Wow you guys can cook!
I received recipe submission’s for last month’s “Comfort Food” recipe contest from all over the world! I really enjoyed the variety of dishes that inspired comfort in all of you, from Diet Coke cake, cheese balls, tuna casseroles (a myriad of combination’s) to chocolate frosting (eaten right out of the bowl!).
What I really enjoyed were the stories that accompanied the recipes. Food is such a memory-jerker. It was clear a lot of you hold very fond memories surrounding the recipes you submitted. Here’s an excerpt from one:
Grandma Gladys Christmas Ball
For about 45 years, my family and I spent Christmas Eve with a neighbor who became our family’s grandmother by proxy. She made this appetizer every year. We never found the exact ingredient amounts written down, she told us the ingredients a few times. Since she passed away in 2001, we have made this same ball and served it every Christmas. Grandma Gladys and Grandpa Harry had no children of their own, we were their only family. My memories began in the early 60’s, the cocktail era. Grandma always had a “toddy” in her hands on Christmas Eve, usually Southern Comfort and Cranberry Juice. The 80’s became my children’s memories, but Grandma and Grandpa were still stuck in the 60’s with their decorating tastes, cocktails and bouffant hair. Imagine sitting at their retro bar, paneling on the walls, red fur pillows on fake leopard print couch and a blazing white rock fireplace. Fabulous.
After reading through all the recipes, trying our favorites, and eating lots of leftovers, Ben and I have chosen the winner. We based our decision on a few key factors. One, we loved the recipe. It was easy, delicious, a pantry cleaner-outer, and very comforting, especially with the current weather we are having in Maine. Second, we also agreed with the author – it can fix a bad day. Especially with extra cheese.
So congratulations, Lisa Speer! You are our Gal Foodie Favorite pick for February’s Comfort Food Recipe Contest! Hold the cheese!
The Winning Recipe…
Had a Bad Day Meaty Noodles by Lisa Speer
1/2 Pound Ground Beef (80/20 fat ratio)
1/2 Pound Ground Pork
1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
2 1/4 Teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Back Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Tablesoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Can Whole Plum Tomatoes, Preferably San Marzano
1/4 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 Cup Light Cream
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
4 Large Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
Hot Prepared Egg Noodles
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
After really bad day, heat butter and olive oil in in large saute pan over medium heat until butter is melted. Raise heat to medium high. Add meat, salt, pepper and oregano. Brown meat, add onion, garlic and celery and cook until onion is almost translucent. Add wine, tomatoes and bay leaves. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add cream and Parmesan and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve over egg noodles topped with plenty of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with parsley. If carb-a-phobic, omit noodles. AAaaaaahhhh!!!!
“This recipe is pure comfort food to me. I vary the ingredients with whatever types of canned tomatoes and pasta that I have around, usually whatever has been on sale in the previous weeks. When I’m feeling on the heavy side I omit the pasta and pretend the cream and cheese are my friends. It is guaranteed to make me feel better when I need comfort food, every time. If this recipe doesn’t win the Silver Palate Cookbook that I’ve wanted for twenty years (I don’t have the original either), I will have some. With pasta. And extra cheese.
Thank you to everyone who entered, and watch for the March Recipe Contest: Recipes for Celebrations