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A cold day’s comfort food

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


There’s nothing quite like comfort food to warm you on a cold winter’s day. Here are two recipes that do just that. One uses natural heat to make you feel better. The other uses a little spice to get the job done.

 

 

 

Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

 

Dunk the grilled cheese croutons into the soup. Let them linger for as long as needed, depending on whether you like your croutons crunchy or sopped into the soup.

 

This recipe is from Chungah Rhee, who writes Damn Delicious, a food blog.

 

 

Yield: 4 servings

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

 

 

For the grilled cheese croutons

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 slices wheat bread

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

 

Instructions

 

Heat olive oil in grill pan over medium-high heat. Spread ½ tablespoon butter over 1 side of each bread slice. Turn over bread slices and top 2 slices with cheddar. Place remaining 2 slices of bread on top, buttered sides up. Add sandwich to pan and grill until bread is golden and cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Let cool for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.

 

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Stir in tomatoes and mash, using potato masher, until broken down into smaller pieces. Stir in heavy cream and brown sugar.

 

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

 

Puree with an immersion blender. Stir in vegetable broth until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Serve immediately with croutons, garnished with parsley.

 

 

Source: Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and Ina Garten

 

 

 

Homemade Applesauce

 

This applesauce can be blended for smooth consistency, or it can be made chunky. If you use sweet apples – Braeburn, Cortland, Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp among them – you may not need to add sugar.

 

That little bit of cinnamon will bring a savory bit of snap to a cold January day. This recipe is from Stick a Fork In It, a food blog.

 

 

Yield: About 5 cups

 

 

Ingredients

 

6 pounds apples

1½ cups water

½ cup granulated sugar (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

 

 

Instructions

 

Wash, peel and core apples. Slice apples into small cubes. Place apples in large pot and add ½ cup of water. Over medium heat, cook apples until tender (5 to 20 minutes depending on the type of apple). For a smooth applesauce, transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. For a chunky applesauce, mash apples with a potato masher until you reach the desired consistency. If desired, stir in sugar and/or cinnamon. Store in refrigerator or in freezer, using a freezer-safe container.

 

 

Source: Adapted from the National Center for Home Food Preservation

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.