The Stillers – and Comfort Food


Monday:  Meatless Monday – Duck Paté (courtesy of Hilda, dispensation prayed for) and Split-Pea and Sorrel Soup

Tuesday:  Left-over Bourguignon re-purposed as Beef Stew with Roasted Potatoes and Salad


Wed:        Grilled Polenta Bruschetta with Shepherd’s Salad


Thurs:       Philadelphia


Friday:      Clam Chowder Pizza


Saturday:  Roast Duck with Roasted Vegetables, Salad


Sunday:    Hors d’oeuvres, Tagliatelle with Ragu Bolognese, Green Salad with Ricotta Salata, Chocolate Butter Cake with Rum Cream Sauce

“All food is comfort food . . .maybe I just like to chew . . . “

  • Lewis Black

We needed some comfort food during and after the Steelers game on Sunday.  So Pasta with Ragu Bolognese and the cake worked pretty well.  My brother Greg and I tossed in a glass of Calvados to ensure our survival.

We’re still into roasting, so we tried our first roast duck which was good, but not great (though we think we know how to fix that).  However, the roasted vegetables we served with the duck were, if we say it ourselves (and we most emphatically do) great.  So, we’ll share that recipe with you and although we don’t do it often, we did bake a dessert (or you could call it roasting) on Sunday that was simple and delicious and not too sweet (and went extremely well with Calvados, we must say), and we’ll share that with you as well.

This week’s note is short, in part, to give us a break (we’re packing and getting ready for a trip south of the border), but mostly to give you a break.  After all, the recipes are here, along with some pictures, and do you really need all my blather about food?  Gosh, I hope so, because I intend to be back in full cry next week.


(adapted from “Best Roast Chicken and Vegetables” – Cook’s 2016 Annual)

This is a dynamite way to cook vegetables.  The caramelization gives them an irresistible texture and some sweetness to go along with the bitter.  Had we learned this technique years ago, we might have been able to overcome Andrew’s aversion to what he referred to as “vengetables.”

Timing:                                    About 50 minutes

Ingredients:                             Serves about 4

1 ½ lbs. Yukon Gold (or similar waxy potato) peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
12 ounces carrots peeled, halved crosswise, then again lengthwise
12 ounces parsnips, peeled, halved cross-wise and any thick pieces halved lengthwise
Teaspoon of minced thyme
Tablespoon of chopped parsley
Vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray   (Note:  we used onions, being out of potatoes)


Preheat oven to 450 F

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray (we just smeared some olive oil over the pan) and lay vegetables, cut-side down, in a single layer on the sheet.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil.


Place vegetables on lower rack and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and remove foil, then either set aside, until main dish is ready, or increase oven temperature to 500 F and prepare as follows:

If roasting a chicken, drizzle the vegetables with some of the fat from the pan and toss with thyme, teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper to coat.  Place baking sheet with vegetables on an upper rack and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn the vegetables (a good metal spatula helps here because some the vegetables will have caramelized and will stick to the bottom of the pan – you want that caramelized crust, so carefully slide that spatula under each vegetable and get as much of it as you can), return to the oven and cook for another 8 minutes or so until they brown.  Then pour any cooking juices you have, or a little warmed chicken broth over the vegetables and roast until the liquid gets syrupy – another 3 minutes.  Toss with parsley and serve.


EXTRA                      Chocolate Butter Cake with Rum Cream Sauce

                                  (adapted from Nick Stellino’s recipe – different sauce)

About the sauce – Stellino’s concoction was too buttery for us, but the beauty of the cake made up for it.  The sauce below is a more traditional American rum sauce.

Timing:            40-45 minutes to cook, another 10-15 minutes to rest before serving


For the cake –

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1 Cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
1 Cup milk
2 ounces baking chocolate chopped fine or grate
Pinch of salt

For the rum cream sauce –

2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
½ cup of sugar
1 Cup of milk
3 tablespoons rum (we used dark, but light is fine)

Cook the Cake:

Preheat Oven to 375 F

In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients (i.e., mix with a wooden spoon or your fingers well).

Add the eggs and mix well, stirring with a wooden spoon or your fingers

Add the melted butter and milk and stir until they are incorporated – this will take a while.

Fold in the chocolate – again, take your time as you want a uniform mixture

Pour the batter into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Let the cake rest for at least 10 minutes – but you can bake and set aside for an hour or  two before serving

Shortly before serving, cook the rum sauce:

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Mix the cornstarch and sugar together and stir into the butter.

Stir in the mix and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to boil.

Now stir constantly and continue to cook until thick.

Remove from heat and stir in rum.

Serve warm, pouring sauce over individual slices of the cake.

2 thoughts on “The Stillers – and Comfort Food

  1. Can’t wait to see what you enjoy eating ‘south of the border’ and what you will make when you come home.
    Have a great trip!!😊

  2. Yum! Handsome looking duck! I will try the tagiatelle and pea soup soon! I expect some good Mexican recipes from your trip 🙂

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