Born in "THE" Bronx, raised on Long Island...stints in Rochester, NY; Manhattan, NY; Andover, MA; Montclair & West Windsor, NJ and now Memphis, TN., our cuisine of birth is Italian, but we enjoy cooking Chinese, Mexican, American and hodge-podge.

Our recipes will be as accurate as possible, but you see, I rarely measure things. I prefer to combine based upon taste.

Also, I will use brand names on occasion, but am not sponsored by any company and these mentions do not put cash into my pocket.

Music is my other love & we will share music related to food (in even the smallest sense) with y'all with every new post.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Comfort Food

Listen while you read:

We all have our comfort foods - "confortare il cibo" - For some it is a quick-easy meal that reminds them of home and mom and the memories of just showing up at the table and the food being there. For others comfort food might be an involved all-day affair. I have favorite comfort foods that fit into both of those categories.

No matter what it is that makes you feel all satisfied, whether it be a big bowl of mashed potatoes with some fried chicken, or a big bowl of pasta covered in your favorite gravy, or even a bowl of Campbells Tomato Soup, it is YOUR comfort food. Isn't that the real definition of "comfort food"? Food that surrounds us like a needed hug or that extra blanket on a cold winter night.

When my most excellent friend TURNBABY of "And As The World Turns" had her BlogTalk Radio Show, we spent one Sunday evening talking comfort foods. You can hear that show by going HERE.

This weekend, the weather here in Memphis regressed by about 20 degrees. Cold, rainy, just blah.

Having to spend much of that time outdoors watching baseball causes my body to begin requesting one of those dishes that gives me comfort.

So, after the game on Saturday, I headed to the local Kroger's and picked up the following:

2 Red Bell Peppers
2 Green Bell Peppers
2 Medium Onions
2 lbs. Potatoes
2 lbs. Italian Sausage (Hot or Sweet or a mix, your choice)

I know we have a few friends who are 'cooking challenged'. Let me assure you that this is one of those recipes that anyone can recreate. If you know how to use a knife, a timer and an oven, you can not mess this up.

Preheat the oven to 450 degree

Wash the veggies and then grab your best knife. For the peppers, cut them open and remove all the seed and the 'ribs'. Then cut the peppers into 1" pieces. Cut the potatoes into 1" pieces. Peel the onion and cut it into 1" cubes.

Once all the veggies are cut place them into a roasting pan -

You may need to use two roasting pans, as you do not want
the veggies to be too crowed or they will not brown properly

Once the veggies are in the roasting pans, pour about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil over them and then, using your hands, mix the oil and the veggies, coating them well.

Put the roasting pan(s)into the oven and let them cook for about 45 minutes stirring the veggies up once or twice during that time.

Have a beer or a nice glass of wine while the cooking magic happens.

After about 45 minutes, stick each sausage link with a fork twice and then place the sausages on top of the veggies in the roasting pans and cook for about 25 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through, turning the sausage over once during that time.

What are your favorite comfort foods? Are comfort foods only for cold weather, or are they a year-round necessity?

About 10 minutes before the sausages will be cooked, wrap some nice crusty Italian bread in some aluminum foil and toss it into the oven.

Once you take the roasting pans out of the oven, cut the bread into big hunks -

This is not a meal for nicely sliced bread...big hunks for
using to push the meat and veggies into your fork

There were 10 sausages in the two packs I purchased. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled...whatever, as long as you have the roasting pans and oven space.

You can also cut the veggies into bigger pieces if that is your desire, but your roasting time will increase, so watch that they do not burn.

Fill some bowls with one or two sausages and cover with the veggies, grab a hunk of bread and enjoy! Stick to your belly, yummy goodness.

While Nancy and I sat watching another episode of Dexter, I took a break and went into the kitchen and cut up some strawberries.

Then I grabbed the following:

3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of Marsala Wine

Put a pot on the stove with about 3" of water and bring to a simmer (do not let it boil)
Using a bowl that will fit over the pot (or you can use a double-boiler for this), mix the eggs, sugar and Marsala.

Then put the bowl on to the pot and mix briskly -

A handmixer works real well for this

Mix for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is a pale yellow and light and fluffy. just made Zabaglione! (Za-ba-yone), the Italian custard you pay mucho bucks for in a restaurant.

