Category Archives: Comfort Food

Punjabi cha straining in glass

Classic Punjabi Cha (Not Chai) Straight From a Punjabi Mom

Some say chai, others say chai tea, which is completely wrong as it translates to tea-tea. People from Punjab called it cha (not chai). Every Indian family has their own way of making cha, but this is the real deal — an authentic cup made by my mom, which is the backdrop of many childhood memories for me. My mom grew up in a small village in Punjab in the ’60s. Back then, simple spices such as cardamom pods were a bit of a speciality item used in tea when guests came over, as the pods would perfume the house. Note this isn’t masala cha, just an everyday cha that is so flavourful and easy to make.

Punjabi cha straining in glass

Punjabi Cha

Prep Time: 3 ½ minutes
Cook Time: 3 ½ minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cardamom pods
1 ¼ cup water
1 Tbsp loose leaf black tea
1 Tbsp jaggery
½ cup homogenized milk

Punjabi cha ingredients

Directions:

1. Crush the fennel seeds and cardamom pods together in a mortar and pestle, until pods open up and their aroma is released.

2. Over medium heat, pour water into the pot and simmer, not boil. Add spices to the water. Simmer for about 1–2 minutes. Add tea. Simmer for 30 seconds.

Related: Sweet and Savoury Matcha Recipes to Give Your Plate a Boost of Green

3. Add jaggery. Turn up the heat to boil for 45 seconds. Add milk. Boil for 30 seconds. Watch to make sure the cha doesn’t boil over.

Punjabi cha boiling on stovetop

4. Using a mesh strainer, strain cha directly into two teacups evenly.

5. With the back of a spoon, squeeze out the extra spices and tea flavour from the strainer directly into the individual cups.
Enjoy!

Punjabi cha in two glasses

Like Deepi’s cha recipe? She tried a $45 takeout meal that comes in a jewellery box.

Fresh Northern Thai papaya salad and crispy fried pork belly

Fried Pork Belly Pairs Perfectly With Crunchy Papaya Salad in This Traditional Thai Dish

We may not be able to travel right now, but you can still send your taste buds on a flight to northern Thailand with this Taste Of recipe from Lakana Sopajan-Trubiana. Spicy, crunchy and full of flavour, this papaya salad pairs perfectly with salty fried pork belly.

“This is the style of papaya salad we make at home on our family rice farm in Isaan in northeastern Thailand,” says Lakana. “It’s different from the Bangkok ‘big city’ version: it’s funkier and more pungent from the addition of fermented fish sauce and salted crab. Traditionally, the salad is eaten with grilled or fried meat. Here we pair it with pork belly; the crunch and tang of the salad cuts the heaviness of the pork and balances out the dish.”

Related: Delicious Thai Takeout Recipe to Try This Week

Isaan Papaya Salad With Fried Pork Belly

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Som Tom (Papaya Salad)
4 to 10 fresh Thai bird chiles, depending on taste
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp palm sugar
½ cup halved grape tomatoes
3 Tbsp fermented fish sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp tamarind juice
2 slices lime
2 cups shredded young green papaya
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup salted crab

Fried Pork Belly
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 ¼ lbs pork belly, cut crossways into ½-inch-thick slices
2 ½ cups tempura flour
Canola oil, for frying

Equipment:

Large mortar and pestle (optional)

Fresh Northern Thai papaya salad and crispy fried pork belly

Related: Ground Pork Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat

Directions:

1. For the som tom (papaya salad): combine the chiles, garlic and palm sugar in a large mortar and bash with a pestle until it forms a coarse paste, 2 to 5 minutes. (You can also combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and use gloved hands to break, shred and mash the ingredients together). Add the tomatoes, fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, tamarind juice and limes and mix well. Add the papaya, carrot and salted crab and mix gently.

2. For the fried pork belly: combine the fish sauce, sugar and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add the pork and massage the ingredients into the meat. Refrigerate 15 to 30 minutes to marinate.

3. Place the tempura flour in a large bowl. Coat the pork belly in the flour and place on a sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack. Pour oil to the depth of 1 to 2 inches into a large heavy skillet and place over medium to low heat. When hot, gently place the pork belly in the skillet and cook until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Drain the pork briefly on a clean wire rack set over a sheet pan. Serve with the papaya salad.

Cook’s Note: Hand-shredding with a large sharp knife, not with a box grater, is the traditional way to prepare the papaya for this salad and will give you a crunchier texture. You can tweak the flavours in this recipe to your preference: add more palm sugar for a sweeter dish, more chiles for spicier one and so on.

Looking for even more salad recipes? These hearty salads will brighten up any winter meal.

Three cheesy jerk pork sandwiches with a homemade Jamaican coleslaw sit on a wooden board

Creamy Havarti Cheese and Spicy Jerk Pork Make for the Perfect Sandwich

Jerk sandwiches are a staple in Jamaican cuisine, and it’s no surprise why that’s the case. The flavourful jerk marinade is spicy, garlicky and zesty all at once, making it a delight to the taste buds. The addition of Armstrong Natural Havarti Cheese slices takes this sandwich recipe, developed by chef Roger Mooking, from takeout favourite to stand-out comfort food classic that’s totally achievable to make on the BBQ at home.

Related: Our 75 Best Sandwich Recipes

Three cheesy jerk pork sandwiches with a homemade Jamaican coleslaw sit on a wooden board

Cheesy Jerk Pork Sandwich

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes, plus 24-48 hours marinating time
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Jerk Marinade
1 cup roughly chopped green onions
1 cup chopped white onion
2 Scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tsp roughly chopped garlic
1/4 cup fresh picked thyme
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

*Note: Use a pre-made jerk marinade of your choice to simplify this recipe (optional).

