the family dinner series: triad of winter comforts–soups, sandwiches, and friends
today, outside, nothing but white in the sky, in the air, on the earth.
“Dear Students —
Please make sure that you have food and water in your apartments and dorm rooms (as well as toilet paper!). And then, do not go out if you do not need to. Stay safe. Look out for one another.
This is a great opportunity for those of you living in apartment buildings (and the dorm) to cook and share meals together and enjoy the enforced interlude of peace and a break in routine.
one of our deans sent us this email in anticipation of today’s snowpocalypse. she cares for us. we take it as an affirmation of the mission on which we set out at the beginning of our medical training: to enforce moments of peace in our routine over warm meals around a wooden table, made of nothing but good food, good talk, and great people.
three weeks ago, we hosted the first s(o)upper of the new year. it’s a sign that things might just be going well for this little blog and, in turn, for the class as a whole when five minutes after the email invite goes out, all dinner spots are full. it also means family dinner must proceed until, at the very least, we will have seen each person’s name on that sheet once.
pesto, mozz, chocolate, and strawberries in one night: no shame. we have been dying to find mouths to feed (besides our own, that would be cheating) these indulgent grilled cheeses borrowed from fellow food blogs naturallyella and howsweetitis. use gluten-free rice bread to accommodate your guests as needed! with most our funds tied up in tuition and the like, we have not yet invested in a panini press or two to expedite the grilling process. no matter! improvisation due to lack of proper equipment is an opportunity to enlist the help of all persons in the room, assembly-line style. these sandwiches we made on the stove and in the oven; both methods worked just fine.
we paired these crispy solids with soothing liquids: wardah’s creamy tomato soup and sue’s classic chicken noodle (put it in your pocket, as our anatomy professor might say, for your sick days in bed). these soups can easily be scaled up or down to a party of any size. for the chicken soup, this recipe calls for dark meat, a personal preference that allows the soup to speak for itself.
our hope is that you’ll put these comfort ideas in your pocket for days like today, when the universe tells us little people to just slow down already and eat with our hands.
be well – s&w
serves 8 with $50 from Aldi. find gluten-free bread at Stop and Shop.
creamy tomato soup
this is a simple but well-loved recipe from wardah’s childhood, an old family favorite
8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp flour
place tomatoes, onions, garlic, cloves, and vegetable broth in stockpot over high heat. bring to a boil, lower heat slightly, and let simmer for 30 minutes. while this boils, prepare roux by mixing together butter and flour. once the tomatoes are soft, pour the contents of the stockpot into a food processor. blend until smooth. return contents to stockpot over medium heat and add roux, heavy cream, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. let simmer, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. serve straight from the stove.
caramelized onion, pesto, and grilled mozzarella sandwich
recipe adapted from naturallyella.com
shout-out to sue’s mom, for inspiration on simplicity and whole ingredients
2.5 quarts water
1 lb bag of carrots, peeled, ends trimmed, and diced
1/2 bulb of celery (about 6 stalks), ends trimmed and diced
1/2 cup egg noodles
4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
set water in large pot on stove to boil. meanwhile, prepare vegetables and heat oil in large skillet. brown chicken thighs on both sides. remove from heat and make deep slits in meat to allow for even cooking. add chicken to boiling water. bring back to boil, then lower heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. remove to cut into bite-size pieces and return to water. add carrots, celery, and egg noodles to boiling water. cook until tender about 10 minutes. season generously with salt and pepper to taste. serve immediately.
roasted strawberry, brie, and dark chocolate grilled cheese (for dessert)
recipe adapted from howsweetitis