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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weekend Comfort Food

Over the years our food tastes do change but comfort foods tend to stay the same, quite often prepared the way we remembered them. Winter is quickly approaching and I've been under the weather for the last few days so we wanted homemade comfort foods over the weekend. The weather has actually been quite mild for the time of the year so Saturday night we grilled steaks for dinner with getting things cleaned up just in time for guests (about 30) arriving. We were both exhausted on Sunday so the meal was even simpler yet a traditional comfort dish.

blade steak, oven baked potatoes and herbed carrot coinsBlade Steak

It's funny but when my husband and I first started dating the only way I would eat steak a steak was well done and with a steak sauce. Thanks to his influence I learned the error of my ways over the years. My taste buds have now changed to medium-rare/rare with occasional steak sauce but not very often. Grilled properly as I have learned the flavour of the steak becomes the highlight of the meal.

I served the grilled blade steaks with oven baked potatoes and herbed carrot coins with sweet butter and French Grey Sea Salt. Homemade sweet butter does not melt like store bought butter but the flavour is well worth it. IOven baked potatoes are very easy to make but you need the right potato. I like Russet or Yukon Gold for baking.

Method: The potatoes are simply washed well then dried. Poke a fork into the potato to help release the steam to prevent the potato from bursting and to keep the potato skins crispy. Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) until flesh give when pinched.

Herbed Carrot Coins: Steam carrot coins until el dente. Place into bowl. Top with sweet butter and parsley flakes. Mix then plate. Top with a little French Grey Sea Salt.

hubby's homemade mac and cheeseHubby's Mac & Cheese

Nothing says comfort more to my husband than cheese. I'm serious he would have cheese on everything if he had his way. Now this is what makes it so interesting having two people who like to cook in the kitchen because quite frankly we really do even similar dishes quite different. The way I make mac & cheese is quite different from his but both are quite good.

His method starts with pulling whatever cheese strikes his fancy from the fridge and like many meals we make there are no actual recipes. In this case he chose Asiago, mozzarella and Velveeta. Once the elbow macaroni [of which he cooked too much so I have extra to use up this week which is quite fine] was cooked and drained he mixed in some browned lean ground beef the stirred in the cheeses and baked at low heat 121º C (250ºF) until the cheeses were melted. After stirring he topped with dry bread crumbs then increased the heat to 180ºC (350ºF) until the top was golden brown. Simple, easy and comforting :)

2 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

very comforting... And there ought to be a better name than Mac and Cheese when the blue box is advertised as the same dish... Not even close!

Garden Gnome said...

Definitely comforting :) I'll tell him he needs to come up with a spiffy name for his mac and cheese. Now a little fun fact. The blue box in the US actually has the words mac and cheese on it. The Canadian version simply calls it Kraft Dinner. Oh and of course the Canadian version has French labeling on it as well.