Metatalktail Hour: Comfort Food February 3, 2018 9:01 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I want to know your favorite unusual comfort foods, because winter makes me hungry!

As always, it's a conversation-starter, not limiter, so talk about whatever's up with you; send topic ideas to me; and avoid politics. I'm going to pretend I had a good reason for being late with the thread this week, but honestly I got sucked into Step-Sisters on Netflix.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 9:01 PM (154 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

I just finished off my habitual evening snack of cream cheese rolled in shaved ham, with sriracha and a dab of grape jelly.
posted by drlith at 9:04 PM on February 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Breakfast is forever my comfort food. "Eggs in a basket" is what most people call my favourite breakfast dish. Though that's not what we call it in our home. Since I've been a child I've always referred to this as "Egg-bread." And it's sort of been passed on as a phrase to my sister and her home and the same with mine. It's easy to make and very filling.
posted by Fizz at 9:08 PM on February 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I’m sitting at the bar in this nice restaurant eating medium rare sirloin and drinking Pfriem pilsner and focusing on reading stuff on my phone. Apparently the bartender splashed(?) something and asked me “did I get you?”

I took a moment to rejoin the world around me and answered, “No. No one gets me.”

I’m totally enjoying this leisurely meal but it was the first thing that came to mind.
posted by bendy at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2018 [34 favorites]

I don't know that it's unusual, but I love and often make a baked potato topped with sauteed garlic, black beans, and broccoli, covered in cheddar and sriracha. When I'm having a very hard day, that's what I want, and I often get stymied because baking the potato takes so long, in part because I have an old oven that takes 30 minutes to heat up. I've tried microwaving the potato instead, but it's just not nearly the same.

Pad kee mao is a close second. And I am now going to add those ingredients to my shopping list so I can have it for dinner tomorrow.
posted by lazuli at 9:16 PM on February 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

I took a moment to rejoin the world around me and answered, “No. No one gets me.”

How did the bartender respond?
posted by Fizz at 9:17 PM on February 3, 2018

Any kind of plain carby food covered in olive oil, salt, and nutritional yeast. Definitely stems from the year in college I spent living in a vegan co-op, as it’s basically broke vegan drunk food. Grits, rice, and popcorn are my carbs of choice, though pasta works in a pinch.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:19 PM on February 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm quite fond of the usual suspects comfort food like grilled cheese or waffles - and a good cup of tea with a good cookie or scone - but I've got a few unusual things I guess. Pepperoni toast, or "lazy pizza" - I'll toast something like sourdough bread, then spread some marinara or olive oil on it, sprinkle some basil and garlic, maybe a little cheese, and some pepperoni or prosciutto on it, then pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm up. (I toast it first to keep it from getting soggy.) It's essentially bruschetta, really, but I "invented" it way back in jr. high before I even knew bruschetta was a thing so lazy pizza it is.

I also make lazy caramel - chocolate chip crackers. I'll spread a layer of caramel chips onto saltines and microwave them at half power until they melt, let them harden a moment, then spread chocolate chips on top, then pop those in for a quick melt. Sometimes I'll sprinkle nuts on top, or a little salt.

I'm also quite fond of cheese sticks dipped in hummus, which my husband just does not like to see me do for some reason.
posted by barchan at 10:04 PM on February 3, 2018 [11 favorites]

Upon consideration, it has to be a cheese and Branston Pickle sandwich. The bread must be brown and malted; not too thin that the construction is flimsy, but not too thick that it's uncomfortable to eat. The crusts are left on, and both slices are lightly buttered; the pickle should start to escape once the sandwich is pressed with any force. The cheese itself is generously hewn from source block or wheel; variety is determined by both the mood and the season.

+ + + + +

The days continue to lengthen, though the seemingly endless and cold dampness of an English Winter pervades. I continue to pee on my good lady friend's garden to deter the badgers from causing mischief at night. While somewhat shivering during this endeavor, one wistfully thinks of Portugese beaches, warm islands in the Stockholm archipelago under a midsummer sun, and the taste of deep fried foods at midwest US county and state fairs.

Speaking of foods, this is a time personally marked by Jaffa Cakes. A post on the blue of a few days ago drew lovers and, well, not-such-great-lovers of our national cake-not-a-biscuit out of the MetaWoodwork. My month of not purchasing any cakes, biscuits, chocolate, pudding, dessert, or confectionary was about to begin, so in addition to the box mentioned last week, I bought another three boxes of this finest of delicacies. And ate seventeen cakes out of the stash. You can do the math(s) yourself on how many I have left.

One of the local church elders or volunteers was complaining about the increasing cost of essential items; even communion wafers, though they seem quite cheap to me if you purchase online. Therefore, tomorrow I'm going to take one of these boxes of Jaffa Cakes with me to church and see if our trendy vicar (on the right) is receptive to perhaps an alternative to said wafers. Said cakes are, like the wafers, also round so perhaps there is a case to be made here? And, better than the wafers (which I admit I've never tried as that's a part of services which do not hold for me, because reasons), the cakes have a tangy orange bit in the middle, perhaps making them more appealing to new congregation members. The vicar was not as receptive as I had hoped to my suggestion of replacing the "sign of peace" handshake with a fistbump during flu season. But, I'm more hopeful with this latest suggestion, due to some recent tweets.

Time to go outside and pee on the lawn again. After which I'm going to make a cheese and Branston Pickle sandwich.
posted by Wordshore at 10:20 PM on February 3, 2018 [23 favorites]

Fresh mozzarella balls with fancy salt.

Also the paneer tikka masala frozen dinner from Trader Joe's.

And the embarrassing ones: hot dogs; ramen with a hefty spoonful of sour cream added; and beans on toast...
posted by elsietheeel at 10:25 PM on February 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I thought of this question because I absolutely love making pesto pasta (with walnuts in the pesto!) with lots of extra, and then eating it cold the next day (when the gorgeous nutty taste comes much more to the fore). My family all thinks this is insane but it is SO DELICIOUS and, hey, more cold pasta for me!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:27 PM on February 3, 2018 [8 favorites]

Yes, bean toast with pepper jack cheese (slightly melted by the warm toast). Uses up the cold leftover beans from my other favorite comfort food, homemade bean burritos.
posted by goodsearch at 10:38 PM on February 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

How did the bartender respond?

I’m pretty sure he didn’t hear me. 😐
posted by bendy at 10:48 PM on February 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Bachelor chow: Take leftover black beans and rice, mix with egg and fry it up (fried-rice style), wrap the result in a tortilla and crisp that up in your buttered pan. Cut into slices or wedges and serve with a little cheese and peri-peri or your favorite chili sauce.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:57 PM on February 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Saute about a half-kilo of minced beef (not too lean) in a pan until brown, seasoning with plenty of salt and black pepper. Add in one large onion, diced, and as many crushed cloves of garlic as seem reasonable (3,4??). Fry until the onion is translucent in the beef fat, and add in one 400 gram can of crushed tomatoes, two of the tomato cans worth of hot water, a beef stock cube, a 400 gram tin of (drained) kidney beans, and plenty of cumin and ground coriander, chipotles if you have them in some form, and some regular chilli.

If your kids hate eating vegetables, add in a couple of grated carrots at this point, and perhaps a grated zucchini or two. Simmer on low for about an hour, stirring every so often, and let this reduce until thick.

Cook a 500 gram bag of pasta (elbows, macaroni, shells or spirals) until not quite al dente. Drain, and add to the sauce. Also add a big handful of fresh chopped coriander (suck it, haters!). Taste for seasoning and add anything that's missing. Let sit on very low until the pasta soaks up most of the extra "juice" and serve.

Sprinkle with plenty of grated cheese, sour cream, and sweet chilli sauce.

Devour. Be comforted.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:08 PM on February 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

Mediocre sandwiches. You know, the prepackaged kind you can buy from gas stations or convenience stores. Also, peanut butter banana sandwiches, with apple cranberry butter if I have it. None of that fancy peanut butter either, just good old Skippy or Jiff, on whatever bread's available, with a preferably only barely not green banana. Oh, and Lunchables! The turkey cheddar kind.

Yeah, all my more "unusual" comfort foods are basically just elementary school classics. Otherwise my comfort food is your standard cheesy pasta, potato-based dishes, mom's cooking, etc.
posted by yasaman at 11:12 PM on February 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also the paneer tikka masala frozen dinner from Trader Joe's.

For a span of several months I ate this every night at home. So! Good!
posted by bendy at 11:36 PM on February 3, 2018

Back when I was on a super-restrictive diet and sensitive to many things, there was one treat and one only that did not seem to upset my stomach: MARSHMALLOWS. I'm not even much of a sweets person but I nearly wept over my damned marshmallows because I was so tired of not being able to eat anything else that was remotely fun.

