Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

The BEST Tomato Soup

As the cooler weather begins to fill our evenings, I thought I would share with you all an exceptional recipes for a tomato soup that I love to make and is utterly delicious. I hope you will enjoy serving this recipe to your family and your friends. Soon I will demonstrate this recipe on video for you, but until then:

Tomato Soup

Makes 6 cups
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (24 ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add red pepper flakes and stir for about 1 minute. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onions have softened, about 15 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until tomatoes, onions, and garlic are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Working in batches, transfer soup to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth or use and immersion blender. Return to saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until soup is heated through. If soup seems too thick, stir in some extra stock to thin. Serve immediately.

Pizza on the Grill - Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

Makes 4 pizzas
• Pizza Dough – recipe below
• All-purpose flour, for rolling
• 1 cup prepared tomato sauce
• 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 24 fresh basil leaves, torn
• Coarse sea salt

1. Preheat a grill or grill pan.
2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Loosely cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap; let stand 15 minutes.
3. Using a lightly floured rolling pin or your hands, stretch each ball into a 9- to 10-inch round.
4. Place one round of dough directly on grill and cook until bottom is lightly browned and dry, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, gently turn dough and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to baking sheet, browned side down, and set aside. Repeat process with remaining dough.
5. Divide sauce evenly between pizzas spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edges of the dough. Top with cheese.
6. Working with 1 or 2 pizzas at a time, place on grill and cook until cheese is melted and bottom is golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Repeat process with remaining pizzas. Transfer pizzas to a cutting board and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter basil leaves over each pizza and sprinkle with salt. Cut using a pizza wheel and serve immediately.

Basic Pizza Dough

Makes about 1 3/4 pounds
• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
• 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar, at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar; mix until well combined. Make a well in the center and add water, wine, and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir liquid into the dry ingredients until mixture becomes too stiff to stir. Continue mixing with your hands until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Lightly dust work surface with flour. Turn dough out onto work surface. Gently knead, dusting work surface with more flour as necessary, until dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky, about 5 minutes.
3. Oil a large clean bowl; add dough and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel; set in a warm part of the kitchen and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. Punch down dough before using.

Personal Chef Services

Personal Chef Service and Pricing
With packages for individuals, couples and families Scott offers Personal Chef services suitable for any budget or lifestyle!

Gourmet Every Day!
If you’re like most people, the two things that would improve your life are to have more time for yourself, your family and friends and to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re doing everything you can to maintain your health. And, if you’re like most people, you’re probably pressed for time at the end of your work day so you turn to fast or frozen foods and don’t eat a healthy, well balanced meal.
Scott Hargrove is based in Beaverton and serving the Portland area, can give you back your time and provide you and your family with a nutritious, gourmet meal every day. I do all the grocery shopping, nutritional consulting, and then prepares scratch, gourmet meals with easy to follow serving instructions, right in your own kitchen… and all for about the same cost as dining out!

For questions or to schedule me to become your personal chef please contact me at --

1. Introductory Service
8 portions total (8 meals for one, 4 meals for two, 2 meals for four). Includes 2 entrées, four portions each with side dishes. Ideal for sampling our Personal Chef Services with minimal cost or as a gift for someone special!
:: Package Price: $145 ($18.13/meal) ::

2. Light Service
10 portions total. (10 meals for one, 5 meals for two). Includes 5 entrées, two portions each with side dishes. Perfect if you’re looking variety in your menu! A couple can eat well for a week with this package!
:: Package Price: $275 ($27.50/meal) ::

3. Custom 3-Serving
15 portions total. (15 meals for one, 5 meals for three). Includes 5 entrées, three portions each with side dishes. Great for families of three looking for variety or a couple who wants an extra serving for lunch the next day.
:: Package Price: $310 ($20.67/meal) ::

4. Standard Service
20 portions total. (20 meals for one, 10 meals for two, or 5 meals for four). Includes 5 entrées, four portions of each with side dishes. Our most popular package. A family of four can eat gourmet every day for an entire week or a couple can eat well for two weeks with this service!
:: Package Price: $350 ($17.50/meal) ::

5. Custom 6-Serving
30 portions total. (30 meals for one, 10 meals for three). Includes 5 entrées, six portions each with side dishes. This package is perfect for families of three looking for two weeks of meals.
:: Package Price: $435 ($14.50/meal) ::

5. Large Service
40 portions total (40 meals for one, 20 meals for two, 10 meals for four). Includes 5 entrées, eight portions each, with side dishes. Perfect for larger families or if you if you frequently entertain guests. A family of four can eat well for two weeks with this package, or a couple can have enough dinners for a month!
:: Package Price: $515 ($12.88/meal) ::

Can’t quite find the package that seems to fit your needs? Need something different than you see on this page? I would be happy to tailor-make a package to suit your needs. Prices will be subject to complexity and ratio of menu items/number of portions and fluctuating cost of groceries.