Tag Archives: Comfort Food

East Hampton Clam Chowder

East Hampton Clam Chowder

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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East Hampton Clam Chowder
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Today was a snowy day that pretty much shut the city down so a perfect night in with a fire and a hearty bowl of something.  I decide to try something I haven’t tried before….clam chowder.

Ina Garten was in town recently and Jill went with some friends to hear her speak. One of the tidbits that Jill passed on was how meticulous she is with her recipes. She makes them several time and then watches someone make it to see what she missed in conveying how to do it.  This is one of the reasons her cookbooks are so beloved. If you follow the instructions you should get the desired outcome.

I hate to say it but that’s not me and I barely remember what I used or how much.

So this clam chowder is pretty freaking awesome.  I did depart from her recipe just a little because i had some leeks on hand I needed to use.  Seriously folks this stuff is to die for. Super creamy with onions, leeks, celery, carrots and that subtle clam flavor.
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Ingredients:
1 lbs of fresh shucked clams.
1 cup yellow onion
2 leeks (mostly whites and light green) cut and then wash well
2 cups of diced carrots
2 cups of diced celery
4 cups of boiling potatoes
1.5 tsp of fresh thyme
4 cups of clam juice
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup of AP flour
12 tbs of butter
Pinch of cayenne
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Bay Leaf

Crackers
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Directions:
1. Wash cut and wash your veggies cutting everything a similar size. Optional: Chop up your clams (roughly) based upon how much clam you want in a bite. Your call. I just cut the bigger ones and kept mine on the big side.

2. In a large pot on medium heat add 4 tbs of butter and the onion. Sweat this out for about 10 minutes and then add the other veggies and the seasonings. Saute this for another 10 minutes to soften everything up.
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3. Add the clam juice to the pot and bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft or al dente.

4. At this point things go pretty quickly so you go ahead and get your bowls and plates ready and call everyone to dinner. So you have your veggies in the clam juice al dente. You have your clams the size you want and ready to go. You should have the flour, milk, and butter on hand.

5. In a second small pot you need to add the remaining 8 tbs of butter and let it melt on medium low heat. Stir in your flour to make a roux. Once the flour is well incorporated (5 minute whisk). Dip a ladle into the veggie clam juice stock and add that to your roux stirring constantly. Now add that stock and roux back into the big pot of veggies and clam juice. Stir to thicken up a bit. IMG_9461

6. Turn the heat down and pour in your milk. Stir for about 4 minutes and then add your clams to pot and stir for about 2 mins. Turn off the heat and serve with crackers or even cheddar cheese.
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Healing Chicken Vegetable Stoup

Healing Chicken Vegetable Stoup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Vegetable Stoup
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Jill and I have been burning it up with work. Me traveling like crazy and Jill having a ton of night stuff going on.

Rant: My least favorite time to deal with planes is the without question the winter. For the love of God can you not just pack your ridiculously over sized coats. I swear some people look like they are trying to stuff their king sized comforter into the overhead bins. And while we are on coats and airports…

Can we not get ready in line and go ahead and get your belt, shoes and coats off. Why do some people need to wait in a 30min line looking at their phones and then get to the bins and x-ray line to just now start your un-layering. Your narcissistic face page life can wait for 3 damn minutes.

Just have some common sense and awareness for other people.

Sorry.. that was cathartic. Anyway we both ended up sick this week. Jill started to sense she was getting sick on Thursday and then it was full on flu by Friday morning. I ended up with a stomach thing that I suspect came from the “chicken” served on my flight last night. I was on a call with my boss and told him. I gotta go and then literately emptied out my stomach for the next few hours. But hey… good ab workout.

So I got my scene together and thought I would make her some comfy chicken soup. I saw a recipe by Anne Burelle that infused some nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon. We aren’t nutmeg and cinnamon people but for some reason I wanted to give it try to maybe see if I was just being stubborn.

It was really nice and had a depth of flavor beyond your typical chicken broth.
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Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (bone in, skin on)
4 drum sticks (skin on)
4 stalks of celery with leaves
1 portabella mushroom diced
6 cloves of garlic (minced or pressed)
1-2 cups of carrot chips
2 small/medium yellow onions (diced)
4 sprigs of thyme (tied)
2 bay leafs
1/2 a lemon, juiced)
Chicken Broth (unsalted)
Red Pepper Flakes
Fresh nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
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Directions:
1. Let’s get everything diced up first. In a large pot on medium heat with some olive oil put your onions, celery, mushroom and carrots in to sweat out for about 10mins. Add your garlic and stir for a minute.

2. Now add your raw chicken and pour broth over it to cover. Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer. Let this cook with a cracked lid for about an hour.

3. Remove your chicken to cool and then shred it with a fork or your hands. Remove the bones, skin and icky bits. Now add the good chicken back into the pot. Taste it to see what you have as your base. Salt, pepper and season accordingly. Now add your tied thyme sprigs, bay leaves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Take half of a lemon and squeeze the juice into the pot. Stir and let it cook on low for another 30mins or so. Taste and season accordingly.