Sandwiches
4 boneless pork butt steaks (3/4-inch thick)
4-8 slices Armstrong Natural Havarti Cheese
4 large burger buns
1/4 cup finely sliced chives, divided

Coleslaw
1 cup finely sliced green cabbage
1 cup julienned carrot
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Overhead shot of a cheesy jerk pork sandwich with homemade coleslaw, a toasted bun and two slices of Armstrong Havarti cheese

See More: Crispy Cheese Cup Recipe

Directions:

1. For the jerk marinade, combine green onions, white onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, thyme, lime juice, ground allspice, ginger, soy sauce and black pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Place marinade in a resealable bag. Add pork steaks and turn so they are well coated in marinade. Place in the fridge to marinate for 24-48 hours.

2. For the coleslaw, combine white wine vinegar, lime juice, mayonnaise, honey, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix to combine. Mix in finely sliced green cabbage and julienned carrot. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat BBQ to medium-high heat. Butter the inside and the top of each bun. Remove pork steaks from the marinade and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF-150ºF, about 4-5 minutes per side. Place 1-2 slices of Armstrong Natural Havarti Cheese on top of each pork steak and let melt. Toast all sides of the buttered buns on the grill.

4. Place pork steak on the grilled bottom bun. Shake off excess dressing and evenly divide coleslaw on top of steaks. Sprinkle with chopped chives and top with bun.

Angus beef burgers topped with Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese, fresh herbs and pickled daikon radish and carrots

These Easy Banh Mi Cheeseburgers Come Together in Just 30 Minutes

Grilling shouldn’t be reserved for summer. Need proof? This delicious Vietnamese-inspired cheeseburger recipe by chef Roger Mooking is here to improve dinner menus everywhere. Quick pickled daikon radish and carrots together with fresh herbs (choose cilantro or basil based on your preference, or a mix of both!) balance the richness of Angus beef patties, creamy mayonnaise and perfectly melted slices of Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese. Throw on your winter boots, heat up your backyard BBQ and get cooking!


See More: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

Banh Mi Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

Daikon Radish and Carrot Pickle
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
3/4 cup daikon radish batonettes, about 3-inches long
3/4 cup carrot batonettes, about 3-inches long

Burgers
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 slices Armstrong Natural Medium Cheddar Cheese
4 buns
1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided
2 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways with a peeler
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro and/or basil

Related: Vegetarian Cauliflower Cheese Quesadilla With Salsa

Two beef burgers with a slice of Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese, fresh herbs and quick pickles sit on a wooden board, a package of Armstong Cheese beside them

Directions:

1. Start by making the daikon radish and carrot pickle. Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add daikon radish and carrot pieces. Remove from heat. Set aside until daikon radish and carrots soften, become pickled, and are room temperature, about 20 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, grated garlic and five-spice powder. Mix well to combine. Divide the burger mixture into four 6oz patties. Make sure the patties are at least 25% larger than the buns as they will shrink during cooking.

3. Heat BBQ to medium-high heat. Season the burgers on both sides with salt. Place burgers on the grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reads 145ºF on a thermometer. During the last minute of cooking, place a slice of Armstrong Natural Medium Cheddar Cheese on top of each burger and close the BBQ lid to melt cheese, about 1 minute.

4. Slice each bun open. Hollow out the top of each bun. Butter buns and toast on the grill. Spread mayonnaise on the top and bottom of each grilled bun. Place burger on top of each bun. Top with drained daikon radish and carrot pickles, cucumber slices, jalapeno slices, and fresh cilantro or basil leaves.

duck ragu on serving plate

This Pappardelle Duck Ragu is the Winter Comfort Food You Deserve

What is the most delicious comfort food you can make at home to fight the dropping temperature outside your cozy kitchen? This pappardelle duck ragu! With luxurious fall-apart duck legs, yummy pasta and plenty of veggies, this may be your go-to recipe all winter long. Also, this is a hearty make-ahead dish: it improves over time and lends a richness to the noodles that keep you wanting more.

duck ragu on serving plate

Pappardelle Duck Ragu

Prep Time: 5 minutes (but you can prep all your ingredients while the duck is browning)
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
2 duck legs, pat dried
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 can (796 ml/28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes or plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
400 g pappardelle pasta or other pasta
Grated Parmesan

duck ragu ingredients

Directions:

1. Sprinkle duck legs all over with 1 tsp of the salt. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and arrange the duck, skin side down. Cook and render the fat for 10 to 12 minutes so the skin browns and crisps, flip and cook until browned on the other side. Transfer to a plate and drain all but 2 Tbsp fat from the pot.

Tip: The remaining rendered duck fat should be saved and refrigerated or frozen to make the most gloriously crispy potatoes or brushed on a whole chicken for a succulent roast chicken.

2. Add the onion and cook on medium, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

duck ragu cooking in pot

3. Push vegetables to one side and stir in tomato paste, cooking for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute to allow alcohol to evaporate. Add the tomatoes and broth. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and return the duck legs (with any juices) to the pot.

4. Cook partially uncovered over low heat, making sure the sauce is simmering until the duck meat falls off the bone, about 1 ½ hours. Skim excess fat using a spoon if desired.

Related: Quick and Easy One-Pot Recipes

5. Remove duck legs and using two forks, shred the meat off bones, discarding the skin if unwanted. Stir shredded duck into the sauce.

Tip: Make the ragu up to 4 days ahead of time, refrigerate covered and warm in a pot over medium-low heat.

duck ragu cooking in pot

6. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and stir into duck ragout. To serve, sprinkle pasta with Parmesan.

Like Soo’s duck ragu? Try her pan-fried pork chops and Chinese stir-fried eggplant.

