5 Essential Comfort Food Recipes & Wines to Pair With

This week’s tragedy in Las Vegas has left me reeling. While terribly cruel and savage on its own, the fact that it happened on the heels of a string of catastrophic natural disasters (Hurricanes Irma and Maria as well as earthquakes in Mexico) makes me want to curl up in a big, cozy blanket with my dogs and never. leave. the. house.

Unfortunately, if I were to do that, I’d be letting fear win which is NOT an option. Plus, I’d have to venture out sooner or later to stock up on food and wine anyway. So I thought I’d share five of my favorite Comfort Food Recipes that are perfect for everything from soothing a broken heart to restoring your faith in humanity.

As always, wine pairings ARE included.


1.) Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup: This favorite, inspired by my husband’s Ukrainian heritage, includes delicious Savoy cabbage, ground beef and pork, fresh dill, tomatoes and garlic in a savory, smoky-paprika infused broth.
Wine Pairing: A medium-bodied Italian red wine like Barbera d’Asti or Dolcetto from Piedmont


2.) Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons: I always found this delicious North African dish daunting because I thought I had to buy special equipment to make it. But guess what? I was WRONG! Featuring mouthwatering flavors of chicken thighs, ginger, saffron, turmeric, cilantro and green olives, you are guaranteed to enjoy.
Wine Pairing: Pair with a Spanish white wine like a Godello or Rioja Blanco


3.) Arroz con Pollo (Spanish Chicken & Rice): This delicious, Spanish-inspired dish is a classic one pot meal. So if time is an issue, opt for this comfort food recipe which features meaty chicken pieces, piquillo peppers, saffron and dry white wine. The dish’s beautiful colors make a dazzling presentation as well.
Wine Pairing: Pair with a Spanish white wine like an Albariño or Viura.


4.) Quick Coq au Vin: This dish is a Glamorous Gourmet favorite and French comfort food at its best! A riff on the famed classic French recipe from Burgundy, this reimagined “quick” version can be on the table and ready to eat in under an hour AND packs oodles of delicious flavor.
Wine Pairing: Enjoy this dish with a hearty red Burgundy or Cru Beaujolais.


5.) Lamb Ragu with Tagliatelle Pasta: If it’s pasta you’re craving – look NO further! This divine recipe features ground lamb, garlic, shallots, red wine and purchased marinara sauce so you’re not stuck over the stove ALL day. Topped with fresh ricotta and mint leaves, you’ll feel instantly transported to Tuscany.
Wine Pairing: A Tuscan full-bodied red wine like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Chianti Classico Riserva

The post 5 Essential Comfort Food Recipes & Wines to Pair With appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons & a Spanish White Wine

With our latest blast of chilly weather (here in South Florida it actually got down to 45 degrees!) I was looking for a dish that was not only comforting…but also had a glamorous, exotic edge. So when I came across this recipe for Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons I knew I’d found what I was looking for.

Thankfully, my culinary instincts were spot on (LOVE when that happens!). This dish features succulent chicken thighs simmered in a hearty, fragrant broth with exotic, savory herbs and spices including ginger, sweet paprika, cilantro, turmeric and saffron. My fellow foodies, this delightful recipe perfumed our home with the most wonderful aromas and dazzled our palates with its toe-curling deliciousness.


Not only is it delicious, this Chicken Tagine is also super fun to make on a lazy day and is guaranteed to reward your patience. The glorious finishing touch is the addition of preserved lemons (that you’re gonna make yourself!) which accentuate the dish’s complex flavors with their citrusy goodness.

But first things first…what the flip is a tagine?


An authentic, earthenware Tagine


Saffron threads and turmeric are commonly used spices in a tagine

A tagine, also spelled tajine, is a North African dish named after the conical-shaped earthenware pot it is cooked in. This stew of meat, chicken or fish is cooked in the broad-based bottom, historically over hot coals, where the steam accumulates in the narrow, cone-shaped top and drips back down onto the stew, preserving all the delicious flavor. Luckily, a stove top works just as well and while a tagine still takes some time to cook, the sublime flavor is well worth the wait.

The first issue at hand when preparing this Moroccan Chicken Tagine is to make the preserved lemons. Preserved lemons? I’m supposed to MAKE preserved lemons? I hear your inner panic brewing but before you spiral into a full blown anxiety attack let me assure you, this step couldn’t be easier.

Simply slice up 2-3 lemons, toss then in a glass baking dish, sprinkle them with Kosher salt and cook them low and slow for 3 hours. The result is salty, lemony deliciousness and I would advise you to hang on to the liquid the lemons are cooked in. It makes a fabulous seasoning for the finished dish. Instead of salt, just douse it with a little briny, lemony elixir.