I've eased back on the marshmallows now that my list of "allowed foods" isn't quite so pitiful, but I still feel a certain fondness towards them. They are like sweet little pillows of comfort.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:12 AM on February 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

I don't know how unusual it is, but I keep a variety of bullions, soup starters, dried veggies and herbs, and sauces on hand so I can just heat up the electric kettle and have a little soup without having to do any real prep on a lazy winter morning. Instant noodles and other things can be included depending on mood.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:14 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Or y'know throw some shredded cheese between a couple flour tortillas in the microwave for the laziest quesadillas ever.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:16 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's 3:18 am, and I just woke up after I fell asleep on the couch in the basement watching TV. I am reading this and just became really, really sad that the fluffy, buttery and creamy mashed potatoes I made for my dinner (nothing else - just mashed potatoes) are aaaaallllllllll the way upstairs.
posted by peagood at 12:18 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I bought a toaster oven. Given 18 minutes it will bake almost anything. So one thing this winter has been the small, organic baking potato, sliced into wedges longwise not more than 3/8 inch at the wide outer edge. I salt them with a little Spike, roll the whole thing in a teaspoon of olive oil, with a clove of chopped garlic, arrange it flat on foil in the little baking tray that came with the oven. 18 minutes later it is baked and served with mayo. It can be Dubliner melted cheese style. I shop for a 5 pound bag of smaller potatoes, I can have this for a light dinner a dozen times in a month.

I also got into cooking some pasta, sauteeing finely sliced leeks with garlic, basil, dill, and raw pumpkin seeds. I add some chardonnay toward the end of the sautee, let it reduce. I might add cheese to make sauce with a little cornstarch and seasoned salt. This dish is just fine as a vegan dish without the cheese.
posted by Oyéah at 12:21 AM on February 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Not mine, my mom's, as I discovered late one night as a teen... Peanut butter and raw onion sandwich.
posted by chapps at 12:42 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sushi. Sushi is my comfort food.
posted by carmicha at 12:48 AM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Mine is the one I'm trying out on my husband tonight, results to be announced, actually quite similar to ninazer0's; sort-of chili made from chicken, white beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chicken broth, corn grits, and assorted spices, served over couscous (except today I might try it out in soft tortillas instead) with a dollop of sour cream. Super filling and cozy. We can use it; while nothing compared to the real winter latitudes, the windchill today is fierce.
posted by huimangm at 12:58 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I found this question really hard, as I love so many, many different foods! (like tonight, I made six -hour slow roasted bbq short ribs, yum!).

I guess, something that hits nostalgia, convenience, indulgence would be an old favourite of mine - left over take-away indian curry on toast for breakfast or lunch. Could be butter chicken, or a rogan josh, or even a vindaloo. Yummmm.

I have a really big week at work coming up, I'm a little nervous about it. I've been a bit crook the last week, aong with most of the family, but I'm finally starting to feel better - I hope it keeps up!
posted by smoke at 1:02 AM on February 4, 2018

I went back and reread the comments... I am the third person to mention chocolate. That is... confusing. I just had a few pieces of white baker's chocolate, so I am immune to your seductions.

I will also mention grilled cheese. Toast a couple of slices of bread, add two slices of cheddar or American and some dill pickle slices, zap in the microwave at half power for 22 seconds. Golden gooey goodness.
Basic canned soups for winter, chicken noodle or beef and vegetable.
Mae's chili. Brown some hamburger or ground venison with sliced onions and chili powder. Add tomato sauce or paste and some water, or some tomato soup. Add ranch-style beans. Let it simmer for a while. Make extra for the next day. Mae used an iron pot, but I use my stainless steel skillet. We just finished off a big batch this week.
Fried eggs in an iron skillet, with crispy edges.
And back to chocolate... hot cocoa after working outside in winter.
posted by TrishaU at 1:06 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Macaroni and cheese. I buy the clubhouse cheese sauce packets and add a bit of mustard, some fresh ground pepper, a tablespoon of yeast flakes and half a cup of whatever sharp cheese is in my fridge. This week it was smoked gruyere.

In other news: The cat has had a weird rash on his face for a few weeks. It doesn't seem to bother him but this past Monday I noticed that it had spread to the front under his nose and the other side of his upper lip.

Some of you may recall that he came with me to the cottage over Christmas for a few days. I think he enjoyed it (as much as anycat can who is dumped into a new situation without warning) but the car ride was a bit too long and now, where he used to very cheerfully let himself be bribed into the carrier he now refuses to go anywhere near it. I have ruined it for him, no more road trips thank you. I tried explaining to him that this isn't very realistic; sometimes we do need to go outside, etc. So now even with half a dose of a vet-prescribed sedative I still need to tip the carrier on its end and lift him in tail-first facing away from the door so he can't hook himself on anything in protest.

Also he dislikes the vet with the fire of a thousand suns, and even when mildly sedated still requires a second vet tech to hold him while wearing the wild critter gloves.

All that to say getting him to the vet is now an ordeal. It was worth it, though, as the verdict is an allergic reaction to something not food related (which is not something I had considered).

Sooo now I have to figure out what he stuck his little snout into.
posted by janepanic at 1:33 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

My partner is going hiking with his band next week and I've booked a couple of vacation days just to luxuriate in the house on my own (he works from home most of the time so I don't get a lot of time at home to myself), get some work done on my personal projects, and, most importantly, eat whatever the heck I want. Mostly stuff that he either doesn't like or wouldn't consider food.

My food plans so far are: camembomelette (yeah you know what I'm talking about), ideally served with tomato salad & fresh sourdough but realistically likely to be paired with vegetarian sausage and some barbecue sauce; a big pile of pre-seasoned couscous with a bunch of dips & bread and probably some cheese, maybe halloumi if I can be bothered to fry it up; fried rice with cheese melted on top; ramen with cheese melted on top; takeout from the extremely good Indian place in our village (I mean, I can order this when he's around, there's just something deeply soothing about knowing I don't have to share any of the paneer); something with a lot of mushrooms and cream involved.

As you might be able to guess from the list above, my default comfort food is a big pile of carbs from another culture + way more melted cheese than is appropriate. Works with ramen, other Asian leftovers, couscous, fried rice, anything. I have melted cheese on top of leftover curry in the past and I would almost certainly do it again.

I once made "noodle pizza", a garlic & herb flatbread with a big pile of tofu ramen (stir-fried rather than soupy) on top, the whole thing covered in melted cheese. It was way too much food and I don't think I could eat even half of it these days, but man it was good.
posted by terretu at 2:06 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

(also my theme song for next week's plans is totally this one)
posted by terretu at 2:51 AM on February 4, 2018

Sausage and mash, which is unusual for France! I have to go to a butcher for anything resembling sausages in England.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:59 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Bread. I'm a pretty good baker and know a lot about bread. My personal favorite is a marbled sourdough and onion pumpernickel I make. That, toasted, after about an hour out of the oven, with a little schmear of Parma butter and some thinly sliced lox, is my own personal slice of heaven. But everyone else in the family also has their own favorites that I whip up when the occasion calls for it and comfort is needed. My wife likes this olive bread I do, with a variety of chunky chopped Mediterranean olives, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, and parmesan, not on top but blended in a big crusty rustic loaf. My son prefers my fresh fried churros with a chocolate dip, and my daughter likes my simple glazed doughnuts. Oprah wouldn't last a minute in this house.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:48 AM on February 4, 2018 [11 favorites]

Glass Nickel Pizza in Madison, WI makes a chicken parm pizza that is the perfect comfort food, and it is one of the things I miss most about living in Madison.

It's been fun watching Philadelphia go more and more Eagles crazy these last couple of weeks. One of the nursing homes I go to regularly has put an Eagles jersey on a life-size cardboard cutout of the Pope. The day after I took that photo, I noticed someone had taped a paper football to his hand. Our anniversary is today, but we celebrated yesterday because we didn't want to venture downtown today. It's going to be a madhouse regardless of the outcome of the game.
posted by coppermoss at 3:50 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Dunno that it's unusual but Indomie mi goreng. Salty sweet carby goodness topped with fried onions, ready in 3 minutes. What more could you want?
posted by pianissimo at 4:03 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don’t know how unusual it is, but my go-to comfort food is homemade soup. I love the process of preparing it—all the chopping and dicing is very mindless and relaxing for me—and I enjoy spending time doing something productive that results in something healthy and delicious. Plus, most soups are very forgiving and you don’t need to get caught up in a lot of exact measurements or even ingredients. I’m actually planning on making minestrone this afternoon—the weather is supposed to be cold and gray and snowy, and that makes it a perfect day for homemade soup.
A kitchen filled with wonderful smells, a book, a cozy blanket, and my cat on my lap—that’s what my afternoon is going to look like, and if that’s not a recipe for comfort, I don’t know what is.
posted by bookmammal at 4:10 AM on February 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

Pork broth ramen. It's hard to find a great bowl of pork broth ramen because the restaurant must commit itself to boiling massive pots of pork bone and parts continuously, until the broth is so rich from the marrow that you could spread it on toast. I don't have anything like that locally but fortunately there is a restaurant or two that can do good-enough versions, and they're also nice on cold days.

Ramen at home means Korean instant ramen, sometimes with a slice of cheese on top, sometimes with a dropped egg (so it ends up poached and runny when done), sometimes with rice cakes, chopped green onion, and/or slices of meat added. Korean ramen varieties tend to have meat or fish broth bases, so they taste more like food than the Maruchan stuff that Americans usually associate with ramen. Korea even produces a couple different brands of cheese ramen so if you're obsessed, you can have ramen in cheese broth with cheese on top.

