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4 Comfort Food Favorites Made Perfect

Beyond holiday dinner parties this winter, there’s not a more welcoming excuse to cook at home than simply to avoid the cold. Which is why we turned to Maria Zoitas, creator of “Maria’s Homemade” line of prepared food at Westside Market NYC, to nab four of her winter comfort food dishes that really do warm the soul. If you’re looking for THE perfect recipe for classic chicken pot pie, Italian meatloaf, three-cheese macaroni and cheese, and a hearty minestrone soup, we’ve got Maria’s very best take on each of these comfort dishes!


  • Perfect Chicken Pot Pie 1 of 4
    Perfect Chicken Pot Pie

    1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
    4 skinless, boneless cooked chicken breast halves, diced
    2 (15-ounce) cans mixed vegetables, drained
    1 recipe 9-inch double crust pie

    Preheat oven to 375ËšF. Put soup, vegetables and chicken in bowl and toss to combine. Pour mixture into pie shell, and then cover with top crust. Crimp edges and make a few slits in top crust. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
    Recipe courtesy Westside Market NYC
  • Italian Meatloaf 2 of 4
    Italian Meatloaf

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 egg
    1/4 cup finely chopped onions
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 pound ground chuck
    3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
    2 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
    1/4 cup chopped basil
    1 small can tomato sauce

    Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned. Using your hands, mix together ground meat, bread crumbs, parmesan, egg, parsley and basil, and then mix in the cooked onion and garlic. Shape mixture in a loaf and place in shallow pan. Pour tomato sauce over loaf. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let sit for ten minutes before slicing.
    Recipe courtesy Westside Market NYC
  • Perfect Mac & Cheese 3 of 4
    Perfect Mac & Cheese

    1 16-ounce package elbow macaroni
    1/2 cup shredded Muenster
    1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack
    8 tblspns (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    1 1/2 cups half-and-half
    8 ounces cubed processed cheese food
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta in colander and return to cooking pot. Combine Muenster, Cheddars, and Monterey Jack in a large bowl. Stir 7 tablespoons melted butter into macaroni. Add half-and-half, 1½ cups mixed cheeses, processed cheese food, and eggs to macaroni; mix together and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture on top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbling around the edges. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
    Recipe courtesy Westside Market NYC
  • Minestrone Soup 4 of 4
    Minestrone Soup

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 celery rib, chopped
    1 carrot, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 14½- ounce can crushed tomatoes
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 quart chicken broth
    ½ cup medium pasta shells, cooked according to package
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and parsley. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Let cook 30 minutes. Add pasta during last 5 minutes. Correct seasoning and stir in parsley before serving.
    Recipe courtesy Westside Market NYC

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