Tag Archives: comfort food
12/28/13

Chicken Pozole

Chicken Pozole

Pozole (or posole – same diff.) is the epitome of comfort food. I’ve written about my Mexican food ignorance, but pozole is another dish that was completely foreign to me until I met Sam. It’s his version of chicken noodle soup, except loaded with hominy (maize corn kernels) instead of noodles. In addition to being totally delicious and hearty when you’re sick, it’s a dish that my mother-in-law always makes during the holidays. And after five years together, I finally got the recipe. Merry Christmas to me! I’m officially a Guerrero. Even if I still struggle rolling my rrrr’s.

Chicken Pozole 2

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2/13/13

Savory Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits

The best part about condo living is having an abundance of friends within just a few feet. Literally.I don’t know how we lucked out to have such fabulous building mates. Sometimes I feel like I’m in an episode of Friends. My neighbors have rescued us when we’ve been locked out, shared teaspoons of baking powder and extra eggs when I inevitably forget ingredients while cooking, they drop by unexpectedly for cocktails, and they share recipes like this one – Shrimp and Grits.

Shrimp and grits

This recipe belongs to one of my favorite couples in our building. They recently invited us upstairs to partake in Shrimp and Grits. We took them up on the offer, but I wasn’t excited about the prospect of eating grits.You guys, I grew up in the tropics. I thought grits were bland and mushy.Turns out they are not. I was seriously blown away with this dish. If this is traditional southern food, sign me up.

Shrimp and grits
 
Crumbled bacon

Because of the cream and bacon – lots of cream and bacon 🙂 – these grits are savory, creamy and complex. Totally the perfect match for the spicy shrimp and roux.PS: Leftover roux is pretty damn good on breakfast sandwiches the next morning.

Shrimp and grits
Hotlanta Shrimp n’ Grits
Serves 4

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Ingredients
2 T cajun seasoning
1 T paprika
1 T Italian seasoning (dried)
1 package of bacon
1 ½ pounds of shrimp, deveined and cleaned
1 T minced garlic
3 T all purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
4 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
4 T butter
2 T tomato paste
2 cups grits
1 cup heavy whipping cream
7 oz extra sharp cheddar

Instructions
Shrimp: In a medium size bowl, combine the shrimp with Cajun, Paprika, Italian Seasoning and Pepper. Set aside. Cook the bacon. Once finished, remove the bacon and set aside (pat off the grease with
paper towels). Using the grease from the bacon, sauté the shrimp. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice coated shrimp, and cook only until they’re just done and tender. Don’t overcook. Remove the shrimp from the sauté pan and set them aside in a bowl.
Roux: With all those wonderful drippings from the shrimp in the sauté pan, add flour and stir with a wooden spatula to make a roux. Cook for 5 to 10 
minutes until roux reaches a medium­tan color, then slowly add the chicken stock and heavy whipping cream. Whisk together and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.
Grits: In a medium saucepan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes and butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy. Don’t skimp on the butter and the cream, folks.
To serve, place a few heaping spoonfuls of cheesy grits onto a plate, top with several shrimp. Drizzle the roux over top of the shrimp.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

 

1/9/13

White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

White truffle macaroni and cheese

We spent the holidays in Hawaii with my family.

After two weeks, I think we must have acclimated to the 80 degree weather. By the time we arrived back in Portland after New Year’s, the temperature in the Northwest had dropped dramatically to the low 30s – and it was really difficult to get used to the change.

All I’ve wanted since we’ve returned is comfort food: quesadillas, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and macaroni and cheese. Notice a trend here? Thank god I’m not lactose intolerant.

White truffle macaroni and cheese

I justified my mac and cheese craving by making it from scratch and adding white truffle oil to make it a bit more sophisticated. And wow, we devoured this dish quickly. The truffle oil adds a really earthy, rich flavor to the already drool-worthy cheesy goodness. Truffle oil can be expensive, but a little goes a long way. And it’s totally worth the splurge.

White truffle macaroni and cheese

In addition to the truffle oil, I love the caramelized breadcrumb crust. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat crustless mac and cheese again.

This one-pot-dish was adopted from a Ninja Cooking Systems Slow Cooker recipe, but you can adapt it to your own slow cooker (or for the stovetop!) easily.

White truffle macaroni and cheese
 
White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8

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Ingredients
4 cups water
1 pound uncooked noodles (macaroni or other)
¾ cup butter
6 T all-purpose flour
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
6¾ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray
1½ cups bread crumbs
2 T truffle oil

Instructions
Pour water into pot. Set to STOVETOP HIGH. Heat uncovered to a boil. Stir in macaroni. Cook uncovered 9 minutes or until macaroni is just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove macaroni from pot and drain well in colander, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Add ½ cup butter to pot. Set to STOVETOP MED and heat until butter is melted. Stir in flour. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in 6 cups Cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, and pepper until cheeses are melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off pot and add truffle oil. Stir cheese mixture, macaroni, and reserved cooking water in large bowl. Wipe pot clean. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter. Stir melted butter, bread crumbs, ¾ cup Cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup Pecorino Romano in bowl. Spray pot with cooking spray. Press bread crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of pot. Pour in macaroni mixture. Set OVEN to 350°F for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Cook until golden brown on bottom and sides and invert onto plate.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/