Basically offer anything involving carbs and melted cheese and you'll have my attention. Soup on cold days is also good though. Korean instant ramen means you can get all of the above.
posted by ardgedee at 4:38 AM on February 4, 2018

I (oddly) have no real food related nostalgia. I have been living outside of the US for about fifteen years now, and don't really desire anything. It is weird because among people I know they are always going on and on about food and homesickness. I think I am the weird one.

Not exactly an answer, but the only food that I can eat every day and not get sick of is hot dogs. Other foods come and go, but there has never been a time in my life where I thought, "You know what? I don't want a hot dog right now."

More close to answering the question, I feel so satisfied eating kongbiji jjigae (a Korean stew made with what is left of the soybean after making tofu) the way my wife makes it. A close second would be my mother-in-law's dakbokkeumtang.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:38 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Runny fried or poached eggs mixed into rice with spaghetti sauce, hot sauce and grated Kraft Parmesan cheese. A waitress friend of mine from graduate school made me this combination one late night for no other reason then she was kind. I think about her every time I make this dish.

Farfalle drowned butter, garlic salt (not powder!) and grated parmesan cheese.

Canned tuna mixed with Italian dressing (Costco occasionally sells an Organic White Balsamic Citrus Basil Dressing that is fantastic for this) and garlic salt over tortilla chips.

I'm afraid that none of these dishes are terribly unusual.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:52 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

8-finger cavatelli with vodka sauce. Or, mushroom stroganoff w egg noodles. Basically creamy sauce + pasta
posted by Fig at 5:14 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Extra sharp cheddar cheese (cold, not melted) with slices of raw jalapeño. Best if the pepper is almost but not quite intolerably spicy. This snack has a theme song:
the cheese snack, I understand
is the finest snack in all the land
(To the tune of the Boar's Head Carol)
posted by moonmilk at 5:30 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm dieting right now, so the only comfort food I get is reading food posts like this one.
posted by JanetLand at 5:32 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

My go-to comfort food is pasta, so I'm looking forward to not watching the Super Bowl tonight and making linguine with clam sauce. Friday night we were out for dinner, and I ordered a super-comforting bowl of bourride—a fish stew that came with chunks of fish—cod, maybe?—plus oysters and clams, topped with a thick slice of grilled bread, which itself was topped with a poached egg.
posted by emelenjr at 5:46 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Rice with egg and soy sauce and, if we're real lucky, avocado. Sometimes it's steamed rice and a fried egg, sometimes it's rice porridge with a poached egg, and sometimes--like in about thirty minutes--it's yesterday's rice put into a skillet with ghee over a very low flame, and left there until it's gone brown and crispy. Two eggs will be fried to runny, lacy-edged perfection, and we'll each have half an avocado drizzled with soy sauce. It will be a very good meal indeed.

Also, bagels--salt, plain, or an everything without caraway, thank you--spread thick with cream cheese and topped with that terrible air-dried salt beef that you buy in jars, or, if I'm very fancy, chopped corned beef.

And McDonald's. Of course. I don't think there's been a day in my life when I wouldn't shove over a toddler to get a diet coke, double cheeseburger, and the hottest, saltiest fries that money can buy.

Possibly the takeaway here is that I really like salt.
posted by mishafletch at 5:52 AM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

I had an anthropology professor who asked our class this same question. She then revealed that most people’s comfort foods had at least some of the following characteristics:


So mashed potatoes are, according to her, the über-comfort food. Reading over this thread, the recurring “piles o’ carbs” and the melted cheese seem to support the theory.

I think in class I said cookies, but I wouldn’t say no to some mac and cheese.
posted by Liesl at 6:10 AM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

I make two pieces of toast and top with spaghetti sauce (homemade; buying jarred sauce would be a slight to my family) and cheese.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup from the can, made with milk, is also very comforting.
posted by sockermom at 6:17 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

My family all thinks this is insane but it is SO DELICIOUS and, hey, more cold pasta for me!

Take comfort in knowing that your family is Wrong. Cold pesto pasta is a Thing, so much so that a recipe for said is in at least three of my go-to cookbooks, and probably more if I bothered to look (I currently have about 10 linear feet of cookbooks in my kitchen and family room, more in the basement). My favorite way to serve it is with sautéed spinach (with garlic), cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and grilled chicken. We eat that probably once a week in the summer. In the winter, I generally skip the tomatoes and the mozzarella but add lots of grated parm.

Comfort food for me: carby, warm, stews, chili. So mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, bread, cheesy potatoes, beef stews, chili. I finally perfected soft boiled eggs, so eggs & toast soldiers have become a go-to quick comfort dinner, too.
posted by cooker girl at 6:42 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fresh garlic
posted by aniola at 6:49 AM on February 4, 2018

Buttery noodles, or noodles with obscene amounts of grated Parmesan, but not noodles with both butter and Parm, that's just wrong.

For something more approximating a meal, spaghetti sauce + ricotta cheese simmered into a nice pink sauce and used to smother whatever curly or tubular pasta is on hand.
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:51 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Biscuits. Homemade biscuits. Not any biscuits you can get anywhere else.

The biscuits must be made just like my grandmother did them. I am the only person in the family who took the time to learn from her and practice till I got it right.

But here's the thing: you have to use the right ingredients and that's not so easy to come by (good lard is the most difficult ting to find - I end up substituting a dab of bacon grease for some portion of it).

And you have to use whole buttermilk and a southern biscuit flour (I use golden eagle because that's what she used.)

But I don't have her biscuit bowl; I have no idea what happened to it when my uncle cleared out her place. So, I make do. It doesn't work as well to use a deep bowl because you cannot move flour to or from the side while you mix in the middle.

There is no recipe: it's done by feel and practice. They are formed by hand and placed on the cooking sheet, then topped with a bit of buttermilk to create a perfect brown top while the insides are the most moist fluffy goodness you can have.

Eaten warm is the way to perfection. Any leftover ones are great under ice cream.

I don't have anyone else to cook these for and I cannot afford the calories of a whole batch, so my skills are rusty. But I miss these biscuits.

I miss the goodness of my grandmother's baking and the easy time of being the child who had the whole day ahead after being fueled by a breakfast of country ham biscuits.
posted by mightshould at 6:57 AM on February 4, 2018 [20 favorites]

I was thinking about this and one aspect of comfort food for me is that it has to be exactly what I have in mind. If it's close enough, but not quite it, then it will just make me sad, which disqualifies it from being comfort food. So it's like the concept of the uncanny valley, applied to food.

For example, fried rice is comfort food for me. But if I can't detect wok hei, it will make me feel worse than if I hadn't had any when I'd been craving fried rice as comfort food.

Another comfort food is Korean rice cake soup with kimchi mandu. But it has to be beef broth, and I have to be able to taste the sour kimchi in the mandu filling. It's something I rarely order in restaurants, because I have so often been disappointed (the exception is a small neighborhood restaurant in Seoul that caters to people craving home cooking of the Seoul area). My brother has told me the version I make tastes exactly like our mother's, which is derived from our father's recollection of his mother's manduguk.

I go back and forth on Japanese curry with rice as a comfort food.

Japanese shokupan in any form, though. Just plain, or thick slices lightly toasted and drenched in butter.

And roasted Japanese sweet potatoes. Preferably bought from a street vendor while waiting for the bus to arrive on a cold winter day.
posted by needled at 7:07 AM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Pimento cheese sandwiches.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:29 AM on February 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

Kraft mac n' cheese with a can of light tuna.
Shaved beef & onions sauteed in teriyaki sauce, served with Steamfresh cut green beans.
posted by pjern at 7:34 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love to cook-obsess over cookbooks and food blogs, wander aisles of gourmet grocery stores when I have an hour to myself, the whole thing. But for comfort, my two favorites still are:
-melt butter. Too much. Toss with a bowl of plain Cheerios and sprinkle with seasoned salt. I convince myself this is somewhat healthy because oats? I don’t even know.
-line baking sheet with saltines. Sprinkle a little chopped raw yellow onion on each. Too with sprinkled extra sharp cheddar and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly BUT NOT TOO CRISP.

Both of these are best eaten alone. If kids are home, try not to share.
posted by purenitrous at 7:37 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

There are two comfort foods from my childhood that I continue to make on occasion. Both come from families in the US who were terribly excited about the convenience food revolution. I'm delighted to read this thread after having walked two miles in the snow last night to fetch imitation crab for the first time in five years so that I could make one of these.

The first is pre-packaged "Spanish Rice" mix (Zatarain's, traditionally), served in a bowl and topped with imitation crab chunks sauteed in butter. I've tried to make a fancy hipster version several times, with real crab and home-made rice. They've all been okay, but they just aren't the same.

The second is something my family called "great grandma's dish." Basically, instant ramen casserole. It's named after an elderly relative who ate it for around half her meals throughout her 90s. Only now do I realize she must have been in her 70s when instant ramen made it to her local shop in small-town California, which is interesting to consider.