The next step is the marinating of the chicken thighs. Oooooh what’s better than skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs? Just pop those beauties into a gallon sized ziploc bag with the fragrant, flavorful mixture of cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika, onion, oil, salt, pepper and preserved lemon pulp. Ideally, they should marinate in the fridge overnight for maximum flavor, but if you forget to do this the night before, 4-6 hours of marination will do just fine.

Then, it’s time to tagine – why can’t it be a verb too? If you are the proud owner of a Le Creuset Dutch oven (I especially love my 9 1/2 quart oval one) or an actual tagine, dust that baby off and prepare yourself for the deliciousness at hand. From here on out you simply simmer the chicken thighs and the marinade with the parsley and cilantro stem bundle, onion, turmeric and saffron threads. Over the course of the next 30 minutes, you’ll layer in the remaining ingredients and you’ve got one fabulously mean tagine. Sorry I just couldn’t help myself!

Simply serve over a bed of fragrant Basmatic rice and you are good to go, well, except for one crucial component…the wine!


While I was partially inspired by the weather, a special wine also played a role in making this recipe, the 2014 Casa Abril Godello ($17). This delightful white wine from Spanish wine specialist and Casa Abril owner, April Cullom, hails from the Valdeorras DO, located in northwest Spain. It is 100% Godello, a native Spanish white grape variety, from 25-40 year old vines.

Fermented entirely in stainless steel, this Godello has lovely aromas of saline and citrus while on the palate, notes of apple, peach, lemon zest and a hint of almond skin accompany a bright, food-friendly acidity. This wine immediately had me thinking of food and it paired brilliantly with the flavors and textures of the Moroccan Chicken Tagine. You’ll be reading more about April and her wonderful wines in next month’s Inspiring Women post so stay tuned.

If you’d like to see this month’s installment featuring some fabulous, female, James Beard Award-winning Chefs, please click here.


I hope you enjoy this Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon as much as we do. Paired with the Casa Abril Godello it has quickly become one of our favorites. Definitely put it on your “To Do” list for your next snow day OR lazy Saturday. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed and I hope it brings comforting deliciousness to a cozy day.



5.0 from 1 reviews
"Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons"
Recipe type: Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 large yellow onion, grated (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive, canola or grapeseed oil - one without much flavor
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 cup pitted green Moroccan or Greek olives - Italian Castelvetranos work nicely too
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • 4 strands of saffron
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley, ¼ cup chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, ¼ cup chopped
  • Stems from parsley & cilantro tied with kitchen twine
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooked Basmati rice for serving
  1. To make the preserved lemons, preheat oven to 250 degrees. Meanwhile, cut lemons into sixths, lengthwise and place in a glass baking dish (anything non-corrosive is fine!). Sprinkle the lemon slices with 2 Tablespoons of the Kosher salt and cover with water. Cook lemons in preheated oven for 3 hours and then allow to cool. Any unused portion should be refrigerated.
  2. To prepare the tagine, mix the cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ cup grated onion and the oil in a large bowl.
  3. Rinse the preserved lemons and remove the pulp reserving the rind for later use.
  4. Add the lemon pulp to the mixing bowl and then add the raw chicken. Mix everything together and then place in a large gallon plastic bag. Place bag in a glass baking dish and put in the fridge to marinate overnight or at least 6-8 hours in order to achieve maximum flavor.
  5. When ready to cook, remove chicken mixture from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. In a large Dutch oven or casserole, add the chicken and marinade, parsley-cilantro bundle, remaining grated onion, turmeric, saffron threads and 1½ cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, stir the chicken and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Keep sauce on stove and continue to reduce.
  9. Slice the preserved lemon rind into thin slices and add to the sauce along with the olives, chopped parsley and cilantro. Reduce for an additional 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
  10. Pour sauce over platter of cooked chicken, garnish with additional parsley and cilantro if desired and serve over cooked Basmati rice.

The post Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons & a Spanish White Wine appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Cozy & Comforting: Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup

With Thanksgiving and its legion of leftovers finally behind us – buh-bye turkey and stuffing – it’s time to change it up and indulge in some deliciously different flavors!

And since it’s officially sweater weather (and you have to say it like this!) it’s prime time for some comforting, satisfying soups as well. So get cozy and comfy and prepare to enjoy our crazy delicious recipe for Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup.


“But I don’t LIKE cabbage!” you might say. Well, I used to think that too, but that’s only because you haven’t tried this soup yet. Only a few short years ago, my husband, a gent of Ukrainian descent, expressed a craving for classic Ukrainian dishes such as stuffed cabbage and pierogies. While I had sampled pierogies during the “high carb/no fat” diet trend of the 90’s (yum!), I had never had cabbage before. To be honest, the smell of it never really appealed to me and it seemed rather, um, unglamorous.