Bannock butternut squash pizza

Christa Bruneau-Guenther’s Butternut Squash Bannock Pizza = Perfect Comfort Food

Just when you thought comfort food couldn’t get any better, this bannock pizza crust — from Christa Bruneau-Guenther of Feast Café Bistro — makes for the perfect canvas. It is layered with mouth-watering roasted butternut squash, lots of cheese and a maple chipotle white sauce.

Bannock butternut squash pizza

Butternut Squash Bannock Pizza

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 large pizza or 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

Bannock Dough Pizza Crust
3 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
¾ tsp yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil (canola oil or vegetable oil)
1 ½ cups warm water

Maple Chipotle Lime Sour Cream White Sauce
¼ cup sour cream
2 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp chipotle paste (or 1 Tbsp finely minced from a can of chili in adobo sauce)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice (or use 1 tsp lime juice from concentrate)

Other Pizza Ingredients
½ butternut squash, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1 tsp pine nuts
1 cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

Related: Chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther Brings Her Home Cooking and Indigenous Roots to Wall of Chefs

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, make the dough: combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Then make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.

2. In a separate bowl, add yeast and oil to warm water and mix with a fork. Gently pour the liquid mixture into the flour hole or well.

3. Using a fork, spoon or hands, fold or work the flour into the water. Knead the dough into a ball, don’t over knead. Let dough sit for 10-15 minutes covered with a kitchen towel.

Related: The Best Homemade Pizza Recipes (Including Dough From Scratch)

4. For the sauce: in a mid-sized bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Reserve for later.

5. Pre-heat oven to 400°F and place squash on a baking sheet. Add oil, chili powder and salt, mix well. Scatter squash into a single layer. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until squash is cooked through and soft. Set aside.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out reserved bannock dough with a rolling pin,  and place on a sheet pan. Prick dough with a fork.

Related: Canadian First Nations Recipes You’ll Love

7. Add white sauce to dough and generously place squash over dough. Sprinkle squash with pine nuts and various cheeses. Bake at 425°F for 15-17 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

8. Remove from heat. Add a smattering of green onions and top with drizzle of white sauce. Enjoy.

This recipe first appeared on an episode of Big Food Bucket List, which you can watch here. Big Food Bucket List streams Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Sweet potato blondies on kitchen counter

These Comforting Sweet Potato Blondies Will Defeat Your Winter Blues

Traditional blondies get a comforting, cold-weather twist with the addition of sweet potato.  These Can You Vegan It? fudgy squares can easily be made vegan-friendly by swapping in a few simple ingredients. And the addition of chopped pecans kick things up a notch, adding a nice crunch and a decadent touch. Feel free to sub in different nuts, toffee bits or anything else you might be craving. Tip: serve warm to keep you toasty during blustery winter nights.

Sweet potato blondies

Sweet Potato Blondies

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Blondie Base
⅔ cup unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg (or vegan egg substitute)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup of pecans (optional)

Sweet Potato Top
1 small sweet potato
3 Tbsp condensed milk (or vegan condensed milk)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Sweet potato blondies ingredients on table

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the small sweet potato for 40 minutes. To save time, you can peel and cut the sweet potato into large even pieces, then boil until soft. It will cook faster when boiled, but I suggest baking it instead to maintain all the delicious flavour.

2. As the sweet potato bakes, prepare the batter by browning the butter first. Add the butter to a pot on low-heat. As the butter begins to melt, stir and slowly raise to medium heat. Be careful when you increase the heat, as it’s very easy to burn butter. If possible, use a light-coloured pot so you can see the butter clearly as it begins to brown. Stir continuously — and once the butter has reached a golden brown colour, remove and sift into a large bowl.

Related: Comforting Desserts to Battle Bitter, Cold Winters

3. Once the butter has cooled to room temperature, add the light brown sugar and combine. Then add the egg and stir in the vanilla.

4. Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) to the mix and combine well. Be careful not to over mix. Then fold in the chopped pecans and pour the batter into a buttered baking dish. Set aside.

Sweet potato blondie batter

5. Once the sweet potato is soft and fully baked, remove it from the oven and turn down the heat to 350°F (to bake the blondies). Let the sweet potato cool, then remove its skin and mash it up in a large bowl. Next, add the condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined.

6. Pour the sweet potato mixture on top of the blondie batter in the baking dish. Spread it on top as an even layer. Add a few more crushed pecans to top it off.  Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Like Eden’s sweet potato blondies? Try her vegan sloppy Joe sliders or her cardamom teff apple muffins.

Published January 9, 2019, Updated January 2, 2021

This Vegan Eggnog Recipe is So Good It’ll Impress All the Non-Vegans Too

Because it isn’t the holiday season without a cup of boozy eggnog, I’m serving up a vegan twist on this staple winter drink. This version is not only dairy free, it’s gluten- and egg-free too! The eggnog gets its delicious creaminess from canned coconut milk (don’t use the boxed variety) — and is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Serve this warm on a snowy day or chilled over ice, whichever you prefer. For a kid-friendly option, just omit the bourbon or rum. Cheers!

Ingredients:

2 14-oz cans full-fat coconut milk
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch fine salt
½ cup bourbon or spiced rum
Coconut whip, for serving

Related: 20 Vegan Holiday Entrées You’ve Never Tried Before

Vegan eggnog ingredients

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add the coconut milk, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Whisk until combined. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Vegan eggnog in pot

2. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to ensure it is smooth. Stir in bourbon.

Related: 12 Must-Try Fall Cocktails to Give Thanks for This Autumn

3. Serve warm with a dollop of coconut whip and a pinch of nutmeg. To serve chilled, transfer mixture to a glass serving pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, fill a glass with ice, add eggnog, a dollop of coconut whip and a pinch of nutmeg.