Take a brick of packaged ramen, add 3/5 as much water as indicated, and cook it just a little longer than usual. Add peas and a slice of torn-up lunch meat to the mix while cooking. Once it's in the bowl, mix in chunks of cheese and let it melt for a few minutes before stirring. Perhaps it's just the MSG, but it's better than any "real" casserole I've eaten. These days I've replaced nearly every ingredient with fancy alternatives: spicy imported ramen instead of beef flavor Maruchan, fresh or frozen peas instead of the pale canned ones, crumbly cheddar instead of plastic wrapped sliced American, and thick cuts of peppered turkey or rehydrated chipped buffalo instead of Buddig brand paper-thin meat slices. My version probably costs at least eight times as much as hers. But, it's a lot tastier to my current palate and still satisfies the comfort food craving perfectly. I'm not sure I could serve it to guests with a straight face, but my spouse eats it on occasion and claims to like it.
posted by eotvos at 7:39 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

And forgot to add-the Christmas kittens continue to be delightful. They are maybe 4 months old now, and look a little lanky and adolescent. They spend most of the day in pure wild eyed insanity-plotting against each other, eating our feet, climbing furniture and legs-and then they collapse and suddenly sleep hard. Our elderly cat is adjusting to them-but still sets very firm boundaries when they ooze in towards her, eyes slit mostly shut, and try to nurse. I highly recommend, if you plan to get kittens, getting two.
posted by purenitrous at 7:39 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

New Jersey breakfast sandwiches. I haven't had one in years and am totally craving one now.
posted by octothorpe at 8:01 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Fried rice made with leftovers and lots of eggs and sesame oil.

Homemade chicken broth with udon noodles and chives.

Homemade pizza.

The ultimate comfort food in my house is Grießbrei - semolina porridge cooked with milk and butter - with cinnamon sugar and applesauce.

Dampfnudeln is a very comforting dish: fluffy steamed pillows of yeast dough reminiscent of small boobs (the original, and ultimate, provider of comfort?), but usually when comfort is needed there’s not enough time to make them.
posted by The Toad at 8:19 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Two comfort foods that fill me with shame and yet remain in my diet are:

- Totinos pizzas. They can't even really be called pizza, are usually a little over a dollar, and when I am feeling particularly shitty they... make me feel worse physically, but mentally I feel much better after consuming them.

- "Comfort Rice." This was created after a failed attempt at omurice. Cook rice (I use short grain). In the meantime, saute cubed potatoes, onions, and sausage of some sort. Usually I end up adding a cup of water and some bouillon and oyster sauce. Cook it down until the potatoes are done then add frozen peas. Once the rice is ready, mix everything together and add more oyster sauce or soy sauce glaze to taste. Bonus points for letting the rice get a bit crispy on the bottom. Then get a bowl, fill it up halfway, add some cheese (those little Babybel cheeses are perfect for this) and finish filling. Let rest so the cheese melts. Optional: throw a plate on top, let it sit for a while, then upend it for a dome of sticky carbs. It is shameful and gross-sounding and yet full of comforting umami and cheese.
posted by daikaisho at 8:22 AM on February 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Most of mine stem from foraging in cupboards as a kid, so they're not 'unusual' in terms of ingredients, but in terms of their... incompleteness? So looking over the tender Proustian musings in rest of this thread, it's rather embarrassing to chime in with mine now, but I'll embrace my inner trash panda and share my treasures:

- A toasted hot dog bun, where 'toasted' = 'just-this-side-of-carbonised,' slathered in ketchup. The ketchup should be Heinz, and there should be enough of it to ooze coldly from the bun edges as one bites, but the bun should be charred hard enough for the top of the bun to shatter slightly when bitten into, and for the cut surface to remain entirely crunchy during consumption despite the frankly unsettling amount of ketchup involved here.

- Saltine crackers slathered in margarine. Butter won't work. Has to be margarine. Eat the whole sleeve, one at a time, each cracker slathered in its turn.

- Take some shredded cheese. Put it in a bowl. Microwave it. If you have leftover jarred spaghetti sauce in the fridge, pour some on. If you have salsa, pour that on instead. Eat. No carbs to slow you down.

- Did you know that you can make Rice Krispy Treats in the microwave? You can! You can put margarine and marshmallows into a bowl, microwave, stir it around, and add in some Rice Krispies. And if you're civilised, you can then form it into a square and wait for it to cool and cut it into smaller squares, and then you have Rice Krispy Treats. But you're not civilised, you're me, so you skip the actual treat-forming steps and simply eat the molten mass as it is, direct from bowl, with a fork, burning your tongue at first, and then licking the weblike strands of marshmallow goo from the tines as they cool and harden in the air. And it is good.
posted by halation at 8:35 AM on February 4, 2018 [11 favorites]

Okay, don't judge.

Toast an English muffin and put on some cream cheese. Take a slice of American cheese and put it over top. Stick in the microwave for 19 seconds.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:26 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

What is wrong with all you people? Ctrl-F 'Ice Cream' 1/1? and that person liked the biscuits?

Ice Cream. I don't even care if it is good. Ice Cream. * I C E * C R E A M *.

I like a lot of it. I'll eat crappy ice cream. I'll eat excellent ice cream. I won't mix the two, but I can swap from one right on to the next one without sacrificing the experience. Try that with a beer. Find a special handcrafted artisan beer made from hops stored in the under arms of left handed giraffes (to give it that special nutty flavor) and then swap to a busch light and even both a hipster and a busch light fan will squawk about one end of that ordeal... A bottle of AN/2 and then $3 buck chuck? every wine snob will cry.

But ice cream? Everybody would rather have a hoodsie cup than no hoodsie cup.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:36 AM on February 4, 2018 [8 favorites]

I am a huge believer of doctoring cheap food.

1. Any sort of the instant Mac and cheese you make in the microwave - my house likes the Annie's brand. Make the pasta as the directions say. Then immediately add in some butter. Get the noodles slick. Toss in the cheese powder and instead of water or nothing, add in some milk. Then add a handful of shredded Mexican blend cheese. So much better.

2. Grab a packet of the Uncle Ben's microwave rice in the rice and red bean mix. While it's cooking for that 90 seconds, heat up a can of Hormel turkey chili and a can of the Hunts diced tomatos with celery and onions. Splash in some lemon juice and hot sauce. Dump in the rice and beans and mix it. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Also so delicious.

3. Get a package of ramen plain or chicken flavored ramen. When the water boils, add in frozen broccoli or whatever veggies you want. Give it a minute and add in the ramen noodles. Toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken. After three minutes drain half the liquid. Add in two spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter, a splash of soy sauce, and hot sauce to taste. Mix it up and pour into a bowl. Good stuff.

All of these are incredibly quick to make.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:39 AM on February 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

I made chicken parmigiana last night. It was the size and shape of home plate. So, in other words, just right.
posted by Splunge at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I sometimes make "farmer's cheese" (scalded milk + acid, aka queso fresco, cottage cheese, a bunch of other names) because it makes a nice filler cheese for quiche-style preparation when I'm doing the week's breakfasts, and it also makes a nice cheese spread and/or homemade pimiento cheese, but I stumbled across a Brazilian recipe that has you mix in a tablespoon of melted butter before forming it and putting it in the fridge. I had browned a stick of butter because I needed some for something else, and used that, and today that brown butter flavor has sort of exploded in the cheese and I kinda don't even want to move on to making any sort of cheese ball/spread out of it now. I just want to hide somewhere and read a book and eat spoonfuls of this cheese until I pass out from cheese toxicity.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:30 AM on February 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

I love pad kee mao—unfortunately, my diy attempts have always fallen considerably shy of restaurant versions and it's 30+ miles to the nearest Thai place. At my favorite neighborhood restaurant in Chicago, I always ordered it "Thai hot", i.e., hot by Thai standards, rather than by wimpier American standards.

Now I'm really craving Thai, so I will be making green curry shortly.
posted by she's not there at 10:31 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

The cheap gyudon from Matsuya, raw egg over the top and pickled ginger. I'm embarrassed to go there when there are so many "good" restaurants around, but it fixes any I'm starving and don't know what I want situation, blood sugar crash irritability, or just plain shitty mood. I can make it myself at home, and it TASTES better, but for some reason it isn't the same.

Indian food works too, but sit-down restaurants take too long.
posted by ctmf at 10:31 AM on February 4, 2018

After Matsuya I can turn my cell phone on again and not snap regrettable things at people who call me with problems.
posted by ctmf at 10:35 AM on February 4, 2018

Miso broth. I don't make it properly -- so no dashi, no measuring: just a spoonful of miso paste dissolved into a mug with water just this side of boiling.

Also, pureed root vegetable soups -- potato and leek, carrot and lemongrass, curried sweet potato and red lentil. It doesn't matter what kind, so long as my stick blender was involved, a bowl will be soothing.

In other culinary news: i scored some Seville oranges! Guess who's making marmalade (for the first time) this afternoon! I'm prepared for utter disaster -- but maybe it'll be great!
posted by platitudipus at 10:35 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

For the entire winter of 2017 we only ate comfort food/kid food; tuna melts, mac and cheese with veggie hot dog bits mixed in, homemade fries and veggie chicken nuggets, etc.

