Posts Tagged ‘comfort foods’

Lasagna Dinner

July 23, 2009

002All the rain this summer (?) got Donna and I hungry for some comfort food.  One of our favourite comfort food is Lasagna. We are not Italian but have grown to love Italian food especially the classic casserole, lasagna. 

I have been making this for years and our older kids in Canada, Steve and Wendy,  always make me make it when we visit them during vacation. I think the key to most pastas is in the sauce. I start my sauce by browning some Hamburger and then setting it aside while I saute, in order, Onions, Garlic, Green Peppers and Mushrooms. I seasoned as I went with salt and pepper and once the veggies are done I season that mixture with Thyme, Basil, Oregano and some Hot Pepper Flakes. I then added the hamburger back to the veggies and seasoned again. I used store bought red sauce to complete my sauce.  The rest is pretty straight forward with alternating layers of sauce, noddles and cheese –Mozzarella, Ricotta & Parmesan. Into the oven covered with foil for 35 minutes, uncovered for an additonal 15 minutes and wait time for another 10 minutes then serve.

 Homemade LasagnaThe resulting dish was good, if I do say so myself and I just did. LOL.  I think it was good because of the different flavours and textures in the dish.  Although the dish is fork tender, there are different textures within the different layers, the creamy smooth ricotta versus the denser noodles versus the melted mozza and parm cheeses.  The tastes of the classic savory Italian spices, the sweet & heat of the red sauce, the tang of the ricotta cheese and the oregano flavoured mozza cheese. A great mixture of flavour and texture differences. A great homemade casserole.

Come on over the next time it rains we can do it again. Wait with all the rain this summer, I could be making this every night LOL. Come on over anyway.

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Standing Ovation Supper

June 21, 2009

Standing Rib Roast, Roasted Potatoes and VegtablesIt was a rainy Saturday when we decided to have a roast for supper. The unseasonable cold and rainy weather made this June feel like March or April. We shopped at our local Giant and picked up a five pound Standing Rib Roast, red potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnip. These all sounded like fall vegetables but the thought of a roasted dinner made sense with the weather.

I prepared the Standing Rib Roast by halving a head of garlic, chopping an onion, three carrots, and two ribs of celery and putting them into the Dutch Oven.  I added thyme, parsley, oregano and rosemary to the oven. I patted the sides of the roast with kosher salt and pepper. Then I added some Merlot and placed in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 90 minutes.

As the roast cooked, we center peeled the Red Potatoes to give a nice presentation to the roasted potato. We also diced Carrots, Parsnips and half a Turnip. Once the veggies were prepared I tossed them with Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper and Herbs. Thyme for the potatoes and oregano for the root vegetables. The potatoes took about 30 minutes and 15 minutes for the veggies as their dice  was relatively small.

Standing Rib Roast and Roasted Veggies and Potatoes IIThe Standing Rib Roast slices were amazingly tender, almost fork tender. The taste of the meat was amazing as well.  It had picked up the flavours of the wine, veggies and herbs while maintaining the core roasted meat flavour you know from a great roast.  The potatoes were perfectly roasted with a baked potato flavour inside and a nice potato skin taste when you bit into the roasted skin.  The small diced veggies were roasted enough to give them a nice canalization and a roasted taste. We added some A1 sauce to match with the medium to medium-rare meat slices.  The A1 Sauce matches well with roast, potatoes and veggie sweetness and roasted flavour.  A big success.

Standing Ovation DessertA great entrée, deserves a great dessert in my mind. So I created a Standing Ovation Sundae. To do that I cut up some Fresh Strawberries, mixed in some Splenda and some Grand Marnier.  While the strawberries marinaded, I cut up a Banana into thin disks. Into serving bowls, I placed scoops of Phillies Grand Slam Ice Cream and three Ladyfingers. The bananas slices were placed on the ice cream and ladyfingers and in turn the strawberries are place on the bananas.  The syrup from the berries and the Grand Marnier was poured over the ladyfingers.

The warm liqueur started to melt the ice cream almost immediately creating a wonderful sauce for the berries, bananas and ladyfingers.  The boys found the Grand Marnier a bit strong in alcohol (I wasn’t buying that story anymore LOL)  but it was perfect for Donna and I. The different textures in the dish made for a nice contrast as did the sweetness and strong orange liqueur.  It was a great home-made dessert and match the roasted entree as two great part of an overall great meal.

Net-net, a great home-made Saturday supper.

Homemade Shepherd’s Pie

May 21, 2009

Donna's Sheppard's PieDonna made Shepherd’s Pie for supper tonight. It’s one of our favourite comfort foods.  Donna started by browning some grounded beef, drained the fat and then added salt, pepper, minced garlic and grated red onion. Tonight’s version was easy as she added two cups of frozen mixed vegetables and a couple of tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce. Two cups of beef stock is added to the mixture and simmered until the resulting gravy thickens. The mixture is pured into a 9×9 baking dish.  The beef and veggie mixture is covered with homemade mashed potatoes and a coating of shredded cheddar cheese. The casserole is baked in a 350F degree oven for 20 minutes.

Sheppard's Pie

The casserole rested for 10 minutes as I took different shots of it.  Donna and I finally dug into the pie and it was worth the wait. The ground beef was well seasoned from the garlic and onions, the veggies were fresh-like in taste and texture and the mashed potatoes were creamy. The three elements combined a comforting taste that we have often enjoyed over the years.

Shepherds pieis one of our Favourite Comfort Foods.  Tell us your favourite comfort food in the reply box below or in the comment link line below.  You can also take the Favourite Food Type poll here.

Donna’s Meatloaf

May 20, 2009

Donna's MeatloafTonight Donna cooked up one of my favourite comfort foods –  meatloaf.

Donna took about two pounds of ground beef and added bread crumbs, an egg, one small grated onion, two cloves of garlic and a cup of her special sauce. She made her special sauce starting with a cup of red sauce, 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and tablespoon of prepared mustard. She saved the remaining 1/4 cup of her special sauce to pour on top of the meatloaf. She gently mixed the meat, egg, onion, garlic and sauce mixture, careful not to over mix and then formed a loaf. The loaf was placed in a shallow pan and topped with the remaining sauce. Into a 350 F degree oven for 60 minutes. Once it was cooked Donna let it rest for 10 minutes then served it.

In addition to the great meatloaf, she served garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli with cheese sauce. The garlic mashed potatoes are pretty straight forward. Potatoes are boiled with 6 cloves of garlic and once cooked, are mashed with some butter and milk.  If you have some green onions chop ’em up and add to the potato, garlic and dairy.

The steamed broccoli was dressed with a creamy cheese sauce.  She made the cheese sauce by starting with two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of flour cooked in a sauce pan.  She whisked in two cups of milk, salt, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and cooked until thickened. A cup of shredded sharp cheddar was added to the hot milk. She continued to whisk until the cheese melted and she was done.

I think all great comfort foods are simple foods. Simple to prepare but delicious to eat.  The meatloaf was moist and flavourful. The tang of the BBQ sauce comes thru in the final product along with meaty flavour of the well seasoned hamburger. The garlic mashed were creamy to the mouth and sweet with garlic and butter. The broccoli were tender and the cheese sauce matched well with the potatoes and meatloaf making the dish the almost perfect comfort food. I love this dish and Donna is good enough to make it often.

I have told you about one of my favourite food types- let us know your top three food types, if you haven’t already at the poll on this page.