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The Comfort Food Series – Volume 1 !!

The Comfort Food Series – Volume 1 !!

 

Doesn’t it happen to us all that after a hard and tiring day, we automatically start looking forward to what are we going to eat for dinner. Everyone has their own ‘go to’ comfort food whenever they need some comforting. There can never be a badly cooked comfort food. If it is giving comfort, it has to be good. But then that does not mean that comfort food has to be the same boring ones being passed on from generations, right?

I asked around my colleagues at the office, and I found three things featuring in most of their most favorite comfort foods – meat (be it chicken or lamb), cheese and pasta. We, at bloggerkeeda.com tried to make a list of comfort foods that we either love to eat or would try at the first given instance.

Presenting the first volume in The Comfort Food Series.the comfort food series 1the comfort food series 1

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Meatball & Spinach Baked Pasta

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TOTAL TIME: 1:00                  PREP: 0:25                         LEVEL: Easy                   SERVES: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • Ground Meat (Lamb or Chicken) – 500 grams
  • Egg Large – 1
  • Pasta – 500 grams
  • Cheese – 50grams (Preferably Mozzarella)
  • Onion – ½ (Chopped)
  • Garlic Cloves – 2 (Chopped)
  • Spinach – 2 bunch (Flat Leafed – Stem Discarded and Leaves Torn)
  • Parsley – 3 sprigs (Keep some extra for garnishing)
  • Basil – 2 sprigs (Keep some extra for garnishing)
  • Marinara Sauce – 2-3 tbsp (If not available, mix little garlic, salt and olive oil, and sometimes some onions and butter to plain everyday tomato sauce)
  • Breadcrumbs (Panko) – 1/4th Cup
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Black Pepper – To taste
  • Salt – To taste
  • Cooking spray, for baking dish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease a baking dish.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  • Gently combine ground round, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; shape into 16 meatballs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4th cup of water, gently scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in marinara, spinach, parsley, and basil; bring to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and fold in pasta.
  • Transfer mixture to prepared pan; top with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and basil.

Our vegetarian friends out there can replace the meatballs with cottage cheese / tofu etc.

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Lamb & Potato Gratins

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 TOTAL TIME: 1:20                  PREP: 0:35                         LEVEL: Easy                     SERVES: 8

 Ingredients

  • Large Sized Potatoes – 700 grams
  • Lamb – 350 grams (Minced / Shredded / Leftover – Doesn’t Matter)
  • Gruyere Cheese – 250 grams (Any cheese with creamy texture would do)
  • Onion – 1 Large
  • Parsley – 2 bunch
  • Unsalted Butter – 2.5 tbsp
  • 3/4th Cup Whole Milk
  • 3/4th Cup Fresh Cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add onion and salt and pepper (as per taste), and cook over low heat until onion is deep brown and translucent, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and combine with potatoes, lamb, cheese, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Lightly butter eight 1-cup ramekins, divide potato mixture among dishes, and pour 3 tablespoons of fresh cream as well as 3 tablespoons of whole milk.
  • Top it up with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter.
  • Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender, 35 more minutes.

 

 

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Lamb & Leek Baked Pasta

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TOTAL TIME: 0:55                  PREP: 0:10                         LEVEL: Easy                     SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • Lamb (Minced) – 300 grams
  • Pasta – 400 grams
  • Whole Milk – 1 ¼ Cups
  • Cheese – 200 grams
  • All Purpose Flour – 3tbsp
  • Leek – 1 (Sliced & Rings separated – Use spring onions if leeks not available)
  • Sandwich Bread – 2 Slices (Torn)
  • Unsalted Butter – 2tbsp
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (Chopped)
  • Black Pepper (Grounded)
  • Sliced fresh Cilantro for garnish
  • Cooking spray, for ramekins

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease four 10-ounce ramekins; place on a baking sheet.
  • Combine boiled pasta, cheese, and lamb (or Chicken / Tofu / Cottage Cheese etc.) in a bowl.
  • Transfer to prepared ramekins, dividing evenly.
  • Whisk together milk, flour, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until flour is dissolved for 30 seconds.
  • Pour over the pasta mixture, dividing evenly.
  • Stir together bread and butter in a bowl until coated; toss in leeks.
  • Sprinkle over pasta mixture, dividing evenly.
  • Bake until golden brown and bubbly for 34 to 36 minutes.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

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Why should vegetarians miss out on all the fun? Make these deliciously comforting dish and earn accolades from your friends and family.

  the comfort food series 1 the comfort food serie

Zesty Vegetable Lasagna

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TOTAL TIME: 2:10                  PREP: 1:30                      LEVEL: Moderate                     SERVES: 15

Ingredients

  • Ricotta Cheese – 2 1/2 Cup
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese – 1 Cup (Alt. Parmesan Cheese)
  • Garlic – 3 Cloves
  • Dried Oregano – 1 tbsp
  • Dried Basil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mushrooms – 50 Grams
  • Onion – 1
  • Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Baby spinach – 2 Sprigs
  • Marinara sauce – 4.5 Cups
  • Lasagna noodles – 500 grams
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese – 750 Grams

Directions

For The Mixture:

  • Combine the Ricotta and Pecorino Romano cheeses, garlic and herbs with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and the crushed red pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onions, and peppers and cook until slightly softened, about 4 more minutes.
  • Add the spinach and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Toss and cook until spinach is wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

For The Lasagna:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour 1.5 cups sauce into a deep bottom pan.
  • Layer 5 lasagna noodles over the sauce.
  • Top with half of the cooked vegetables and a third of the mozzarella.
  • Layer with 5 more noodles and spread half the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
  • Top with 1 cup of sauce and add another layer of noodles.
  • Add the remaining vegetables, another third of the mozzarella, and a layer of noodles.
  • Spread on the remaining ricotta mixture, 1 cup of sauce, and the last layer of noodles.
  • Add the remaining sauce and mozzarella.
  • Cover with foil and bake until bubbly, about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
  • Let the lasagna cool slightly before serving.

 

 

Yellow Pepper & Fennel Casserole

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TOTAL TIME: 1:15                  PREP: 0:15                         LEVEL: Easy                     SERVES: 8

Ingredients

  • Yellow Pepper – 3
  • Fresh Fennel – 2 sprigs
  • Heavy Cream – 3 cups
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg – ½ tbsp
  • Paprika – ¼ tsp
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, bring yellow pepper, fennel, heavy cream, garlic, nutmeg, paprika, and salt to taste to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to a shallow baking dish.
  • Sprinkle on Mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs.
  • Bake until golden brown for about 45 minutes.

 

 

What do you think of these? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

About Abhishek Duttagupta

Marketing Aficianado ! Obsessive Foodie ! Jack Of All ! Extremely Inquisitive ! TechnoFreak ! DayDreamer ! And Oh, Utterly Lazy !

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