But the very best favorite comfort food, and the only one that *pretends* to be even remotely healthy, is DIY (vegetarian) Bibimbap. Rice with sesame oil, soy sauce, and sriracha mixed in, topped with pickled lotus, dried pickled radish, and lots of kimchi. Add two crispy fried eggs with still-runny yolks, mashing a bit so the yolk gets distributed. Eat while it’s scalding hot, alternating with fistfuls of seaweed. Heaven.
posted by stellaluna at 11:00 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

My favourite comfort food is from childhood and I rarely get it these days, Rahmherz mit Nockerl. This is pigs heart in a lot of lovely gravy that uses not much flour but much sour cream, served with tiny homemade noodles similar to spaetzle. The meat is super tender. I rarely cook or eat it anymore because it is difficult to buy quality pig hearts thse days.
posted by 15L06 at 11:19 AM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I had the flu or something in November and after canned soup, tea, ginger ale, and a few soft-boiled eggs for the better part of a week, kid55 brought over KFC, and the crappy mashed potatoes with the salty gravy were the best thing ever. White rice & gravy. Stuffing and homemade turkey gravy. Good chicken broth, reduced to glacee, with noodles, fake butter* and poppy seeds. Spaetzle would be better. Homemade chicken soup. Banquet chicken or turkey pot pies. Baked sweet potato & fake butter. Roasted veg - ideally brussels sprouts with pancetta, but squash, cauliflower, onion, cabbage, sweet and/or white potatoes, etc., in any combination, and with bacon. KFC is my preferred fast comfort food - greasy chicken with the secret herbs, the mashed potatoes and cole slaw. The biscuit is crap, though.

I have to go out and deal with the snow from this morning and the last couple days, just a few inches, but it was cold so I did the absolute minimum yesterday. And bring in wood. And Ive been wanting to make Naan and t is supposed to rain in a bit, so todays a good day to make it on the wood stove and half-watch the Puppy Bowl, Super Bowl, or Hulu. I love this inspiring thread, making me hungry, making me laugh.

*Not eating dairy sucks almost as much as the results of eating dairy.
posted by theora55 at 11:29 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I make these potatoes with onions, basically home fries but not crispy. They come out soft and creamy with about 1000x more flavor than the amount of effort you put in. I'm pretty sure I got the recipe from some Irish cookbook, but the original is lost to time. And since I wasn't a very good cook when I started making them, it's quite possible I've bastardized it beyond recognition. I was also living by myself when I started making these, so there was nobody around to argue that you can't just have a heaping plate of potatoes and call it dinner. It's still high on my list of dinner options when the husband is away and I'm left to my own devices.

(The recipe: Throw some chopped onions in your hot, oiled cast iron, cook for a couple minutes. Push them off to the sides and throw in chopped russets, salt LIBERALLY, add herbs, then cover and cook on medium-low. Stir now and then, scraping up the stuck bits. 25 minutes, done.)
posted by gueneverey at 11:44 AM on February 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

I go after Kraft white cheddar mac and cheese with sliced hot dog in a big way

A baked potato with lots of butter and salt and whatnot is a nice comfort food in theory, but I have to wait like an hour before I get to eat it, so no

Homemade Rice Chex muddy buddies (aka puppy chow) with like double the recommended amount of peanut butter because otherwise honestly what's the point

You can usually tell the difference between bored me and depressed me, because depressed me will eat plain oyster crackers by the handful.

Basically, a lot of simple carbs. My non-comfort menu is much more diverse and flavorful, but apparently my comfort menu is whitebread city.
posted by duffell at 11:51 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

One serving of Greek yogurt into which I’ve vigorously stirred 1 teaspoon high quality cocoa.

When I was young and could eat bread, I sautéed basil and oregano in lots of butter, then placed thin slices of toasted white bread in the pan to absorb all the goodness. Mmmmm, butter.
posted by Jesse the K at 11:56 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

A baked potato with lots of butter and salt and whatnot is a nice comfort food in theory, but I have to wait like an hour before I get to eat it, so no

It won't be super crisp, but use a fork to pop some holes in your potatoe, rinse off the skin, and put it in the microwave for 5 minutes.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:56 AM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is semi-junkfood-related: just kicked open a Superbowl thread if anyone's wanting that during the last stages of party prep or whatever this afternoon.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:01 PM on February 4, 2018

Seconding 80 Cats in a Dog Suit. Really, nuke those spuds. Lotsa butter, salt and herbs, maybe some cheese. Go crazy and add some Wolf Brand chili.
Reading this thread before getting lunch is... problematical. So many recipes, so little time.
posted by TrishaU at 12:03 PM on February 4, 2018

Cheddar cheese with peanut butter. You're welcome.
posted by gatorae at 12:29 PM on February 4, 2018

Comfort food? All of it. All the foods.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:52 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Back when I was in college, I would have answered "slice of bread with peanut butter, Nutella, and Fluff on it." Nowadays that would be way too sweet for me, but I used to eat a lot that.

I think cheese would be my current comfort food. Either something semi-soft and mild like a nice gouda, or else runny and pungent. Really depends on what's in the fridge at the moment. At restaurants, my kryptonite would be a Reuben. It's very difficult to order anything else if that's offered.

We got a rather large beef tendon in our meat CSA this month, so I made a soup out of it. Never cooked tendon before, but it's got a nice chew without being unbearable and all the collagen goodness is really nice. In a couple weeks, I will be preparing a choucroute garni for a dinner party which started with 10.5 lbs of cabbage slowly turning into sauerkraut on our kitchen counter. For the "garnishes," I'll be making three different kinds of sausage, ham hocks, pork chops, and probably some smoked belly. I think that would probably be my comfort food if it didn't take the better part of a month to prepare.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:35 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love this cauliflower in cheddar cheese mango chutney sauce (but I have never ever served it with rice). I also like frito pie when it's cold. And shepherd's pie when it's cold. And sloppy joes with tator tots (all of which we make vegetarian versions of).

Last week, we both had the flu/flulike virus that's marauding through Chicago right now. I made a lot of hot whiskey (which for me is hot water with lemon juice and honey, topped with whiskey) but normally, I'd be spiking Mexican hot chocolate when it's snowy outside.

This morning we made Doritos migas, a yummy junk food brunch.
posted by crush at 1:45 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have two options and both are wet, soggy and warm. And carby, I suppose. There's nothing wrong with that, okay? Carbs are food.
In no particular order:

The first is instant ramen, preferrably a nice hot&spicy variety. If I'm eating ramen as food, which I sometimes do, I will add fresh greens, mushrooms and an egg or some shrimp. But if I'm having it as a comfort food, I don't bother with any of that. Just a bowl of steaming hot noodles in spicy sodium-rich broth. Nissin? Don't mind if I do. Acecook? Lovely. Ma-ma? Oh yes please.

The second one is porridge cooked from steel-cut oats. My dad used to make porridge sometimes, when we were little; it was served with brown sugar or dark syrup (stroop), and a splash of milk. The porridge was nice and thick. My dad was a handsome, slim young lad, he and my mother were still together, it was 1971, I was all of three years old and the world was a fine place to be.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:19 PM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Meal-sized: noodles and cottage cheese (boil noodles, add butter and milk, add cottage cheese, eat). Snack-sized: very chocolatey brownies (I just baked a batch of these).
posted by thomas j wise at 3:59 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've got a pork butt in the pressure cooker right now with sliced mango, diced onion, and about a pint of Corona. When it's done, we'll shred it and mix it all up. The carb-eatin' people in my house will plop it onto brioche rolls with barbecue sauce, but I'll just eat a little pile of it as is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:21 PM on February 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

My comfort rice is even chintzier than any of yours, brown rice, add a bunch of shredded cheddar and stir it up, and top with soy sauce. SO DELICIOUS but also maybe wants me dead?

My most-missed comfort food is a chili recipe from the canned food era, and basically requires ground beef, canned kidney beans, campbell's tomato soup, and campbell's chili beef soup, which later was fiesta chili beef soup, and now neither is in production and I CAN'T MAKE MY COMFORT CHILI!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:27 PM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Red Rose Tea. It’s not good tea— it is literally made of the pieces they swept up after they made the good tea— but the box comes with a prize and it’s what we drank for my entire childhood. Constant Comment instead sometimes when we were flush.

Welsh Cakes which are a kind of griddle scone with currants. I use the Frugal Gourmet recipe which I can type up if anyone wants it.

Scrambled egg sandwiches which my mom makes the best of anyone. I can get close but I can’t nail it. 2 eggs, half a stick of butter, a clove of garlic, a pinch of salt. The trick is to use the lowest heat possible, like if your stove had a “culture bacteria” setting that would be perfect, and gently move the eggs around so they never stick and you breaks up the curds as they form in the early stages. Then the thinnest coat of mustard possible on toasted seeded rye bread and you’re done.
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:36 PM on February 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Also, canned chili on spaghetti. If you can eat dairy, add sour cream and/or shredded cheese. If you want to pretend you're in Cincinnati, add finely chopped fresh onion.
posted by theora55 at 4:56 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

My favorite instant comfort food is one my grandma used to make for me. Take a half packet of graham crackers, crumble into a bowl, than pour in whole milk (hot or cold) and mash until it's almost runny. So easy and delicious and so comforting. Thanks, Gramma.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 5:15 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

The inside of a large challah by the fistful.
Grilled cheese
Ice cream
Egg salad sandwich. Salt, very light on the mayo. No fucking relish.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:24 PM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Mac and Cheese with bacon crumbles. SO GOOD.
posted by Roger Pittman at 6:27 PM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

My favorite instant comfort food is one my grandma used to make for me. Take a half packet of graham crackers, crumble into a bowl, than pour in whole milk (hot or cold) and mash until it's almost runny. So easy and delicious and so comforting. Thanks, Gramma.

