Variations on Comfort Food

The ladies who lunch….

…end up at Tuli Bistro. On my lunch dates in Sacramento, ladies always suggest meeting up at this intimate foodie spot on S Street. Folks who have been working for 10-hours in a windowless office will enjoy the sunny skies on the patio. On colder days, we can warm up by the bar and the woodfire oven.

Mac-n-Cheese from Bistro Tuli

“That’s not from a blue box,” pronounced one chef behind the bar.

Tuli’s lunch menu offers modern, gourmet versions of burgers, fries, pizza and more. I always come back to this classic comfort food: Macaroni and Cheese. Tuli’s bakes gemelli pasta with three cheeses and cured ham. This scrumptious dish works for me in warm and cold weather.

Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to whip up my own versions of comfort food. This year, my hubby asked for Mac & Cheese for Valentine’s Day.

Chorizo Mac-N-Cheese
I decided to do a practice run with some leftover pizza sauce. I adapted a Skillet Mac & Cheese recipe from Serious Eats. I swapped out the mustard and hot sauce for the pizza sauce. Since I was trying to clean out my fridge, I also used crème fraîche instead of heavy cream. Plus, I was in a meaty mood, so I mixed in a pound of cooked chorizo. All that added up to a yummy weeknight dinner. My hubby packed the leftovers for lunch.


For the big mushy day – I decided to try out another recipe. My bacon-luvin’ friend from the Bay Area introduced me to the Tipsy Pig’s Mac & Cheese. This is not a dish for people who are watching their cholesterol. I appreciate Chef Sam Josi’s explanation on what makes this version work: from the Ditalini pasta to the bacon fat.
Mac-n-Cheese with Bacon
We opened up a kitchen window to help air out all the aromas of bacon and melted cheese. My dog practically swooned over all the yummy smells. Final result: my hubby enjoyed this rich, delectable version of comfort food.

Great Success!

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