Serve with crackers or crusty bread, get well and go back to bed.
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta
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Lame name but delivers on taste. I typically make a couple of runs to the grocery per week. My first run is typically Sunday afternoon. So prior to that run I have a lot of items left that need to be used and consumed.

On hand I had a bunch of asparagus, a little broccoli and half a head of garlic. I pulled out a salmon filet from the freezer and decided I would whip up a pasta dish. To be frank, nothing about any of the above ingredients excites Jill. So she took a bath following her treadmill time and I went to work.

This little comfort dish really turned out fantastic. The roasted veggies imparted a nuttiness, the Parmesan and salami give a salty savory flavor. The peas would pop with sweetness and finally the goat cheese gave it a tangy creaminess.
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Ingredients:
Salmon Filet
Bunch of Asparagus
About three small crowns of broccoli
6 cloves of roasted garlic
1 cup of peas
3 tbs of diced salami
2 cups of Pasta (Bow tie)
3 tbs of Goat Cheese
2-3 tbs of grated Parmesan
1 cup of pasta water
2 tsp Red Pepper chili flakes
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
1 tbs of Black Pepper
3 tbs of Butter

Directions:
1. Dice up your asparagus and slice your broccoli. In a 400 degree oven cover the veggies with oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Also cut the top of the your garlic bulb off, drizzle olive oil and wrap in foil. Put that pan in the oven for about 20mins-30mins. IMG_9166

2. While the veggies are roasting, remove your peas from the freezer, prep your salmon filet with oil and a little salt. Dice up your salami finely.

3. When the veggies are done. Lower the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the veggies from the pan and add your salmon and roast it for about 15 minutes. Remove it at medium rare. You will be putting it in with the pasta in a pan and it will cook a little more. IMG_9170

4. Cook your pasta in salty boiling pot of water. Cook it al dente so hat it retains a little chew to it. Scoop about 1 cup of the pasta water to use to thin out the pasta.

5. So now everything is cooked and chopped. Let’s put it all together. In a large skillet on medium low heat, melt the butter. Add the peas, diced roasted garlic and diced salami. IMG_9172

Stir in the goat cheese and red pepper flakes and pepper. Let the goat cheese melt down so that is can coat everything nicely. Now add your pasta and stir and coat well. At this point you will likely need to add a half cup of pasta water while stirring.

Now fold in the roasted asparagus and broccoli. IMG_9173

Finally gently fold in your flaked salmon followed by grated Parmesan cheese. You make need to add a little more pasta water to keep it shiny and moist. Serve and enjoy…

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Scratch Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Homemade Green Bean Casserole
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The Canadian Thanksgiving happens in October because they like to double dip their holidays by spreading them out. Following their Thanksgiving I was talking to a colleague and asking her about her Thanksgiving. She called out our US of A green bean casserole as a suspect dish. As she put it don’t you guys eat green bean in mushroom soup with fried onions and cheese? I replied “hell yeah we eat it but don’t knock it till you try it….it’s our version of a healthy poutine. Instead of french fries we use green beans. #Merica #GreenBeanPoutine”

Mom used the canned stuff and it works but the depth of flavor from doing this from scratch doesn’t compare. Sorry Mom. I am not trying to boycott all Campbell soups here, but just give this homemade gravy a try.
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Adapted from Guy Fieri
Ingredients
1 ½ lbs of Green Beans (trimmed)
2 tbs of unsalted butter
1 tbs of vegetable oil
2 shallots thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of fresh thyme
1 lbs of mixed mushrooms (sliced and trimmed)
½ tsp of Cayenne
2 pinches of Kosher salt
½ tsp of fresh nutmeg
Black Pepper

2 tbs of AP Flour
1 cup of Chicken broth
1 cup of sour cream
½ heavy cream
1 glug of Congac
1 cup parmesan and cheddar cheese (freshly grated)

Top with a little cheddar and fried onions. (I didn’t make these this year).

Directions
1. Boil a briney pot of water and cook your trimmed green beans for about 2 mins. Remember this are going into the oven. Pull them out and shock them in cool water to stop the cooking and to maintain that bright fresh green color. I did this a day early for a time saver.

2. Gravy – cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add butter, oil and shallots and cook until soft. Add your sliced mushrooms and minced garlic. Add thyme and seasons and cook for a minute or two.

Now add your flour and start your rue and good until you get a good color of medium brown. Add your stock and fully incorporate. Reduce your heat and add sour cream and cream and cook/stir for 5-7mins. Fold in your green beans to fully incorporate into the gravy.