She didn't mash them up much, but my mom made me that for breakfast for most of elementary school, and I had totally forgotten that!
posted by lazuli at 7:21 PM on February 4, 2018

Sigh... broken up saltines and... apple butter. I have no earthy idea where this came from, but it's good.
posted by TrishaU at 7:30 PM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Eyebrows McGee: pesto pasta (with walnuts in the pesto!)

No lie, I could eat my weight in pesto. My ex liked growing herbs, and we always had lots of fresh basil for homemade pesto. One of the very few things I miss about that relationship...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:38 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

shibazuke- purple pickles. Could eat a vat of them. Always make me feel better.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:39 PM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

So I finally bought some corn to pop. In a Winco bulk bin I saw multi colored corn kernels for popping. I was excited to see this phenomenon. Yeah but no matter what colo the corn, it is white when popped, just want the family to know. There might be some more yellowish popped corn types but no red, or blue. What a letdown. It was good but not the color of fruity pebbles or anything.
posted by Oyéah at 8:48 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Well, the food that made my daughter look at me the weirdest when she saw me eating it was a concoction of rolled oats, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup. It mostly just looks weird though. She spent awhile wondering what it could possibly be and then critiquing it before she asked for a bite. Then she went to make her own bowl, with more chocolate syrup and not as much peanut butter.

Li'l Epp's used to me eating my popcorn with soy sauce and nutritional yeast though, so usually no comments there. She's tried it and does not want to share any though, so it may be the more unusual food. (Both super comforting foods of my childhood, though.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:00 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

As a kid, I would have to defend my weird lunch bag sandwich of bologna and cream cheese on white bread. Imagine my surprise years later when I arrived in Rome to find a “fancy” version fairly ubiquitous - robiola and mortadella. My favorite is using pizza bianca, but rosette will do in a pinch.

I’ve just had my first decent night’s sleep since Thursday, when they took out George, my >8cm fatty, hopefully fully benign kidney tumor. He was an asshole, so he took my kidney with him.

My stomach is growling reading this thread, which is good because it means my guts have finally woken back up post-anesthesia. I am praying to whatever dieties in earshot that today I get taken off the unappetizing liquid diet. Hospital food is gross, socialized healthcare or not.
posted by romakimmy at 9:44 PM on February 4, 2018 [18 favorites]

I wanted a baked potato for dinner last night. While that was in the oven I decided macaroni and cheese would be good. So, all comfort food healthy involved.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:25 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I am glad for this thread because it made me realize I have not made tuna noodle casserole yet this winter, and I need to. The version I make has green onions instead of peas and a thick layer of crushed salt and vinegar chips browned on top.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 10:29 PM on February 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

Kippers on toast. Bonus points: cheap and easy.

I used to think that this was entirely usual, so wouldn't qualify, but I've now had so many people say "What? What's a kippers?" that I just don't know anything any more.
posted by pompomtom at 10:46 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I made chicken parmigiana last night.


You don't MAKE a parma. You get one at the pub, and it comes with chips and a pot of Carlton.
posted by pompomtom at 10:48 PM on February 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

It changed my breakfast life when I discovered that you can put the honey and the nuts on the Cheerios yourself. They are right about the flavor combo, but oh, do they oversweeten. Chop up some mixed nuts-- I like cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts are okay-not-great, peanuts just don't work-- and drizzle with a little good honey before you pour the milk.

I used to be ostracized in high school for my favorite comfort-food lunch, and I haven't had it in far too long because I live with someone allergic to a key ingredient, but a blueberry bagel topped with peanut butter and thinly sliced banana peppers is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I want one of those now. Sigh.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 1:08 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

grilled cheese sandwich with a sunny side egg on top. Yes you have to eat it with knife and fork, but the runny yolk and melted cheese soaking into the toasty buttery bread is fantastic.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:45 AM on February 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

It won't be super crisp, but use a fork to pop some holes in your potatoe, rinse off the skin, and put it in the microwave for 5 minutes.

If you want the crisp, while you're microwaving the potato throw your oven to its maximum heat and immediately throw the potato in when it's out of the microwave. Flip after 5 mins. Oven-dependent for time of course, but we get crispy skin baked potatoes in 15 mins this way. If you have a toaster oven, this can be achieved even faster.
posted by notorious medium at 3:51 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wheatina with ricotta, peanuts, some cut up fruit, and raisin bran crunch. Making some now . . .
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:18 AM on February 5, 2018

For a long time, Campbell's tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches were my comfort food. Once when I was unpacking groceries after a grocery run, and had picked up a stock of about 3 cans because they were on sale, my then-roommate walked into the room, saw the three cans sitting on the counter, and immediately came over, hugged me and asked "what's wrong?"

And a random story:

I currently have a cold. I started feeling sick early on Friday, but hung in at work until about 3 in the afternoon before going home, confident I'd be better by today. I spent all weekend sick, and am still sick today, monday. But there's stuff I have to do in my office, so I dragged myself in, telling my two co-workers that I was only going to be there part of the day.

But when I got in they weren't here either. And they haven't responded to my texts. So I basically now think that I may have been Patient Zero for something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:28 AM on February 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

Cheesy, carby baked pasta dishes.

(Boxed) mac and cheese with hot tea was my go-to as a kid, and when I was older, it was baked cheese ravioli. I always joked that my desert island meal would be baked ravioli in a tomato-mushroom sauce, with strawberries for dessert.
posted by PearlRose at 6:31 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Well I, for one, think the whole notion of "comfort food" is an abominable repugnance which will inevitably lead to the destruction of our society.

Let's face facts: in this world of endless tribulation, we cannot pause to relax for even a moment, lest we all be overwhelmed by peril. We therefore need to train ourselves, throughout each and every nanosecond of our existence, to cope with the skinks and sparrows of outrageous fortune. Only by preparing our bodies to meet every challenge will be be sure of developing the necessary strongness to avoid that which seeks to kill us.

In that context, and as CEO of quidnunc's quality qomestibles Inc., I only consume foodstuffs that will give me sufficient "non-comfort" to keep myself at full fighting-fitness at all times. Thus instead of so-called "comfort" foodstuffs, I enjoy eating (and marketing) a range of "challenge foods," including:

1. angers and bash
2. chocolate-free bomb cake
3. poison à la bordelaise
4. chop-you-own-face-off suey
5. poop

So vote #1 quidnunc kid, because he is what he eats! And he eats poop! So he's a ... a piece of ... uh ... anyone ... anyone got a napkin? :-(
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:32 AM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

I am apparently the world's worst "vegan" (whole foods plant based, actually) in that I loathe cooking and rely on convenience foods a fair amount.

Imagine brand makes a reduced-sodium tomato soup that comes in a carton, and I try to have one on hand at both work and home to make a quick mug of creamy, comforting soup whenever I want something. I've eaten it for breakfast, for a mid-afternoon snack or at 3 a.m. when I wake up feeling hungry but don't actually want to really eat. It's only 80 calories a cup and 1 gram of fat so it's practically a "free" food from a dieting standpoint.

Another comfort item is instant mashed potatoes made with almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt & pepper. I never thought I could eat mashed potatoes without butter but these are really delicious. Sometimes I make a bowl of mashed potatoes, a cup of the aforementioned tomato soup, and dip forkfuls of potatoes into the soup as I eat. So yummy.

If I'm not trying to behave myself my go-to comfort food would be an egg sandwich. Two eggs fried slightly runny, on lightly toasted wheat bread, with mayo, American cheese and tomato. I could eat this for breakfast every single day.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:29 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

pompomtom: "I made chicken parmigiana last night.


You don't MAKE a parma. You get one at the pub, and it comes with chips and a pot of Carlton.

My mother used to make big pans of veal or chicken parmigiana for family holiday dinners. Either that or lasagna. Hard to picture either as pub food.
posted by octothorpe at 7:36 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

> tuna noodle casserole

Oh my, yes, please. thanks tuba, Ill be having that soon.

Also, beans on toast.
posted by theora55 at 7:51 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

the co-workers are safe. One was just coming in from Philadelphia (and....yeah), and one was just stuck on the subway.

And I feel like crap on toast and am leaving to work from home for the rest of the day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

And I feel like crap on toast

Hope you feel better soon, EmpressCallipygos.

Although, if you really DO feel like some crap on toast, quidnunc's quality qomestibles Inc can supply all your cr ... umm, all your "shut up quidnunc" needs. Is what I was going to say.

Hope you feel better soon.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:37 AM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thanks, quidnunc - I stopped by the pharmacy on the way home to restock on the proper decongestant, which is the kind that contains pseudoephedrine because that has always been the only thing my colds respond to, and the whole reason I felt so bad is because I had run out and didn't find out until after the shops closed yesterday - but I am now home, I have dosed myself accordingly, and am eating a spicy-ish chicken chili and guzzlng down a vitamin-infused beverage and am in my comfortable clothes and feel like everything's better now.

....I mean, Walter White might track me down but until then I can breathe again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:01 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

When I was sick as a child, my mom would make "Milk Toast" for breakfast. Toasted white bread slathered in "butter", crusts cut off and then cut into little squares, placed in a bowl with hot milk and abundant sugar. This was comforting to me for a couple of reasons: carbs, fat, and sugar being the first and the fact that my mom would make something just for me with carbs, fat, and sugar because we were always battling about my weight.

