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The Cookstr Weekly: Comfort Food

December 9, 2011

 Welcome to The Cookstr cookstr logoWeekly!

This newsletter is filled with a variety of editorial features and links to Cookstr’s expert recipes by chefs and cookbook authors. You can access an archive of Cookstr newsletters here, and check out more featured recipes on our homepage.

As always, Cookstr recipes are tested, trusted, and handpicked by Cookstr’s editors from published cookbooks to help you on your culinary journey. To get you started, here are a selection of recipes on Cookstr by the chefs and cookbooks authors that made them famous.

Cook in good company.


Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kim Boyce

Hot bottomless cups of tea, full-on fireplaces (or just a few candles), long scarves that don’t itch, and your favorite comfort foods: with the right arsenal of winter coping mechanisms, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail will keep you from enjoying the holiday season. This week we focus on the last of these tools, comfort foods! Hearty casseroles, creamy soups and sumptuous desserts that keep your spirits buoyed even as the thermometer drops. As a nod to the beginning of Christmas cookie season, start off with these classic Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kim Boyce: chewy on the outside, with a soft interior and big chunks of dark chocolate.

More Comfort Food Recipes from Cookstr


Tasting Table’s Mark the Moment

To celebrate the often unsung individuals dedicated to cultivating a new generation of talent, is offering a free download of Mark the Moment, a collection of interviews with nine forces of the national food scene. The chefs and owners profiled in this digital book have all achieved great success, but each is quick to point out that his success is due in no small part to an influential mentor. Tasting Table asked them to mark the moment when they proved themselves to their mentors.’s Mark the Moment collection includes interviews with Marcus Samuelsson, chef at Red Rooster in New York, NY; Christopher Kostow, chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, CA; Bill Kim, chef/owner of Urban Belly and Belly Shack in Chicago, IL; Brad Farmerie, chef at PUBLIC and Saxon + Parole in New York, NY; Jimmy Bradley, chef/owner of The Red Cat and The Harrison in New York, NY; Joshua Applestone, owner of Fleisher’s Meats in Kingston, NY, and New York, NY; Luke Holden, owner of Luke’s Lobster in New York, NY; Jeremy Tooker, owner of Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco, CA; and Quintin Middleton, owner of Middleton Made Knives in St. Stephen, SC.

Visit the iBookstore to download for free today!


Wine Pairings for Winter Fare

By Pameladevi Govinda, salesperson at Chambers Street Wines and freelance writer.

As the temperature takes a dive and Farmers’ Markets are heaving with potatoes and winter squash, we say embrace the season, celebrate root vegetables, get slow-braised dinners simmering, and pair it all with a delicious glass of wine.

We at Chambers Street Wines, located in New York City’s TriBeca neighborhood, specialize in small-production, natural, organic and biodynamic wines. The CSW team often ponders food and wine affinities. There are no strict rules (hey, if you want to drink Muscadet with your steak, we love you all the more for it) but, generally speaking, there are two approaches to pairing food with wine: explore like-with-like or contrast the flavors and textures of your dish.

Here are four winter dishes from the Cookstr Recipe Library, and the wines to wash it all down with.

Michele Urvater’s Root Vegetable Ragout recipe emphasizes the natural sweetness of root vegetables and has the added complexity of saffron. Mirroring flavors works well here. Sherry is one of the most food-friendly wines out there, and there are an array of styles to go with all sorts of dishes. The  Sangre y Trabajadero Oloroso ($20.99) offers dried fruit flavors, a hint of spice and a distinct savory taste that reflects the chicken stock in this dish. A light-bodied, fruit-driven red wine such as the Coudert 2010 Fleurie Clos de la Roilette  ($20.99) – a Gamay from the Beajolais region in France – would also make a tasty combination.

Butternut Squash with Vin Cotto by Mario Batali also contains sweet elements and again, we’d pair like-with-like and reach for a German Riesling with a touch of sweetness like the aromatic Donnhoff 2010 Nahe Riesling Estate ($19.49), offering notes of honeydew melon, tangerine, orange blossom and minerals.

Opulent and sumptuous Lamb Shanks by Fran McCullough beg to be contrasted with a wine that offers high acidity and sturdy tannins. A Nebbiolo based wine from northern Italy would be delicious with a mouthful of tender-fatty lamb. Our choice would be Burlotto 2010 Nebbiolo d’Alba ($22.99), and if you want to splurge, reach for the Burlotto 2007 Barolo Monvigliero  ($54.99); a beautifully layered wine that has ripe tannins and hints of cocoa, tea, rose, chalk and truffle.

Mirroring the umami flavors of the meat stock and mushrooms in this dish of Short Ribs with Mushrooms and Winter Greens by Amy Farges will make for a great pairing. Traditional, aged Riojas often develop secondary flavors and it’s not unusual to taste a hint of wild mushroom in an older Tempranillo-based wine like the La Rioja Alta 2001 Rioja Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial ($32.99).

Winter isn’t so bad after all.

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