B.C. residents are bundling up for a cold February, and comfort foods are a great way to warm up as the temperature drops.
Claire Tansey — chef, food expert and author of Uncomplicated: Taking the Stress out of Home Cooking — says there is no better way to handle the polar vortex than a hot bowl of something gooey and savory.
"I think you can't go wrong with the classics. For me that's got to be homemade macaroni and cheese. A lovely casserole ticks all the boxes for me — it's satisfying and it reminds me of my mom and our family dinners," Tansey told BC Today host Michelle Eliot.
Oh, to be a kid again
The nostalgia element is a quintessential part of any truly great comfort food. It often is something you associate with being a kid, before life was so busy and troubled, says Tansey.
Whether you had a bad day, or you're feeling frozen after your commute home, you can turn to comfort food.
"It's sort of like getting a hug from the inside-out," said Tansey.
Usually, comfort food is old-fashioned and simple, like meatloaf, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, lentil soup, chilli, borscht or a brothy soup.
"It's also got to score high on the soft, stick-to-your ribs scale so you feel full," said Tansey.
Dishes like pot-roast are convenient, says Tansey — just put the ingredients in a slow-cooker or oven and let time do the work.
"You're going to be inside anyway, you may as well have something in the oven heating you up," said Tansey.
Finally, for those who can't get enough of potato and leek soup, Tansey suggests checking out Julia Child's original recipe in her recipe book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Her version of the classic comfort food favourite involves plenty of butter and cream, salt and pepper and garlic.
Listen to the full segment, complete with listener-recommended recipes and comfort food favourites, here:
With files by BC Today.