baked sweet potato, and you’ve got all the best traditions on the plate, each with a twist to make it interesting.
Turns out that bacon can actually convert virtually anything into something delicious, even seconds-worthy. How about a soup – nay, a bisque! Featuring roasted butternut squash and aromatic vegetables and spices, blended with savory stock, and garnished with sour cream and the very bacon which lends itself first to the roasting, and then as a crowning glory to the dish. And with what shall we serve this bisque? Home-made biscuits, flaky and fragrant – straight out of the oven. Butternut-Bacon Bisque with Biscuits!