All winter, we’ve been bringing you conversations and recipes of a seasonal favorite: comfort food. Chicago chefs, cooks and the food-obsessed have talked with us about comforting dishes from around the world, and their favorite recipes they grew up with. From savory meat pies, to a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup, to a hot tamale, we’ve covered a smorgasbord of go-to comfort foods … but have we covered yours?
To wrap the series and say goodbye to winter, the Morning Shift team has brought you comfort foods from their own kitchens. We’re joined by our director Jason Marck and producer Meha Ahmad. Also in the studio is another voice you may recognize — WBEZ anchor and Nerdette podcast co-host Greta Johnson is our official taste tester.
Jenn White’s Family Fruit Crisp
- 1 ½ cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp melted butter
- ½ tsp salt
- Roughly 6 cups fruit of your choice
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- ½ cup white sugar (use more or less depending upon the sweetness of the fruit)
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tsp real vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a food processor or blender grind oats to a rough texture. Place in mixing bowl. Grind walnuts to a rough texture. Place in mixing bowl. Whisk oats, walnuts, flour, brown sugar, and salt together. Add ½ cup of melted butter and mix until the crumble start to pull together. You want to the crumble to hold together when squeezed. Slowly add remaining butter until you achieve this texture. Set aside in refrigerator.
- Note: This recipe will yield enough crumble for 2 8x8 crisps or one 9x13 dish. Any leftover crumble can be placed in freezer bags and frozen for later use.
- In a mixing bowl toss fruit in melted butter until fruit is coated. Fold in sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and (if desired) cinnamon and mix until well combined. Fold in flour.
- Place fruit mixture in an 8x8 glass baking dish. Fruit should not extend over the top of the dish. Top with half of the crumble mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil but only seal two side to allow steam to escape. Bake covered until the fruit mixture starts to bubble. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until crumble topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Jason’s Kugel Recipe
- 2 cups (16 oz) cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- Blend together in a bowl until no lumps
- 1 cup sour cream (8 oz)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick butter, melted
- dash cinnamon
- Blend all together
- 16 oz package, extra wide egg noodles
- Boil pot of water, add noodles, stir/cook for 5 or 6 minutes
- Strain noodles
- Put noodles back in pot
- Pour bowl mixture into pot with noodles, stir with spatula until all noodles coated
- Spray pyrex or porcelain baking dish with pam/veggie oil so finished product doesn’t stick
- Carefully pour mixture into dish, spread it out evenly in dish
- Sprinkle Slightly less than ½ cup brown sugar across top
- Cover with foil, bake 350 for an hour
- Take off foil, bake another 10-15 mins so top gets a little crispy
- Let cool, cut into individual portions
Meha’s Banana Pudding Recipe
- 2 boxes of Jello instant vanilla pudding, sugar free and fat free (or you can make your own pudding from scratch)
- Half a tub of Cool Whip
- 2-3 yellow bananas
- ⅓ box of vanilla wafers
- 4 cups of cold milk
- Make the pudding according to directions in a large mixing bowl (whisk the mix with 4 cups of milk until it thickens into a pudding consistency, which is about 2-3 minutes)
- Add about half the tub of Cool Whip
- Slice bananas. Add them to the mix.
- Take a few handfuls of vanilla wafers (to preference) and fold them into the batter.
- Cover with plastic wrap, stick in the fridge overnight to let wafers soften. Don’t rush this — it needs about six hours at least.
- Next day: unwrap and enjoy!
- Optional: if you’re feeling fancy, top it off with a dusting of a couple of crushed up wafers