There are so many delicious comfort foods in the United States, for example mac and cheese, grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, chicken soup, burritos, fried chicken, cheesesteaks, apple pie, and more! In this essay, I would like to talk about my top three choices.
Number three for me would be mac and cheese. This creamy and cheesy macaroni dish is very popular in the States, either as a main dish or a side dish and you can find it on the menu at many restaurants. A lot of families and restaurants add their own little variation to the standard recipe, and my favorite version of the dish is definitely my mother’s. Her recipe is a little less buttery and creamy but tends to have a stronger, sharper flavor. I also like to add some chili powder to the recipe to give it a little more kick.
Coming in at number two for me is grilled cheese, which is basically a cheese sandwich that is grilled in a frying pan on the stove until the cheese melts. Once again, this is a popular dish with families and at diners in the States. The basic recipe is simple, but as always everyone can put their own little spin on it. As for me, I like to add bacon and tomato on the inside of the sandwich and coat the slices with butter, rosemary, and thyme. It’s really hard to mess up grilled cheese, so don’t hesitate to experiment! The key is to add enough butter to the pan and grill the sandwich enough so that the bread becomes golden and crispy, but the inside remains soft and gooey. You can also use different kinds of bread to create different flavor and texture. In Japan I usually use basic white bread, but when I am at home in the States, I prefer to use sourdough bread or Jewish rye bread.
Finally, number one on my list is mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are another staple in American cuisine and appear as a main side dish at many restaurants and holiday dinners. Although they are fairly easy to make, the best mashed potatoes are super creamy and buttery in my opinion. After I boil and mash the potatoes, I like to add salt and pepper, butter, cream, and even a little bit of cream cheese. If you’d like, you can also add garlic for some extra flavor. Instead of using regular potatoes, you can also make mashed sweet potatoes, which are also a popular side dish during holiday dinners such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Usually maple syrup or even marshmallows are added to mashed sweet potatoes to truly bring out the sweetness of the dish. And, if you have a craving for mashed potatoes but are watching your carbs, you can always make mashed cauliflower instead! Mashed cauliflower and zucchini pasta are low-carb options that are becoming trendy in the United States.
These are just a few of my favorite comfort foods. What are some of yours?
kick (n) – a stimulating quality in food, usually spice
put one’s own spin on (idiom) – give a new interpretation to something
staple (n) – a standard item of food
bring out (phr. v) – to make noticeable
craving (n) – desire
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