Comfort Food Recipes

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Thai Curry Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe Recipe

A few months ago, I met with my friend Steve from the Milk Pail Market in Mountain view. He's better known to locals as the cheese expert. On that day, I tasted a wide variety of cheeses. Some of them made me reminiscent of my childhood in France, while others were intriguing and unusual. In particular, there was a vibrant yellow cheese I had never seen before. It's called Thai Curry Cheddar cheese. Since Steve knew that I love mixing cultures and flavors, he thought I'd like it.

Of course, like most cheddars, this cheese could be enjoyed with sliced apples and a crusty bread as a snack. But I wanted to really play up the fusion of cultures represented in the cheese, so I used the cheddar to create a Thai-inspired béchamel sauce that would pair wonderfully with any pasta. Good thing Steve gave me some of his new ravioli to bring home!

Instead of using good ol' nutmeg for the white sauce, I flavored it with melted Thai Curry Cheddar cheese, turmeric, ground coriander, ground fennel, freshly grated ginger, ground fenugreek, a touch of cumin and a fresh bay leaf. The result is an aromatic taste with the richness from the cheese. It was a great addition to sautéed ravioli.

If you're not lucky enough to live down the street from a great grocer like Steve, you should enter our Full Circle giveaway. We're going to pick one lucky winner this week to get a free box of organic farm fresh produce delivered to your home. To enter, just type your name into the box below. The winner can choose any size box. The largest Full Circle offers is Harvest, which is $42 in CA, $45 in WA/ID, and $56 in AK (shipping not included outside of Anchorage).


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Tomato Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Recipe

My husband Lulu's little nieces from Oakland are staying with us for a week. I'm going to make their favorite dishes and we prepared a lot of fun activities so they have a memorable stay with us. This morning, we took several large baskets and they helped me pick fruits and vegetables for lunch. We gathered so many tomatoes, I decided to make tomato sauce to store for the winter. But as I was preparing mac and cheese for the children in the evening, I changed my mind and added the tomato sauce to a modified version of the kid-friendly dish. 

I spread a layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish and also flavored the béchamel sauce with fire-roasted tomatoes. They impart a light sweetness and pleasant tanginess that complements the flavors of the cheese and sauce very well. So not only did I coerce the kids into going outside to do a physical activity, I also snuck some veggies into a dish they can’t resist. Pham Fatale indeed!


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Roasted Red Pepper Risotto (Ajvar Recipe)  Recipe

This risotto recipe gets its rich flavor and color from ajvar, a Serbian mix of puréed roasted bell peppers, eggplant, garlic and chiles. It’s very versatile, easy to make and stores very well.

I prepared the sauce a day in advance. You'll likely have some leftover ajvar after making the risotto, which can be used on toast or as filling in puff pastry appetizers. 

 


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Portobello Mushroom Israeli Couscous with Truffle Goat Cheese Recipe

Potatoes, rice or pasta typically serve as the starch in our daily meals, but when it's time for a change I turn to Israeli couscous. Like all starches, it's a versatile foundation upon which you can build any combination of flavors.

In this recipe, I cooked Israeli couscous with Portobello mushrooms, basil tomato sauce, arugula and truffle-flavored goat cheese. It can be served as a side dish, or as a main course for vegetarians. Either way, its looks will catch your eye and the taste won't disappoint. 


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Onion Curry Risotto Recipe (Fusion Dish) Recipe

On any given night, there are dishes from two or more cultures on our dining table. And I often combine the leftovers to make something new the following day. As an example, we recently had some extra  dopiaza (onion duo curry), which I used to flavor risotto. The onion gravy melded with the creamy Arborio rice and came out beautifully.

I've come up with several recipes using this flavorful curry, such as onion tatin tart, onion-filled manicotti and gratin casserole dishes. If you browse through the site, you'll find other recipes to help you waste less food and save money at the same time. It works for my family, so it should work for yours as well.

 


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