3. Pour into a glass casserole dish and top with parmesan and cook 400 until bubbly 10-15mins. (remember everything is already cooked so you are just trying to heat it all up and brown your cheese) . Right before taking it out add the fried onions on top to warm them up.
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Asiago Mushroom Chicken Pasta

Asiago Mushroom Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asiago Mushroom Chicken Pasta
I had some leftover mushrooms, cream and fresh thyme from Thanksgiving so I was looking for something to make that would allow me to incorporate it all and avoid wasting it. Today a cold front blew in so I was thinking comfort food Monday. The Midnight Baker had a recipe that fit the bill.

For mine, I chose to make a pasta dish so I added egg noodles because Jill likes pasta more than she likes chicken. She is funny with chicken. Always poking, pulling, studying it to avoid the “bad bite” For this reason I always trim my chicken really well and often go ahead and cut it up into pieces to make sure I remove anything white. You know that tendon thing that runs right into the large part of the breast?

This was a great dish that I can see making it into my “go to” rotation. Super easy but tastes complicated. The mushrooms and thyme bring a earthiness. The wine brings a little acid along with some sophistication. Then the Asiago and cream make it decadent and creamy. Oh and there is chicken and pasta in it.

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Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1lbs sliced baby portabella mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

Egg noodles (optional) or Rice
Parmesan or Asiago cheese for sprinkling
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Directions:
1. Trim your chicken and pound it between wax paper so that the chicken is the same thickness. Cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Dust your cut chicken in the seasoned flour and brown in a medium heated skillet with olive oil and butter. Once browned remove from heat.

3. Cook your shallots, mushrooms and garlic until soft. Your pan will be dry so de-glaze it with the white wine. Also add your stock and thyme and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 10mins.

4. Turn your heat to low and add your cream and cheese until it is melted. Nestle your chicken back into the sauce/gravy and let it meld and warm. I added cooked egg noodles to the mixture and let it fully coat everything. You can also serve over rice, pasta, potatoes or simply as is. Top with Parmesan and a few thyme leaves.
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Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

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Today was the first chilly day of the fall with a docket of great college football games. A spicy soup seemed like the natural choice. Now I just make this up and don’t measure so I’ll do my best to recall how I made it. I will say, I love this stuff and ended up eating it several times over the weekend. It is GF, DF, Paleo but does contain some brown rice (optional).

Ingredients:

Package of Organic Chicken Tenderloins
2 containers of Organic Chicken Broth
2 carrots diced
2 stalks of celery
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
2 Jalapenos
1 Yellow onion (diced)
3 garlic cloves (pressed)
handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 avocado topping
1 cup brown rice
2 tbs of Ancho Chili Powder
2 tsp of Paprika
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tbs of Mexican Oregano
2 tbs of Happy Tomato Salsa
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Go ahead and dice up all your veggies. For the jalapenos I use have as is and then I remove the seeds and spines of the larger half (stem to mid pepper).

2. In a oiled (olive oil and coconut oil) medium-high heated large pot sweat your onions, celery and carrots until the onion is soft and translucent. Add your peppers and garlic and stir carefully ensuring your garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Add your spices and stir for one minute and then add your broth and bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.

4. Cube your chicken and rice and let it simmer for an hour. Add some cherry tomatoes and Happy Tomato Salsa let it simmer for another 30mins. Finally serve with avocado.

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Chicken Tikka Masla #1

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Tikka Masala
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Chicken Tikka Masala is to Indian food what Pad Thai is for Thai food but I don’t care I love them both.   Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite things to eat. Frankly it would be on my final meal menu. Fortunately I have been able to get Jill on board so on Sunday night when my Beet Ravioli dough didn’t work out we trashed the “dough” we went and picked up some from Mughlai, Dallas who makes one of the best.

The Mughlai dish inspired me to continue to work on my recipe. I have pulled recipes from all over the place and I compare ingredients and tweak continuously. The recipe from epicurious.com by Alison Roman is my base but in reality the ingredients in most recipes out there are the same it’s just the technique and amounts that vary.
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Ingredients:
Chicken Marinade
3-4 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
6 chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tbs finely grated peeled ginger
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbs Tandoori spice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs kosher salt

4 tbs of butter
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 can tomato paste
8 cardamom pods opened and insides crushed
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
Served with Naan bread and Steamed basmati rice (for serving)

Directions:
1. 24hrs before cooking make your marinade and cut chicken bites into a bowl or Ziplock and marinate in ½ the mixture.

2. In a large pot (medium–hot) add your butter finely chopped onions, tomato paste, crushed cardamom and red chili flakes and stir until onions are soft and the color darkens (about 5 mins).

3. Heat your oven on broil and place your chicken on a cooking rack shaking off excess marinade. You are going to but some char on your chicken but not cook it through.

4. Back to your sauce: add in the extra marinade sauce and continuously stir for about another 5mins.

5. Add your 28 oz of canned tomatoes and crush with a potato masher to break them down. Bring this to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15mins.

6. Now add your cream and cilantro and broiled chicken and let it simmer for 30-50mins. Stir it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Taste and season with extra cumin, tandoori, salt, garam masala if it needs it.

I serve with warm Naan bread and Basmati or Jasmine rice.
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