5 QUICK AND EASY RECIPES
If you’re like me, the stress and boredom of the current situation will have driven you to the kitchen for entertainment. Being conscious of the current need to not hoard supplies, plus the absence of flour from the supermarket shelves, I’ve pulled together a selection of simple recipes that can be made from cupboard staples. These recipes come from all over the Internet, including BBC Good Food, The 1940s experiment and a very worn copy of one of my Granny’s cookbooks. I’ve adapted them where possible to suite vegetarians, vegans and those who don’t understand the measurements of cups, pints and ounces.
French Onion Soup
- 340g onions
- 40g butter (or non-dairy substitute)
- 850ml beef or vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of sherry (optional)
- 4 slices of bread
- 55g finely grated cheddar cheese
- Slice onions thinly, melt butter in saucepan and fry until warm gold
- Pour in stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil
- Lower heat. Cover pan and simmer 45 minutes. Add sherry if used
- Pour into heatproof dish. Add bread, which will float to the top, and sprinkle with cheese
- Brown under hot grill and serve straight away
Tuna and Sundried Potato Bake
- 250g penne pasta
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 2 thyme sprigs (leaves)
- 150ml double cream (or vegetarian substitute)
- 140g sundried tomatoes
- 100g sweetcorn drained
- 240g tuna drained
- 50g cheddar cheese grated
- 25g parmesan grated (optional)
- Heat the grill and put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. Tip in the pasta and cook as the pack suggests.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by simmering the tomatoes in a pan with a little seasoning and the thyme for about 5 mins. Pour in the cream, stir and simmer for a further 4-5 mins.
- Drain the pasta, saving a little cooking water, and tip back into the saucepan. Pour over the creamy tomato sauce, the sundried tomatoes, sweetcorn and tuna. Layer in a baking dish, scattering the grated cheddar between the layers. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and put under the grill for 5 mins until bubbling and golden.
- 1 large onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 55g butter (non-dairy substitute)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 aubergines
- 200g courgettes
- 1 green pepper
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp parsley
- Thinly slice onion. Chop garlic
- Heat butter and oil in saucepan. Fry onion and garlic gently for 3 to 4 minutes
- Slice unpeeled aubergines and courgettes thinly
- Chop de-seeded green peppers and tomatoes
- Add vegetables to saucepan and season with salt and parsley
- Cover pan. Simmer gently for 1 hour
- Serve hot or cold
Homemade Chocolate Truffles
- 230g good-quality dark chocolate (68% cocoa or above)
- 120ml heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 120g mint leaves (stems removed and chopped)
- 1-2 tbsp rum/liquors
- 1tsp almond extract
- Juice and zest of one orange
- Cocoa powder
- Finely chopped walnuts
- Finely chopped almonds
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (regularly stir and scrape down the sides with a spatula)
- If using one of the recommended flavourings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let sit for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe
- Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth
- Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours
- Roll into balls using a teaspoon or your hands and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
- If coating the truffles roll in coatings and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.
Chocolate Button Cookies
- 120g sugar
- 120g peanut butter (non-dairy substitute)
- 1 large egg (or vegan alternative)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Packet of chocolate buttons (or chocolate of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 180 °C.
- Beat sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until the mixture appears crumbly
- In the palms of your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baked proof paper
- Bake for 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, remove cookies from the oven. Quickly and gently place one chocolate button (or more) in the centre of each hot cookie, pressing down lightly
- Return to oven and bake an additional 2 minutes to slightly melt the chocolate
- Remove from the oven and gently tap cookie sheets to settle the chocolate into the cookies. Let cookies sit on the trays until they are cool to the touch
- Refrigerate to re-set the chocolate
By Ilona Cabral
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