So, I just came back from my vacation last week, and I have to admit that there are some parts of me that was good to come back, and there are other parts of me that is sorry that I came back in the first place. The less said about that the better though, as I want to try and keep this blog happy.
And, I have to admit that nothing makes me happier than comfort food.
So, I thought that I would use this blog entry to talk about some of my favourite comfort foods.
I have to admit that this idea stemmed from an activity that I did on my vacation on one of the days in which I A) wasn't inspecting and enjoying the new house I just bought, and B) was raining as if every cloud in the world exploded all at once.
Have you ever seen the television show MasterChef? It's a show that airs in several different countries, and all have one thing in common. It's a show that turns average cooks into culinary artists, and with the help and guidance of three experts, one person will earn the title of MasterChef, and win a quarter of a million dollar cash prize and the chance to publish their own cookbook. It's a great show, and every single time I watch an episode, I always feel the need to eat something.
(Note to self...do NOT watch MasterChef on an empty stomach.)
Anyway, I was watching the second season of MasterChef Canada, and on one of the episodes of the show, there was a team challenge where the home cooks had to serve three different kinds of poutine to hungry university students.
And let me tell you...the challenge definitely made my mouth water, as poutine is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods.
For those of you who may not know what a poutine is, allow me to explain. You take a plate of french fries, either deep fried or baked to a golden brown. Then you sprinkle cheese curd all over the french fries (or if you don't have cheese curd, you can also use shredded mozzarella cheese), and to top it all off, a savoury gravy that will melt the cheese upon contact. What you are left with is a delicious, yet sinful comfort food.
(Mind you, a poutine probably contains enough calories to keep you going for two and a half days, but still...the dish is so worth it.)
And there are certainly ways that you can make poutine even more versatile. You could sprinkle a little bit of bacon on top of it. You could use three or four different kind of cheese on top of it. Instead of french fries, you could substitute "tater tots" or mini hash browns. No matter how you like your poutine, it is definitely one of my favourite comfort foods.
Another comfort food that I enjoy is pizza. And, when it comes to pizza, I have to say that I'm a little bit selective. I'm not typically a fan of fast food style pizza (Domino's, Pizza Pizza, Papa John's, etc.), and when it comes to really good pizza, my deciding factor is the sauce. If you don't have a really great pizza sauce on the pizza that is flavoured with just the right herbs and spices, then the pizza isn't worth eating.
(I absolutely refuse to go to one pizzeria in town because their sauce is just one step above tomato juice.)
Of course, once you get the cheese/sauce ratio figured out, you have endless possibilities to top your pizza with from anchovies to zucchini! And, one of my favourite ways to top a pizza is to do it the old-fashioned Canadian way!
This means a generous portion of cheese, a lot of mushrooms, and bacon bits sprinkled all over the top. Every time I have a slice of Canadian pizza, it makes me proud of my roots, and it's always a delicious reminder of the place I come from.
Of course, not all comfort foods have to be savoury. A lot of my favourite comfort foods are sweet as well. I have a notoriously bad sweet tooth, and I probably consume more candy than I really should. I can't help it. It all tastes so delicious!
Of course, my favourite sweet comfort food has to be anything to do with peanut butter and chocolate.
Naturally, this means the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and its various forms.
But have you ever had a peanut butter chocolate cupcake? It's a chocolate cupcake with a mini Reese peanut butter cup baked in the center of it. Use peanut butter flavoured icing to top, and you have a delicious taste treat that any kid from 3-103 will enjoy!
So, poutine, Canadian style pizza, and peanut butter cupcakes. I didn't plan for all three of my favourite comfort foods to begin with the letter P, but I'll go with it!