All posts tagged: comfort food

Arroz Caldo for two.

It’s been a month since we got back from the Philippines and winter has landed heavily on New Zealand. I’ve pulled out my old winter coat and I’m wrapped in my biggest scarf. I’m contemplating new slippers. Is two pairs of slippers really enough? All I want is comfort food. I love comfort food. If I could figure out how to make a living devouring the world’s comfort foods, I would be in heaven. One comfort food that I grew up with is congee. Rice porridge. Placed somewhere between soup and risotto, it’s a bowl of steaming goodness. My Cantonese parents made congee when we were sick or just needed comfort. Congee was brought to the Philippines by Chinese migrants, where the locals tweaked it and gave it a Spanish name: Arroz Caldo. ARROZ is “rice”, CALDO is “hot” and this tricked up relative to congee was on my list of dishes to try. Many parts of the Philippines serve a yellow-hued Arroz Caldo (coloured with safflower) however, we visited the Visayas where they serve …

Dried mushrooms and a recipe from my childhood

Like many Cantonese children, I grew up regularly eating what I we call Dong Gu. Dong Gu literally means “winter mushroom” and is also known as a Shiitake or Chinese Black Mushroom. Dried Shiitake mushrooms are used in various asian cuisines and are inexpensive, easy to use and if stored correctly, last a long time. Dried Shiitake mushrooms taste nothing like fresh Shiitake. Dried have an intensely savoury earthy flavour and the fresh stuff tastes weak in comparison. Do not substitute fresh for dried! My family always bring back a bag or two of dried mushrooms back from trips to Hong Kong, but New Zealand customs can be frightful to deal with so it’s not really recommended. Luckily, you can buy dried Shiitake at any Asian grocer these days, perhaps even at your general supermarket. Dried Mushrooms Tips: Once open, store mushrooms in the freezer. While they will last outside the freezer, they can inevitably attract moths and other nasties. No need to thaw before rehydrating as the lack of water means these don’t really …

Spring Comfort Food

Happy first of October! It’s absolutely spring time now. Some days are warm, others are chilly. The weather is lovely. It’s not quite time to put the heater away or to hang up your coats for the season. Your meals are probably getting lighter and you may have eaten outdoors a couple of times already. I have. We don’t have a table or chairs outside so we’re going for 1 bowl or a plate of food that can be eaten with just a fork. There’s something very comforting and casual about eating without a table or a knife. When I think of comfort food, I think of stuff that you can eat with a bowl and a spoon. Wrapped in a blanket on the couch. That’s what real comfort is. Now that it’s spring and getting warmer, is the bowl of warmth less appropriate? Top 5 spring time comfort foods: Potato salad (with spring onion, boiled eggs and mayo, bacon optional) Quiche (with smoked salmon and fresh herbs) Noodle soup (Pho) Pasta salad Chowder, light on …