Monday, November 05, 2012

Comfort Food

With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy haunting the news, I’ve been thinking about how we comfort ourselves. For me, comfort food always helps.

There are several comfort foods I crave, most of them oozing fat and carbs.

These are some of my favorites:

Mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, brownies, chocolate pudding, Mexican hot chocolate made with whole milk, and cinnamon rolls.

Part of my comfort ritual is to make these things from scratch. Somehow preparing the food myself helps. Plus, the whole house smells good, which lifts the spirits, and the food tastes so much better than the bought stuff. That said, I’m not wedded to my own cooking. If the power goes out, I’ll happily go out and buy the comfort food I crave.

I thought I’d share one of my favorite mac and cheese recipes with you.

Patti LaBelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese
Serves 4 to 6

Warning: this is artery-clogging stuff! To avoid heartburn, I cut down on the fat a bit. My changes are in parentheses.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use 1 teaspoon, which works just as well)
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon butter (I cut this down to 4 tablespoons or half a stick of butter, total)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack
2 cups half-and-half (I substitute nonfat evaporated milk)
1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta , cut into small cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole. (Or spray with Pam)

Over high heat, bring the large pot of water to a boil. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses. To the macaroni, add the evaporated milk, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the greased casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake until bubbles around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.


What’s your favorite comfort food?

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BW said...

My favorite comfort foods are chili, soups, mashed potatoes, turkey tetrazini, and tuna noodle casserole.

Ann Roth said...

Yum, BW! I love all those things, too, especially mashed potatoes, turkey tetrazini and tuna noodle casserole.

Amanda Renée said...

Looks great, Ann! I will definitely have to try it.

linda s said...

Comfort food and no weight gain... I don't have a comfort food. I do comfort reading... Close out the world for a while.

Ann Roth said...

Amanda Renee- You'll have to let me know what you think.

Linda S.- Your comfort"food" is a lot healthier than mine. I agree, reading a good book is a terrific escape.

Leigh Duncan said...


I never understood the popularity of macaroni and cheese until I stumbled on a really good recipe for it. Like yours, mine calls for several types of cheese. I like to drizzle bread cubes with butter to put on the top.


Amanda Renée said...

Ann...I made this over the weekend! One of the best I've ever tasted - thank you for sharing!