Comfort Cooking

The art of pleasurable food

When I think about comfort food, to choose a favourite would be like choosing between hot and cold weather – there are pros and cons for each and, ultimately, they say variety is the spice of life…

Sweet potato macaroni cheese

But in the end, comfort food has the ability to warm us from the inside and brings us a warm fuzzy feeling which – as Nigella Lawson says of fresh nutmeg – restores a wonderful feeling of wellbeing. However, sometimes I find that happiness can be brought about just from cooking such food that I know is going to be amazing.

So in my excitement I made Nigella’s sweet potato macaroni cheese, which she admits is the best macaroni cheese she’s ever eaten. And she wasn’t wrong. The thick creaminess of the roux and the sweet but comforting starchiness of the sweet potatoes – mixed with good cheese and some of the many packets of pasta in my cupboard – was like a thick blanket was being wrapped around me. And it was even good reheated later on.

Southern-style fried chicken with aioli

Another culinary triumph I made in the past week was the homestyle fried chicken of my dreams. As I told my jealous friends afterwards, this chicken is better than KFC. Not only did I feel competent in my efforts, but well rewarded in the result (see above). I’ll admit, I added more cayenne pepper and seasoning than was stipulated, as I love spicy chicken; however one of the many pleasures of home food is that it is your kitchen and you can do whatever the hell you want in it!

“There are few things in life that can’t be improved by a little deep-frying. Chicken, I think, is the ultimate deep-fried food… For it to reach perfection which is very important, especially with trashy food, it really has to be balanced. In other words you need to have it tender within and a crisp, crisp skin on the outside.” – Nigella Lawson, Nigella Bites.

With the cooler weather on it’s way, I highly recommend trying these recipes. Whether cooking for a crowd, for a few, or for you. Happy eating!

For the recipes featured in this post, check out Nigella’s Southern-style fried chicken recipe on YouTube and her Sweet potato macaroni cheese recipe on her own website for some seriously good comfort food.