Paella – A Convivial Dish

Ancient Roots      Paella is a rice dish that has ancient roots. Its modern form originated in the mid-19th century in the area around the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia.  Paella is also the name of the specialized shallow pan used for this dish.      There’s not much of a consensus regarding how this delicious dish, perhaps Spain’s most famous, should be prepared. Also, what should, or shouldn’t go into it is an issue. The original recipes went from being relatively simple to including a wide variety…

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Baked Ziti. Simple and Delicious

     When I started reading the first line in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” I assumed it was going to be an homage to comfort food. If I truly started counting the ways I love comfort food, it would take me into next week. Comfort Food Does Indeed Give Me Comfort      The main reason I love comfort food is the fact that some days just call for a simple dish that is drop-dead delicious, one that makes me feel cozy…

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Georgia Chain Gang Chili

Now What?      When you find yourself lying on a bunk in the big house, and the only appointment you have scheduled in the next 20 years (to life) is with the Georgia Department of Corrections, you realize you’re going to have lots of free time on your hands. So, what’s the plan?      You can volunteer to work in the kitchen and hone your culinary skills. I don’t know if this is Hy Abernathy’s story or not, but given the name of this chili, I’m sure it must have chain-gang roots…

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Chicken Liver Pâté

FIFTY WAYS TO LOVE YOUR LIVER      You can close your louver, leave your lover, go to the Louvre, or visit Rod Laver, but this is about liver. Yes, liver.      This is one thing your mother was right about – liver is good for you. It contains lots of vitamins (A, B & D) and iron. But when I ask people if they like liver, I usually get a negative response, and many people are actually repulsed at the thought of eating it. Liver Aficionados      Cats, on the other hand,…

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Bangers And Mash With Guinness Gravy

     The last thing I need is to get addicted to another comfort food, but I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s happened. And what is it? Bangers and mash, that British pub classic you may not have tried, but you’ve probably at least heard of. It’s basically sausage, mashed potatoes, and gravy but with some adds that I think makes it absolutely magical. So, What’s A Banger?      First of all, lets talk bangers. Search out and find a simple pork sausage in a casing such as bratwurst. I think the best are…

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Rib roast

A Wonderful Classic – The Prime Rib Roast

     Mention Thanksgiving and the turkey with all the fixins immediately comes to mind. Depending on which historian you read, the turkey may or may not have been served at the first Thanksgiving meal. Many think the meat served was probably venison along with seafood and waterfowl. If there was turkey, it probably was wild turkey and not a domestic variety. Whatever they ate there seems to be clear consensus the first Thanksgiving involved serving plenty of meat. Give The Gobbler A Break This Year      I sometimes decide to give…

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Fish Roasted In Butter With Brown Butter Sauce

Fish As Comfort Food? True “comfort food” is usually high in calories and carbohydrates. It tastes great, but later it can leave you with a not-so-great feeling (to say nothing of the associated guilt). But I also think of fish as comfort food, but not in the traditional sense. When I eat fish, it not only tastes great at the time I’m eating it, but my body seems to sense that this was a good choice. It’s nutritious (a good source of protein) and offers other good vitamins and minerals…

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2-bone Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon (The Magic Of Braising)

     Of the dishes I cook, the one that gets the most raves is my braised beef short ribs.  Also called beef Burgundy or beef bourguignon (pronounced “bore-geen-YONE”), it’s basically a French stew. It started out as a peasant dish, but over time it’s become a standard of French cuisine.       It’s a simple recipe. The cooking method is called braising, where a cut of meat that would have been too tough to eat if cooked in a traditional way is slowly cooked in wine and broth along with…

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Bowl of chili

Chili Con Bob (A Bowl Of Red)

    I’ve always associated baseball with hot dogs and basketball with popcorn. Most people I know associate football with tailgating, but to me it’s chili. During most football Sundays, I’ll cook up a pot, and all afternoon the aroma will waft up into the loft where we’re watching the game(s). NFL football and chili – a match made in heaven.      I’ve refined my chili over the years, and it suits my taste to a tee. Every other recipe I have I’m quick to share with anyone who wants it; however,…

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Poutine And Football. A Match Made In Heaven.

I would like to note: THE NATIONAL DISH OF CANADA IS NOT RACHEL MCADAMS – It’s poutine. I know. This is exactly what I don’t need. Another type of comfort food. For those of you who aren’t aware, poutine (pronounced poo teen) is a gloppy snack which consists of French fries, gravy, and melted cheese curds, and it’s absolutely died-and-gone-to-heaven good. McDonalds sells it in Canada. And in several lists of the ten greatest Canadian inventions, it came in ahead of the electron microscope, the Blackberry, and the paint roller….

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