27 Feb Special of the day: Classic Comfort Food
When it comes to simplifying supper, there’s nothing better than having classic comfort food assembled and waiting for you to pop in the oven, especially when three accompanying dishes all bake at the same temperature for the an equal amount of time. Perfect!
Plan to simmer the short ribs, smash the potatoes and stuff the tomatoes the day before you plan to entertain. Then rest easy knowing the next day is all yours to savor with no worries. Dinner will be served in no time without much more than firing up the oven. Fifteen minutes to bake gives you just enough time to open a bottle of wine and ease into entertaining mode with your guests.
An appetizing après ski spread, post-sporting event feast, or simply a Sunday supper with friends, this week’s Special of the day: Classic Comfort Food menu is sure to please whoever is lucky enough to be sitting at your table for dinner.
Wishing you effortless entertaining with this week’s Special of the day: Classic Comfort Food and recipes for Burgundy-Braised Short Ribs, Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Baked Stuffed Tomatoes. Happy cooking!
Recipes and food photography by Sydne George.
Burgundy-Braised Short Ribs
(makes about six servings)
5 pounds beef short ribs
2 cups burgundy (or other red) wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tbsp. shallots, minced
3 cups beef stock
8-ounces white mushrooms, quartered
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In Dutch oven or other large covered cooking pot, combine all ingredients. Cover and bake for three hours.
Remove from oven. Remove ribs and mushrooms from pot. Skim fat from sauce and discard. Strain sauce and return to pot. Simmer sauce over medium heat until reduced to 1 cup.
*Sauce and short ribs can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated at this point until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Return short ribs and mushrooms to pot with sauce and bake for 15 minutes to heat through.
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
(makes six servings)
5 medium red potatoes, cut in fourths
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup half and half
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Bring water to boil in medium pot. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
In a mixing bowl, combine cooked potatoes, butter, garlic and half and half. Mix until potatoes are smashed and somewhat creamy. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
*Potatoes can be covered and refrigerated at this point.
When ready to serve, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until warmed through.
(makes ½ cup)
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
½ cup sour cream
In small bowl, combine horseradish and sour cream. Stir to mix.
Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
6 medium tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil, divided
½ cup fresh fennel, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
1 egg, beaten
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rub 2 tbsp. olive oil in the bottom of a glass pie plate or other medium baking dish.
Cut a thin slice of the bottom of each tomato so they sit flat. Chop tomato slices and reserve. Remove core and seeds of tomatoes and discard.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add fennel and sauté until soft. Remove from heat. Add chopped tomato, basil, egg, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Carefully fill tomato shells with filling.
*Stuffed tomatoes can be covered and refrigerated at this point until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until heated through.
Mound Garlic Smashed Potatoes in center of each dinner plate. Arrange Burgundy-Braised Short Ribs around edges of potato mound. Drizzle sauce over short ribs. Garnish with a dollop of Horseradish Cream and a fresh basil leaf. Add Baked Stuffed Tomato to plate and serve. Enjoy!
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.