Solving the Big issues: Retro comfort classic

I blame the weather (thankfully it’s WET as well as cold here so far this week), but I cannot stop eating. ALL of the things. Actually, maybe it’s the fact that I have been a bit off my game this year (my confidence has been lower than normal) that I have just been a bit meh all bloody year. I haven’t been able to focus, maintain motivation you name it, I’m just not me. And when it comes to not feeling the best, I sometimes find myself eating my feelings. Because what better comfort can come from food?

Don’t say that comfort can come from a run, just don’t right now, K?

The term comfort food has been around for a long time – the notion that when adults are under emotional stress that they turn to ‘comfort food’ which can be food associated with the security, safety and love of childhood. An egg & lettuce sandwich cut up into quarters. A chicken soup that your Mum may have made you. A cake or biscuit that your Grandma maybe made. You get the picture.

Last night I trotted out one of my all time favourite comfort dinners that takes me right back to the safety of my childhood dinner table where it was dog eat dog with 4 kids stealing things of each others plates: CRUMBED CUTLETS.

So retro. So delicious. SO GOOD.

With a side of potato bake and display greens for good measure because that’s what my Mum did every night for us and so I do it now for my family too.

On the weekend I was chatting to friends of ours who said that they have recently been making Apricot chicken ala 1982 for dinner and it’s delicious. Maaaaaaaate! There’s not any bloody quinoa in sight and isn’t it marvellous!

Maybe it’s Steak Dianne, Honey chicken, sauso casserole…these are dishes from your childhood the are retro and DELICOUS. I recently watched a Jamie Oliver show and he was making chicken Kiev with his old man and I was LICKING THE TV SCREEN HAND ME THE THIGH CUTLET TREVOR. They are classics for a reason and they instantly transport you to a happy place. That place may be 1979, but it’s nice to visit every now and then right?

And for those of you who may ask me, the way I do crumbed cutlets is VERY simple: I bread them (flour, egg and panic breadcrumbs) and then place onto a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and then into a hot 180-200 degree oven for 20 mins or so, or until golden. Serve with potato bake (hello 80’s!) if you wanted to keep it retro why not a tomato halve with some cheddar cheese whacked under the grill? Sometimes some mash and peas will do the trick.

I’d love to know what YOUR comfort food is?
Is it a retro classic like this?
Do you think that Chia seeds will ever be a place of comfort for children of 2018?

Bread illustration from Monica Ramos


  1. my comfort food is savoury mince with mashed potato. I had it whenever I stayed with my Nan & Pa. I would mix it all together when I was a little girl, I still do if nobody is watching.

  2. Love this, your timing is perfect as always Beth. A comfort batch of your jam drops are cooling on the bench and the kettle is on the boil. Feeling a wee bit cranky this week with two bathrooms being renovated at once here and my L4/5 disc threatening to bulge … ahhh what I would give for Mum’s Salmon Mornay tonight for dinner! It was a regular at our table in the 70’s and just So Good with that crusty, cheesy breadcrumb topping. Also Steak Diane, potato croquettes, sausages with onion gravy and mashed potato … and I can’t leave out Prawn Cocktail … loved all of them 🙂

  3. Crumbed cutlets are my all time favourite meal! But if I need a comfort food… my Gram’s bread and butter pudding hits the spot… and reminds me of her warm hugs and the homey smell of her kitchen! That’s comfort right there!! Beth my mouth is watering! We are off to the local for dinner tonight! And Tuesday’s are cutlet night!

  4. Toasted sandwiches, hot chips, Mac n Cheese, cheeseburgers, shortbread, steak Diane, schnitzel, need I go on? I am the same at the moment. Human Hoover xx

  5. Oohhhhh … that takes me back …. crumbed cutlets was it for us – and my mum totally did the grilled tomato with cheese!

  6. Cutlets, cutlets & cutlets. Now I have upper teeth again… this is what I am cooking for us tomorrow. Stillllll so expensive: $15.75 for 6. Sigh! I don’t know how I ever afforded this meal when we had two kids at home. Maybe that was why I worked?!

  7. Roast mutton on a Sunday, Curried Sausages, Shepard’s Pie, steak and chips on Friday nights but the all time fave was this dish my grandmother used to make called “Tasty Chops.” It was mutton or lamb chops with this sauce (garlic, tomato paste, black sauce) spread on top and then baked in the oven until the fat went all crispy…. delicious!!!

  8. Shell Yting says

    Lordy, your timing couldn’t be more perfect, I have a shepherds pie in the oven as I type…Living in North Queensland, we don’t really get a winter but did have a couple of cool nights, and I popped a dumpling stew in the oven it was sensational.

  9. Corned beef. I made it last night with cheese sauce and veg. Absolutely delicious. Just as good on a sandwich the next day!

  10. It was mum’s roast pork and boiled chicken and parsley sauce. I do make roast pork occasionally but never the chicken dish. Comfort food these days is more about anything I don’t have to cook.

  11. Corned beef with mash spuds and peas and white sauce, I still love it and so do my children.

  12. Probs toasted sandwiches – a lunch staple growing up, and still one now. Have you ever tried crumbing your cutlets in a mixture of panko crumbs and el cheapo stuffing mix (I just buy homebrand)? Sounds questionable, tastes delicious!!

