Comfort food to soothe your nerves

14 Recipes
Best ever mac 'n' cheese being spooned from a casserole dish

Your go-to recipes as you wait to hear the results


Whoever you will vote for or already voted for this election day — strike that, election week, er, election month, or year, or, well, whatever, now that the ballots are actually being counted the real nail-biting begins. Who will win and how will that play out? I don’t know about you, but few things will bring me in off the ledge more quickly and completely than food. Comfort food and lots of it. I’m talking an Olympic-size swimming pool full of chicken soup, a shipping container of macaroni and cheese, a cistern of rice pudding. After all, these are unprecedented times.

My go-to soup when I’m on edge? Classic matzo ball. There is a recipe for it below (though with a twist) and a few other types in case even making matzo balls seems too stressful. Try the puchero (Mexican chicken soup), the ever-popular and easy to make tom kha gai (Thai coconut chicken soup) or pho gà nhanh (quick chicken pho). If you want your noodles suspended in creamy cheesiness rather than in chicken broth, one of these macaroni and cheese recipes from Times Food writers over the years will surely transport you to a more sacred space. Nuanced differences among the recipes account for personal taste, but these recipes are from well-seasoned food pros — you can’t go wrong with any of them. When you’re ready to move on to the sweet, each of these rice puddings — whether you’re a purist and go for plain vanilla or stud it with fruit, nuts or chocolate — will warm your belly and soothe your soul.

The great thing about all of these dishes is that there will be lots of leftovers. Whatever frustrations may come in the days after the election, you will be armed to cook and eat your way through them.

Sephardi chicken soup with herb-flecked kneidelach

Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Mexican chicken soup

Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Coconut chicken soup (Tom kha gai)

Time 15 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Quick Chicken Pho (pho gà nhanh)

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 2

Queen and Diva's mac 'n' cheese

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 12 to 16

Best-Ever Mac 'n' Cheese

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 12 to 16

Brown Butter Mac and Cheese

Time 35 minutes
Yields Serves 2 to 4

Green chile mac and cheese

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Mac 'n' cheese

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 10

Pasjoli-Inspired Rice Pudding

Time 2 hours, plus chilling
Yields Serves 8

Lemon grass- coconut rice pudding

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Chilled banana and pistachio rice pudding

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Spanish rice pudding with chocolate surprise

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 6