Comfort food: Feel less awful

Watch “Love Lust: Comfort Food,” Monday, November 7th at 8pm.

So the phone company just called to say your girlfriend or boyfriend is breaking up with you. You could cry (expected and unsightly), get wasted and bang someone you’re nearly 100% sure isn’t your ex. You could start an underground cat fighting ring, or you could eat some comfort food.

While the first two options may seem like a viable way to cope with bad shit, comfort food seems to be the popular choice. Something in our brain tells us to fuck the diet we’ve been on and eat fried chicken. Or meatloaf. Or, if you’re a real life Cathy cartoon, a whole tub of ice cream. Because comfort food is the shit that reminds of us of our childhood, when our problems were relegated to not being tall enough for awesome roller coasters, the crusts not being cut off our sandwiches (“Goddammit Ma, I don’t know how many time I have to tell you…”) and those fucking annoying childproof pill containers.

Comfort food is a hug from the inside that says “Hey, I’m gonna fatten you up and contribute to your low body image, but just tonight – and probably tomorrow if you’re a slow healer – everything is gonna be alright.”

When I was a kid my mom would make lamb shanks, but that shit takes all day, so I made shrimp and grits. It’s a comfort food, deal with it.

1 cup grits
3 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
4 oz bacon, diced
1 lb shrimp
1 cup tomato, diced
¼ cup shallots, diced
Salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder

Boil some salted water and stir in the grits. Lower the heat, add the butter, stir ‘em up and cover ’til it’s thick and perfect. Or, if you have a better way of doing it, do that (I’m not a Southerner). Cook the bacon, and when it’s nearly done toss in the shrimp and the giant multitude of spices (if you have a Cajun spice blend, that works; You can still claim homemade status, I won’t tell anyone, and if I do happen to let it slip I’ll mention how nice you smelled today) and sauté it all in the bacon fat. When the shrimp are pink, add the shallot and tomato. Let the whole thing thicken and then when you determine through your free will and ability to not fuck up a recipe that it’s properly thick, put it in a bowl or plate over the grits. Top the whole thing with chives and ponder while this is called comfort food when it really just gives you gas.

Watch “Love Lust: Comfort Food,” Monday, November 7th at 8pm.

Zach Golden is the creator of the incredibly popular website, What the Fuck Should I Make For Dinner?Buy his amazing new book right now!