Comfort Foods

If I posed the question:  “What is your idea of comfort food?”, I believe everyone in the room would have an answer or two.  We all have memories of our childhood – whether it’s getting up and making pancakes together (actually for me, it was having congee solo or with chow mein, dumplings or steamed buns), or coming home after school to find Mom preparing your favourites.

How many of you sat together at the dinner table?  It was mandatory that we ate at the table together.  My father always said that dining together forced us all to share, to converse.  He said:  “You are growing up so fast and before you know it, you will be in high school and we will have less quality time.”  You know … Dad was right about that one!

Comfort foods are simple, nourishing, ‘feel good’ dishes ….  My favourite comfort foods are congee, noodles, and rice – how typical!  Hey, I’m Chinese! and this is what I grew up with.

Take a look:

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This is a quick n dirty way to make congee – in a rice cooker that has a timer!  Just make sure you program the cooking time from 2-2.5 hours.  (I will talk about congee in another blog.)

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A great alternative to grain noodles is sweet potato noodles.

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I made Seafood Noodles to accompany my congee.

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This is the finished product.

My idea of comfort food is something that warms the soul, nurtures and satisfies.  Hearty soups and stews come to mind, Chinese and otherwise.  Beef brisket over rice – that is one of my favourites, sometimes curried.  When I make it, I make sure there’s enough for a couple days!

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Here, I present traditional Beef Brisket w/Turnip.

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This is the same dish, but curried.  Mom made this one.

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Here is a stew-ish dish – Curried Chicken w/Carrots n Potatoes

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Here is a dish with Pork n Bitter Melon.  I love this served over rice.

My latest comfort food is Chili.  I first tried Chili about 20 years ago – wasn’t keen on it, but having tried many variations, it has grown on me over the years.  I never crave it, but when I get it, I need the hot sauce,  cheese, and of course, a very buttery biscuit!  When I make it, I buy a nice cut of steak and use that instead of ground beef.  Prime rib works really well ….. I prefer to brown the meat prior to tossing it into the pot. There’s no right or wrong.  Some people make their chill in a crock pot for 10 hours and they don’t brown their meat.  It all gets tossed in the pot raw!

Can breakfast items be comfort foods?  Why not?  This may sound silly, but my fave comfort food breakfast is simply a bowl of oatmeal (with a twist, of course).  Mom would make it and when it was almost cooked, she would crack an egg, and swirl it around.  Then she added milk and sugar.  Other times, she added milk AND sweetened condensed milk.  I know, it’s a sugar bomb, but it was a mix of sweet and savoury, and who doesn’t love sweet n savoury?

What are your favourite comfort foods?

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This entry was posted by Lillian on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at 7:04 pm and is filed under Chinese. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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