But in the spirit of culinary adventure, I did some research and came up with this utterly delicious and comforting recipe for Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup that’s guaranteed to win over even the staunchest anti-cabbage-ite.


This thick, rich soup features thin strips of Savoy cabbage braised in a delightful, savory broth featuring ground beef, pork, garlic, onions and tomatoes accentuated by dill, coriander, allspice and smoked paprika. The synergy of these ingredients is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, providing that 1 + 1 = 3 experience we all seek. For the anti-cabbage-ites you’re going to have to trust me on this, but you WILL be thanking me later.

As for a wine pairing, Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup was a head-scratcher at first. But then I did what I usually do on the, ahem, rare occasion I’m stumped for a wine pairing: head to Italy! Italian wines are so incredibly food friendly, they can often help you out of a bind when you’re not sure what to pour. Both Italian whites and reds have wonderful acidity and, with so many to choose from, you’re bound to find a wine with a similar weight as your dish. For this soup, I recommend light-bodied reds such as Barbera d’Asti or Chianti Classico which complement the ground beef, spices and tomato elements of this soup.

stuffed-cabbage-soup-dill-closeupstuffed-cabbage-soup-simmering-soup-dillstuffed-cabbage-soup-closeup-2Ukrainian or not, I hope you enjoy our delicious recipe for Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup as much as we do. If you’re anything like the Miskews, it might just find its way into regular rotation at your home during chilly sweater weather! Stay tuned for more seasonally-inspired, ssatisfying recipes and also, do YOU have a favorite comfort food? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section below!

Bon appétit,




5.0 from 4 reviews
"Comfort Food: Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup"
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • 4 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked, long grain white rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lbs ground meatloaf mix (beef & pork)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped
  • Small head of Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander
  • Bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. ) In a deep pot, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat mixture and brown, about 5-7 minutes. While browning, season the meat with the coriander, allspice, smoked paprika, Kosher salt & black pepper.
  2. ) Once meat is browned, add bay leaf, carrot, onion & garlic and cook 3-4 minutes, until veggies begin to soften. Then add cabbage to the pot and begin to wilt.
  3. ) Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce & 4 cups of chicken stock to the pot. Cover the pot and bring soup to a boil on high heat and then reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  4. ) Meanwhile, in a separate pot heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the uncooked rice to the pot and toss to coat in the oil, allowing it to slightly toast. Add remaining 2 cups of chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook rice for 18-20 minutes or until rice is tender enough to eat.
  5. ) Back at the soup pot, add the chopped parsley and dill, stir to combine and season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.
  6. ) Ladle soup into a bowl and top with a scoop of the cooked rice (I use my ice cream scoop for this!). Garnish with any extra parsley and dill and serve immediately.

The post Cozy & Comforting: Smoky Stuffed Cabbage Soup appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce

I walked into Walgreens yesterday and could not believe my eyes. Their Halloween decorations were up already! Now I L O V E Halloween (especially making this spooky recipe), but it’s only mid-August and the first day of Fall is still over a month away. Sorry, but I am NOT ready to say goodbye to Summer just yet. Thankfully, this delicious recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce helps make the transition from Summer into Fall not only painless, but extremely enjoyable.


While cooking on the grill is synonymous with Summer, the rich, oily texture of the swordfish and smoky, peppery Romesco sauce conjure thoughts and flavors of Fall. I love this culinary yin-yang that makes this delightful dish perfect for savoring the remaining weeks of Summer. And what’s better than enjoying great food with friends? We were fortunate to collaborate on this meal with some wonderful friends who just happened to have some fresh, delicious swordfish steaks on hand! As we prepared the sauce and fish, their beautiful daughter (who had just broken her arm, poor thing!) picked flowers from the yard at Chez Miskew to make a gorgeous arrangement featuring gardenias, jasmine and allamanda.

grilled-swordfish-romesco-evie-flowersRomesco sauce originated in the seaside town of Tarragona in Northeastern Spain. The sauce is a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts, roasted red peppers, garlic, Sherry vinegar and olive oil that was invented by local fishermen. Using a traditional mortar and pestle, they would grind the ingredients together, much like an Italian pesto or French tapenade, to serve with the day’s catch. Over time, different variations of the sauce have emerged such as Salvitxada, which is Romesco that’s been thickened with garlic-rubbed, toasted bread. The hearty flavors and textures of the Romesco sauce also make an excellent accompaniment for chicken and beef as well.


