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If you love tucking into hearty comfort fare like crispy fried chicken, heaping bowls of pasta and gooey grilled cheese, try these recipes for upscale twists on the classics

Table of contents

Starters and sides

Thomas Girard

If you love chips and dip … try Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Paste

This unfussy dip relies on peppers that have been roasted and marinated in red wine vinegar and chili flakes.

Lina Caschetto/The Globe and Mail

If you love grilled cheese … try Butternut Squash and Boursin Tarte Soleil

With store-bought puff pastry this tarte soleil is a simple and fun edible centerpiece, stuffed with roasted butternut squash and onions and creamy cheese.

Lina Caschetto/The Globe and Mail

If you love mac and cheese … try Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce

A simple whole cauliflower is doused in olive oil and roasted to perfection before being smothered in cheese sauce.

If you love fries … try Panisse

Panisse, often associated with the south of France, is essentially a paste made from water and chickpea flour that is cooked, chilled then fried for a crispy exterior and delightfully soft and creamy interior.

Main dishes

Tara O'Brady/The Globe and Mail

If you love pasta … try Brothy Chickpeas with Pasta, Pangrattato and Egg

Pasta and chickpeas are draped in thickened stock, then topped with fried egg, chilies and pangrattato – toasted breadcrumbs – for contrast.

Tara O'Brady

If you love stuffed peppers … try Béchamel Braised Onions

Braised onions are cored and stuffed with a pork filling, then covered with béchamel sauce and baked until they’re spoonably tender.

Thomas Girard

If you love rice porridge … try Fully Loaded Jook

This recipe for jook, or congee as it is also known, pairs a well-seasoned ginger and chicken-broth-infused rice porridge with all kinds of toppings, making it flexible and adaptable to any meal of the day.

Tara O'Brady/The Globe and Mail

If you love nachos … try Chilaquiles Rojas with Fried Eggs

If you have day-old tortillas, consider chilaquiles. Cut into chips and fried, the golden tortillas are then directly braised in salsa – as in the sauce, not the jarred condiment – and topped with an egg.

Tara O'Brady/The Globe and Mail

If you love bean soup … try Garlic Soup with Paprika Oil

With garlic and a robust broth, croutons made from a past-its-prime loaf, cabbage, beans for creamy bulk and an egg, this humble garlic soup feels almost luxurious.


If you love chicken soup … try Pozole rojo con pollo

This soupish stew makes use of the pantry with tinned hominy, dried chilis and spices, and goes from stove to table in less than an hour.

Tara O'Brady/The Globe and Mail

If you love fried chicken … try Katsu-inspired Chicken Sandwiches

Katsu sandwiches are a staple of Japanese convenience stores: pork or chicken cutlets cradled by fluffy slices of milk bread and spread with a twangy brown sauce.

Tara O'Brady/The Globe and Mail

If you love roast chicken … try Chicken, Sausage and Squash Tray

This one-pan wonder pairs bronzed chicken, sausage and mushrooms with the sweetness of squash, alongside rice and barley to soak up the sticky pan juices.

Tara O'Brady

If you love meatballs … try Herbed Chicken with Nuoc Cham Cucumbers

A combination of ground chicken and pork is paired with cucumbers dressed in nuoc cham, a Vietnamese condiment of fish sauce with garlic, fresh chilies and lime juice.

Tara O'Brady/The Globe and Mail

If you love roast beef … try Pork Roast

A citrus and herb pork shoulder begins with a marinade of citrus, blistered chilies and herbs before being cooked low and slow. Or try a lacquered harissa pork roast cooked over a bed of vegetables.

Breakfast, brunch and dessert

Lina Caschetto

If you love quiche … try Leek and Swiss Chard Tart

Chard stems and leaves are cooked with leeks and other aromatics to form the base of this easy tart made with store-bought puff pastry.

Tara O'Brady

If you love pancakes … try Puffed Pancake with Asparagus, Eggs, and Sauce Gribiche

Poached eggs draped in sauce gribiche, a French production based on hard-boiled eggs, are layered over a puffed pancake along with tender asparagus.

Lina Caschetto/The Globe and Mail

If you love scones … try Cardamom, Carrot, Dried Apricot and Vanilla Scones

These easy-to-make and incredibly customizable scones can be eaten on their own or served with clotted cream, jam or marmalade, butter or a slice of sharp cheddar.

If you love coffee cake … try Pear Sesame Snacking Cake

This pear and sesame cake features buttery tahini swirled into the batter and a topping of sliced pears and streusel.

Tara O'Brady/Globe and Mail

If you love pudding … try Spiced Puddings with Black Coffee Caramel

A pumpkin custard made with roasted purée and spices is paired with coffee caramel and all manner of garnishes.

Photograph by Tara O’ Brady

If you love upside-down cake … try Pineapple Coconut Upside-down Cake

Made with a combination of almond flour and shredded coconut (and no wheat flour), this pineapple upside-down cake is is more akin to steamed pudding than cake after bathing in pineapple caramel.

Tara O'brady/Handout

If you love popcorn … try Spiced Caramel Popcorn

With cumin, a pinch of chili powder for subtle heat and caramel for sweetness, this spiced popcorn with mixed seeds and nuts comes together quickly.