Comforting Food Isn’t Comfort Food
Comfort food has a bad rap. Generally viewed as high fat, sugar laden and beige, we’re told to avoid it to maintian a healthy diet. Comforting food however, is a different thing altogether. Healthy doesn’t just mean salad and mineral water. At this time of year, we should be enjoying hearty, fresh fare. This is a time for cosying up with something steaming and generous. Comforting foods that warm the heart as well as the belly.
I have never understood that whole thing about January being the month that signified deprivation. It’s the heart of winter: freezing, cold and dark at 4pm. There is no Christmas to look forward to and Easter seems a long way away. Unless you’re in any supermarket of course, where the chocolate eggs sit side by side with discounted selection boxes by the 2nd of January.
With winter veg plentiful and affordable, this is the perfect time for carrot, parsnip, squash and the humble tattie to come into their own. There can surely be nothing more endorphin inducing than curling yourself around a bowl of thick winter veg soup and crusty bread (with lashings of butter – we aren’t savages after all).
Up Your Game
Game birds in particular lend themselves very well to the subtle sweetness of root veg and our current dinner menu features a delicious spiced mallard dish with roast parsnip and potato dauphinoise. It’s a sweet and fragrant taste sensation, particularly when washed down with a juicy Merlot or a nicely rounded Malbec.
Spice It Up
Using spice is not only a great way to add fragrance and interest, but it can also bring out the flavours of other ingredients. In much the same way as salt or sugar work as flavour enhancers, carefully chosen spices can make an already tasty dish really sing.
Our sticky toffee pudding is a great example, or our spiced sultana parfait which is shot through with cinnamon and allspice and served with a crisp and delicate mincemeat spring roll. A tasty reminder of the festive season and no diet food in sight. Just good, fresh, home-cooked tastiness.
A little bit of what you fancy really does do you good.