Chef Tom with a Solo Suggestion a Comforting Recipe and some Delightful Music

Joyce Goldstein is one of my all-time favorite chefs. I own a half dozen of her cookbooks, including one that I return to over and over. Solo Suppers was designed with the single diner in mind, but, according to Chef Goldstein, the recipes double really well. So, if you and your partner are hunkered down together, this would be a great cookbook to own.

Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Prior to opening Square One, she was chef at the Chez Panisse Café and visiting executive chef at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Today she is a cooking teacher, consultant to the restaurant and food industries, and prolific cookbook author. Her most recent book is The New Mediterranean Jewish Table (UC Press, 2016). Learn more about Joyce at

This is one of my favorite all-time comfort foods. It’s a perfect – but incredibly tasty – recipe for us hunker-downers (as Leslie Jordon calls us). It’s pretty forgiving and a lot of the ingredients can be switched out (see Chef Notes). Try this. You will love it.

Sopa Coada

Sopa Coada (Portuguese Bread and Chicken Soup)
Serves 8

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

2 large celery stalks, diced

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1/2 cup dry white wine

1-quart chicken stock

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

4 slices bread, toasted (if fresh) and drizzled with EVOO

1/2 cup pecorino or parmesan , grated

1 pinch cinnamon

Sweat veggies in EVOO over low-med heat, covered until juices release.

Add cinnamon, and wine and cook until evaporated.  Remove from heat.

Toast bread and drizzle with EVOO.

Layer veggies, chicken, mushrooms, and bread slices (twice, if possible), lightly sprinkling layers with half of cheese, and use an oven proof casserole.

Cover layers in chicken stock to 1/4″ above top.

Sprinkle remaining parmesan on top, cover with pre-oiled foil, and bake 30-50 minutes 300 degree, or until bubbly.

Remove foil and allow to brown for 5-10 minutes.

Chef Notes: Use gluten free bread if gluten is an issue. Any stale bread can be used. If the bread is fresh I like toasting it because I prefer the extra caramelization. Whole grain, white, sourdough, it’s all good. Sun leftover ham, or brisket, or even sausages. The veggies can be switched out too, depending on what’s in your larder. Try searing the sliced mushrooms over med-high heat in a bit of EVOO (cook until they release their juices, then a little longer to brown them). This intensifies their flavor. I’ve added roasted butternut squash. Using a deboned store-bought roasted chicken saves a lot of time, but any leftover protein will work. The cheese can be switched out, as well. This is pure comfort food and a great way to use leftovers. Don’t leave out the cinnamon!

On That Note

Did you know that Punk Marching Band is a genre? How about Techno Marching Band?

Marching bands have evolved into something far beyond a big noisy group of folks marching down a football grid, or along Main Street. These vids might be totally obnoxious to you, but once I started exploring this path, I found a rich vein of all kinds of electrifying music to explore.


MEUTE is a Techno Marching Band – eleven drummers and horn players from Hamburg, Germany who fulfil the job of a DJ with their acoustic instruments. The archaic conglomerate of brass and drums creates a new genre by combining hypnotic driving techno and expressive brass band music. MEUTE detaches electronic music from the dj desk and evolves the thrust of energy on stage or directly in the crowd. Be it on the streets or in the club, with or without electricity – MEUTE runs!

Slip (MEUTE Version)

Rushing Back (Flume feat. Vera Blue Rework)

West Philly Orchestra (WPO)

West Philly Orchestra is Philadelphia’s fierce Balkan Monster. WPO is a sweaty dance explosion of blasting trumpets, pulsating drums, and shouting voices. Beats, and melodies inspired by those in Serbia, Romania, and all of the Balkans. WPO consistently brings a raucous party whereever they go.

Flying Solo

Out of the Fly Bottle

What Cheer? Brigade

Through the streets of Times Square What Cheer? Brigade runs in with the police and pulls some magic tricks.. What Cheer? Brigade is a 20+ brass band from Providence, RI. For upcoming shows check out

Joey Quits (a very NYC experience)

Infernal Noise Brigade

Their website describes their music as combining “elements of drumlinetaikoMughal and North African rhythms, elements of Balkan fanfaresbreakbeats, and just about anything else.” Although best known for their free (and often confrontational) public performances at political protests, they sometimes perform at more conventional concerts and club gigs, are usually featured as part of a musically eclectic program.



Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at

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