Category Archives: comfort food

Comfort Food…

| December 21, 2010

The January 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine features comfort food – something we all crave in this holiday season and these cold winter months – from various Seattle restaurants including a few who trust Caffé Vita to bring their customers that special comfort only a warm cup of delicious coffee can. We thought we’d follow through on this idea and ask some of our favorite restaurant partners to share a favorite comfort food recipe of theirs, with you…enjoy!

Pommes Aligot

Restaurant: Campagne
Location: 86 Pine Street (Restaurant & Bar), 1600 Post Alley (Café and Wine Bar), at the Pike Market

– 1 and 1/2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 3 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced.
– Water, as needed
– 4 tablespoons butter
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 2 1/2 cups grated Cantal cheese, (natural colored cheddar-type cheese)
– Sea salt

– Add potatoes and sliced garlic to sauce pan and cover with water.
– Bring contents to boil and lower to simmer; then cook until potatoes are tender.
– Drain potatoes, being careful not to lose the garlic pieces. Pass potatoes and garlic through food mill over a bowl.
– Add half of heavy cream and all of butter to saucepan and heat to foaming. Add milled potatoes to cream and butter mixture and combine with wooden spoon. The cheese and potatoes should be fully combined into a smooth, slightly stringy mixture. Serve immediately.

Much of the recipe can be done ahead of time. Peel and cut potatoes and store in water in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to two days. Grate cheese and store in a container or plastic bag. Also, have all ingredients ready when you are beginning the procedure and make sure other components of the dish are set. This potato dish is best consumed fresh and hot. Serve with roast meats, sausages, or by itself. Serves 4 to 6.

Almost Authentic Pozolé

Restaurant: Crow
Location: 823 5th Ave. N, Seattle, WA

– 2 meaty ham shanks
– 2 quarts chicken stock
– 1 white onion, minced
– 2 quarts canned tomatoes, pureed
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 3 stalks celery, washed and finely diced
– 2 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted and ground
– 2 tablespoons coriander seed, toasted and ground
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 large cans hominy (sometimes found in the Hispanic food section), washed and drained
– 3 green onions, chopped
– juice of 1 lime
– salt and pepper to taste

– Cut stems off cilantro and chop them very fine. Reserves leaves for later in the recipe.
– In a large stock pot add shanks, stock, onions, tomatoes, cilantro stems, celery, cumin, coriander, and garlic.
– Bring to a simmer and cook until shanks are soft and stock is flavored (approx. 1 hour)
– If needed, add water to keep the liquid cover the meat.
– Remove the shanks and set aside to cool.
– When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and chop or shred into small pieces.
– Add meat, hominy, chopped cilantro leaves, and green onions and bring to a simmer.
– Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. 
– Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with lime juice, salt, and pepper
– Serve. Optional garnishes include shredded cabbage, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, and fried tortilla chips (or crispy pork rinds).

Carlton Farms Pork Chili w/ Pike Brewing Kilt Lifter

Restaurant: Steelhead Diner
Location: 95 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101

– 2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, medium dice
– 1 1/4 cup pinto beans, dried
– 1 1/4 cup red kidney beans, dried
– 1 1/4 cup black beans, dried
– 1 cup red pepper, medium dice
– 1 cup green pepper, medium dice
– 1 cup red onion, medium dice
– 1 cup yellow onion, medium dice
– 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
– 1 1/2 gallon water or chicken stock
– 1 cup chili sauce
– 1 cup tomato puree
– 16 oz Pike Brewing Kilt Lifter (a strong, scotch ale).
– 2 tablespoon chili spice
– 2 bay leaf
– 3 oz oil
– salt

– 1 cup tomato, medium dice
– 2 cup butternut squash, medium dice
– 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
– 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
– 1 cup pepper jack, grated
– 1/4 cup pico de gallo, recipe follows
– 1/4 cup cilantro sour cream, recipe follows

Pico de Gallo (yield 1/2 cup):
– 1/4 cup tomato, small dice
– 2 tablespoon red onion, small dice
– 1 teaspoon serrano pepper, cut fine
– 1 teaspoon cilantro, cut fine
– 1 teaspoon lime juice
– salt
– combine all ingredients, season and chill

Cilantro Sour Cream (yield 1/4 cup):
– 1/4 cup sour cream
– 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
– 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
– salt
– combine all ingredients, season and chill

 Chili Spice (yield 1/4 cup):
– 1 tablespoon ground cumin
– 1 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
– 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
– 1 tablespoon ground guagillo
– 1 tablespoon ground pasilla pepper
– 1 tablespoon ground ancho pepper
– 1/2 tablespoon oregano

