Now the coronavirus is beginning beginning to take place in this world. It seems that everyone around us is going crazy. It seems that everyone is just buying baked beans toilet rolls and rice but there is so much more we could be buying. Now the coronavirus is beginning to take place in this world it seems like Everyman for themselves.
A great easy tansy make is these sticky pork tacos.
So this post is just an introduction of what to buy in case of self isolation. The diet doesn’t have to be simple boring full of beans or just rice. So here are some basics that you should have in your store cupboards fridges freezers and cupboards. It also seems everyone is baking there own bread as well. If you haven’t made bread before here is a bread recipe .Or you could ramp it up and try black pudding bread
Self Isolation Rice Recipes
Rice has got to be a good option for cooking and sustainability during your time with self isolation. After all the Chinese have used it for thousands of years and of course the population is billions. So of course there are some excellent recipes using the base as rice. Rice has got to be a good option for cooking and sustainability during your time with self isolation. After all the Chinese have used it for thousands of years and of course the population is billions. So of course there are some excellent recipes using the base as rice.
Types Of Rice
- Long grain
- Short Grain
- Wholegrain Rice
- Microwave rice
Of course the shelves are getting empty of the regular rice and it seems that everyone is forgetting other types of rice. I have bought some Spanish Paella rice and with some Italian risotto rice. If you have never cooked with these types of rices before then it’s time to start trying. Especially if you have to self isolate why not try new recipes
Dirty Rice Dishes
The great thing about rice is that you can add virtually anything to it to make a tasty dish. My kids love smokey sausages in the rice with peas and sweetcorn, it only takes minutes to make. I use microwave rice and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes so it cooks and softens. Then I add a little oil to the frying pan and add the rice (medium heat) add the Mattesons smoked sausage in slices. Next add a small hand full of frozen peas and sweetcorn, I also add a splash of soya sauce. Its cooked in about 5 mins, the good thing about the sausage is that it keeps around 2 months in the fridge.
For my rice dishes I have ham in the freezer from when I have cooked a piece of gammon, anything left goes into the freezer. I also have a fillet of pork that I cooked with Char Sui flavours, allowed to cool and then I slice it and store it in the freezer. Prawns are also great in the rice dishes, I just buy the basic small ones and throw them and call it special fried rice.
Self Isolation Pasta Dishes
Ok so everyone has raided the pasta isle and there is nothing left but what are you going to make. Pasta is a great isolation food because it last for ever but what do you serve with it. Of course the classic is spaghetti Bolognese but have you ever tried pasta puttanesca. It is a pasta dish with olives, capers, garlic and herbs so make sure you stock up on jars of olives. Great for flavour and so many dishes during your self isolation time.
Or if you have been lucky enough to get some flour and eggs you could try this basic pasta recipe. If you have time on your hands during the coronavirus outbreak you may as well learn a new skill. You could also try making this authentic Italian ragu recipe which is a more grown up dish.
This is my batch of Bolognese that have put into bags to freeze, I have written out the weight on the bags so I know which one to use. I have my kids stay with me on certain days of the weeks so some are for all four of us and individual portions for myself. On the left is some pork that I cooked for about 5 hours, the pork cost around £3.00 and was cooked in water, vinegar sugar and spices.
I then shred up the pork and refry with the cooking liquor to make crispy and sticky sweet. The rest is frozen with the liquor to use at other times. Its based on a Mexican Carnitas recipe which means little meats, basically a taco dish. It a shoulder of pork and around 1kilo size will do about 4 portions for myself so very economical. The toppings are Pico de gallo and my kebab shop salad served on a tortilla.
Pasta and Pesto
Some great flavourings for pasta are pesto’s and the best ones to buy are the ones in jars as they last a long time. For each serving of pasta just mix through and serve. You could also make your own pesto especially if you grow your own herbs in the garden. How to make pesto.
Pasta portion size, For small portions, for a starter, allow 50g dried or 90g fresh pasta per person. For normal portions, for a lunch with a salad, say, cook 70-80g dried or 100-110g fresh pasta per person.
One heart warming crowd pleaser is Macaroni Cheese, a good one makes you want to snuggle up on the sofa and curl your toes.
Alternatives To Rice and Pasta For Self Isolation
It seems that the pasta and rice shelves are empty and people have got secret hordes. There seems to be plenty of couscous around at the moment which can be made tasty. You just have to get a little creative, I add roasted vegetables to mine once they have gone cold. Of course its always nice if you add some butter or flavoured oils. Couscous recipes here
Polenta, the Stalins swear by it and you can impart many flavours into it. It can be used as an alternative to mashed potato. I make basic polenta as the packet instructions, cook for 5 mins in water and then I add lots of butter and grated parmesan cheese. Of course season it with salt and pepper as well. I also let it set into blocks and then cut them up into chips and bake them in the oven. I grate parmesan over them for the last 10 minutes of cooking and they taste delicious. You can also get polenta ready made in blocks and there was a Lott left in Morrison, I presume because people do not know what it is. Polenta recipes here
Meat For Isolation & Good Freezer Standby’s
I always find it handy to have sausages on standby in the freezer as they are so versatile. I do buy the better sausages that has more meat in than those branded ones. It can be just a simple sausage sarnie or link to go with your breakfast or a fabulous sausage ragu.
I managed to get 2 packets of sausages the other day as they were on offer, first time I had seen some for a well. One pack I split into two’s and froze them so I can get as many or as little as I want out. It always depends how many I want incase I have the kids with me. The other packet I chopped into around 3 cm lengths and put them in a freezer bag flat. If they are flat then its easier to break some pieces off for cooking rather than having to defrost it all.
I had previously made up a rich garlic tomato sauce for another dish last week and froze 2 portions. That was from one tin of tomatoes, garlic, onions and half a glass of red wine. So that was 3 portions from one tin and the process was about the same as my Bolognese sauce without the meat.
I cooked some extra onions in a frying pan on a low heat and then add the frozen sausage pieces. At the same time get a pan of water on for the pasta. When I put the pasta in I threw in some courgettes & red peppers from the freezer and let them cook for a while. Next put in your frozen tomato sauce and warm it all through. Quick healthy cheap and delicious.
Offal A Source Of Cheap Protein
I know that some of you may be turning your nose up at the very mention of offal. However it is pretty cheap, full of protein and some incredible flavours as well, If you have never tried its before you should start with a classic steak and kidney, pie or pudding. Cook it right and learn to love it, you will never look back and always have some protein n the freezer.
I must confess that the only one I haven’t tried is heart, not sure why but at the moment it doesn’t appeal to me. All the others I eat on a regular basis, nearly once a week. Start with lambs liver and onions with cabbage and bacon.
Types Of Offal
Quarantine Mixed Grill
With the self isolation, limited access to all the food you could wish for with Covid-19 you need to do what you can. A mixed grill was on my mind and in the freezer I had half a steak, sausages of course. I always have offal as I buy a pack of liver for about £1.20 and freeze it in 4 portions. I also do the same with kidney and I always have some in the freezer because its often reduced and I just buy it and put it in the freezer.
It was served with sprouts and bacon along with some baked mushrooms. Two pan fried lambs kidneys and the spuds were Boulanger potatoes. Then the sauce/dressing is my favourite at the moment for meat, chimichurri. Its basically, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and herbs and it tastes so zingy.
Unfortunately I have to do some work for clients as I work from home but please pop back and I will keep updating this through the coronavirus outbreak. Hopefully we won’t get bored of the same old dishes.