Vegan eggnog in two glasses

Like Marcella’s vegan eggnog? Try your hand at her winter greens mac and cheese or her sausage, apple and sage-stuffed acorn squash recipe!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup is the Easiest Way to Make Dinner

Love French onion soup? Don’t have time to stand around caramelizing onions? Then this slow cooker version is the perfect way to satisfy those cravings. Slow cooker soups are a great way to get a meal on the table with very little prep time and this is no exception. This is a perfect easy soup recipe for a chilly fall evening. It’ll make your home smell amazing and it’ll taste like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen when, in fact, it’s the slow cooker doing all the work for you!

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs onions, halved and sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp brown sugar
1.5 L beef stock
2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
8 sprigs fresh thyme, plus some for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
8-12 slices baguette
1 ½ cups grated Swiss cheese

Directions:

1. Place sliced onions, butter and sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Related: This Vegan Pumpkin Soup Has a Super-Secret Immune-Boosting Ingredient

2. Cover and cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, removing the lid and stirring from time to time. Many recipes suggest doing this overnight, but as all slow cookers are different, it’s best to be around when these are cooking so you can keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. The onions should be deep brown before you put the rest of the ingredients in.

3. Add the stock, brandy, thyme and pepper. Cover again and cook on high for approximately 2 hours.

4. Remove the lid, scoop out the thyme sprigs and stir.

5. Pre-heat your oven broiler to high. Prepare your oven-safe soup bowls by placing them on a parchment-lined tray. Top each bowl of soup with 2 slices of baguette and approximately ¼ cup grated cheese.

6. Broil for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and golden brown. Top with a few fresh thyme leaves to serve.

Like Mardi’s slow cooker French onion soup? Try her oven-baked zucchini and corn fritters or her easy mixed berry galettes.

This Healthy Ethiopian Vegan Potato Stew is the Perfect Fall Comfort Food

This Ethiopian potato stew (AKA dinich wot) is one of my favourite plant-based stews for fall. It’s incredibly hearty, spicy and super easy to make. Traditionally this recipe is served on top of a large platter of injera with other colourful vegan stews. However, it can be enjoyed with rice, fonio or in my case on its own with fresh bread on the side. I also love to substitute in ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin and okra to switch up the flavours. Feel free to add your own twist on it and warm up this fall with a bowl of Ethiopian comfort food.

Ethiopian Vegan Potato Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:

2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
3-4 Tbsp berbere spice
5 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
¼ cup crushed tomato
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into thick chunks
1 ½ cup hot water (adjust as needed)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. To a large heated pot, add oil and onions. Once the onions begin to caramelize, add berbere spice, stir well so the onions are coated. (Each Berbere blend is different, some blends are spicier than others, so feel free to adjust the amount to fit your taste).

2. Add garlic and ginger and add a bit of water as necessary to the pot.

3. Add crushed tomato and mix well. Add some water as necessary to prevent the mixture from burning.

4. Once the ingredients are well incorporated, add the diced potatoes and hot water slowly and bring to simmer. Be careful not to add too much water.

Related: This Easy Ethiopian Mushroom Stir-Fry Will Be Your New Fave Weeknight Meal

5. Cover with lid and stir occasionally adding more water as necessary.

6. Once the potatoes are tender and the stew is finished, serve with injera, rice or on its own. Enjoy!

Tip: If you’d like to kick things up, you can stir in a spoonful of korarima spice (Ethiopian Black cardamom) a few minutes before the stew is done cooking.

Love Eden’s Ethiopian vegan potato stew? Try her teff breakfast bowl or quick and tasty guava tarts.

This Fiery Korean Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn is Comfort Food at Its Finest

Gochujang, the fermented Korean hot pepper paste, has gained popularity by way of recipes featuring grilled proteins, like chicken, beef and pork. However, this recipe brings you that umami bite of sweet and spicy flavour with a veggie spin: lightly battered cauliflower popcorn bites. No hard and fast rules apply here, serve this on game night, as an appetizer or side dish.

Korean Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 tsp vegetable oil (plus more for frying)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp white vinegar or cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp water
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup potato starch or cornstarch
¼ cup rice flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
¾ cup water (approx.)
2 eggs, whisked
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (8 cups)
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Greek yogurt or sour cream for dipping (optional)

Tip: Rice flour and potato starch are common ingredients in a Korean pantry, the combination will lighten and aerate the batter. Look for them in an Asian market or bulk store.

Tip: Gochujang is a fermented Korean hot pepper paste; and while shelf-stable when you purchase it, please refrigerate after opening.

Directions:

1. Heat enough oil in your largest and widest pot to reach 1-inch high over medium to medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350°F. Don’t have a deep-fry thermometer? Either add a cube of bread to test the oil (it should fry quickly to golden) or dip end of a wooden spoon to see if bubbles start forming.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat 2 tsp oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in gochujang, ketchup, vinegar, honey and water and simmer for 1 minute; set aside.

Related: Eddie Jackson’s Gochujang Short Ribs Are Your New All-Star Dish

3. Whisk flour, potato starch, rice flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk in water and eggs, to make a slightly thickened batter. Add all the cauliflower, stirring to coat; the batter should be just thick enough to coat, while easily dripping off the floret. Add more water if needed.

4. Carefully drop lightly battered cauliflower into the hot oil using a fork, one at a time to achieve popcorn-sized bites (dropping them in groups will create lumps and will not produce a crispy batter).

Tip: Cauliflower is made up of a ton of water and continues to steam when cooked and needs to be fried twice. The first fry steams, while the second fry will lighten and crisp the combination of potato starch and rice flour.

5. Fry, with a spider or slotted spoon, turning until golden and crispy, 2-3 minutes. Drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower. Once everything had been fried, fry again until browned and crispy, 3-4 minutes and drain on a rack.

