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    A FULL LIST OF THE RECIPES ON THIS SITE

    A collection of our recipes, either original here or from one of our twenty-seven cookbooks

    Drop by, drop a comment, how you made it, how you'd change it, what you'd do

    And check out our podcast, one of the top five "new and notable" on iTunes

    Entries in comfort food (12)

    Friday
    Feb022018

    Instant Pot Ramen Broth

    Honestly. Seriously. I mean, just make it. We ate it for dinner on its own one night.

    Ramen broth is a nine-hundred day process. (I exaggerate a little.) But a multi-cooker makes it happen in no time. (Spoiler alert--a little over 3 hours, a savings of more than 899 days and 20 hours!)

    We talked about this on our podcast. Look for that in the media player on the main page--or listen to it here

    But make this broth. Because you can.

    Do you have to use an Instant Pot? No, you can make this in any electric pressure cooker. So what's your excuse? Freeze the makings and get ready for ramen anytime.

    RAMEN BROTH

    • 4 medium sheets kombu
    • 1 smoked ham hock or a smoked turkey leg
    • 1 pound chicken wings (separated), backs, necks, or a combination thereof
    • 1 pound pork bones or bone-in pork shoulder chops
    • 10 medium scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • One 3- to 4-inch piece fresh ginger (about as wide as two or three thumbs put together), peeled (as necessary) and cut into 1/2-inch thick rings
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce (see below)
    • 2 tablespoons mirin
    • About 10 cups water

    1. Place the kombu, hock, chicken, pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and mirin in a 6- or 8-quart electric pressure cooker or multi-cooker. Add about 10 cups water--but do not add water above the max-fill line on the inside of the pot.

    2. Cover and lock the lid in place. Set the machine to cook at high pressure for 2 hours.

    3. Let the pressure come back to normal naturally, either by turning off the machine, turning off the pressure, or unplugging the machine (check your owner's manual). Do not let the machine flip to its "keep warm" setting.

    4. When the pressure lock is released and the pot's pressure is back to normal, unlock the lid and uncover the pot. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth-lined giant colander and into a large bowl. Transfer the strained broth to freezer-safe containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    You can save the meat from the pork and chicken--although it's pretty spent. Make ramen easy by heating the broth to a low simmer, then ladling over bowls of baby kale, purchased ramen noodles, and perhaps a soft-boiled egg. You can also add chunked-up ham, pork shoulder, or other meats you might have as leftovers (which is why you want to freeze this stuff--so it's ready for leftovers).

    NOTE: Here's the Japanese soy sauce we talked about in the episode. We don't read Japanese--and so can't say more than, yep, that's the stuff. Anybody's help would be appreciated. And yes, you can use any sort of soy sauce.)

    Sunday
    Jan142018

    Best-Ever Lasagna

    Okay, maybe we're overselling it. Probably are. Sure, there are as many versions of lasagna as there are . . . well, since we're not Italian grandmothers, we'll say there are as many versions as there are gay couples.

    What's different? No ricotta, no mozzarella, no (what the hell?) cottage cheese. (What's wrong with some people?)

    And no egg. Instead, there's a Parmesan sauce to go between the layers. Seriously. See? Best ever. Well, okay, no wars. But darn good. Try it.

    Before you do, listen to said podcast. It's in the media player at the top of the recipe page. Or here on iTunes. Or here on iHeartRadio. You'll laugh. Promise. Okay, not promise. But it's the best-ever podcast (by a gay couple who's written thirty cookbooks).

    Best-Ever Lasagna

    2 tablespoons (or so) olive oil

    1 1/2 pounds mild (sometimes called "sweet") Italian sausage, casings removed (or just buy the stuff in bulk)

    4 cups packed baby arugula (or baby spinach)

    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

    1/4 cup all-purpose flour

    3 cups milk (of any sort--whole, 2 percent, 1 percent, even skim)

    1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

    6 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (divided)

    1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

    1/2 teaspoon ground fennel

    One 1-quart jar plain marinara sauce (see NOTE)

    12 no-boil lasagna noodles

    1. Position the rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 325F.

    2. Warm the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Crumble in the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any clumps, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the arugula in three additions, wilting each before adding the next so as not to crowd the skillet. Set aside.

