Category Archives: Comfort food

Susu’s Chicken Divan

thekitchn.com

Before Katers learned how to do more in the kitchen than boil water, this was a standard weekly dinner at Morrow Ave.
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While she is clearly now a master chef, it is a testament to the goodness – and easiness – of this recipe that it was always delicious and immediately devoured.
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This recipe is Susu’s version of the quintessential Southern classic, and I must admit I was pretty thrilled to find out you can just cube the cheddar cheese instead of grating it. Bloody knuckles are not appetizing.
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Casserole:
8 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 pkgs broccoli, cooked and drained
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Sauce:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup mayo
2-7 tbsp cooking sherry
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  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Mix all sauce ingredients together.
  3. Pour over chicken and broccoli in 9×12 casserole dish.
  4. Cook 30-35 minutes, or until a little bubbly.
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Filed under Chicken, Comfort food, Southern food, Veggies

Peg’s Jalapeno Cornbread

dorkbyte.com

This cornbread is the counterpart of yesterday’s veggie soup. Since The Chef and I have spent all day trying to decide which variety of soup/gumbo/stew we will be making for New Year’s Day, this was a no-brainer side dish.

Jalapeno cornbread is a great for soups because it will work for sopping but also has enough of a spicy kick to cut through the dense corn-bready-ness (word. total word.).
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Peg says the cornmeal in this recipe must be Aunt Jemima Buttermilk and not Martha Stewart. (Which is why I linked that Jemima example to Wal-Mart instead of K-Mart. Your lucrative deal with a giant discount store holds no water with us, Martha!)
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Claire also reminds us that you have to heat up the tins before adding the batter so the bottoms of the muffins are crunchified. Word to you. And your mother.
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2 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp veggie oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 can creamed corn
chopped jalapenos (as many as you want)
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  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix together all ingredients. The batter should be easy to stir and smooth but not runny. If it’s too thick, add more buttermilk.
  3. Take muffin pan and put 1/2 cap of veggie oil in each tin. Put in the oven at 425 until smokey. (This is the non-negotiable step that makes the bread crunchy all the way around.)
  4. Take out, add mix and cook at 425 for approx. 45 min.

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Filed under Bread, Comfort food, Side dishes

Peg’s Veggie Soup

tasteofhome.com

Claire sent me this recipe several weeks ago, but in all of the Christmas hullabaloo, I forgot to post it. Now, as I sit at work doing very little of it, I figured I’d give this a post.

Usually when people send me recipes, I clean up the spelling errors and the stream-of-consciousness typing. But I’m not going to do that here because I love how weird this ingredient list came out. Apparently Peg was insisting Claire type this up and send it to me, and Claire was not all that committed to the undertaking. The sentence “drain a can of corn and drain” speaks for itself.

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2 lbs ground beef
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
chop yellow onion
chop 3 celery stalks
chop 4/5 carrots
drain a can of corn and drain
cut up 2 large potatos
chop 2 zuchinis
water til soupy
1 tbs italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 packet dry ranch dressing
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  1. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Drain and cut up the tomatoes. (“For some reason this is different than diced tomotoes in peg’s head.”)
  3. Add tomatoes and rest of ingredients.
  4. Cook 1.5-2 hrs.
  5. Serve with Jalapeno Corn Bread.

“Always better next day.”

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Filed under Beef, Comfort food, Soups, Veggies

Joe’s Cream Cheese Puffs

girlmeetswhisk.com

If there is one thing happened at my office this week, it’s happyfatness.

Be honest – you have 1 or 2 days left before a 5-day break, and you couldn’t care less. As if that weren’t enough, all those clients who need your business next year are trying to buy your affection with sugar-coated, fat-filled yummies. And if I’ve learned one thing this week, it’s that I can be bought.

This recipe is actually an in-house offering from Joe, one of our writers, so this is honestly a gesture of good cheer rather than self preservation. Scary cheerful.

Anyway, these gutbombs were spectacular and are – he assures me – easy to make. And when he told me the main ingredients were crescent rolls and cream cheese, no further encouragement was necessary.

