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10 Gourmet Comfort Foods


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10 Gourmet Comfort Foods

Creating gourmet dishes doesn't need to include ingredients you've never heard of or endless hours over a hot stove. Try one of these 10 gourmet comfort foods the next time you want to impress your guests with a meal that looks divine and tastes decadent.

Grown-up Grilled Cheese

This childhood favourite gets a grownup twist to make it gourmet by using high-end ingredients and well-matched flavours. Try one of these combinations: granny smith apple, Benedictine blue, Raclette and organic honey on raisin-walnut bread; Extra old white cheddar, provolone, Monterey Jack and tomato with Dijon on sourdough; Fontina and avocado with mayo on flax-seed bread. Garnish with homemade ketchup, rustic potato chips and a dill pickle.

Pulled pork poutine

This Quebec staple makes a decadent appetizer at an outdoor barbeque or wintry Friday evening dinner. To create, make your favourite extra-saucy pulled pork recipe in a slow cooker. Cook French fries in a deep fryer or oven, then mix with pulled pork and authentic white cheese curds.

Lobster mac n' cheese

This kid-friendly food goes gourmet with the addition of fresh lobster and quality cheese. Cook macaroni until al dente. Boil fresh or frozen lobsters, then cut meat into bite-size pieces. Create sauce by blending cream, flour, cheddar and Monterey Jack over medium heat. Mix with lobster and macaroni and a dash of paprika. Spoon into individual ramekins and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Bake in oven for about an hour. Try Michael Smith's Lobster Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above).

Mini beef sliders

Mini beef sliders are popping up on every upscale restaurant menu-and taste as good as they look. Form mini-burgers out of ground beef (or lamb or veal) mixture by using a small juice glass for size. Then, top each burger with one of the following (or create a topping bar and let guests create their own custom burger): brie, grilled shitake mushroom, avocado, prosciutto, and black olive tapenade. Serve on mini buns or make your own by cutting small "buns" out of larger burger buns.

S'mores

This campfire favourite is not only easy to make but is the perfect sweet to end an outdoor meal. Top a graham wafer with a piece of organic dark chocolate or chocolate ganache and handmade marshmallow then drizzle with raspberry coulis or caramel sauce. Top with remaining wafer, wrap in aluminum foil and cook on grill or in toaster oven for a few minutes until chocolate is melted.

Try this recipe: Chocolate Caramel S'mores

Haute dogs

Turn your hot dog into an haute dog by swapping your typical beef wiener for a swankier sausage. Many butchers sell gourmet sausages-try lamb topped with feta and rosemary, veal with roasted red peppers and red onions, or duck sausage with homemade cranberry sauce.

Pork n' beans

This inexpensive meal makes a rich main or side dish to steak or other wild game dish. Soak white beans in boiling water for 40 minutes, then drain. Brown pork sausage or wild boar steak in a skillet, then mix with beans, a bay leaf, parsley, thyme, cloves, onions, tomato, chicken broth and olive oil in a large, heavy pot. Cook for several hours until tender.

Perogies

This traditional Ukranian dish becomes an impressive yet easy make-ahead meal with the use of unique fillings. To make your own perogies, follow this simple recipe for the dough. Then, fill with the following combinations: wild mushrooms and onions; spinach and goat cheese; sweet potato, caramelized onion and praline; or pumpkin pie filling served with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Tuna salad sandwich

Swap your second-grade sandwich staple for ahi tuna to make this epicurean lunch. Sear tuna, then break it into bite size pieces. Then top your sandwiches with these combinations: wasabi-ginger mayonnaise and cabbage coleslaw on rye bread; red bell pepper, red onion, garlic mayo and leafy lettuce on multigrain; white cheddar, avocado and herbed mayo on croissant. Serve with a pickle.

Ice cream sandwich

This summery treat gets reincarnated with a homemade twist. If you have time, make your own ice cream and cookies. If not, buy rich, creamy ice cream and home-baked cookies. Try these unexpected combinations: gingersnaps with lemon sorbet, white chocolate macadamia cookies with dulce de leche, chocolate cookies with orange gelato or oatmeal raisin cookies with coconut ice cream.


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