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14 of my best comfort food recipes – the cure to a trying week

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Food really does take me to my happy place.

After what has been a tough and busy few weeks, culminating in the break-in of Uforic in the early hours of Monday morning, comfort food was definitely needed.

Mother’s Day was an epic day – 118 High Teas later, and we were all well and truly spent. Happy to see all the mums showered with love – but spent.

To come in the next morning and find we had been broken into – it was saddening and deflating, to say the least.

She took our tip jar 🙁

It’s also the third time. This time, I didn’t cry or get mad. We called the police – found clear footage of the female offender on our camera system – and sent it out to the public via our Facebook page.

The reaction from our community has been nothing short of heart-warming. More than 300 shares, so many comments and messages and even a few people letting us know they will be contacting the police with information.

It’s amazing how something horrible can turn into all our amazing customers rallying around us to show their love, support and encouragement.

Our whole team feels so incredibly thankful.

But it’s not only times of trauma – but as the weather gets cold, the evenings are getting dark early – when a delicious, warming pot of something can just make you feel content.

So, as I promised last week – here are some of my favourite comfort food recipes, from the Uforic Food Blog archive. I used to do a weekly post here on the blog called The Weekly Cook Up … the premise of it being that we all can find some time each week to make a big pot of curry, stew, soup or some other slow food, to freeze. If we all did it each week, imagine the variety of meals we would have in the freezer for those nights when you get home late, you can’t be bothered, or life just gets in the way?

After my confession about my lack of cooking at home … I am looking forward to making sure I get some meals in my freezer!

So, here goes:

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Massaman Curry

This recipe is one where you put an afternoon aside and immerse yourself in the satisfying processes of making this dish. It’s a recipe inspired by one of my biggest food hereos – Rick Stein. It’s worth the ingredients list and time – promise!

SpezzatinoDi Manzo (Italian Beef Stew)

This gem does take more than two hours to cook – but the meat was so tender and succulent and the pancetta and wine added so much beautiful flavour, it was worth the wait! What can I say, I just loved every mouthful – and I’m not just saying that to get brownie points with the lady whose recipe this is – my lovely mother-in-law, Sandra

Chicken Noodle Soup

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With cooler weather comes colds and flues, and if you haven’t heard, chicken soup has wonderful medicinal, anti-inflammatory properties. All the more reason to get into the kitchen this weekend and cook up a nice, big batch. This recipe is healthy, warming and completely delish!

 

 

Irish Stew

Irish stew is a casserole that has been the key to keeping hungry people’s tummies warm and full for a very long time. It’s simple to make, with few ingredients and is ideal for your slow cooker.

Boeuff Bourguignon 

French blood courses through my veins, so I have made it my life’s work to conquer some of their most delicious comfort food. This recipe for Boeuff Bourguignon (beef in red wine) is an awesome start!

Lamb Ragu

This one is Italian slow cooking at it’s absolute best! Best served over pasta – or even creamy mash! Soooo goood!!!

Mussels, glorious Mussels!mussels

Mussels, without a shadow of a doubt – are my absolute favourite seafood. They are full of glorious, meaty flavour. I love how they sound as you swish them around in a pan, the clickity clack as the shells hit the edges. They look wonderful too – the shells all black and shiny. And amazingly, in Australia anyway, they are super cheap!!! However, mussels aren’t all fun and games. Here are  my tips on how best to handle and cook them.

Ginger and Coriander Curry

Simple but beautifully fragrant – this curry is absolutely divine!

Meatballs!

I’ve been making meatballs for years now – but have never been completely happy with the results – until now.

I have tried lots of different recipes – but it was advice from my beautiful Italian friend Laura which was the clincher.

She told me her secret to awesome meatballs is to use half beef and half pork mince (which is what I quite often do when making bolognese) and she doesn’t brown her meatballs, she simply pops them in the sauce and lets them cook gently.

Laura is an awesome cook and so I was really looking forward to trying to make truly Italian meatballs.

The verdict? Well, they were delicious!

chicken-with-ratatouille-and-risoni

Chicken with rataouille and risoni

This recipe is fantastic because it’s very balanced – it has protein, veg and carbs – and best of all, it’s absolutely delicious and freezes extremely well.

Fragrant lamb shanks with cummin and paprkia

Nowadays, lamb shanks are the “in” thing. Long cooking makes it melt-in-your-mouth – just incredible. Sadly now that demand has risen, the shank is no longer cheap – but well worth the money and the time to cook them.

I’m totally obsessed with Moroccan flavours  – I think that’s why I came up with this. As soon as it comes to the boil, the smell of cinnamon, cumin and other spices just fills the house. So amazing!

Butter Chicken – the weeknight version

Butter chicken is one of those curries that won’t scare those opposed to heat and is great for kids. Not a chilli in site! While curries are a bit famous for taking a very long time to cook – this version is actually quite quick (on the table within 40 minutes, including preparation) and doesn’t require going to the supermarket to purchase 10 different kinds of spice. It’s a bit of a cheats version – but don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for that!

dahlDelicious Daal

I’m not really in to vegetarian food – but this dal is really something else. It’s filling, comforting and full of beautiful flavour and spice. You get all of this, and it’s quick and easy too.

Dal is the Indian word for pulses, as well as the finished dish. Chickpeas and other beans are also popular for this style of curry.

This dal is very mild – so if you like heat – add more chilli to taste.

Roman-style chicken

A recipe by one of my favourite Italian cooks, this is so easy to whip up from what you have in the pantry and fridge!

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