Now, because I have given up carbs and sugar, my favorite comfort food (planned for dinner tonight) is roasted cauliflower with a couple of ounces of plain goat cheese crumbled on top and a couple of dashes of really good balsamic vinegar. Yum!
posted by agatha_magatha at 11:14 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Goggle moggle for the win. Will always remind me of being sick as a kid and being snuggled by my mom. My version is the egg + sugar + cocoa.
posted by anya32 at 11:17 AM on February 5, 2018

Show of hands - who got Jello from mom when you were sick?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:24 AM on February 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

Me! Did she also let you drink some of the hot Jello before putting the rest in the fridge to set up?
posted by Flannery Culp at 11:43 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by notorious medium at 11:44 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Did she also let you drink some of the hot Jello before putting the rest in the fridge to set up?

My Dad because he's a MONSTER* told us if we ate the Jello before it set that it would set in our stomachs and we wouldn't poop for days.

* He's mostly a monster because he intentionally let the Jello skin over because he actually liked the skin and nobody else did and WHO EVEN LIKES THE SKIN?!??!111
posted by notorious medium at 11:45 AM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hm, my longest standing & favourite go-to comfort food would be rye crackers with swiss cheese (e.g. Jarlsberg) and polskie ogorki dill pickles.

Other yellow cheeses will do OK, like mild cheddar, gouda, 'tasty' and so on.

But the pickles have to be proper dill pickles, not the horrible sweet anglo styles like 'bread and butter'.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:56 AM on February 5, 2018

All of my childhood comfort foods just aren't that good to me anymore because I guess my tastebuds matured? It makes me sad. All I have now are foods I don't like, foods I like, and foods I like so much I can't stop eating them.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:56 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

A huge heap of chips (french fries) doused in vinegar and salted like a salt mine. And a big hot (boiling!) mug of tea. It's not an unusual thing to request in some places, but it's apparently baffling and weird in other parts of the world. "You mean you want vinegar? Lots of it? On your french fries? And you want tea hot enough to scald a person?"

Any time of the day or night, any season of the year, anywhere I might be found, I would take that combination over almost anything.
posted by pracowity at 2:41 PM on February 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

A huge heap of chips (french fries) doused in vinegar and salted like a salt mine.

Oh yum! You can get fries like that in the US midwest at pub-type restaurants and street fairs. So delish. I'm not sure I'd want hot tea with them though. Beer or Coke would be good.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:05 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tea is also pretty much my comfort food, strong black tea with milk and honey, which already makes me a heathen in some circles.

But add "A huge heap of chips (french fries) doused in vinegar and salted like a salt mine", make it malt vinegar, the fries extra crispy for a touch of that wonderful burnt potato chip flavor and give me mayo on the side... all will be good in my world for a bit. And apparently, going by reactions, I'm strange AND out in public for liking them the way I like.

I 'spose I should find a comfort food that's more private...

posted by vers at 3:49 PM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

My favorite thing as a kid was coming home from school on Wednesday. Grandma made meatballs on Wednesday. I'd take half a loaf of Italian bread and scoop out the inside with a fork. Not cut open like a hero, a gutted hollow shell. Then into it went, sauce, meatball, sauce, meatball and so on. Pressed down, solid. I'd eat this while reading The National Enquirer, which grandpa liked. When this was done it was time for iced tea and Italian cookies.

posted by Splunge at 4:03 PM on February 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos: "Show of hands - who got Jello from mom when you were sick?"

My mom thought Jello was weird and would never buy it for us.
posted by octothorpe at 4:40 PM on February 5, 2018

My mom thought Jello was weird and would never buy it for us.

Your mom is an angel.
posted by Splunge at 5:05 PM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

It just occurred to me that my last comment could be horribly misconstrued. I'm so sorry if that's true.
posted by Splunge at 5:06 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I didn't have anything knowingly with e.g. garlic in it until I moved out of my parents house, so there was essentially no food culture in my house growing up. Furthermore and consequently, I was a picky eater for a long time, so I never really had a "peanut butter, liverwurst and cotton candy" stoner snackwich period.

As the years have worn on I've tried to accumulate some cooking skills, but they seem to always be oriented around basics (I've always envied people who can improvise food). Comfort food? Marcella Hazan's Bolognese with any kind of pasta, the True Patty Melt, and Trader Joe's Gorgonzola Gnocchi with bacon. Pork fried rice? Sure. Spam Musubi? Easy as pie. Pie? Not yet.

I do have a bastardized method for making nachos: heat up beans and dump into a cereal bowl, while layering chips with cheese and melting them together in a 350F(?) oven. Use these hot cheese chips with your bean dip and enjoy no soft chips!
posted by rhizome at 5:11 PM on February 5, 2018

I should add that my inability to find Pippin apples in my part of the world single-handedly stops me from attempting any pies at all.
posted by rhizome at 5:13 PM on February 5, 2018

Spam Musubi? Easy as pie.

I am one of those people that for the longest time thought that Spam was some kind of evil creation of pig lips and anuses. People on another forum convinced me to actually purchase some. After some experimenting I created Spam fried rice, thinking that I was the first one. Like the first person to figure out that oxygen was part of air.

So I posted pictures to the forum. I'm a genius, right? And the thread was flooded with recipes for Spam fried rice and other Spam dishes. Including Musubi.

I get it. I'm not a genius. Just recreating the world. Of Spam. And by the way, it's tasty. Try it.
posted by Splunge at 5:48 PM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Just this evening I made one of my comfort foods: two baked potatoes, scoop it all out and discard skins, good butter, kosher salt & pepper, tomato-basil meatballs (already cooked), slices of tomato-basil cheese shredded over the potato. Good.
posted by MovableBookLady at 5:50 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Caramelize or lightly burn some onions in a frying pan. Put in a can of tuna. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder. Mix it all around for a while. Put everything in a bowl of rice or pasta. Squeeze a little lime juice on top. This is my Special Field Dinner, and I stockpile cans of tuna for days when I am sad or celebrating!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:58 PM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

My mom thought Jello was weird and would never buy it for us.

My mom not only refused to allow Jello into the house, she made sure we weren't even aware of its existence. When my dad took me and my sibs to visit his fam in St Louis, we had Jello for the first time. My sister's breathlessly excited announcement to my mom when we arrived home? "MOM MOM, WE HAD THE MOST AMAZING THING. IT'S CALLED JELLO AND IT ONLY GROWS ON TREES IN ST LOUIS."
posted by duffell at 6:17 PM on February 5, 2018 [9 favorites]

I made pad kee mao tonight and used the little bird's eye chiles, with which I have never cooked before, and I think maybe I should have moderated how many I used. On the other hand, it was spicy enough that I couldn't overeat, so, win? Though I'm worried about when I have to take out my contacts tonight.
posted by lazuli at 7:13 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

lazuli, pour cooking oil over your fingers, scrub it into the skin and nails and cuticles, then wash off, scrubbing vigorously, with liquid dish soap. Then suck your fingers hard to make sure you've got the chillies out, otherwise repeat.
posted by tavegyl at 7:26 PM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

So I'm lazy and probably unhygienic so I just started with the "suck your finger" portion of that and I think my previous scrubbing probably was sufficient. And if I'm partially blind tomorrow, I needed a sick day anyway.

(But, like, seriously, I had three separate "We need to talk" closed-door meetings with superiors and subordinates today, all of whom emphatically said totally contradictory things while I was contractually required to nod thoughtfully, and temporarily blinding myself seems a reasonable alternative to another day of that.)
posted by lazuli at 9:08 PM on February 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

My "can't be bothered to prepare something" comfort food is pretty much always cold cereal and milk. I keep a stock of various varieties of cereal in my pantry at all times to satisfy this need, even if I don't eat nearly as much cereal as I used to. Current favs are Nature Valley Baked Oat Bites (which just barely nudges out my former fav of Cracklin' Oat Bran), Malt-O-Meal S'mores cereal, and pretty much any variety of the "X" Toast Crunch cereals. If I'm feeling really homesick or just don't want as much sugar, I'll switch to Wheat Chex or Grape Nuts and a drizzle of honey, which is something my dad introduced me to.

If I'm willing to do a bit more prep, instant ramen (not Maruchan, something good like NongShim Shin Black) or grilled cheese sandwiches.

If I'm going out to eat, basically any brunch place fills that niche for me, as does Olive Garden.
posted by Aleyn at 9:55 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

two baked potatoes, scoop it all out and discard skins

*GASP* Sacrilege!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:28 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Show of hands - who got Jello from mom when you were sick?

IIRC the only foods allowed when you had a stomach bug were jelly (jello) and plain toast. There was some medical reason for this apparently.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:15 AM on February 6, 2018

Dear MetaFilter,

I have just received incontrovertible proof that the entire universe is governed by a certain unquenchable doctrine, namely: dramatic irony.

Those scholars of MeFi who have given their lives to memorizing every thread will recall that, not a few comments ago, I made some nonsensical and non-serious remarks adjacent to some (sensible and serious) comments from EmpressCallipygos - who was (and perhaps still is?) suffering from an unfortunate malady.

