Midas is here to help you get your culture fix whilst self-isolating!
We will be suggesting our favourite culture cures for isolation in a series of blogs – whether it is books, podcasts, TV shows, virtual museum tours and more. Check out the team’s top fiction books, podcasts, virtual museum/art gallery tours and films for self-isolation.
There’s no better time to try out new recipes than when you’re stuck at home and in desperate need of some delicious comfort food. So if you’re searching for inspiration on what to do with limited ingredients, hoping to avoid the endless supermarket queues, then look no further, as we’ve asked a few of Midas’ own talented home cooks to pick their simple but scrumptious, Top Recipes for Self-Isolation…
- Zero Waste Homemade Crisps
In the immortal words of the Hemsley sisters: Boil. Your. Bones. This recipe might not be about making stock from your roast (although you should) but it follows the same principle of avoiding even the smallest morsel of food going to waste during the coronavirus crisis (and in life generally).
In the last few weeks I’ve started to learn a little bit about using food “waste” to make tasty meals (I’m keeping a record at @FinsburyKitchen on Instagram), and it’s opened my eyes to how many perfectly delicious scraps of food I waste every day. Because ultimately all the scraps add up into scrap HEAPS. As a true granddaughter of Irish grandparents, my favourite discovery so far has been potato peelings, which can be transformed incredibly easy into delicious homemade crisps.
- Simply scatter the potato peel (sweet or regular) in a tray and coat with olive oil.
- Then sprinkle over your desired flavouring. The options are, of course, endless but a few that work well are: classic ready salted (delicious with a hint of pepper or rosemary); spicy BBQ (mixing smoky and spicy paprika); posh Wotsits (parmesan and black pepper); and chorizo (this can be achieved by coating the crisps in leftover oil after cooking chorizo, instead of olive oil).
- Roast at 200°C on fan (or equivalent) for about 20 minutes, flipping half way through. Keep an eye on them as they can catch quickly.
- Then enjoy on their own or with your favourite dip or tipple. And if anyone has any ideas on how to make prawn cocktail flavoured potato peel crisps hit me up… – Edwina Boyd-Gibbins, Associate Director
- Potato Gnocchi
This is a great Covid-era recipe because it’s an ideal substitute for pasta and you don’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment. I adapted Jamie Oliver’s simple egg free potato gnocchi, so it’s vegan friendly too – depending on your sauce.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
500g floury potatoes, whatever you can get
50 g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
Optional: nutmeg, whole for grating or nutmeg powder
- Peel your potatoes (keep the skins for making crisps later!) and chop into even sized chunks. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain and leave to cool
- Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer or masher and put into a mixing bowl
- Sprinkle over the flour, sprinkle or finely grate over half the nutmeg (if using), season well with sea salt and black pepper, then with clean hands, scrunch and push the mixture together. Depending on the potatoes, you may need to add a little more flour to create a dough you can handle.
- Lift your dough out the bowl and knead on a flour-dusted surface for a few minutes until pliable, then divide into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a sausage about 2cm thick.
- Slice into 3cm lengths – this is your basic gnocchi. Now, if you want to, you can gently roll each piece down the back of a fork to add grooves, this will help your sauce to stick, or you can leave them as little pillow shapes or simply roll into balls.
- Cook the gnocchi 2 portions at a time, so they’re less likely to break up. Drop them into a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes – as soon as they come up to the surface, they’re ready.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with melted butter or your favourite extra virgin or infused olive oil and grated Parmesan, or even mix through your favourite pesto or homemade sauce.
- Note: You can freeze gnocchi uncooked in layers on baking paper in a container, cook it from frozen in salted boiling water for around 5 minutes, it will rise to the surface when it’s ready… – Catherine Anderson, Digital Content & Social Media Manager
- AG’s ‘Et Voila’ Red Pepper Base Sauce that can be used 100 ways
Why? It is easy to make in a batch, use some, store the rest in the fridge (tastier the second day!) or freeze and use as and when…. with 100 ways to use it after that. It can be used for breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner…
1 tbsp of Olive oil
3 Red Peppers cut in finger size strips
2 Onions (chopped)
Garlic (you’d be a fool not to)
1 Tin of Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper per your taste
Coriander or flat parley to finish off
- Heat oil in a frying pan, toss in the red peppers and onions.
- Let it gently cook until all have softened.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, salt & pepper and continue to simmer gently to reduce.
- Follow the below.
- Make 4 little holes, add an egg in each and let these cook slowly. Garnish and serve. Spice up as you wish with cumin or chilli etc!
- As above but add chorizo. Serve with a salad.
- As above but add cooked haloumi. Serve with a salad and garnish.
- Cook pasta and add as pasta sauce.
- Use as a pizza topping base then add capers/olives/garnish or just ham.
- Heat and use as a base, top with a fillet of fish.
- Heat a pitta bread and fill each half with some AG’s… – Anna Guement, Senior Manager
- Bulgur Wheat with Roasted Tomatoes & Peppers
This is one of my favourite dishes, with a summery feel to it. It’s tasty, but very quick and really easy to make. As a plus, you only need one big oven tray to make it, and you can swap any of the ingredients with whatever you have in your cupboard – so it’s very lockdown friendly! It freezes well too (without herbs and feta).
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 red peppers cut into chunks
300g cherry tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
200g bulgur wheat
400ml vegetable stock
100g feta cheese
Fresh herbs (parsley, basil, rosemary)
Optional: olives, capers, roasted pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the peppers, tomatoes and garlic cloves in a large roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 min.
- Tip the bulgur wheat into the roasting tin and gently stir it through the vegetables. Add the stock and mix well, so that the bulgur wheat is submerged. Cover tightly with foil, then return to the oven for 15 min.
- Remove the foil and scatter the feta cheese and herbs over (and any of the optional ingredients). Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed, and serve hot… – Anna Zanetti, Senior Account Executive
The ultimate comfort food is cheesecake – and if there were ever a need for comfort food, it’s now! The great thing about this dessert is that you don’t need any pesky flour, which has been nigh on impossible to track down recently; the recipe calls for digestives but you could use something like ginger nuts or a gluten-free alternative very easily…
Prep 30 mins, cooking 1 hr
Difficulty level: Medium (because of the bain marie)
Ingredients (serves 8)
150g digestive biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted or very soft
600g cream cheese
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
20cm springform tin
145ml tub sour cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Follow Nigella’s recipe here
- Pro tip: bring the ingredients for the filling (eggs, cream cheese) up to room temperature first to ensure they mix smoothly.
- The tricky part is that the cheesecake is cooked in a bain marie – line your cake tin with layers of foil to make it water tight, place it in a roasting tin and fill the tin half way with recently boiled water (not cold water as Steph disastrously did on the Great British Bake Off).
- But truly the trickiest part is letting the cheesecake cool down and chill before you tuck in (hot cheesecake is a big no no).
- Other pro tip: use the left over egg whites to make meringues, and for this you cannot do better than Delia Smith’s recipe (quantities for three egg whites, exactly what you will have left over).
- Good to know: you can freeze egg whites… – Amelia Knight, Associate Director