From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
I hope everyone had a good holiday. Now it’s time for the Christmas rush. But before I start with those recipes, I thought we’d revisit comfort foods. When things get crazy busy, I fall back on easy comfort foods: soups, mac-n’cheese, slow-cooker meals.
What sparked this idea was a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese Bacon Cups. No, seriously, someone thought of putting macaroni and cheese into cups made of bacon and baking it in the oven. If you’re daring and want to try your hand at it, JeffreyW has the recipe for Bacon Cups here and two Macaroni and Cheese recipes are here and here.
The photo above is easy to recreate (JeffreyW recommends frozen shoestring fries), but he has a recipe for even more elaborate Chile Cheese Fries, click here for recipe and mouth-watering photos.
When cold weather hits and my schedule is full, I want Spicy Potato Soup and Biscuits, recipes here.
Starting next week, I’ll move into holiday recipes, both for the meals and gift giving. For the animal lovers, there is a Bixby update here, but be forewarned when you click through, HE. HAS. GROWN. Although he doesn’t seem to realize it.
What’s on your menu for the weekend? How is the holiday shopping coming along?
Tonight’s feature recipe is very simple and quick to put together.
Slow-Cooker Tangy Roast Beef w/Potatoes & Carrots
2 to 3 lbs boneless chuck roast
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 onion, quartered
4 red potatoes, halved
4 carrots, peeled & quartered
In order, place items in Slow-Cooker. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually 8-10 hours on low). Couldn’t be simpler. But if you don’t want tangy, just substitute a good red wine for a richer flavor. If you have time, it’s worth it to brown your roast on all sides before tossing in the slow-cooker. Lightly flour all sides, heat oil in a skillet and brown quickly. I usually use tongs and brown the sides as well.
That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll tackle holiday treats for gift giving or to take to parties. – TaMara
Had a grilled pimento sammy and tomato soup at the Tiger tonight.
Been wanting pizza for two weeks. Went and picked it up myself. Sausage/Onion thin crust. Loaded on the jalepenos, crushed red pepper and cheese.
For dessert, picked up home made peach cobbler at a local restaurant.
I now have the itis.
I’ve been on a Korean tear of late. I discovered the wonders of Ranch 99 market a couple weeks ago and since then have made some pretty killer Ramen and Spicy Tofu Soup. This weekend I’m gonna make some Gochujang Korean wings and grill them. I grilled some breasts last week (more or less this recipe) and the red chili marinate was damn near the best flavor for chicken I’ve ever had so it should be perfect for wings, along with some fried rice. The neat thing about the Asian market is that once you buy some of the staples (soy, sesame oil, red chili paste, chili oil, seaweed, tofu, ginger etc.) there’s so many things you can make and most of those items are sold in fairly large amounts so you don’t need to hit the market for probably at least a couple of months.
@rikyrah: I threw a pizza on the grill the other night even though it was about 30F outside.
My Cuisinart stand mixer was shipped off for (warranty covered) repairs two weeks before turkey day when a switch detached. I bought a lower powered cheapo mixer to get through the holidays but it could not handle bread. Surprisingly, my food processor handled pizza dough fine. At least the cheap mixer was useful for pies and whipping cream.
Might suggest trying using baking cups rather than disks of bread.
I make a really good baked mac and cheese. My mom’s recipe. Basically you make a bechamel, add sharp cheddar cheese, pour it over the cooked mac in a buttered casserole dish, add breading over the top and pop it in the oven. Really old-school but I could never eat that Kraft crap because my mom’s was so good.
OMG ALIEN LIFE FORM DETECTED!
Dude EVERYONE likes bacon.
@Southern Beale: You use your Vitamix for the bechamel, right?
@Southern Beale: my recipe is the same except for a little Parmesan cheese mixed in and bread crumbs on top. When my son comes home from college it is the first thing he asks for.
@Southern Beale: Nope.
I make a creamy variant (gruyere and cheddar) of the old Horn & Hardart Automat recipe which is similar. Mix the grated cheese into the cooked pasta and then pour on parmesan bechamel and bake.
Secret for making best mac and cheese casserole (IMHO) is to not use wimpy elbow noodles, but something a bit thicker to which the sauce can cling and which doesn’t get mushy, such as rigatoni.
@Southern Beale: Not everyone.