Get fat and happy:

2 cans Pillsbury crescent rolls (don’t go with store brand)
2 pkg (square) cream cheese (here you can go store brand)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick butter, melted
cinnamon

  1. Soften cream cheese to room temp and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter casserole dish.
  3. Spread one package crescent rolls across bottom; pinch perforations closed so it’s a single sheet.
  4. Blend sugar and cream cheese to frosting consistency; add vanilla while doing so.
  5. Spread cheese mix over dough and then spread second can of rolls over top, pinching perforations shut.
  6. Smooth melted butter evenly over top; sprinkle with cinnamon.
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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Filed under Christmas, Comfort food, Dessert, Sweets

Vegetable Garlic Herb Lentils

With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals.  Lentils are my latest thing.  I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best.  It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style.  The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too!  I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination.  Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Beans, Comfort food, Main Course, Party food, Side dishes, Veggies

Crawfish Cornbread Stuffing

So I probably should have posted these recipes last week before Thanksgiving, but I forgot and I wanted to test them out twice to get all kinks out of the way.  I was lucky to have two Thanksgivings this year, a “friendsgiving” down in NOLA (which was way better then my family Thanksgiving) and family Thanksgiving.  I still never want to eat again.   Below is an amazing crawfish stuffing that Chef John’s family has requested a double batch of for next year.  Perhaps you can save in your Thanksgiving recipe file for next year or break it out for the December holidays!  Chef’s note: make sure to use dry corn bread so it soaks up all the sauce. – ts

Chef John Says: Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. I usually dedicate about 3/4 of my plate to it. My family always has a traditional stuffing/dressing but this past Sunday we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our friend’s house in New Orleans and it was decided that we should make a more NOLA-style dressing. Tanya came across this beauty: Besh’s Crawfish Corn Bread Dressing. Like ALL of Besh’s recipes, this is very easy and delicious.
You can make the corn bread ahead or use leftover corn bread. In fact, the dressing may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until an hour before serving. I used more andouille, hot sausage, and garlic than it calls for… obviously. This recipe makes 8–10 cups, more than enough to stuff a turkey, but at our Thanksgiving we stuff our bird separately and serve dressings like this alongside. Serves 10

4 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (I used a couple tablespoons of butter instead)
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
¼ pound hot pork sausage meat, removed from casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled crawfish tails, chopped (you can usually find a package of frozen tails)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
6 cups crumbled Basic Corn Bread
2 cups Basic Chicken Stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put the bacon fat, andouille, and pork sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the pork with the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. When the pork sausage meat has browned, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the sausage and crawfish and stir together until well combined. Spoon the dressing into a large heatproof dish.
  4. At this point, the dressing may be covered and refrigerated (for up to 1 day) until you are ready to bake it. Bake the dressing in a preheated 350° oven until it is piping hot and golden brown, 15–30 minutes.

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Filed under Bread, Cajun food, Comfort food, Meat, Party food, Shellfish, Side dishes, Southern food, Special Occasion, Thanksgiving

Deviled Eggs

It is holiday season which means lots of family and friends entertaining.  It is always nice to have an easy but tasty appetizer to either serve or bring to a dinner party.  I love me some deviled eggs, and it is so simple to make.  There are tons of recipes out there and different variations (I recommend trying Martha’s Avocado Deviled Eggs).  I personally love straight forward mayo, mustard, egg style deviled eggs.  Nothing fancy in this recipe!  This one is courtesy of a good friend down in NOLA, Chef Anne.  She served these one time, and I seriously think I ate a dozen.  I made these last night, and Chef John and Claire (Mexican corn lover and daughter of the famous Peg from Peg’s Destin Shrimps) gave this recipe the the thumbs up!- ts

Chef Anne’s note:  You can boil the eggs and make the mixture a few hours in advance, store it in the frdige, and then put it all together right before people are ready to eat them.  Also, I use small eggs because they are more bite-size

1 dozen eggs
2 teaspoons dijon mustard (Zataran’s creole mustard is best)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp minced shallot
dashes of hot sauce (perhaps Sriracha!)
Salt and pepper
Paprika and Green Onion for garnish

  1. Hard boil the eggs.  Fill up a large saucepan half-way with water and gently add the eggs. Cover the eggs with at least an inch of water. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water.  Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 12-15 minutes. Drain hot water from pan and run cold water over the eggs. (At this point if you crack the egg shells while the eggs are cooling, it will make it easier to peel the shells.) Let sit in the cool water a few minutes, changing the water if necessary to keep it cool.  If you kinda roll the eggs on the counter, the shells get all cracked and are a little easier to peel.
  2. Peel the eggs. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Gently remove the yolk halves and place in a small mixing bowl. (Egg yolks come out really easily, just kinda use a spoon and gently pop them out into the bowl).  Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter.
  3. Using a fork, mash up the yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, shallot, tabasco, chopped green onions (same some for on top) and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. (You can also use like a cake decorator thing, but I just kinda wing it…) Sprinkle with paprika and chopped green onions.
Optional: add chopped herbs to the mixture

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Party food, Snacks