How to Make the Best Comfort Foods From Scratch

 

These recipes—like mouth-watering tomato sauce and crispy roast chicken with gravy—are made from real food, real fast. And they’re absolutely delicious

Here’s a secret for you, guys: Food that’s made from scratch is better tasting and better for you than anything you can buy premade. Plus, you can have it on your table just as fast.I figured this out because I love food and I live in the country, where pizza guys get lost all the time. Also, I prefer organic food (I’m the CEO of the company that publishes Men’s Health).
So if I want to feed my cravings, it’s easier to make the meal at home. After decades of cooking with my family, I compiled the go-to recipes in my new cookbook, Scratch.When you make the small effort to cook something from scratch, magic happens. You do more than nourish your body. You feed your soul.

Make It From Scratch: Basic Tomato Sauce

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 lb tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 sprig fresh basil (leaves only)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

How to Make It:

  1. In a blender or food processor, pulse the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and basil to combine, working in batches if necessary.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium. Add the tomato pulp, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces by half and thickens, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Pour the heated sauce into wide-mouth glass jars, leaving an inch of space at the top for the sauce to expand. Let the jars cool before you put them in the freezer, where they can stay for up to 10 months. (Be sure to put date labels on!) Makes 1 quart

Per quart: 533 calories, 20g protein, 90g carbs (27g fiber), 19g fat

Scratch Secret: Put the Squeeze On ‘Em
Before cooking, give your tomatoes a gentle squeeze and discard three-quarters of the juice. It’ll ensure a thick sauce.

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Make It From Scratch: Crispy Roast Chicken With Gravy

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 lb)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

 

How to Make It:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the chicken in a roasting pan (breast side up) and roast until it’s cooked through and golden, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  2. Lift the chicken slightly so its juices drain into the roasting pan, and then transfer it to a serving plate. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over high heat and bring the juices to a boil.
  3. For the gravy: In a medium bowl, whisk together the water and flour and pour it in the roasting pan. Stir everything with a wooden spoon, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking and stirring till thickened, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy. Feeds 4

Per serving 454 calories, 49g protein, 6g carbs (0g fiber), 24g fat

Scratch Secret: Poke the Poultry
Chicken is done when its juices run clear. If you pierce the meat with a knife tip and the liquid is red or pink, the bird needs more time.

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Make It From Scratch: Grilled Caesar With Garlic Croutons

grilled ceasar with garlic croutons
TRAVIS RATHBONE

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (1 minced, 1 smashed)
  • 2 cups cubed stale bread
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh basil or Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup finely grated Romano cheese

How to Make It:

  1. For the croutons: In a large castiron skillet, melt the butter and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium. Add the minced garlic and bread cubes; cook, turning occasionally, until the croutons are golden and crunchy, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and smashed garlic; add salt to taste.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Oil the grate and grill the romaine, turning often, until it’s wilted and charred, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the lettuce to a platter, drizzle with the dressing (discarding the garlic), and top with the fresh herbs, Romano cheese, and croutons. Feeds 4

Per serving 573 calories, 14g protein, 26g carbs (10g fiber), 49g fat

Pick up your own copy of Scatch for more DIY comfort food recipes that you’ll love.

Scratch Secret: Just Add Fire
Grilling your greens gives them a delicious char. The same method works with radicchio, kale, and baby bok choy too.

 

All credit goes to: http://www.menshealth.com/