You’d be surprised how many closet ‘meh about bacon’ folks there are.
Won’t turn up my nose at it or push it to the side of the plate if it is part of a preparation, but having a longstanding aversion to the taste of NaCl, the stuff is too dang salty.
@NotMax: I am not too fond of the way bacon smells.
@NotMax: A sweet older woman at church makes the best mac & cheese for the monthly luncheons. I asked her for her secret and she said (and I quote) “a shitload of cheese. And then add even more cheese”.
For dinner tonight, I had pan seared tilapia, basmati rice, dal and a green salad.
@beth: And lobster.
I’m still trying the low-FODMAPs thing and found this slow cooker beef stew. I forgot to thicken it at the end, but other than that, it was pretty darn tasty. I didn’t have any rosemary, so I threw a bay leaf in instead.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes, yummy!
Gin & Tonic
@Omnes Omnibus: I love lobster. I love Mac and cheese. These are separate things.
I did a version of this tonight:
Fully Loaded Pizza Macaroni and Cheese. Good stuff, spoon pizza.
@Gin & Tonic: Can we at least agree that lobster rolls are properly made with butter not mayo?
@Gin & Tonic: I think bacon is the unifying ingredient there.
@Southern Beale: Bechemel plus cheese is mornay sauce. Is there any other way to make mac & cheese?
Gin & Tonic
@Omnes Omnibus: I don’t believe we can.
I always wanted to try this mac and cheese recipe, but my digestive system probably would not be able to handle that much cheese in one go:
Black and Tan Irish Mac and Cheddar
@Gin & Tonic: Dear god. I will pray for you.
@Omnes Omnibus: I prefer my lobster without the roll.
@schrodinger’s cat: Sure, but if you are having a lobster roll (at gun point, let’s say), butter or mayo?
I made bacon mac and chili cheese fries for dinner.
Nowhere near healthy, but pretty damn tasty.
@efgoldman: I did live in Connecticut for a while, you know.
@Mnemosyne: Black & tan Irish anything could get you blown up if you said that in front of the wrong people.
I put the parm in the bread crumbs.
I embellish the bechamel with some dry mustard and Worcestershire and maybe garlic but not too much … cheese is the main flavor.
@efgoldman: I actually lived in Newtown during my middle school years.
Gin & Tonic
@Omnes Omnibus: You need butter to toast the bun, and you need a little mayo to bind the lobster meat. The right tool for the right job, you know. And it *must* be a top-loading bun.
@Gin & Tonic: I do not do mayo. I am a CT, not a ME, lobster roll guy.
You people who don’t like bacon … must be the last respectable prejudice.
@Omnes Omnibus: Butter.
WTF is this? Are other people getting this editorial in their local papers?
Police: Chokehold victim complicit in own death.
This reads like an hysterical PR release from the NYPD.
Agree with you on mayo. I despise it. And NO, calling it “aioli” doesn’t make it any better.
Well see, it was his own fault for being overweight and in poor health. He should have bought a Rachel Ray juicer and joined a Brooklyn pilates studio. Dumbass.
Howard Beale IV
I had a Zojirushi rice cooker that did a good job, but was way too big and donated it to the local goodwill outfit.
Now I’m spying this one out as a holiday present to self.
@mikej: I learned early (in an Irish bar with Bobby Sands posters) to order a half and half not a black and tan.
Gin & Tonic
@Howard Beale IV: I don’t want to be judgemental/judgmental, but $450 for a rice cooker? I have an NS-LAC05 that I wouldn’t part with under any circumstances, and it fits easily on the smallest counter section in the kitchen (and it’s 1/3 the price.) It’s great for steel-cut oats for breakfast in the cold months, too.
@Southern Beale: Not a Paula Deen fan?
Gin & Tonic
@Omnes Omnibus: Maybe you don’t remember CT correctly.
It’s been a while since I’ve had any catholic schooling, but I’m pretty sure that is either a six word description of heaven or six of the seven mortal sins.
Or possibly both. Either way, I commend you sir
@Gin & Tonic: Sorry for the HuffPo link.
@Omnes Omnibus: I know who Bobby Sands is but for the hell of it, Wikipedia says he was born in “Newtonabbey, United Kingdom” and more importantly buried in Milltown cemetery “Belfast, United Kingdom” I think I need a little “Anonymous” in my life. Or maybe I can just edit Wikipedia. Today’s anarchists. As opposed to the IRA.