– Place all of the beans in a 1 gallon non-reactive container and cover them with a double volume of water. Soak overnight.
– The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– In a mixing bowl, combine butternut squash with 1 oz of oil and salt. Place on sheet tray and roast at 350 degrees until tender. Approx. 30-40 minutes. Set aside.
– Drain beans.
– Next combine all the ingredients of your chili spice. Any spice that is unused can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for future use.
– season pork with salt.
– In a 4 gallon pot heat 2 oz oil to smoking over medium high heat. When smoking lightly, add pork and brown, adjusting heat as necessary. When brown, remove and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of rendered fat.
– Add garlic and toast. Next, add onions, peppers and bay leaf and sweat.
– Add chili sauce, tomato puree, 2 tablespoon of chili spice and beans.
– Add Kilt Lifter beer, stock, pork, and stir.
– Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender (roughly 2 hours), stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon ensuring you scrape the bottom of the pot.
– 15 minutes before serving preheat the broiler
– when about to serve, add the roasted squash, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions to the pot and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt and reserved chili spice.
– Divide chili amogst four oven safe soup cups or bowls. Top with pepper jack and place under the broiler until bubbling and golden.
– Garnish with Pico de Gallo and cilantro sour cream

Jose’s No-Bake Creamy Pepperjack Mac & Cheese

Restaurant: Chelan Café
Location: 3527 Chelan Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

– 1 pound elbow macaroni
– 1 quart milk
– 1 stick butter
– 1/4 cup all purpose flour
– 4 cups grated Pepperjack cheese
– 2 cups cubed Velveeta cheese
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– dash cayenne pepper to taste

– cook elbow macaroni per package directions in well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well, set aside.
– Melt butter in a saucepan and add flour a small amount at a time cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally with a wire whisk.
– Add heated, but not boiled milk a small portion at at time until all is added and sauce is thick and smooth.
– Let cook for about 20 minutes while constantly stirring so won’t stick.
– Remove from heat, adding Velveeta and pepperjack cheeses until melted.
– Mix well and season with both peppers.
– Fold in cooked and drained macaroni and mix until pasta is well-coated with sauce.

– If desired, add 1 cup bread crumbs to top of buttered baking dish dotted with extra butter and bake until heated through in 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Serves 6-8 depending on entree or side dish.

Mousse au Chocolat

Restaurant: Café Presse
Location: 1117 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

– 1 lb. 2 oz. best quality bittersweet chocolate
– 7 tablespoons butter
– 16 egg yolks
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 7 egg whites
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar

– Coarsely chop the chocolate and put in a stainless bowl over water simmering in a saucepan. Melt the chocolate, stirring often.
– Remove the chocolate from the heat and whisk in the sugar and egg yolks, stirring constantly to avoid curdling the eggs. Let stand for 5 minutes.
– Whip the cream to soft peaks. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, adding half the sugar at the start of whipping and other half slowly as the whites come to firm peaks.
– Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the whipped egg whites.
– Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream and cookies or toasted nuts.
– Serves 10 generously.

Alcena’s Red Wine and Tomato Braised Pot Roast

Restaruant: Louisa’s Cafe & Bakery
Location: 2379 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98102

– 1 boneless chuck-eye roast (3.5-4 pounds) tied with kitchen twine every inch or so.
– Kosher Salt and Pepper
– 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 pound cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
– 1 pound vine ripened tomatoes, diced and roasted or 1 – 14.5 oz can roasted, diced tomato
– 3 tablespoon tomato paste
– 2 teaspoon sweet port wine
– 1/2 cup beef stock
– 2 cups dry red wine
– 1 head of garlic, peeled, and crushed
– 1 large sprig fresh thyme
– 1/4 -1/2 cup red wine
– 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
– 1/4 – 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed

– Pat roast dry and rub down with kosher salt and pepper.
– Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or suitable oven safe pot. Brown roast on all sides until medium brown. Remove and set aside.
– Add onion and a splash of red wine to deglaze. Cook over medium high heat while stirring all the yummy goodness from browning the meat. Add mushrooms and tomato paste. Cook until soft and mushrooms have released their moisture.
– Add tomatoes, port, beef stock, red wine, garlic, and thyme. Return the roast to the pot along with any juices that have collected. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
– Bring to a simmer and cover. Place your pot in the oven and cook until meat falls apart when forked, approximately 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours. Turn the roast after about an hour of cooking.
– Let roast rest in juices 30 minutes, then remove and set aside.
– Place pot over medium heat and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup red wine and rosemary sprig. Bring sauce to simmer and cook until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir in cubed butter one cube at a time until sauce has desired consistency. Season to taste. Remove thyme and rosemary sprigs before serving.
– Cut away kitchen twine from roast and slice against the grain. Serve with your favorite side dish, and a generous helping of sauce.