Comfort Foods Made with Milk

The simplest milky comfort food of all except for plain milk is milk toast–plain milk, toasted bread and some other ingredients to taste. Indian medicine views milk as a sweet food, and sweet food is always comforting. Add it to bread and toss on a few toppings, and you can cover a great many nutritional bases, all while taking comfort in a tender bowl of soothing food.

Milk Toast

Ingredients per person

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • Water
  • 1 slice toast
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Snipped chives (optional)
  • Additional sugar or brown sugar, raisins, coconut flakes, chocolate bits (optional)

Method

Butter toast and place in bottom of soup bowl/plat.
Mix flour with enough water to make a very thin paste.
Add to milk.
Heat milk in saucepan, stirring, until it thickens slightly.
If not using the egg, pour over buttered toast in soup bowl/plate.
If using egg, crack one egg into the milk mixture and poach in the hot milk mixture for about two minutes.
Pour egg and milk over toast.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add chives if desired.
* If using only milk and no egg, you can add sugar and a small handful of raisins to the bowl if you like, or coconut flakes or even a few milk chocolate bits.

Instant Potato Soup

Almost as simple as milk toast is instant potato soup. For some, a potato is a more basic food than a slice of bread…and it, too, can cover many nutritional bases with the addition of some simple items.

Ingredients, per person

  • 1 or 2 leftover boiled potatoes or 1 small can of cooked potatoes, slice thin or chopped fine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 TBSP butter
  • Grated cheddar or parmesan, diced ham, chopped bacon bits, snipped chives, hard-boiled egg (optional)

Method

Saute the onion in the either amount of butter, depending on your preference.
Add milk and bring mixture almost to a boil.
Add potatoes and continue cooking until heated through.
Season with salt and pepper.
Optional: Add a couple of tablespoons of grated cheddar or parmesan to soup in bowl, or sprinkle soup with diced ham or chopped bacon bits, and/or snipped chives. You can also slice a hard-boiled egg and float the slices atop the soup.

Grammy’s Rice Pudding

The most difficult of these three milky comfort foods is Grammy’s Rice Pudding. Even so, once you’ve stirred it all together, your work is done. The oven does the rest. Because of its high protein content, you might want to use it as a meal (although it won’t take the nutritional additions of the first two recipes). Or use it as a dessert with sliced strawberries or banana and whipped cream on top.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice, cook in lightly salted water (or about a cup or a bit more of leftover cooked rice)
  • 1/2 cup, scant, granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • Nutmeg, either ground or whole to be grated
  • Heavy cream, whipped cream, strawberry preserves (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl.
Stir in sugar, milk, raisins, vanilla and rice.
Pour mixture into a baking dish (Pyrex or Corningware types work well, preferably round).
Sprinkle top of pudding with about half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, or grind fresh whole nutmeg over the top sparingly but across the whole surface.
Set baking dish in pan of hot water and place in oven.
Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Serves about four. May be served with whipped cream or pouring cream. Some like a sprinkling of rose syrup. Others dollop the pudding with good strawberry preserves before serving.