Wife Quit Job, Need Comfort Food Ideas[Moved from Manhattan]
Any thoughts? I work and need something that I can crank out fast. Thanks for your help!
Cook's Illustrated has a relatively quick recipe for chicken pot pie. (It was published in '96. Since you might not have access to it, I'll summarize.) If you have a food processor, you can throw together the pie crust quickly first, then chill it while you make the pie. I make the usual 1 1/4 c. flour, bit of salt, stick of butter, ice water crust, wrap in plastic and chill. Poach 3/4-1 pound boneless chicken thighs and/or breasts in a 15 ounce can of broth plus enough water to cover, 8-10 minutes just until done. If you do this in a ten or twelve inch skillet with some depth, and that's ovenproof, you can make this a one pot recipe. Remove chicken, reserve 2 c. broth, and wipe out the skillet, add oil and saute 2-3 carrots, quartered and sliced, 2 stalks celery, chopped, and 1 medium onion, chopped relatively fine. Shred the chicken when cool. When veggies are just tender, maybe 7 minutes, remove to a bowl, and add 3 tbsp. butter to the skillet. When melted, add 1/4 c. flour, and cook off the raw flour flavor a minute or two. Add reserved broth, whisking, and 3/4-1 c. milk, generous pinch dried thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and bit of nutmeg. When this simmers and thickens, add a few tbsp. dry sherry, then add back in the vegetables and chicken, plus 1/2 c. of frozen green peas, and some chopped parsley. Stir and remove from heat. Roll out pastry the circumference of your skillet and top the filling, crimping or pushing the edges down into the filling, depending whether you like the softened crust or prefer the edges browned. Cut vent holes and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven about 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden and cooked through.
I like the Swanson natural goodness broth for this recipe, if I don't have homemade in the freezer. I can get this done in about an hour, quicker if I have pie crust in the freezer.
curried beef or lamb stew (I've made the same recipe with both and it came out good) - if you want a recipe, let me know
Baked (red sauced) macaroni with lots of Parmagiano or Romano & Ricotta, or traditional Mac & Cheese. Don't forget her favorite dessert.
easy and fast. Take a small filet of Salmon, cut it in thirds usually (3 inches wide maybe?) Salt and pepper lightly. Then smear with some Dijon mustard and sprinkle dried dill on top and bake in 500 degree oven for maybe 12 minutes. I want to say my wife found this in a Dr Phil cookbook. I have been cooking it for a couple of years now. Serve with rice and veggies.
Spaghetti and Meatballs, just old fashioned red sauce with some good tender meat balls, over some vermicelli or angel hair with fresh grated Parmesan. Garlic Bread and a salad.
You can make a good sauce without simmering all day, bake the meat balls so you don't have to fry and mess the kitchen up, I read that some people don't even brown, just put them into the sauce for (what they say) a tender meatball.
When you serve her be sure to grate the chees over the steaming sauce. Let her get a good whiff of all that love.
There is something about the smell of red sauce cooking that in itself wraps its arms around you.
I think the question is -- what is comfort food for your WIFE. Think about that and buy / make it... We all have different comfort foods, based on our childhoods and personal whatevers... Mine is ronzoni #10 (vermicelli) smothered in lots of butter and salt...