Winter comfort food recipes: that can easily be made at home
As people are bundling up more with the chilly, rainy weather and as the world has proven to be both chaotic and life changing lately, comforting food to warm the soul and mind, can bring peace and warmth to people who may have unending doubts and stresses.
Below are a few recipes for food sure to relax in this unwelcoming weather.
MATZO BALL SOUP
Matzo ball soup is a staple in Jewish culture and a well-known comfort food. Below is a detailed explanation of how to make it. These ingredients are available at either Sherm’s or Fred Meyer.
- 1 tbsp of vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 carrots
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 ¾ lb of chicken breast
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cups of water
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Fresh dill
Matzo ball ingredients:
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp of vegetable or canola oil
- ¾ cup of matzo meal
- 1 tsp of salt
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- freshly cracked pepper
- 3 tbsp of water
Mince the garlic, then dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Make sure to add them into a bowl and mix with vegetable or canola oil in a large pot on medium heat until the onions are soft. Next is adding the chicken breast, and chicken broth. Next add the 2 cups of water, freshly cracked pepper and dill to the pot. Place a lid on top of the pot and wait until it starts to boil. Once it begins boiling, turn down the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Start mixing the matzo ball dough while the mixture cooks. In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs and vegetable oil. Place the Matzo Meal, salt, baking powder into the bowl and add cracked pepper to the eggs and oil. Continue stirring until all is mixed well. Add 3 tablespoons of water and stir until it’s smooth. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After the chicken broth has gotten done simmering, remove the chicken breast and start shredding it with a fork. Put the shredded chicken back into the soup and taste the broth to make sure it is seasoned to taste. Once the matzo ball mix is stiffened up after being refrigerated, begin to form it into ping-pong sized balls. Drop the balls into the simmering broth and once they’re all in there, simmer them for 20 minutes without the lid. Make sure to keep an eye on it as it has to simmer gently. After it’s done, serve in a bowl with the broth.
Challah bread, also coming from Jewish culture, is a food that’s eaten in some holidays. The ingredients are as follows.
To make dough:
- 1 ½ packages of active dry yeast (3 ½ teaspoons)
- 1 tbsp plus ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of vegetable oil (mostly used to greasing the bowl)
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 8 – 8 ½ cups of flour
- Chocolate chips if wanting to make it chocolate
- Honey to dip it in
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in 1 ¾ cups of lukewarm water. Start whisking the oil into the yeast, and begin beating 4 eggs in a separate bowl one at a time, with the leftover salt and sugar. Gradually start adding flour. When the dough begins holding itself together, that means it’s ready for kneading. Spread flour on a flat surface and place dough on it, kneading and turning it until smooth. Grab a clean bowl and grease it, then place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit and rise in a warm place for one hour until it has almost doubled in size. After the dough has doubled, punch the dough down and let rise again in a warm place for another half an hour.
In order to make a 6-braid challah, take half of the dough and form it into 6 balls. Roll each ball with your hands into a strand of 12 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide. Place each strand in a row parallel to one another and pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 of the strands, then take the second strand from the left and start moving it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2 times. Move the second strand from the right to the far left. Once done, start over again with the outside right strand. Keep doing this until each strand of the challah is braided. If wanting to make a straight challah, simply tuck the ends underneath. For a circular challah, twist into a circle and pinch the ends together. Place the braided loaves on a cookie sheet after greasing it at least 2 inches apart from each other.
Beat the remaining eggs and brush the mixture onto the loaves. What happens next is either freezing the bread or letting it continue to rise for another hour. If wanting to bake immediately, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and go over the loaves with the egg mixture again after the challah is done. If freezing, remove the bread from the freezer 5 hours before baking. Bake the challah in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Sometimes this can take longer, depending on how much you make. Once it comes out of the oven, get honey ready and dip it in to enjoy.
While tasting the foods that are important in Jewish culture is fun, learning about their origins is even more fun.
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