The ideal wine pairing for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce is a dry, Spanish white wine that mirrors its flavors and texture like the Bodegas Palacio Cosme Palacio White Rioja. Made from a blend of Viura and Malvasia grapes, this lovely wine has fragrant aromatics of pear and citrus and a creamy, rich texture that mirrors that of the swordfish. The wine also has a delightful spiciness, thanks to a little time spent in French oak, and notes of almond and citrus that highlight the acid and nutty flavors in the sauce beautifully. When pairing food and wine I usually like to stick with the tenet, “If it grows together it goes together,” whenever possible (like here and here). However, if you’re unable to find a white Rioja to pair with this dish, a full-bodied white like a New World Chardonnay with a kiss of oak will also make a very nice pairing.


I hope you enjoy our recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce and that it helps you make the seasonal transition seamlessly! Do YOU have any recipes that get you through the Summer to Fall transition? If so, I’d LOVE to hear about them in the Comments sections below.

Bon appétit,



5.0 from 3 reviews
"Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce"
Recipe type: Fish
Serves: 4
Pair with a dry, Spanish white wine like the Bodegas Palacio Cosme Palacio White Rioja or a New World Chardonnay with a kiss of oak!
  • 4 8-ounce swordfish steaks
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed with side of a Chef's knife & skins removed
  • 3 Calabrian chiles in oil, drained
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Add slivered almonds to a large pan or skillet and spread in a single layer. Toast nuts over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring frequently. Transfer almonds to a paper towel lined plate and set aside to cool.
  3. On a medium-sized, rimmed baking sheet, combine the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, garlic, chiles, smoked paprika and 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Season with Kosher salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Roast in the preheated oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are soft and caramelized.
  4. Add the toasted almonds to a food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Add the roasted vegetables, 2 Tablespoons olive oil and Sherry vinegar and continue to pulse until the sauce is still chunky.
  5. Preheat the grill or grill pan. Rub the swordfish with 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil and season with Kosher salt and pepper. Once the grill is hot, add the swordfish steaks (you might need to do 2 batches if using a grill pan) and grill over med-high heat until charred and cooked to your desired doneness, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.
  6. Serve each swordfish steak with a dollop of Romesco sauce and any extra served alongside.

The post Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Fast & Fabulous: Lemony Collard Green & Kale Pesto!

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” – George H. W. Bush This post is dedicated to my fellow wine and food lovers who, like myself, are not... Read More

The post Fast & Fabulous: Lemony Collard Green & Kale Pesto! appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Continue Reading >

Fast & Fabulous: Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup with Tuna

When I came across this recipe for Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup with Tuna in the July issue of Food & Wine Magazine I was a little perplexed. Canned tuna in olive oil in a soup – seriously, Justin Chapple? While initially wary, once I noticed the über-healthy and delicious list of ingredients, I decided to take a chance.... Read More

The post Fast & Fabulous: Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup with Tuna appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Continue Reading >

Fast & Fabulous: Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup with Tuna

Tuscan white bean and escarole soup with Tuna, The Glamorous Gourmet, Fast & Fabulous

When I came across this recipe for Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup with Tuna in the July issue of Food & Wine Magazine I was a little perplexed. Canned tuna in olive oil in a soup – seriously, Justin Chapple? While initially wary, once I noticed the über-healthy and delicious list of ingredients, I decided to take a chance. Thankfully my hunch paid off!  This healthy dish is a study in deliciousness and I’ve also discovered a wonderful wine to pair with it.

fresh escarole, The Glamorous Gourmet, Tuscan White Bean ad Escarole Soup with Tuna

Beautiful fresh escarole!

When making this recipe, be sure to use tuna packed in olive oil (I like solid albacore) which gives the soup nice body and flavor – resist the urge to substitute tuna packed in water! As suggested, garnish the soup with a delicious dusting of freshly grated Parmesan and also serve it with toasted or grilled slices of crusty French bread rubbed with a garlic clove which really makes the flavors “pop.” As for a wine pairing, we sampled a couple bottles and a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile was too acidic and did nothing to enhance the flavor of the soup. The 2009 Clos de Nouys Vouvray Sec on the other hand, a 100% Chenin Blanc from France’s Loire Valley, complemented the dish very nicely! The wine’s slight sweetness took the edge off the acidity and it’s flavors of apple, fig and almond really hit all the right notes.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did and have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a recipe or dish which expanded your culinary horizons? Please let us know in the comment section below!




The Glamorous Gourmet, Tuscan White Bean and Escarole Soup with Tuna, Food & Wine

“Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup with Tuna”
Justin Chapple, July Issue of Food & Wine Magazine
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
10 oz. escarole, chopped
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
6 cups chicken stock
One 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. tuna in olive oil, drained
Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese and crusty bread for serving

Heat the oil in a pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the escarole and rosemary and cook until the escarole is wilted, 3 minutes. Add the stock, beans and tuna and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve the soup with shredded Parmesan and crusty bread.