I would not count myself as a chef, more a person who enjoys throwing a whole bunch of things together and hoping for the best. I was not expecting a global pandemic to come around when it did and was thrilled to have the opportunity to finally hone some culinary skills. It’s safe to say, however, I perhaps am still not a great cook.
I quarantined with my boyfriend so we would split up the cooking between ourselves and the local takeaway, while also attempting to work together at some points. While any potential diet was completely ignored, there were some glorious things that came out of that kitchen, and it would be a joy to share them with you.
To make some delicious chicken and garlic mushroom pasta, put some chicken breasts in the oven until fully cooked. While they are in the oven, melt butter in a large pan and fry some garlic and mushrooms. Boil some pasta while this is all going on and wait for the chicken to be cooked. By the time it’s out the oven most things will be burnt, and the pasta will have exploded a bit, but nevertheless shred the chicken and chuck it into the pan to get it rolling in all the juices. Season with salt and pepper. Swamp the pasta in far too much melted butter, feel guilty about it, but enjoy nonetheless.
To make well posh steak and chips, pop over to ALDI and pick up an absolute bargain £4 ribeye steak each. Season both sides with salt and pepper and leave to rest for a few hours in a cupboard and definitely away from the flies. Prepare the potatoes by cutting into chip-like shapes and drizzling with oil. Put them in the oven for 30 minutes on a medium heat and rotate every so often. Once the steak has rested, put a pan on the highest setting with a little bit of oil. Once the oil begins smoking, place the steaks in the pan to sear both sides. Throw in a knob of butter, two cloves of garlic and some rosemary and baste the steak by rolling it over and using a spoon to dress it in butter. Cook until desired (you can use the thumb trick to see if your steak is cooked well enough). If you are able to multitask, throw some mushrooms and garlic into a pan as you’re beginning the steaks. Pull the chips from the oven and serve, with or without any vegetation.
To make exp-loaded fries, prepare your chips and drizzle with oil and paprika. Put them in the oven for 30 minutes or so at 180oC, preferably in a ceramic dish. Meanwhile, fry some onion and peppers and add the beef mince once browned. Add a premade spice mix (or mix yourself using more paprika and cayenne pepper) and leave to cook through. Once the chips have begun to crisp, load them with the beef mix and put back in the oven, topping with cheese. Leave for ten minutes and unload a real sweet package. Best served in the oven dish, piping hot, using spoons and requiring lots of hsfahsshhfash while eating.
These recipes are very simple and perhaps not the most exciting or health-focused, but when times get scary, it’s nice to know there’s a whole other world of comfort only a kitchen away.