Related: This Korean Sweet and Sour Seaweed Salad is the Perfect BBQ Side Dish

6. Rewarm the sauce until loosened. Transfer half of the cauliflower in a large bowl and drizzle with enough sauce to just lightly coat, tossing quickly. Transfer to a serving plate and repeat with the remaining cauliflower and gochujang sauce mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt if desired.

Tip: Serve at room temperature and avoid reheating in the oven; it will steam and soften the cauliflower.

Like Soo’s fiery gochujang cauliflower popcorn? Try her pork banh mi burgers or asparagus and mushroom udon.

scallion pancakes on white and blue plate

Restaurant-Worthy Chinese Scallion Pancakes You Can Make at Home

We’re all spending more time indoors (and in the kitchen) these days, so it would come as no surprise if you’re missing restaurant-worthy cuisine. And the secret ingredient to making these savoury Chinese scallion pancakes worthy of appearing on a menu? Boiling water! It creates the softest, forgiving dough. Plus, the beauty of this recipe lies within a super easy, double roll and coil technique to produce endless, flaky layers, that are so crispy — we’re obsessed!

Scallion pancakes on white and blue plate

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake and pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup cold water
6 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying (approx.)

Filling
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup melted lard or melted shortening
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
6 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 tsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns or hot pepper flakes (optional)

Dipping Sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinkiang vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds or julienned ginger (optional)
Pinch granulated sugar
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped

Scallion pancakes ingredients


Directions:

1. To make the dough: stir together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, gradually mix in the boiling water in a circular motion. Stir in the cold water to form a shaggy, wet dough. Turn out onto work surface; knead, scraping and dusting with additional flour until smooth and very soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on floured surface and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent crust from forming. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Person mixing scallion pancakes dough

Note: The combination of boiling water produces a soft, easy to roll pancake, while the cold water creates a chewy texture, while also cooling the mixture for easy handling.

Related: This is How to Make The Perfect Chinese Hot Pot at Home

2. Meanwhile, make the filling: in a small bowl, stir the flour, lard, oil and salt until combined. Gently warm in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to loosen if mixture solidifies. While you’re waiting for the dough to rest, you can also make the dipping sauce: in a ramekin, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seeds, sugar and scallion.

3. Divide dough into 6 even pieces and roll each into a ball, tucking at the bottom and then covering with a kitchen towel. Roll one ball into an 8 to 9-inch circle, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of the filling. Roll up like a jelly roll and twist into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten with hand then roll again into 8-inch circle. Cover with kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough.

Scallion pancakes dough on countertop

Tip: To prevent drying out, be sure to cover each rolled dough with a damp cloth or plastic and don’t layer each on top of each other, they will stick together.

4. Working with one rolled dough, brush a thin layer of the filling and sprinkle with 1/6 of the scallions and Szechuan pepper (if using). Roll up like a jelly roll and twist into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten with hand then roll into 6-inch circle and cover with a kitchen towel. This is now ready for frying. Repeat with remaining dough.

Scallion pancakes being made on kitchen countertop

Tip: If you want to make these ahead of time, you can freeze uncooked rolled pancakes for up to 1 month. Defrost, pat dry with paper towel and cook with the following instructions.

Scallion pancakes rolled out on countertop

5. Heat a skillet over medium heat; add 1 Tbsp of the vegetable oil. Carefully add one pancake and cook, swirling to distribute oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, swirling pancake to absorb oil and cover with a lid. Cook until second side is an even golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a paper-towel lined serving plate and repeat with remaining dough and cooking oil.

6. To serve, don’t cut into wedges, these pancakes need to be torn to fully enjoy the flaky coating. Don’t forget the dipping sauce.

Tip: Reheat pancakes in a skillet with a drizzle of oil and enjoy with a sunny-side up egg, a popular Chinese breakfast.

Craving more comfort food? This asparagus and mushroom yaki udon or this one-pot pasta and chickpea stew might just do the trick.

mushroom yaki udon

Whip up This Bright Asparagus and Mushroom Yaki Udon in Just 15 Minutes

We’re all spending more time indoors these days, relying on our pantry staples for dinnertime inspiration. Say goodbye to pasta and tuna and hello to instant noodles and soy sauce with this fast and insanely delicious Japanese stir-fried udon. We love the delightfully chewy and thick whole-wheat noodle and meaty king oyster mushrooms (but feel free to play, mixing your favourite varietals). And the best part? You can whip this up in just over 15 minutes!

mushroom yaki udon

Asparagus and Mushroom Yaki Udon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 packages frozen udon noodles or instant udon noodles
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed (you can substitute with frozen peas or corn)
2 packages (150g each) baby king oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms or oyster mushrooms, sliced
Pinch each salt and pepper
2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
Pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)

Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions

mushroom yaki udon ingredients on counterop

Directions:

1. Place udon in a large bowl and cover with warm water to thaw; break up with hands and drain in a colander.

udon noodles in strainer

2. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, vinegar and water. Set aside.

Tip: Don’t have ginger? No worries, the soy mixture will still be just as delicious.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp of the vegetable oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the white parts of the green onion and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add asparagus and edamame and stir fry until slightly tender, about 1 minute. Remove to a plate.

Related: 20 Easy Dinner Recipes Ready in 15 Minutes or Less

4. Heat 4 tsp of the remaining oil in the wok. Add the mushrooms, reserved green onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until tender and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve to asparagus plate.

5. Heat remaining 2 tsp of oil in the wok. Add the udon and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the reserved soy sauce mixture and vegetables. Stir fry until liquid comes to a boil, the noodles are coated in sauce and is slightly reduced, 30 to 45 seconds. Drizzle with sesame oil (if using) and sprinkle with hot pepper flakes (if using).

mushroom yaki udon in wok

6. Divide among plates and sprinkle with sesame seeds or chopped green onions (if desired).

Want to cook more meals in 15 minutes or less? These weekend BBQ recipes and brunch recipes will surely do the trick.

