The first word my mind provides after "comfort" is "food," and I thought it might be a fun change to give you one of my favorite recipes. I'm more likely to cook casseroles and comfort food rather than gourmet meals, so I know a bunch of hearty recipes of questionable health. This is a meatloaf I make for special occasions (some of my friends who are known for being late arrivals are always early to my place when they think I might make this—it's been known to disappear within the first 20 minutes of a dinner).
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1.5 hours
Total time with room for error: 2 hours
1-2 pounds ground beef
1 sleeve saltine crackers (which you will crush)
seasonings (I typically use basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, but this varies a bit)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Large mixing bowl
Butter for greasing the pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the casserole dish. Crush the saltines (it's pretty fun to do this in the sleeve, just be careful not to break through the plastic). In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients listed under "meatloaf proper" and give them a vigorous kneading and smushing with your bare hands. When everything is well-blended, form the meat into a rounded line down the center of the casserole dish (the dish will be significantly wider than the loaf, and possibly also longer—I like it that way because the grease runs off into the sides and the loaf gets crispier along the top, sides, and bottom). Bake for 1 hour. To make the sauce, mix the ketchup and brown sugar together in a new bowl. Pour over the top of the meatloaf, then bake the whole thing for another thirty minutes.
A friend tried to make this recipe and just would not trust that the meatloaf needed to bake for the whole hour and a half. That didn't go well.
This is based on a recipe of Loretta Lynn's (yes, the country singer), but I can't use a recipe for any period of time without altering it, so at this point my meatloaf is a bit different from hers.
I'd love to hear about other people's favorite comfort foods. Feel free to tell me about them in the comments!