My comfort food is a chicken broth with lots of ginger & garlic. Tablespoon of crushed ginger & garlic in a pint of low sodium broth. A bit of Bragg’s & acv if you’re feeling fancy. plus a dash of hot sauce.
Bacon should be in a food group all by itself. There is little in the world that can’t be made better by adding bacon.
Howard Beale IV
@Gin & Tonic: I came from the NH-VBC18.-and since I have no pressure cooking devices presently, that’s playing into the decision matrix. And no other rice makers from other Japanese manufacturers (save the upper-end Zojirushi) supports GABA brown.
Since both you and I have had/use Zojirushis, we recognize a well-built quality product given that eating quality cooked and prepared rice in Japan is sacrosanct.
@Helen: Editing Wikipedia is easy. You just sign up and do it. If people object to your change, there can be a nerd brouhaha.
@Uncle Ebeneezer: http://www.maangchi.com
Your new best friend. Not only teaches you how to make the stuff but where you can get it.
Working on a mushroom soup recipe that doesn’t involve cream for a vegetarian friend.
@Omnes Omnibus: You don’t even need to sign up, but the edits will be tagged with your IP instead of your login.
Just click the edit tag in the section above what you want to change,.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes. I am gonna change that shit from “UK” to “Ireland” And leave out the fucking “Northern” It’s all Ireland. Let the screeching begin.
@Mike J: Thank you.
@Howard Beale IV:
The “pressure cooker” part piqued my interest. What all can this thing do besides rice and rice-like things (quinoa, oatmeal, etc.)?
Sounds like mine, except I saute some onion in the butter before I add the flour, mix in some dry mustard, and use 1/3 each of cheddar, swiss, and Land O Lakes American for the cheeses. Mix in some thawed broccoli florets and give it the traditional New England topping of crushed Ritz crackers, and people rave about it. When I want comfort food for myself it’s chili all the way. For my husband (who’s from MA), the go-to comfort food is American Chop Suey, which most of you know as Beefaroni. Saute onion, celery, green pepper, and mushrooms in olive oil, then brown ground beef. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, simmer, then serve over elbows and sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Made from scratch, it will make you forget the Chef Boy ar Dee version.
@Helen: As I have mentioned before, my ancestors had left England by this point, but their brothers and cousins would have been the junior officers in Cromwell’s New Model Army. I try to stay away from Ireland arguments.
Respectfully disagree (which leaves even more bacon for you, yay!).
Neglected to mention above the trick when making mac and cheese of reserving some of the pasta cooking water to add to the sauce to get the consistency just right.
Howard Beale IV
@Steeplejack: Good question.Here’s a Forbes review of said unit., and I would imaging that some food hackers have come up with some creative ways to use this device in unconventional ways.
Sometimes I wonder if we really need all the cooking appliance gear we build into our homesteads. For an example: I replaced an original coil-based range with a Frigidiare Gallery flattop radiant convection oven for $400 on closeout about 5 years ago. At the same time, when I need to boil water for a dish, I use a small induction cooktop with the appropriate cookware-the induction cooktop beats the radiant cooktop in boiling water by 33% and is also safer to boot.
Now let’s move on to things lie DiGorno’s rising pizza’s. I could use my range’s convection function and have the pizza ready in 15 minutes, or I could use my Frigidaire Gallery countertop convection oven and get the same result in 20 minutes with less power.
@Comrade Luke: See the post immediately preceding this one. Rep. Peter King went on tv, more than once, to blame Garner’s death on his willful decision to be an overweight asthmatic.
And nobody on the set bothered to smack him upside the head, which is why Pete King keeps saying shit like this. He speaks for His People. Who are vicious, small-minded little fascists, which is why Peter King has been elected to represent them 18 or 19 times…
So much for the common claim that only Muslims blow people up for irrational reasons. Jaysus, it’s macaroni and cheese. Relax.
Death Panel Truck
@Helen: Are you seriously trying to suggest there is no separate country called Northern Ireland that is part of the United Kingdom (as opposed to Ireland)?
Someone has already changed it back to Northern Ireland, and it wasn’t me. I stopped fucking around with Wikipedia years ago. If I tried to fix every wrong thing I see on there, I wouldn’t have time for a life.