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Summer this year brought the hotly anticipated new cookbook Comfort MOB: Food That Makes You Feel Good, which tackles the ambitious project of comfort food in all its glorious forms. Beloved by students all over the country, the MOB philosophy is that of affordable and unpretentiously good food.

With its bold orange cover and relentlessly drool-worthy images, this new book does not disappoint, and has already become something of a Bible for me in the kitchen – here are a few of the recipes I have loved so far.

Miso onion soup with sesame gruyère toasts

For me, soup and bread both rank pretty highly in terms of comfort food essentials. Combining these with cheese, caramelised onions and the deep flavour of miso results in a flavour profile which guarantees success. This twist on a classic is the perfect recipe for those rainy days where only soup will do.

dad’s puttanesca

It speaks volumes when a pasta recipe has no need for cheese, and this salty little number is a real treat. Like many students constrained by time, budget and cupboard space, I often gravitate towards recipes with fewer ingredients. I think we can all agree that pasta is a student staple, and this one does absolute wonders with just a handful of ingredients. For anyone put off by the inclusion of capers or anchovies, I encourage you to set your reservations aside: they bring an incredibly intense umami flavour to the dish, transforming a simple tomato sauce into something truly delicious. 

SPicy chicken katsu

This one takes a little more time and care, but is so worth it. There is a nostalgic satisfaction to recreating the iconic dish I spent my teens eating in Wagamama, and this one may be (dare I say it) even better. Crispy pieces of chicken covered in a thick, spicy curry sauce, this meal is comforting in the extreme and a real crowd-pleaser.

satay-stuffed sweet potatoes

I was prompted to attempt this recipe by the frankly outrageously enticing picture that appears alongside it in the book. While my finished result wasn’t quite as beautiful, I was blown away by the taste of this simple dish – the star of the show being the creamy peanut sauce, which I’d happily eat by itself with a spoon. It deserves a shoutout for being totally wholesome, and vegan without feeling like it’s “missing out” on anything.

mob’s cheesy chips

While the likes of Jason Donervan will always hold a special place in my heart, making your own cheesy chips takes things to another level. Maybe it’s the comfort of being able to devour it on your own sofa, or maybe it’s just the novelty of eating cheesy chips without the messy Jäger-fuelled night out beforehand. This recipe is slightly more than your average oven-chips-covered-in-Bisto, but still pays homage to the much-loved classic.

chocolate jaffa pool

It would be wrong to conclude this list without mentioning dessert – while there were other strong contenders for this category (the effortlessly classic chocolate brownie recipe was particularly close), it had to be this one. I am a total sucker for desserts in more or less any shape or form, but there is an undeniable magic to a self-saucing pudding eaten hot from the oven. A dessert as decadent and chocolatey as this one, lifted by a subtle hint of orange, might just be the absolute pinnacle of comfort food.

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Helena Webb

Bristol '22

Studying Philosophy at Bristol, Thai food and 80s music enthusiast.
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