2020’s quarantine period will go down in history as the time when home dwellers constantly wondered ‘what the fuck should I make for dinner?’ Some people will tell you that this emotion isn’t just a quarantine emotion. But quarantine cooking took some really exciting directions with ‘banana bread’ becoming an actual trend. Who would’ve thought? Not me at least. Especially when I found myself looking for a quick and easy recipe every other night that I wasn’t cooking ramen.
So on the weekends, when you’re free from work and have no excuses other than laziness, you need to get off that couch! Pack the must-have equipment for your kitchen, take a quick vacation to the kitchen and treat yourself to the flavors of the world with these quick and easy recipes.
The best part? We’re not just suggesting quarantine cooking that will make your indoor-days a hit. These recipes are also quite swoon-worthy!
Poutine your quarantine cooking to use with some fries, gravy and cheese!
Give it up for the perfect all-rounder of a dish, starring your favorite vegetable – the potato! It’s the ultimate meal of fries and gravy that you can devour as a snack, a complete meal, or a side dish. And if you have all the ingredients in front of you, poutine makes one hell of a quick and easy recipe!
For the gravy
- In a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water and set it aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt 6 tbsp butter on simmer.
- Add 1/4th cup flour and stir regularly for about 5 minutes, till the mixture turns golden brown
- Add 20 oz beef/chicken/vegetable broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in half of the cornstarch mixture and cook on simmer for a minute.
- Slowly add the remaining mix depending on how thick you want your gravy.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the fries
- Peel and cut 3 – 4 medium potatoes.
- Fry them at 300° F.
- Take out when they’re golden brown and crisp.
Place your fries in a dish, and follow up with a ladle-full pour of that delicious gravy. Sprinkle a handful of cheese curds and devour as quickly as possible! Seriously, you want to finish this while the fries are crispy, the gravy is warm and the cheese is gooey.
Salmorejo from Spain
A salmorejo is a luxurious and thick tomato based soup, perfect for those nights you wish to take up a simple quarantine cooking project.
- Start with boiling water in a pan with a pinch of salt.
- Take 8 medium tomatoes (serves four) and make a cross-cut at the bottom of each tomato.
- Boil them for a minute and immediately place in ice-cold water. Take the skin off.
- Blend tomatoes in a blender until it breaks down (tomatoes, not your blender).
- Add pieces of bread and let it soak in the tomato juice.
- Add a splash of sherry or red wine vinegar, salt as per taste and a clove of garlic, and blend until the texture is smooth.
- Add a cup of extra virgin olive oil slowly while blending.
- Add a boiled egg and blend.
- Add slices of ham or salami or your favorite veggie if you like.
- Serve cold!
- As they would say in Spain, Buen Provecho!
Put all your eggs in one pan for some Shakshuka!
If there’s ever been a quick and easy recipe that also tastes like a million bucks, it’s this one. Fulfilling and soul-satisfying, you can make this your breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or all of the above!
- Heat oil and shallow fry one large chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 bell peppers, other veggies or sliced meat, till they’re golden brown.
- Add cumin powder, coriander powder and paprika or chilli flakes as per taste.
- Once tender, add 6 chopped tomatoes and tomato puree or tomato sauce to the mix.
- Keep it covered on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Once the gravy thickens, make some wells with the back of your spoon in the chunky gravy. These wells will hold your eggs in place.
- Pour your eggs into the wells and cover the pan on low heat till the egg whites settle and the yolks are your preferred consistency.
- You can add mint or parsley to garnish.
Nooshe jân! (May it nourish your soul)
Quarantine cooking weekend project, Adobo!
This quick and easy recipe is best for when you’re lazy but you also want to stuff your mouth with a delicious meal. It also happens to be our favourite weekend indulgence. Here’s how you can prepare Adobo:
- Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
- Cook chicken pieces/vegetables until golden brown on both sides. Then keep it aside.
- Stir in 1 large sliced onion and 2 tbsps minced garlic and cook until they soften.
- Pour in 1/3rd cup white vinegar with 2/3rd cup soy sauce and 1 tbsp garlic powder, some black pepper to taste, and 1 bay leaf.
- Add the cooked chicken/veggies and increase the heat, bringing to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook on simmer until the chicken/veggies are done.
The infamous Indonesian Avocado milkshake!
Sometimes it’s okay not to want to cook an elaborate meal. But when the hunger pangs strike, you could go for a healthy and soulful avocado milkshake! Avocados don’t just fill you up, they also replenish your body with vitamins.
- Blend 1 cup milk with 1 peeled and pitted ripe avocado, 1 banana cut in chunks, and 3 tbsps, honey, until smooth. And slurp away!
Did we miss out any delicious easy meals to make at home? Tell us in the comments!
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