Dip the strawberries into the Zabaglione and enjoy - If the Zabaglione coats the strawberry like in the picture, it is perfect-o!

27 spices added:

Cinnamon Girl said...

Yah know I still have a scar on my left thumb from where I got spattered with Hot Zab...way back in 1989!

Love that recipe. I am gonna make it next weekend!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Love those kind of scars! It cam out fantastic...yummo!

Rosemarie Colangelo said...

It's actually Zabaglione, not Zabigon.

My grandmother used to make it all the time - she's from Scandicci (just outside of Florence) - and she always put heavy cream and lemon zest in it. You should try that sometime.

It's a great desert!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

ROSEMARIE: I have actually seen it spelled both ways, though yours is the more common spelling.

I have also had it with the lemon zest and like it.

I agree...a great dessert.

Unknown said...

Sounds good, making me hungry. Great choice of music, you can never go wrong with a Beatles song.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

JOHN: Well with the strawberries, it was the only song that stayed in my brain

DrillerAA said...

I'm gonna have to try this next time I'm in full blown Home Alone mode.

Note: Three baggies and a few chicken tenders don't make for a food blog. You're safe.

Miranda said...

My husband would love this. I love cooking Italian and I LOVE your site...
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Your blog is now added to a fav.

Maggie Moo said...

Sausage & Peppers was a staple for us when I was growing up. My Nana makes it the best.

And funny you made Zabaglione-it's the dessert I'm teaching at my next supper club!

Travis Cody said...

My favorite comfort foods are mac & cheese and grilled cheese sammiches.

Oh, CAKE is quite comforting too!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

DRILLERAA: Hey, give it a try with the grandcrew...they might just like it. LOL...I did enjoy your post though.

MIRANDA: Thanks for coming by. I appreciate the knid words...and will Fav you also

MAGS: I love adding the potatoes...isn't that funny

TRAVIS: Yup, that sounds like you! LOL

Jeff B said...

Wow, I haven't made or even though of Zabaglione in years.

I like the look of the new blog. You did a great job putting it together.

Liz Hill said...

My list of 'comfort foods' is obscenely long and I agree that it's a personal thing. I do love a good Mac and Cheese although the potatoes I have up today are a close contender. Love love love Johnsonville products.

I am definitely going to make the Zabaglione--we both love Marsala.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

JEFF: Thank you get into the kitchen

LIZ: I know, so is mine...why do we need THAT much comfort? LOL It is so yummy...and it is good on ANYTHING! hehehehehe

Desert Songbird said...

Comfort food is eaten anytime comfort is needed, whether it be weather or mood induced. I take great comfort in eating the Indonesian cuisine of my childhood. I just wish my family liked to eat it as much as I do!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

SONGBIRD: Most absolutely...and I will try some...when are you cooking?

Ken said...

I never eat for comfort......


April 1st

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

MICKEY-T: You eat for?

TopChamp said...

comfort food for me is 'tuna fish gunge'... delicious mixture of condensed mushroom soup, macaroni and tinned tuna. Mm... Even hungover I could eat that.

The zabaglione sounds so easy when you describe it.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

TOPCHAMP: It is very easy actually...

Phfrankie Bondo said... said sausage...and peppers...mmmmmmmmmmmm

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...


katherine. said...

I'm a bit surprised you roast your vegetables in vegetable opposed to olive oil?

Mexican food is comfort food for me...

Cinnamon Girl said...

I have too many comfort foods but a big favorite of mine is pot roast and mashed potato and gravy.

Oh and Yorkshire Pudding and roast beef and creme brulee.

Dee said...

Now this looks outstanding, love your food photos. Nice blog post.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

KATHERINE: I do use olive oil on occasion depends upon my mood

STARR: Pot roast and mashed rocks!

DEE: Thank you for taking a seat at the table. Come on back ya' hear

Liz Hill said...

It's funny--I thought the same thing s katherine--I use different types of olive oil depending on how much I want the oil to impart its own flavor impact. About the only thing I use vegetable oil for is deep frying.

Music On The Couch

Modified by Blogger Tutorial Spices added by Bond.

Mangia Y'all ©Template Nice Blue. Original created by Modified by Indian Monsters. Spices added by Bond.