Comfort Food Mashup: Rasam Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

December 28, 2014

Rasam Mac-n-Cheese

This is one of those recipes born from a mixture of comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorites, and it’s not really mac-n-cheese to me unless I make it like I had it as a kid – with Velveeta. A few weeks ago I had a leftover hunk of Velveeta in the refrigerator, and I decided why not try this new recipe I saw on America’s Test Kitchen – a macaroni with tomatoes – with Velveeta cheese.

I’ve had other macaronis with tomatoes, most notably a lightened version from Martha Stewart eons ago, which is where the idea came from to top this dish with roasted tomatoes. It was good, even though truth be told, I’m not a huge tomato fan. I assume the darkened color the red lended the cheesy dish on ATK is what hooked me into wanting to try this dish. At the last minute, as I was about to pour the macaroni into a baking dish, I looked up and saw a vial of rasam powder in my spice rack. That’s when inspiration hit. I added a couple of spoonfuls of masala to my dish and stuck it into the oven. (more…)

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Chicken and rice soup, with a ginger kick!

October 7, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup

At the end of last week I shared with you what is quickly becoming my favorite roast chicken recipe, and I promised a follow up post with a chicken soup that could be made with the leftovers, if you had any. While you could just as easily make a traditional chicken noodle soup following the same instructions, I decided I wanted to give my soup a little kick this time around with a few Asian flavors – ginger, lemongrass, and just a hint of Thai chile. It sounded like the perfect match for a chicken and rice soup, and I agree even more so with that sentiment now that I’ve devoured a large potful of it. (more…)

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Comfort Food Grows Up and Evolves

January 27, 2011

Mac n Cheese with Broccoli

Macaroni and cheese has long been a favorite of mine (as I’m sure it is for many of you). Growing up, Mom always made our mac-n-cheese “from scratch”. Hers was a simple recipe. Boil some shells, chunk up some Velveeta, and stir, stir, stir until it all melts. That’s it, no milk, no butter. In fact, when someone added those things to mac n cheese, it tasted weird to me. I just wanted Mom’s.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to add a little milk and butter to my version of Mom’s. I think it was in college and I was running a little low on Velveeta, so I had to stretch it out somehow. I decided that wasn’t half bad, and I could eat that again if I had to. A few years later, and at a luncheon I had baked macaroni and cheese. The kind that has a bechamel sauce base, and bread crumbs on top. This took me back to “something’s not quite right with this”. Additions to my macaroni are apparently an acquired taste, but out of the necessity to stretch what’s in the cupboard or fridge, my palate learns to adapt. And that’s how I ended up making this Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli. (more…)

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Simple Pleasures: Nutella and Banana Sandwich

January 16, 2011

Nutella and Banana Sandwich

It doesn’t really get much simpler than a Nutella and banana sandwich, even if you slightly doll it up as I have here. Today is a gray day, and I can’t think of anything better than some quick comfort food. Since my hubby bought me a breadmaker for Christmas, we’ve had fresh bread available at all times (a nice honey whole wheat, mmmmm!). So I sliced off a couple of pieces, slathered Nutella on both sides, sliced up a bit of banana to squish in the middle, and grilled my masterpiece in a non-stick pan with just a spritz of olive oil. To add a little sweetness and a lot of visual interest, I dusted the sandwich halves with a bit of powdered sugar before sitting down to devour my sweet, sweet lunch.

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Recreating: Sukiyaki

November 30, 2010

Sukiyaki

A few weekends ago I finally got around to making my own sukiyaki from a recipe in a new cookbook, Japanese Hot Pots. When we had this for the first time in Japan, I loved the social nature of the meal, chattering as we plopped in the ingredients, the discussion of whether or not the individual pieces were ready for eating yet. It was a lot of fun, and something I so wanted to recreate.

So I did, and it was so much easier than I anticipated! I headed to the Japanese grocer to pick up the ingredients, which did lend a hand in the ease of this meal (my beef was already sliced to the perfect thickness – though you could easily get everything you need at your normal grocery and take the time to slice your own). This was fun in itself, as I got to wander the aisles, seeing what new treasures this grocery had to offer (dried sardines with sticky sweet soy sauce was one!). (more…)

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