    3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour to form a thick, blond paste. Whisk until fairly smooth but do not brown. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream until well combined, then whisk in the broth until smooth.

    4. Raise the heat to medium and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to bubble and thickens somewhat, a few minutes. Whisk in 4 ounces (two-thirds) of the grated cheese, as well as the nutmeg and fennel. Set aside. (Notice there's no salt here--or in the recipe at all. The sausage is salty; the cheese, too. If you're a salt fiend, you might want to stir 1/2 teaspoon table salt into this sauce--but be very careful. As we said, salty.)

    5. Build the lasagna in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spread about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into a thin layer in the bottom of the pan. Press three noodles into this, fitting them crosswise to the pan and evenly spacing them out. Spoon about 1 cup marinara over them, then top with a third of the sausage mixture and a third of the cheese sauce. Now repeat: three noodles, 1 cup marinara, half the remaining sausage mixture, and half the remaining cheese sauce. Then again: three noodles, 1 cup marinara, the rest of the sausage mixture, and the rest of the cheese sauce. Finally, lay the remaining three noodles in the casserole and spread the remaining 1/2 cup marinara sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the casserole.

    6. Cover with parchment paper, then aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes.

    7. Uncover and continue baking for 15 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned at the edges. Set aside at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before cutting the lasagna into serving pieces.

    NOTE: Yes, purchased, jarred marinara sauce. Listen, you can make your own. We do every summer. And we squirrel it away in the freezer in 1-quart containers for the long, New England winter ahead. But honestly, there are some pretty good bottled varieties out there. Read those labels! You want a fairly plain sauce--without a lot of sugar, "natural flavors," or other chemical shenanigans. 

    Thursday
    Aug032017

    Kibbeh with Lemony Tahini Sauce

    If you listenend to our podcast--What? Didn't? Whatsamatterwidchew?--you know we're sort of nuts for kibbeh. But not the deep-fried type, the type British soldiers eventually called "Syrian torpedoes" because of the way it rocked the gut.

    No, we're all about baked kibbeh. It's a ground meat (here, lamb) dish with bulgur. In fact, you make a dough out of some of lamb and bulgur to create this super-tasty casserole.

    We have a version of it in our goat book. And we KNOW you want a copy of our goat book. (The first and only one about the meat, milk, and cheese from this animal.) You can get a copy here.

    And you can listen to our podcast here on iTunes or here on Stitcher. Or just look for it in the media player on the main recipe page of this site.

    But for now, KIBBEH with LEMONY TAHINI SAUCE

    Makes about 8 servings

    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups finely ground bulgur (see NOTE below)
    • 2 pounds ground lamb
    • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon ground coiander
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried sage
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for the baking pan
    • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet over medium-low heat
    • 1/2 cup tahini (a sesame seed paste)
    • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

    1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Stir in the bulgur, cover the pan, take it off the heat, and set aside until the water is absorbed and the mixture is about room temperature, about 2 hours.

    2. Fluff the bulgur with a fork, then scrape it into a food processor. Add half the ground lamb, half the chopped onion, the allspice, coriander, cumin, and sage. Cover and process to create a thick dough, scraping down the inside of the canister at least once. Set aside.

    3. Warm a large skillet over medium heat for a couple of mintues. Swirl in the oil, then add the remaining onion. Cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft, about 4 minutes. Crumble in the remaining ground lamb and brown well, stirring often, about 4 more minutes. Stir in the ground sumac as well as 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir in the pine nuts, then set aside off the heat to cool for 30 minutes.

    4. Position the rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil the inside of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

    5. To build the casserole, press about half the ground bulgur dough into an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle and spread the contents of the skillet over this dough. Dot the top of the casserole with the remaining bulgur dough and press it into an even top crust, sealing the meat mixture inside.

    6. Make diagonal cuts across the casserole (see the picture). Bake until browned and set, about 30 minutes. Cool in the baking pan for 10 to 20 minutes.

    7. Meanwhile, mix the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until smooth. Serve the kibbeh by cutting it along its diagonals and spooning this tahini sauce over the top.

    NOTE: If you can't find finely ground bulgur at your supermarket, grind standard bulgur in a food processor until the consistency of very fine sand.

