Sunday, November 18, 2007

Getting Comfortable

The term Comfort Food refers to a style of familiar, simple food or drink that is usually home-cooked, or consumed in informal restaurants. Comfort food is typically inexpensive, uncomplicated, and easy to prepare. Many people turn to comfort food for familiarity, emotional security, or as a special reward. The reasons a dish becomes a comfort food vary, but often include pleasant associations of childhood. Small children often latch on to a specific food or drink(in a way similar to a security blanket) and often request it in stressful situations. Adults eat comfort food for a sense of continuity.
Comfort foods are typically composed largely of simple or complex carbohydrates, such as sugar, rice, pasta, refined wheat, and so on. The word "Comfort Food" was added to the Webster's Dictionary in 1972. Various foods or beverages could fill the urge for a comfort food depending on a person's taste, but in any given culture there are foods that become universally accepted comfort foods. Seeing some of these foods on The Discovery Channel can be downright scary to us (Americans.) I can honestly say I've never craved a good hot Yak stew on a cold winter's night, but I'll bet somebody in the Himalayas has. This explains why there is no Yak section at the corner Kroger.
Many comfort foods are regional by nature, such as fried chicken and barbecue in the south, or a hotdish or other casserole in the upper midwest. Hoagies and specialty sandwiches are big in parts of the east coast. Chili, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and some version of a stew or heavy beef dish are comfort foods nearly everywhere. Many ethnic comfort foods have become mainstream and accepted as American fare and have become common American comfort food.
Comfort food has always been a staple of diners and other informal restaurants, as well as home cooking. Here in Nashville (and Tennessee) we all have a favorite "meat'n three" and by the number of Waffle Houses signs through out the southeast, many folks must get their breakfast fix " smothered and covered." Traditionally, there has been an emphasis on authenticity and low cost. One recent development, however as chefs have explored the roots of American cuisine and tried to define it as a unique style, is the advent of fine dining comfort food restaurants that feature more precise preparation, presentation, higher quality and fresh organic ingredients, thus, higher prices. But hold on...not everybody needs a roasted tomato and beef au jus surrounding our piece of meatloaf. Heck, I call that gravy.

GOODNESS GRACIOUS!

GOODNESS GRACIOUS!
Does it get better than this?

BARBEQUE SHRIMP

BARBEQUE SHRIMP
NEW ORLEANS STYLE!!

GREEN GOODNESS

GREEN GOODNESS
Ya gotta make you some of these!

SCHLURRRRP!

SCHLURRRRP!
Grilling Burgers? 10 Great Recipes

TENNESSEE TEXAS CAVIAR

TENNESSEE TEXAS CAVIAR
This is Soooo good!!

CUBAN MOJO CHICKEN

CUBAN MOJO CHICKEN
Light, And Flavorful!!

BAR- B -CUED PORK...SCHLURP!!!

BAR- B -CUED PORK...SCHLURP!!!
GREAT TASTING PORK STEAKS!

CRAB CAKES

CRAB CAKES
Wolfgang Puck's Great Recipe Here

FRESH FISH

FRESH FISH
Delicious, Fresh Orange Roughy Recipes

STEAK, STEAK, STEAK

STEAK, STEAK, STEAK

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SCHLURP!!!!

SCHLURP!!!!