This Cozy One-Pot Pasta and Chickpea Stew = Love at First Bite

Don’t be surprised if you instantly become smitten with this alarmingly simple, yet charming, comfort food – it really is love at first bite. The kid in you will delight in the pasta and chickpea combo, with the fun shapes making it all the more scrumptious.

Related: 25 Comforting One-Pot Recipes That Will Warm Your Belly

One-Pot Pasta and Chickpea Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 (6 cups)

Related: 30 Recipes That Will Make You Rethink Canned Beans

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp olive oil
Half onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemary
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup small pasta such as baby shells or ditalini
2 cups drained and rinsed can chickpeas
1 cup can cherry tomatoes (optional)
4 cups water or no-salt added vegetable broth
Olive oil and Parmesan for garnish

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and rosemary, and cook, stirring until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute.

2. Push onion mixture to one side of pan. Add tomato paste on other side, and cook, stirring until colour deepens, 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, cherry tomatoes (if using) and water and stir to combine.

3. Add pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until pasta is al dente, following package directions.

4. Divide among bowls; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Tip: Add 1 chopped carrot to the onion mixture for a vegetable hearty stew.



Tip:
If you don’t have can cherry tomatoes, increase the tomato paste to 3 Tbsp and adjust the seasoning after adding the water.

For more quick and breezy comfort food inspiration, try these easy stuffed pasta recipes that start with store-bought noodles or this healthy three-cheese cacio e pepe in spaghetti squash form.

The Trick to Mastering the Best-Ever Instant Pot Crispy Rice

What’s better than a bowl of flawlessly cooked rice? It should be tender yet fluffy with each pearly grain separated and peaked. How to cook the perfect pot of rice is as baffling as there are methods, and yes, it’s easy to mess up, but we’ve mastered the technique with the Instant Pot and added a crispy, crunchy top (arguably the only way to improve rice). Here are the tricks to mastering the glorious crispy crown every time using an Instant Pot.

How to Make The Best Instant Pot Crispy Rice

Ingredients:
2 cups basmati rice (makes 6 cups of cooked rice)
5 Tbsp ghee or unsalted butter, divided (1 ½ Tbsp softened)
1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp saffron threads (optional)
3 Tbsp olive oil or neutral oil

1. Wash Don’t Rinse

Wash the rice 3x in a bowl covered with cold water, swishing with your hand or until the water runs clear. Tip the bowl to drain the cloudy water and repeat. Rinsing the rice in a fine-mesh sieve isn’t enough to thoroughly wash away any loose starch, dirt or debris that has accumulated from storage or the field, and it tastes so much better.

2. Good Soak

Place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water for 20-30 minutes until the grains are pearly white, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. (Yes, this is when you can rinse through a sieve!) The rice will absorb some of the water, resulting in elongated, perfectly separate grains, and it shortens the cooking time.

3. Prep the Pot

Evenly spread 1 ½ Tbsp of softened ghee on the bottom of the Instant Pot, making sure to cover. Melted ghee will trickle down from the centre of the pot since there is a slope. Softened ghee, on the other hand, will stay in place while preventing the rice from sticking.

Tip: We like using ghee for its golden hue, and it’s a pure fat with a high smoke point. It’s basically unsalted butter with the milk solids removed after separating from the butter fat (a cousin to clarified butter). Learn how to make your own ghee at home.

4. Under Pressure

Add the strained rice to the prepared pot, spreading evenly over top. Sprinkle with salt and 2 cups of cold water. Press the Pressure function and cook on high for 5 minutes. Release the pressure, remove the lid and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Grind and Bloom

*This step is optional. Skip the grinding if you’re not using saffron.*
Meanwhile, grind saffron in a mortar and pestle or finely rub between fingers and stir into a measuring glass with the olive oil. Melt the remaining ghee, then stir into the oil mixture to allow the saffron to bloom.

6. Poke Poke

Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke the rice to the bottom to make many holes. These holes will be the tunnels for the ghee saffron mixture to reach the bottom and create the signature crispy top.

Drizzle the saffron mixture over the rice, concentrating in the centre (the slope will pool the ghee to the edge of the pot).

7. Crispy Sauté

Remove the kitchen towel and press the Sauté function, and cook until the rice is golden brown and crispy on the bottom, 10-12 minutes. Using an offset spatula or rubber spatula, loosen the edge of rice and lightly pack.

Tip: If you’re afraid of the inverting, scoop the rice onto the centre of the platter, then carefully remove the crispy top and transfer. You won’t have a single piece, but you can hide the cracks with parsley or chopped pistachios or pomegranate seeds.

Using kitchen towels, remove the pot. Place a large platter over top and quickly invert it, so the rice falls onto the platter with the crispy side up. Be patient, you may have to wait up to 30 seconds for the bottom to fall, and you may have to scrape and patch any bits left behind. You did it! Now crunch, crunch and enjoy!

Note: Crispy rice is often called Tahdig (tah-DEEG), the Persian word that translates as “the bottom of the pot” and is the golden, crispy crust coveted by everyone at the table.

Looking for more inspiration? See here for easy and tasty ways to use leftover rice, plus 20+ creative stir-fry recipes and seasonal risotto ideas for spring.

This is How to Make The Perfect Chinese Hot Pot at Home

Chinese hot pot is a broth set on a table meant for sharing, and is a social dining experience where people huddle around a simmering pot of broth with a variety of proteins, veggies, spices and a string of incredibly diverse dipping sauces. In short, you make a personalized dipping sauce, dunk some ingredients into the broth and scoop it out into your bowl. Much like cheese fondue, hot pot is a buffet of mix-and-match ingredients perfect for customized social gatherings.