    Friday
    Feb032017

    Dong-An Chicken

    We're still celebrating Chinese New Year! So join in. We've got a podcast up for this crazy-delicious recipe. It's as if you made warm Chinese chicken salad--if you were a four-star Chinese chef. It's a bit complicated--but it's comfort food deluxe! Check out the podcast for this recipe here. Or here.

    DONG-AN CHICKEN

    Adapted from Carolyn Phillips, ALL UNDER HEAVEN (Ten Speed Press, 2016)

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    • One 3-pound chicken, whole but any innards removed
    • 1/4 cup Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
    • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon ground toasted Szechwan peppercorns
    • 1 piece of rock sugar, about the size of walnut
    • 1/4 cup peanut oil
    • 6 dried red Asian chiles, stemmed and seeded
    • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 2 tablespoons black vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
    • 4 medium scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

    1. Place the chicken in a large saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons Shaoxing, the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon ground Szechwan peppercorns, and the rock sugar. Pour in enough water to cover the chicken.

    2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid askew for 1 hour.

    3. Turn off the heat and cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 1 hour.

    4. Transfer the waggly chicken to a large cutting board, taking care to drain any liquid from inside the chicken before moving it.

    5. Use a knife to remove all the meat from the bones in fairly large chunks. Set the meat on a plate and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

    6. Toss the bones, skin, cartilage, and whatever else there could be off that bird back into the pot with the poaching liquid.

    7. Bring the liquid back to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, for 1 hour to reduce quite a bit and deepen the flavors.

    8. Strain the stock into a large bowl; discard the solids. Skim any visible fat off the stock.

    9. Measure out 1/4 cup of the stock and set it asde. Freeze the rest in 1/4- or 1/2-cup amounts for other stir-fries like mapa dofu.

    10. Heat a large wok over high heat for a few minutes, then add the oil. Add the chiles and ginger; stir-fry for 30 seconds.

    11. Add the cut-up chicken. Toss to coat evenly. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt, as well as the remaining 2 tablespoons Shaoxing and the remaining 2 teaspoons ground peppercorns. Toss gently for 1 minute to heat through.

    12. Stir in the reserved 1/4 cup poaching liquid. Bring to a full simmer. Stir in the cornstarch slurry, then stir in the scallions as the sauce almost instantly thickens a bit. Remove from the heat and drizzle the sesame oil over the top to serve. 

    Monday
    Nov072016

    Braised Chicken Thighs with Parsnips and Figs

    Recipes are like your children. You forget about them after a while.

    No, just kidding. But after creating over 12,000 original recipes, we sometimes have a hard time keeping up. The other night, we needed a good slow cooker dish to feed people after one of Bruce's concerts. We found this one in our GREAT AMERICAN SLOW COOKER BOOK and the results were about the best going. So comforting!

    If you'd like to hear more, please listen to our podcast on iTunes here. Or you can find the podcast in the media player at the top of the main recipe page on this site. You'll laugh. Promise. And learn a little bit more about how to make this incredible dish.

    BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH PARSNIPS AND FIGS

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter or a combo of the two
    • 4 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
    • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch sections
    • 16 dried Turkish figs, stemmed and cut in half
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons caraway seeds
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, or dry white wine, or a combo of the two

    1. You'll need to work in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker or multicooker. Heat half the oil or melt half the butter (or whatever combo you're doing) in a large skillet set over medium heat or in the insert for a slow cooker can that fit over medium heat--or even in a multi-cooked set to the browning function. Add about half the chicken pieces skin side down (or as many as will fit without crowding). Brown well, about 6 minutes. Turn, brown for 1 minute, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining oil or butter (or bits of each if you're combining them) and brown the remainder of the chicken thighs in the same way before transferring them to the bowl.

    2. If you've used an insert over the heat or a multi-cooker, pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat from the cooker. Add the parsnips, figs, zest, caraway seeds, allspice, salt, and pepper. Add the browned chicken thighs and stir well to mix everything up. Sprinkle the broth, wine, or a combo of the two over the ingredients.

    3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and the parsnips are tender. You'll need mashed potatoes. Or maybe cooked rice. Trust us.