Easy Comfort Cooking | Working Mother

Easy Comfort Cooking

As your family gears up for school, homework and cooler weather, nurture them with home-style dishes sure to soothe and satisfy.

German Split Pea Soup

German Split Pea Soup

Serves 4 • Prep Time 15 minutes • Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
What could make steaming bowlfuls of this smoky pea soup even more perfect? Flaky, warm Chive and Cheddar Biscuits served alongside.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons flour
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 pound green split peas, rinsed and drained
2 large smoked ham hocks
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Put oil and bacon into a 6-quart pot and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside. Add onion, celery and carrots to the pot, season with salt, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
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2** Tie parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with kitchen twine; add to the pot along with peas, ham hocks and 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until peas are very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat. Discard herbs. Transfer hocks to a plate and let cool; pull off and chop the meat; discard fat, skin and bones. Stir meat into the soup, season with salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with reserved bacon.

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Broiled Salmon Steaks with Tomatoes, Onions and Tarragon

Broiled Salmon Steaks with Tomatoes, Onions and Tarragon

Serves 4 • Prep Time 12 to 15 minutes • Cook Time 30 minutes
Rich with heart-healthy omega-3s (in the salmon) and the antioxidant lycopene (in the tomatoes), this one-pan dinner practically cooks itself.

1 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, cut into
1-inch-thick rings
4 medium tomatoes, cut into
1-inch-thick slices
8 cloves garlic, smashed
10 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon roughly chopped leaves
10 sprigs fresh oregano, plus 1 tablespoon roughly chopped leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 (10-ounce) bone-in salmon steaks
4 thin slices lemon
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons Pernod (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and grease with 1 cup of the oil. Spread onions and tomatoes on the baking sheet. Tuck garlic and thyme and oregano sprigs between vegetables and drizzle with 1 cup of the oil. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and roast until soft and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
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2** Set an oven rack 3 inches from the broiler element; heat oven to broil. Arrange fish on top of vegetables and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil; season with pepper. Place 1 slice lemon on each salmon piece and sprinkle chopped thyme and oregano over fish.
**
3** Broil fish until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer fish and vegetables to a platter. Sprinkle with tarragon, Pernod (if using) and remaining oil to serve.

Tip: To save 25 minutes on a weeknight, prep vegetables over the weekend by following step 1, then wrap in their baking foil and refrigerate. When ready to cook fish, spread foil and veggies on a baking sheet and go to step 2.

Saveur Magazine

Chive and Cheddar Biscuits

Chive and Cheddar Biscuits

Makes 6 biscuits • Prep Time 5 to 7 minutes • Cook Time 14 to 16 minutes
Biscuits are a close second to homemade bread, without the kneading and rising time. Make sure the kids wash their hands first, since they’ll be “playing” with their food.

2 cups flour, extra for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1 teaspoons kosher salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup minced chives
2 tablespoons heavy cream
**
1** Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2 Let kids whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl. Have kids rub the cold butter into the flour mixture with their fingers until pieces are the size of small peas. Kids can add buttermilk, cheddar and chives into flour-butter mixture and gently stir with a fork until just mixed.
**
3** Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and help kids gently pat it into a 6- by 9-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds as you would a letter and pat into a 6- by 9-inch rectangle again. Older kids can dip edges of a 3-inch-round biscuit cutter in flour and cut 6 biscuits from the dough. Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet, brush the tops with cream, and bake until lightly browned, 14 to 16 minutes.

Saveur Magazine

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Serves 6 to 8 • Prep Time: 20 minutes • Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes

One taste of this from-scratch update on the classic holiday side dish and you’ll be serving it a lot more often than just Thanksgiving Day.

3 cups chicken stock
½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
Kosher salt to taste
2 pounds green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
Canola oil for frying
1 1/4 cups flour
2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Bring stock to a boil in a small pot. Remove from heat and add mushrooms. Cover and let soften 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the broth. Thinly slice mushrooms and set aside.

2 Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove beans from water and chill in an ice bath, then drain and pat dry.

3 Pour 2 inches of oil into a large pan and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350F. Put 1 cup of the flour in a bowl. Working in batches, toss the onions in the flour, shake off the excess, and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt.

4 Heat oven to 375F. Grease an 8-inch-square casserole with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. Melt remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining flour and cook 1 minute. While whisking, pour in reserved broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk in cream and remove from heat; add beans, half the fried onions, the reserved mushrooms, salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared casserole, top with remaining onions, and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Quick tip Cook beans as directed in step 2 the night before and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This will save you 15 minutes of prep and cooking time on the day you make the casserole.

Saveur Magazine

Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata

Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata

Serves 4 to 6 Prep Time 15 to 18 minutes Cook Time 30 to 35 minutes

Don’t be fooled by this eggy dish—frittatas, baked Italian omelets, are more than just breakfast food. They’re quick cooking and make for an easy weeknight dinner. Leftovers can also be packed for a homemade lunch your co-workers will envy.

1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
8 large eggs, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 small new potato, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and cut into 1-inch strips
3 cup ricotta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup of the pecorino, the parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the oregano and eggs; season with black pepper and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, potatoes and remaining salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes.**

3.** Remove skillet from heat. Pour in the egg mixture and stir to distribute onions and potatoes. Scatter peppers over top, spoon ricotta over mixture in 6 dollops, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino. Bake until frittata is lightly browned on top and center is set, about 15 minutes. Loosen edges with spatula and slide onto serving plate. Season with more pepper if desired.

Used with pemission from Saveur: The New Comfort Food (Chronicle Books).

Saveur Magazine

Featured Cookbook

Featured Cookbook

There’s no denying it: Food provides us with both nutrition and flavor, but it also embraces us with soothing comfort. That’s one of the universal truths Saveur editor-in-chief James Oseland and his staff impart in every issue of their magazine, well known for offering culinary treats from kitchens across the globe. In The New Comfort Food—Home Cooking from Around the World, Oseland shares Saveur’s celebration of comfort food in all its international diversity. With this beautiful new book, filled with anecdotes by top food writers and, of course, mouth-watering recipes, you’re all set to comfort your family in delicious new ways.

Excerpted with permission from Saveur: The New Comfort Food—Home Cooking from Around the World, published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2011.

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