Depending on the region of China, the broth and chosen protein will vary, with Northern China favouring lamb, and Cantonese hot pot commonly filled with fresh seafood. To make at home, you don’t need to choose a region. It just involves a bit of preparation.

Hot Pot Tips and Tricks

Equipment 101: To keep the broth simmering on the table, you need a portable burner. Whether you choose a butane burner or portable induction stove, look for butane burners in camping stores or online, and be sure to purchase the fuel every few hot pot dinners.

The Right Pot: The ideal pot has a divider in the centre to allow for two different broths (cool, right?) and is often called a shabu-shabu hot pot with divider. I have a wide, shallow pot with a fitted lid that accommodates a selection of protein, vegetables and broth while cooking quickly.

Tool Time: You’ll need chopsticks or forks/small tongs for dipping in the pot and eating. Strainers, spoons and small plates or shallow bowls for eating, and small bowls for dipping sauces. Remember, you are dipping into a communal pot, so you will need separate tools to dip the ingredients, retrieve and eat. No one likes double dippers!

Spice is Nice: Decide on the type of broth you will serve, whether you make your own from scratch or purchase the many flavoured packages offered in Asian grocery stores. Choose from a basic chicken broth with mild flavouring agents i.e. onion, ginger, daikon, or a tomato-based, mushroom-based or spicy broth (it’s called Hot Pot for a reason!).

Ingredient Buffet: The choice of ingredients fit for a hot pot is too long to list, and with no hard and fast rules, it’s a mix-and-match game. You want a little bit of everything, and balance is critical when it comes to vegetables. You want texture, satiating veggies and complementary choices for the remaining ingredients.

Hot Pot Ingredient List

Greens
Hearty and leafy, look for greens that retain texture after cooking like bok choy, watercress, snow pea leaves, Napa cabbage, Chinese spinach, gai lan and green onions.

Root Vegetables
Look for daikon, carrots, small potatoes and either cut into cubes or thinly sliced. For larger pieces, let them simmer in the broth to flavour it, and thinly slice for a slight crunch.

Mushrooms
More than an umami-rich flavour agent, reach for enokis, small cremini or shimeji mushrooms for quick cooking and sliced king oysters for a meaty choice. Add the small mushrooms the last minute of cooking; they’re ready as soon as they start to wilt, and king oysters can handle a longer cooking time.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a staple in many Asian soups and stews. Cut tomatoes into quarters and simmer until softened for the acidity to balance the spice.

Squash
Kabocha squash is my first choice for its bright hue, rich texture and sweetness to balance the stew. Winter melon, also known as bitter melon, is wildly popular in Asia for soups and stews with a mild flavour and absorbs the characteristics of the other ingredients. The skin and seeds must be removed, and while the flesh is firm, it can become mush if overcooked.

Other Vegetables:
Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts, corn, green beans.

Dipping Sauces
Often, the hot pot is not the source of big flavours; it’s the personalized dipping sauce that sings and heightens the experience. You drop your protein and vegetables into the broth, or allow them to cook for a few minutes, scoop them out onto a plate or bowl, then sink the protein/veggie into the dipping sauce before eating. Choices of sauces include: Soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese black vinegar, Hoisin sauce, Chinese chili oil and Chinese sesame paste.

Soup Base
The broth is the foundation of any hot pot, and you can make your own with prepared chicken, beef or vegetable broth, then layer with flavour agents such as fresh or dried chilies, fish sauce, Chinese rice wine, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar. The easy solution is to venture out into your local Asian market and look for the many Hot Pot Soup Bases. You will be spoiled for choice: Tomato Broth, Mushroom Broth, Sichuan Pepper Broth, Mild Broth, Spicy Broth, Vegetable Broth.

For a homemade spicy broth, fry dried whole chilies in vegetable oil until they turn red. Scrape into the hot pot with prepared chicken broth with star anise, sliced ginger and chunks of green onions.

Protein
Just about any protein will be utterly delicious in a hot pot. Buy thinly sliced lamb, beef or pork belly (often found frozen in Asian grocery stores) for pure ease of enjoyment. Dip a slice of your chosen protein a few times in the hot pot and, it’s done in about 30 seconds. For chicken, look for chicken cutlets and thinly slice into strips.

Seafood
Shellfish additions are as endless as the sea and promise to add even more flavour to the pot. The current favourite is shrimp, and don’t be afraid to leave the shell and head on. Scallops come in all sizes, oysters should be shucked and can be purchased frozen, shucked. Mussels are sustainable, and you need only to remove the beards and cleaned, clams need a good scrubbing too, and the littlenecks are best for hot pot for their quick cooking time, and they take up little room.

Fish Balls and Fish Cakes
Fish of all varieties when thinly sliced are great in a hot pot. Place salmon, halibut, and bass in the strainer during the cooking process to catch all the flaky pieces.

Fish balls are pressed fish paste, cuttlefish, shrimp and lobster and can be round, square, oval and even come in a variety of colours from white to brown to pink. Look for them in the freezer section of any Asian grocery store, when they’re already cooked and frozen and need a minute or two in the hot pot to thaw. When they float to the surface, they’re ready for dipping.

Tofu
Medium-firm or firm will work, the soft or silken variety won’t survive the jostling dippers from all angles. Fried tofu is pre-cooked and needs only warming.

Noodles
Traditionally, rice noodles are an excellent choice for its quick and clean cooking. Wheat noodles will thicken the broth and leave a cloudy soup.

From a party of two to an elaborate gathering, hot pot is a warming, fun and creative dinner idea, and the most deliciously entertaining.

We’ve also rounded up last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy. You should also try your hand at this easy, cheesy fondue board for entertaining.

This Beef and Bean Chili Contains an Unsuspecting Secret Ingredient

Chili is the perfect comfort food: it’s delicious in cold weather (or any time), it feeds a crowd, it’s festive during sporting events, it’s spicy and stew-y, and now, it’s chocolatey too! We believe most chilis are missing this key, secret ingredient. Pairing cocoa with an already rich chili only deepens the flavours, adding more sweetness and bitterness, while creating a velvety texture.  

