Comfort food

As the weather cools I find myself making more comfort food. Here are a few of my favorite cold weather recipes to instill feelings of comfort and cheer.

Chicken and Leek Vegtable Soup

You will need:

2 Tablespoons butter

The white and light green parts of 1 leek, chopped

3 ribs of celery, chopped

3 or 4 carrots, chopped

2 or 3 cups of chopped chicken

4 cups of broth

2 or 3 potatoes, pealed and chopped

3 Tablespoons Herb de Provance

1 Tabelspoon sage

1 or 2 bay leaves

a gernerous grind of pepper

salt to taste

1 cup milk

1/2 cup peas

a rue made from 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 2 tablespoon half and half and 3 Tablespoons flour

Melt butter and add leeks. Turn to coat and cook until tender. Add celery, carrots and broth and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and potato chunks and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add spices and milk. Cook until carrots are tender. Stir in peas and rue and cook to thicken. Serve hot.

Rich and Flaky Biscuits

makes 12 biscuits

This recipe produces a perfectly light and unbelievably flaky biscuit with layers that are moist, rich, and tender. It is a wonderful accompniment to any soup or gravy.

You will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

Measure flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Cut butter into small chunks and add to flour. Cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. Add the milkand stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and press into a rough rectangle, about one inch thick. Fold the dough over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Do this severla times to create buttery layers. Cover the dough loosely with a oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425. Gently press the dough into a rectangle and into biscuits. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Chicken Mushroom Quinoa with Truffle Oil

You will need:

1 cup quinoa

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 –3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 cup cream or half and half

2 cups cooked shredded chicken

3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

a couple drops of truffle oil (to taste)

salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare quinoa. Set aside. Saute oinon, garlic, mushrooms until Onion is caramelize. Let butter soften in a small dish. When soft, mash in flour. Add cream to saute pan. Stir and add butter/flour paste to make a rue. Arange quinoa in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with chicken. Top chicken with the Cheddar cheese. Season with salt, pepper and truffle oil. Pour mushroom sauce over the chicken and top with Parisian. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Creamy Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

makes about 6 servings

You will need:

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup onion, chopped

2 cups water

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes

3 cups chopped carrot

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup half-and-half

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add water, broth, sweet potatoes, and carrots and bring to a boil. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Let cool and puree in batchs until smooth. Return soup to the pan and stir in half and half, salt, and pepper. Warm and serve.


As soon as the weather turns cool I start craving a bowl of chili. This recipe is one of my favorites. It is equally delicious served in a bowl or over hot French fries.

You will need:

2 Tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 pounds ground beef

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

a generous pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 cups diced tomatoes

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 cups beef broth

4 ounces of dried kidney or red beans, rinsed and soaked overnight or 1 can, drained and rinsed

Melt butter. Sauté onions until they are clear. Add garlic and sauce until carbonized. Stir in ground beef and brown. Add peppers. Season with salt, chili powders, cumin, red pepper, oregano and cook until meat is done (no pink). Add tomatoes, tomato paste, mustard, and beef stock, bring to boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in beans and simmer uncovered about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add water or broth as needed.

Ladle into bowls and garnish.

Some of my favorite garnishes are: Chopped onions, a scoop of sour cream, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped avocado, or a handful of shredded cheese.