The inexorable law of dramatic irony then visited me upon my underground train journey, and kept company with me into my place of work. As I logged into MeFi (surreptitiously!), the law of dramatic irony looked over my asinine comments aforementioned, and contrasted them with poor Empress's admission of unwellness. Said law of dramatic irony then rolled its eyes, nodded in my direction and just a few moments ago I ***BLURT SPEW HEAVE GASP SLURT GLOG FLARP UPCHUCK AAARGH HOLY HELL BLURT OHGOD KILLMEKILLMEKILLME BLURT FLARP SPEW and: scene.***

My point here is: one never actually recalls eating so many carrots, does one? Do carrots contain some kind of memory-evaporating agent, that prevents us from remembering how many we have eaten? It really is something to think about.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:20 AM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

two baked potatoes, scoop it all out and discard skins

>>*GASP* Sacrilege!!

Until Greg_Ace's comment, I had read the original comment as discarding the innards of the potatoes, which seemed a bit wasteful but at least one still had the skins left, so ok, because apparently my brain will not even allow the possibility of discarding potato skins.
posted by lazuli at 5:56 AM on February 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

Feel better, quidnunc!

My point here is: one never actually recalls eating so many carrots, does one?

I'm reminded of a bit from a Billy Connolly stand-up about, well, post-drink sickness:

"Here's a thing. Have you ever wondered, why everytime you're sick, there's diced carrots in it. I have never eaten diced carrots in my life. But there's always diced carrots - and tomato skins! How does that happen? 'Waiter, I'll take the bowl of diced carrots and tomato skins, I'm hitting the bar later'?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:50 AM on February 6, 2018

Tossing the potato skins! That is why I buy organic russet potatoes. I can eat the skins, as long as I have washed them, eh? I checked out this little 5 pound bag I bought for $4.50 at Trader Joe's. There were 14 potatoes in there. Other bags had bigger, but fewer potatoes. I wanted a month's worth and that is sufficient. I have been evaluating foods for nutrition and cost benefits, and then pleasure. I found this one thing that is a useful food. It is Pam precooked corn cereal, or corn grits. It comes in white and yellow. I find this at the Mexican market of choice. So the other thing is La Sirena Sardines in a big, 12 oz oval can, it comes either in tomato sauce, or tomato sauce with chili, yes, get that one. Another deal is Mt. Olive Kosher Dill pickles that come from Winco, a giant jar, a gallon for $2.98. This lasts a long time, but after having kosher dills at Canter's Deli in Fairfax, (Los Angeles,) I found these. So, you take a 1/4 c scoop, and open those chili sardines, they are mackerel, from Bolivia. Dump them in a bowl, and add 1/2-1 whole chopped kosher dill. Add 1/4 cup corn grits, 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour, 1/4-1/2 cup fine chopped onion. Sprinkle in some cumin if you like that, some dill if you like that, juice of 1/4 small lemon if you like that. Stir this stuff up, and give it a minute, pat it into about 6 oval patties, and on a flat plate with corn grits, carefully flip those patties over a couple of times, to coat with dry coating. If you want to get fancy Panko bread crumbs would work but the corn grits are fine. In your frying pan of choice pour about 3/8 inch of olive oil, and a couple of cloves chopped garlic. Wait until the oil is hot, and fry your patties, turning only once because they are not all that inclined to stay together. Drain these on paper towels, and enjoy a couple with quick baked organic potato slices, and a side of mayo. This meal is shockingly good, the fish and pickles can sit around for a long time before you use them. The patties freeze well in however large serving you want. I bought these 12 ounce cans of sardines for $.99 apiece just after Easter last year. So I bought 8 cans, thinking this is a lot of protein for not a lot of money. I make this once and it makes three meals for me. I had chopped, heated pattie on a spinach salad with other vegetables yesterday, and it was really good. I have this gatherer streak that gives me a lot of pleasure, finding inexpensive and delicious solutions for the problems associated with keeping storage foods, for when I want to stay home or as a means to stretch a budget. A lot of people eat fish on Fridays. I was shopping in the town of Fillmore, Utah. Not a very big town, and the friend I was with bought a big can of mackerel, to augment her dogs food. The checker just looked at the mackerel in awe, and I asked, "You like this?" she said, "Oh yes, I love fish!" I was mystified wondering how she made it, and I asked, "You make it into patties?" "Yeah," she said. Now I found a product that makes a really good meal. I don't put eggs in with these, I do put some corn and organic white whole wheat. The tangy and spicy chili sauce, makes the whole thing delicious, as a unifying flavor.
posted by Oyéah at 9:20 AM on February 6, 2018

Thoughts on biscuits.

This is not something machines can help with. And temperature is really important because you really should do everything with your hands, which assuming you have a pulse, are warm. So your shortening needs to be cold, and it wouldn't hurt to refrigerate your bowl, pin, and the surface you're going to work them on. You want your shortening to be cold when you add the liquids and mix everything, so by doing everything you can before that happens to keep the shortening cold is going to go a long way in making your biscuits flaky, tender, and moist. And timing is key. When that buttermilk hits the soda the clock on rising starts ticking. You need them in the oven ASAP.

As mightshould mentioned, you need the right flour and shortening. I like White Lily flour, and I used to get my lard from an Anabaptist grocery but now I get it from a friend who's a butcher. Mostly well-rendered pork fat. Crisco will work, but it needs more grease. After mixing your dry ingredients you want to work in the shortening with your fingers. You want to keep doing that as randomly as possible until you're down to pea-sized clumps and smaller crumbs. Mooshy mooshy. Add the milk or buttermilk preferably slowly so you control when it starts to come together. Okay, you can use a spoon for this. You don't want it to be a solid. You want it to easily clump, but for those clumps to be just barely committed to sticking together. Then it should go on a cold surface and rolled with a cold pin. The edge might break when you're rolling so just push and work it back together and back to the center.

I like a jelly jar or a mole jar to cut my biscuits. I start my sausage gravy before I put them in so it's done when they come out. Your recipe is probably just fine, but these tips will help you up your game.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:57 PM on February 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Quidnunc, I'm there with ya. Just succumbed to the worst stomach virus I've had in years. I can't eat most of my comfort foods and I can't even grocery shop because I'm trying to not spread this to anyone. Plain pasta and sugar-salt-water for me, I guess.

Though at times like this I think my real comfort food might be complaining.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:36 PM on February 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm a big fan of the Cooks Illustrated drop biscuit recipe.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:12 AM on February 7, 2018

If you like rhubarb, or geometric patterns, then you may like this tweet.
posted by Wordshore at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is the first year my whole family has purchased season ski lift tickets at the “hard” local ski hill. A neighbor with long hair who lives on a houseboat and drives some kind of decommissioned military vehicle has twins who are my oldest kid’s age was like “you *have* to do Sundays at [local difficult ski slope]. Park in the upper lot.”

So, there’s this whole scene there with families tailgating at lunch. Literally, barbecues and boom boxes come out, kids are throwing footballs running in ski boots on an iced over parking lot.

It took us a couple weeks to get our ski tailgate on. In addition to our pop up shelter and folding chairs, etc. we bring two industrial thermos fulls of boiling water, packages of Korean Spicy Ramen of Insanity from Uwajimaya, fresh spinach, fried chicken cut into strips, boiled eggs, shredded carrots, and ice cold Clausthaler non alcoholic beer (note: dangerous double blacks in the afternoon). And enough food for the families parked next door. Finish with hot green tea. This is enough comfort food to keep two whiney kids and their elderly parents skiing in the torrential Seattle rain-snow-slush for about 3 more hours.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:19 AM on February 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

My comfort food is Naan bread. I used this recipe, and used a cast iron pan. The first instance was too hot, so I had to lower the heat, and then after that, it was really great.

Keep in mind it is a yeast bread, so you have to wait a while. But OMG it was so fantastic
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:57 PM on February 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

Welsh rarebit with a poached egg. Bacon. Scones, butter, cream, jam. A pot of Lapsang souchong tea. And some sausages.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:31 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I can confirm that if you add capers to the frying pan with onions (or garlic) and tuna, they are delicious.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:11 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Re: biscuits, it helps if you freeze your flour. Not only does it stay cold longer, but it prevents anything from growing in there.

If your hands are too hot, like mine, you can use a fork or two butter knives (one in each hand, sort of chop at it) to cut in fat. It's easier to overwork it with a tool, so it's better to run cold water over your hands periodically and do it that way.

I find that the lip of the jam jar is too thick and squishes the edge rather than clipping it, which harms the rise, so I use either a relatively-thin-rimmed juice glass, a cookie cutter, or a knife (it's faster and you do less rolling if you cut them in triangles as you would for scones. Either cut out "pie wedges" from a circular dough or cut on an angle from a flattish rectangular dough.) But everyone has their method and handmade biscuits are always better than Bisquick.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:20 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Comfort food for the brexit-toryfeckingausterityforallbuthemtories-trump-increasednastiness-dispairing folks of the world:

1. Take a smelly cheese (brie, camembert, etc.) out of the fridge (about an hour beforehand if you can wait that long but just while the bacon cooks is also fine).
2. Grill some bacon.
3. Slice a good bread to the thickness of your choice.
4. Spread (cheap is fine) cranberry sauce on said bread.
5. When the bacon is grilled place it on the bread, immediately followed by the cheese.
6. Squish down hard then eat.

posted by humph at 1:13 AM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

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