Chef Keoni’s Kicked-up Comfort Food

This week we welcome Foodland’s corporate chef Keoni Chang to the kitchen to cook up the following souped-up comfort food recipes.

GRILLED CHEESE WITH KALUA PORK AND AMBROSIA APPLES

* 8 slices artisan bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
* 12 ounces sharp Cheddar, sliced
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* 12 ounces Kalua pork, room temperature
* 1 apple, thinly sliced (try Ambrosia or Honey Crisp)
* Dijon mustard, as needed

Heat a heavy gauge large skillet over medium heat. Generously spread Dijon on four slices of bread. Top each slice with Cheddar, 1/4 of the Kalua pork, apple slices and additional Cheddar. Place the remaining bread on top and spread with butter. Place on skillet butteredside down and butter the remaining side. Cook until cheese is slightly melted and bread is browned. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and sandwich is golden brown.

You can do this in a panini press and substitute olive oil for butter. Serve with tomato soup.

Makes four sandwiches.

VINE-RIPENED TOMATO SOUP

* 4 whole, ripe red tomatoes, rough cut
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 4 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
* sea salt

Blend tomatoes and garlic until smooth. With the blender running, add both oils and blend until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with shredded basil and a pinch of sea salt.

Soup can be served room temperature or chilled.

Makes four servings.

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

* 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened (1 block)
* 1 medium onion, small dice
* 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, cleaned of fat and cut into 1-inch dice
* 4 ounces flour (about 1 cup)
* 1 quart chicken broth or stock
* 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
* 1 cup half and half

Preheat a large pot on medium high and melt the butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add in the chicken and onions. Sweat them, making sure that they do not brown. When the onions are translucent, add in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, skimming the surface as necessary.

Add in the carrots and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Finish with half and half, parsley and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Note: You can add in peas, mushrooms, leeks or other vegetables with the carrots and celery.

For Dumplings:

* 2 cup Original Bisquick mix
* 2/3 cup milk

Mix the milk into the Bisquick to form a dough. Drop spoonfuls of dough into the chicken broth and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. If the pot is full, you may need to do it in two batches.

Makes six servings.

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