Hearty Beef and Bean Chili with Dark Chocolate

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp sea salt
Few cracks of pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 red or yellow potato, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 sweet potato, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 cup broth
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 ounces (75g) dark chocolate (70% or higher)
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Place a large pot or dutch oven on the stove, heat to medium, toss in the oil and then sauté the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.

2. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Toss in the spices and mix around so they get nice and toasted.

3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with your spoon, so it’s in smaller pieces that can brown. Mix it around so it gets coated in the spices. There’s no need to fully cook it yet, since the beef will cook further when it simmers in a few steps.

4. Toss in the potatoes, broth, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and dark chocolate, and give the whole pot a big stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with fresh cilantro on top.

For more comforting recipes, this winter greens mac & cheese and these slow-cooker ribs with a red wine sauce will save you on the coldest winter days. You can also try these slow-cooker curry recipes.

The Best Slow Cooker Short Ribs With a Delectable Red Wine Sauce

Richly satisfying and beefy, our easy short ribs are also deeply comforting with a reduced wine sauce and loads of veggies to stave off any guilt you may hold while hibernating from the frigid winter temperatures. Sear your short ribs and vegetables, transfer to your slow cooker and tuck in.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Reduced Wine Sauce and Vegetables

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes (plus 3-6 hours in the slow cooker)
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
4 lbs short ribs cut into 2- to 4-inch pieces
1 ½ tsp each kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 carrots, cut in thirds
2 onions, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cups full-bodied red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups no-salt added beef broth
12-14 small cremini mushrooms


Directions:
1. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ribs and cook in batches, turning to brown all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert.

2. Add carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves to same Dutch oven and cook, turning carefully until browned, 4 minutes. Add tomato paste in centre of pan and cook, stirring until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil.

Tip: For a tomato based short rib ragout, add 1 can of good-quality plum tomatoes in place of beef broth. Remove the bones after removing from slow cooker and use 2 forks to shred the meat for a lovely rich ragout.

3. Pour vegetable mixture over ribs. Cover and cook on low until meat is very tender, on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 5 hours, adding mushrooms the last hour (if using).

4. Remove short ribs and vegetables to a large bowl and cover. Strain sauce into medium pot and skim fat. Add mushrooms and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to half, about 2 cups. Add short ribs and vegetables to pot and serve with mashed potatoes or potato gratin.

Tip: For ease of skimming, let the wine sauce and fat sit overnight in the refrigerator. Pour remaining wine sauce over ribs.

Stay cozy all season with these 15 Dutch-oven recipes made for winter, our best slow cooker soups and stews, and 10 slow cooker casseroles that’ll warm you right up.

This Winter Greens Mac & Cheese Recipe Will Make You Feel Healthy

When the cold weather strikes, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort dish. This version takes advantage of the best winter greens the season has to offer. Any variety of nutrient-packed greens will work, such as chard, collards, rapini or kale. So go ahead and indulge in this cheesy, creamy pasta for dinner, while sneaking in a healthy serving of vegetables, too!

Winter Greens Mac & Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 lb macaroni noodles, cooked to al dente
2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
6 oz chopped winter greens, stems removed
Salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
3 cups whole milk
1 bay leaf
1 large egg, whisked
2 cups grated extra-old white cheddar, plus more for topping
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus more for topping
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Directions: 

1. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the greens, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the greens begin to wilt and cook down, about 5 minutes. Transfer the greens to a bowl and set-aside until ready to use.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. In the same pot over medium heat, melt together the butter and flour. Whisking constantly, cook until a smooth roux forms, about 5 minutes.

4. Whisk in the mustard, followed by the milk and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Discard bay leaf, temper in the egg and remove pot from heat. Let cool slightly before stirring in the cheeses.

6. Add the macaroni noodles and mix until evenly coated. If the pot is not oven safe, transfer mixture to a 9 by 12 baking dish.

7. In a small mixing bowl, toss together the remaining olive oil, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

8. Top macaroni with additional cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Get in your cozies and enjoy more comforting recipes with a good-for-you twist, from Georgian cheese bread with kale to spaghetti puttanesca (starring cauliflower) to a decadent butternut squash tartiflette.

The Best Way to Cook with Wine This Season: Chorizo al Vino Tinto

Take a trip to Spain without leaving your kitchen with this simple, comforting dish that boasts bold flavours. Whether served as an accompaniment to other tapas or on its own as a companion to a lovely bottle of vino, this dish is sure to impress. It’s the perfect way to cook with red wine, as it showcases the depth and character of the fermented grapes. Try it tonight!

Chorizo al Vino Tinto

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4 to 8

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, 1 thinly sliced, 1 cut in half
2-4 cured chorizo sausages
2 cups dry Spanish red wine, such as Tempranillo
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 demi baguette, cut into ½-inch thick slices on a slight bias

Directions:

1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a small, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes.

2. Pierce each sausage a few times with a fork and add to pan along with wine; bring to a simmer.

3. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, flipping sausage halfway. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. This will infuse the sausages with flavour.

4. Remove sausages from pan and cut into ½-inch thick slices. Pour wine into a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup and set aside.

5. Return sausages to pan over medium-high and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add reserved wine; cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, position an oven rack 6-inches from top of oven and heat broiler to high. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil. Place in oven and broil until golden, 1-2 minutes per side, checking often.

7. Once toasted, rub with cut side of remaining garlic clove.

8. Remove sausages and wine sauce to a serving dish and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with toasted bread.

Here, we’ve rounded up 50 creative ways to cook with sausage for dinner, plus our coziest fall comfort food recipes.