Oh you know EVERY food blogger sprinted to their laptop as soon as this ‘lock down’ was announced to write their ‘stay at home’ recipes for self isolation.
Sorry darlings, Jack Monroe had us all beat from the beginning.
In fact I didn’t even run. I put down mine own copy of Monroe’s ‘Tin Can Cook’ (very clever book, please get it) and I casually moseyed over because to be honest, with everybody panic buying, I don’t have recipes for a Toilet Paper Carbonara.
What I can offer instead is 10 recipes that I feel would be useful right now because this a very bizarre time to live in.
It’s confusing. It’s a bit chaotic. It feels like that weird week in between Christmas and New Year where you have no idea who you are, what you’re doing or where to go.
Well… you stay home, that’s where you go, but that’s neither here nor there.
Everything is uncertain and we’re all nervous but the only thing I have real faith in is unity and the only thing I am certain about is that you still need to eat.
The fact it’s a necessity of living is regardless, I’m also talking about the fundamental healing properties food has to nurture is during times of fear, loneliness or discomfort.
The only way I know how to be of any use during these times is to offer my recipes. It’s a gesture that will have no huge positive dent in a crisis, but it may offer you something fun to read at the least and something good to eat at the most.
Either for their relaxing cooking method, their use of long-lasting canned ingredients or for their very short ingredient list, these recipes will hopefully offer you some comfort in this unnerving time of uncertainty.
You can swap out the blood orange for any old orange (or even some canned orange or mandarin segments will be fine) and the butterbeans can be swapped for any pulse you have knocking about. Even the chorizo could be swapped out for a regular sausage.
I’ve already seen somebody tagging me in this recipe, so I know it’s got good legs in a lock in. My grandmother once told me that if I knew how to cook an egg in multiple different ways I’d never be stuck for a meal. Those words ring truer now than ever before, right? You could strip this recipe right back to a can of tomatoes and an egg if you’re really struggling, and it will still be fantastic.
You’d be surprised what you can do with a punnet of mushrooms. Sliced into noodles, blitzed to rubble for a veggie mince, fried into scrambled eggs… the uses are endless. I like recreating the comfort of my youth by roasting them and then making a thick, velvety (surprisingly creamless!) soup. Thyme here is incredible but you could easily make it without.
Every time I buy a bag of carrots I’m always left with a random carrot or two at the bottom of my fridge. Usually they find themselves plunged into stock, however sometimes I like to get a bit creative. You can swap out the hazelnuts for any mixed bag of nuts you have lying around. If this doesn’t tickle your pickle and you still have a few pesky carrots leftover, I’d also recommend this amazing Carrot & Ginger Marmalade. Not essential in an isolation situation but it’s there.
Never would I ever gleefully admit to using canned potatoes in a recipe but given the fact I’m seeing so many empty shelves of canned goods in the shops these days, I guess some of you may need some ideas with what to do with all those cans of potatoes. I draws a line at a Toilet Roil curry… you guys are off your damn heads with that stockpiling nonsense. Leave some for every body else, you selfish weirdos.
No link here as I’ve never published this recipe to the webpage. Inspired by Nigella Lawson’s recipe in her book Kitchen, literally all we’re doing here is melting some butter and Marmite together and tossing it through some cooked pasta and finishing off with cheese. Simple. Few ingredients. Huge flavour. Might not be for you, but it’s definitely for me.
And of course, there’s always time for something sweet…
Canned pears will get you out of an endless amount of problems but you could absolutely go back to tradition and use canned pineapple rings for this. Don’t worry if you don’t have cardamom, the recipe will still work.
If you’ve got that can of custard knocking about your pantry, now’s the time to use it. Whisk it up into some pancakes batter and you’ve got yourself some banging, wobbly thick pancakes. If you’ve got the powder, just make up some custard and use it in the same way. You won’t regret it.
These cute little biscuits are the perfect little comfort crunch. A jar of lemon curd is always knocking about my fridge so I can whip these up fairly simply (the recipe is literally so easy, you just mix together ingredients in a bowl and bake it twice…) but if you don’t have the curd, use a marmalade or a jam. It’ll taste different, but it’ll still taste good.
A crumble can be whatever you need it to be. This method I have here uses up some oats and seeds but you could literally just throw in whatever you have lying about the house and throw it on top of any fruit you need to use up. Apples, oranges, pears… just use whatever fruit you have and top it with a crust. It’s a crumble, I swear.
Stay home. Stay safe. Stay fed.