New from the archives: four fresh posts (Recipes: chicken stuffed with ricotta, lentil soup, grandma's applesauce, sweet potato latkes)
'Tis the season for comforting food, the food that makes you feel like snuggling under a blanket in front of a fire on a snowy winter night, with your e-reader and your cats. Roast chicken and potato pancakes and applesauce and soup: nothing comforts more than these dishes, cooked simply, like grandmothers would make them.
In the early days of The Perfect Pantry, I didn't know how to photograph the food I cooked. Keeping a promise to myself, and to you, I've been updating posts from the first two years, a few recipes at a time, adding new photos and repairing links that no longer go anywhere. This update's recipes highlight all-purpose flour, canned tomatoes, lentils and ground cloves.
First up, a roast chicken stuffed with a ricotta and raisin filling is straightforward enough for everyday, and also fancy enough for dinner with friends. I learned this recipe years ago, from a Boston police officer (and Italian grandfather) who loved to cook.
From my own grandmother, I learned to make the best applesauce. You can add sweetener if you wish, but I never do; I love the tart flavor of the apples paired with the bite of good cinnamon.
When the weather turns cool, I love to make lentil soup. This basic recipe uses one of everything -- one cup of lentils, one quart of liquid, one tomato, one potato. I've been making this economical and nutritious soup since my college days.
Finally, sweet potato latkes (potato pancakes), perfect during this holiday season, make a satisfying and filling main dish for a crowd, especially if your crowd are vegetarians. Serve latkes with sour cream, or as we do, with my grandma's applesauce.