The Return of Comfort Food: Recipes and Ideas for Cozy Nights In
There’s nothing quite like a hot, steamy meal after a long day of work or on a chilly night. Maybe it’s because of the cold weather outside, or maybe it’s simply our busy lifestyles, but comfort food has made a comeback in recent years. This trend of nostalgic, soothing dishes shows that people desire food that reminds them of home, family, and warmth. Luckily, you don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy these comforting delights! Here are some recipes and ideas to make your own cozy nights in.
Mac and Cheese
Nothing screams comfort food quite like mac and cheese. The cheesy goodness is perfect for a night in with family or friends. To make it from scratch, boil 2 cups of macaroni in salted water until al dente. In a separate pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Then add 4 tablespoons of flour and mix until it forms a roux. Add two cups of milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg to taste. Once the mixture thickens, add 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and continue to stir until it’s melted. Finally, mix the sauce with the cooked macaroni and bake in a 350°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Soup and Stew
Soup and stew are perfect for cold winter nights when you need something to warm you up from the inside out. A classic beef stew is made with 2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes, and browned over medium-high heat in a heavy pot with a tablespoon of oil. Then add 1 chopped onion and 4 cloves of garlic, stirring until translucent. Add 1 cup of red wine and let it reduce for 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cups of beef broth, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 2 cups of carrots and 2 potatoes, cut into cubes. Simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is a classic American dish that screams comfort food. To make it from scratch, preheat your oven to 375°F. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook 1 pound of diced chicken until browned. In a separate pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of flour and mix until it forms a roux. Add two cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme and let the mixture thicken. Layer the cooked chicken in the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish, then pour the sauce over the chicken. Top with 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots. Take a sheet of puff pastry and place it over the top of the dish, trimming off any excess dough. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Cozy nights in are the perfect opportunity to indulge in nostalgic and comforting food. These recipes are sure to hit the spot and warm up your soul. Don’t forget to grab a blanket and enjoy your cozy night in.