The crisp golden skin of roast chicken, the aroma of freshly baked bread, a hearty beef stew bubbling on the stove, the nostalgic taste of holiday cookies—comfort foods engage our senses and our emotions in a deeply satisfying way. Check out our 9 ways to bring comfort to your Winter Kitchen.
1) One pot meals
Seems like every regional cuisine has a one-pot meal that just gets better the longer it simmers on the stove. In the Southwest, it’s chili; in Louisiana, gumbo–while New England has baked beans and chicken and dumplings. For convenience, cook in advance and reheat the next day. Mix canned baked beans with any Kikkoman Teriyaki Takumi sauce, top with minced bacon and bake until the bacon is browned. A dash of soy sauce helps the flavors in hearty Tex-Mex chili blend perfectly.
Try this one pot Jambalaya recipe: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=13082#.UO3-QeSx9I4
Casseroles top the charts among comfort food classics, from mac ’n’ cheese and potpie to tuna noodle casserole and lasagna. They can be prepared in advance and even frozen so that they’re ready to pop in the oven anytime—and they’re a great way to stretch fish and meat. Sprinkle Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs on top of your favorite casserole (and, if you like, dot with butter or drizzle with olive oil) for a crunchy topping. Add a touch of soy sauce to the tomato sauce for your next lasagna, baked ziti or eggplant Parmesan.
Check out this Turkey Rice Curry Casserole: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=2290#.UO3-0OSx9I4
What mom made us, from a can or from scratch, is what brings back warm memories of childhood—soups like split pea, matzo ball, vegetable-beef, cream of chicken, French onion, chicken noodle and minestrone. For French onion soup with rich, deep flavor, caramelize sliced onions, stir in Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce, then add beef broth and simmer. Use Kikkoman Pearl® Organic Soymilk in place of dairy milk in cream of chicken or mushroom soup. Add a dash of Kikkoman Soy Sauce to virtually any soup, canned or homemade. Start with just a bit, increasing the quantity and tasting as you go. You’ll add umami richness and depth without a pronounced Asian flavor, much as you would by adding a little Worcestershire sauce or bouillon.
Try this Tuscan Chicken & White Bean Soup recipe: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=1150#.UO3_F-Sx9I4
Oven-roasting creates the mouth-watering flavors and aromas that make roast chicken, turkey and meatloaf some of our favorite foods. Brush the top of meatloaf with Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze just before it comes out of the oven.
We know you’ll love this Teriyaki Meatloaf: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=1625#.UO3_R-Sx9I4
5) Baked goods
Nothing says comfort like the smell of something baking in the oven—holiday quick-breads, chocolate chip cookies, fruit-laden pies and cobblers or flaky biscuits. Substitute Kikkoman Pearl® Organic Creamy Vanilla Soymilk for dairy milk in your favorite muffin or scone recipe.
When it comes to comfort, rich and creamy is the name of the game! Bread pudding, chocolate pudding, lemon meringue pie and chocolate cream pie are all creamy comfort classics. Use Kikkoman Pearl® Organic Coffee, Chocolate or even Green Tea Soymilk to make a luscious pudding or cream pie filling.
Missing those holiday flavors? Whip up this Peppermint Chocolate Mousse: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=2203#.UO3_guSx9I4
7) Breakfast dishes
Lots of people find breakfast such a comforting meal that they indulge in their favorite breakfast dishes for dinner as well. Pancakes, popovers, French toast and quiche are just a few of the comforting options.
Before frying, dip French toast in Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs for extra crunch. Use Kikkoman Pearl® Organic Original or Creamy Vanilla Soymilk to prepare your favorite pancake and waffle recipes.
Try our Crispy Baked French Toast recipe: http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=2135
8) Holiday food all year-round
A turkey dinner in June? Pecan pie in July? Why not? Toss baked sweet potatoes with Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze.
Whether they’re crispy or soft and succulent, when it comes to comforting vegetables—from fried or roasted potatoes to roasted root vegetables, potato salad and creamed spinach—it’s all about texture. Toss roasted or steamed root vegetables with butter and teriyaki sauce. For an updated potato salad, toss boiled, quartered new potatoes and scallions with mayonnaise mixed with a touch of Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce. Use Kikkoman Pearl® Organic Original Soymilk to add richness to creamed spinach. Finish roasted veggies with a drizzle of Kikkoman Ponzu Sauce right after they come out of the oven, just as you would use balsamic vinegar.
Next week: A look at Comfort Foods Around The World