    • Oh! Another fave from my childhood! My mum used to make crumbed steak with stuffing mix (no other breadcrumbs, just stuffing mix) … delicious!

  13. My mum wasn’t a great cook but could do a mean roast lamb and roast potatoes as well as a meatloaf. Comfort food from my gran on the other hand was always corned meat with white sauce mashed potatoes and carrots followed by a lemon meringue tart…….her corned meat and white sauce is a firm fav with my kiddies too.

  14. Just had shepherds pie for dinner – was delicious on this wet cold night. Full of veg, plenty of cheese on top, and was gobbled up by me, the toddler and the 10 month old baby, so a winner all round!

  15. Mums creamy rice dessert…drool

  16. Yes! Love going home to mum’s cause she always stocks the fridge with the makings of comfort food from my childhood which she knows I love and however much I try it’s just never the same!
    Corned beef with mash, white sauce and cheesy cauliflower, steak and kidney stew on toast, ‘special’ rissoles (with apple in them!) with real gravy made from the pan juice with mash and display greens, pot roast and veg.
    All Delish and now all making an appearance in our dinner rotation this week! Thanks Beth!

  17. I am going the corned beef as well. With white sauce and all the veg – baby potatoes, beans, sweet potatoe and carrots cooked in the liquid. Sometimes a cauli cheese makes an appearance as you can never have enough white sauce! I was talking about this at work and all the twenty year olds said yuk. WTF???

  18. Victoria Murphy-Casey says

    This is my fave post all year👏.Your first paragraph and I was like no way,this is about me😳…Meh,meh meh…I was a bastard eater growing up.We (4 of us) had to sit at table til finished,I wouldn’t even start.From really young I would not eat meat or dairy hated the taste,my poor Mum would lose her shit but I wouldn’t/didn’t budge..Bring on the bbeans on toast or sardines and I was good to go…All veggies topped the good to eat Iist..I had a lot of sitting at the table by myself tho til the change of menu for just me..Chia seeds are evil to me 🤢..along with many seeds,I’d rather be given the choice if I want these things..My Mum makes the most amazing dairy free choc cake,so there is my favourite thing💗

  19. Curried sausages!! I still request them every birthday

  20. My nanna’s secret was a splash of soy sauce (this was the only thing she used it for) and then baked in the oven. Served with worchesteshire sauce. No fancy cutlets, forequarter chops with the odd shapes. Think I need them this week actually.
    And I ate salad for lunch and then inhaled a burger for dinner. Balance?

  21. Shepherds pie for sure!!! I cook it for my brother when he visits, and now my 5 yr old asks for it too.
    And you could never beat a lamb roast in our house 😊
    Great question!

  22. I was only thinking of this the other day . Corn beef for sure ! How about ham steaks , haven’t had them in so many years

  23. Mums tuna mornay – has to contain a time of baked beans and be topped with mashed potato and cheese… or potato chips!! Dad used to cook eggs in a basket but use a crumpet! Oh my, now I really need one of those!

  24. I’m currently revisiting my culinary childhood too…. hello, mince and macaroni! My mum’s tuna casserole is probably my go-to comfort food.

    Re. apricot chicken…. try using chicken mince! Same flavour, different texture, totally delicious! I also put frozen diced vegies in mine. AND it’s also great as a jaffle filling next day, just sayin’ 😉

  25. Unfortunately my Mums cooking isn’t something that can be re-created to transport back to good thoughts. It’s also the reason my sister and I detest peas and cooked beans. Dehydrated Surprise peas literally were a small ball bearing missile. But my Nanas, hand written by her, curried sausage recipe is trotted out in winter with thoughts of love. My grandmothers pav is also fondly remembered.

  26. Bangers and mash is a regular here – hubbie cooks mid week. I did a cook book for the kids with the family favourite recipes – spag bol, Friday fave mince (to go on toast), tuna casserole. My MIL cooks an amazing corned beef (in fact we had it last night) with all the trappings. Am feeling the forever eating thing too – is it change of season related? Love the cutlets recipe, will make it GF for us next week 🙂

  27. If i’m cooking it is mac and cheese, if someone else is cooking it’s crumbed cutlets with mash and gravy.

  28. My mum was a great cook and her pastitsio (kind of like a Greek lasagne) was fabulous but there were many other favs too including a not very Greek apricot chicken 😉. It seems many of us associate our mums’ cooking with love and comfort so I guess mums like you (and anyone who cooks for others) is doing an excellent job of nurturing.

  29. Cyndy Witzke says

    My MIL used to make what we called Tomato Beef Mac. Ground beef sautéed with onions and green peppers, a can of Campbell’s tomato soup undiluted, maybe–just maybe–some diced tomatoes. A bit of oregano. Salt & pepper of course. Cook some macaroni and combine it all. Serve with shredded parm or cheddar. Lately we’ve switched it over to an easy Hungarian Goulash recipe I found.

    MIL’s potato salad was also a great comfort food. My mother’s best was leg of lamb with mint jelly. Mmm.

    If I’m out at my favorite Cajun restaurant, it’s shrimp & grits.

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