On Coziness

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Cold night, soft socks, warm tea, and a large sweater

I remember when my lazy cold-weather evenings started at the video rental store where I would browse the isles looking for whatever it was that struck my fancy; after finding my movie I would grab some popcorn at the local corner store and head back to the warmth of my home. Now everything is ever so convenient; and even though Netflix has many perks, I can’t help but reminisce and miss the days where I would actually go out to the video rental store and pick out whatever my mood called for – it was a kind of lazy/relaxing evening ritual. Coming home, changing into a large sweater (often my dad’s old sweater which had shrunk over the years to 1/4 of its original size but nonetheless was humongous on me) and warm soft socks, grabbing my cat, a cup of tea, popping the corn and putting the movie on. Simple, yet utterly satisfying. Aahh the yesteryears.

Coziness is such a fabulous feeling: it is happy and warm and soft and comfortable. Since I can no longer venture out and complete my movie night ritual, I enjoy comfort food with a side of Netflix instead. Hey…a hot bowl of gnocchi poutine can make any person happy. Seriously…here’s the recipe, try it out:

Movie Night Gnocchi Poutine:

poutine.jpeg.size.xxlarge.letterboxIngredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 lb fresh gnocchi
  • 1 cup fresh cheese curds
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock (if using store bought make sure it is low sodium)
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened red grape juice or cranberry juice (this recipe is made with red wine but I substituted for what I had on hand)
  • Grape seed oil (or extra virgin olive oil)

Method:

In a small pot melt 3 tbsp of your butter on medium heat. Then whisk in your flour. Whisk for 5 or so minutes until the roux begins to smell nutty.

Boil the gnocchi in a large pot with salted water – the water must be at a rolling boil the entire time. Once they float to the top (about 1 or 2 minutes) boil for another minute. Drain off the cooked gnocchi. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter with a little oil and toss in your gnocchi (in a single layer) and sear them until each side is lightly golden. Keep them warm until served.

Heat a medium sized saucepan with oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots until they are golden. De-glaze your pan with your juice (or wine) and let it simmer to reduce for about half a minute. Pour in your beef stock along with dried thyme, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and your roux. Whisk ingredients until combined. Bring your sauce to a simmer and let it simmer, stirring often, until it has reduced for about 15 minutes. Just before your turn off the heat toss your cheese curds into the gravy so they can soften and begin to melt – don’t let them melt completely, you want them whole and only slightly gooey.

A hot bowl of cheesy gravy-smothered gnocchi is sure to make your belly happy and give you a cozy comforting feel while you click through your movie library. Enjoy!

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