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Lockdown Kitchen Recipes

Get creative with recipes from the lockdown kitchen

Home cooking is the new going out, as people are using the lockdown to develop their culinary skills. With restaurants closed and a trip to a takeaway out of reach to those who are self-isolating, the Covid19 crisis is inspiring home chefs to get a bit creative.

Amid its important messages about staying safe and saving lives, the Isle of Wight Council is publishing a weekly recipe from its own lockdown kitchen – shared here for you. The dishes are inspired by everyday ingredients, leftovers or random groceries, hunted and gathered during the early days of coronavirus stockpiling.

Pausing to wash their hands and wipe them dry on a clean towel, a council spokesperson said, “I usually eat out, so learning new skills and enjoying unusual dishes is a fun way to spend lockdown. And even in my inexperienced hands, there’s usually something nice to eat at the end of the process. 

Take a photo of your creation before eating and tag #LockdownKitchen on social media.

 

 

Ideas from the lockdown kitchen

When is a biscuit not a biscuit? What is a cake? Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit? These questions are enough to make your head spin! Let’s have a nice cup of tea and a sit down and cogitate over the issue.

Cakes and biscuits, according to the Inland Revenue, are zero-rated for tax purposes. But before you let out a hearty cheer, know this – if a biscuit is partly or wholly covered in chocolate then it is subject to VAT. If a cake is adorned with chocolate it isn’t. Got that?

So, what about Jaffa Cakes? They are packaged like biscuits, are found in the biscuit aisle and are, of course, partly covered in chocolate. However, after some legal wrangling, they have been defined as cakes. Generally, when cakes go stale they become hard, unlike biscuits, which become soft.

This Lockdown Kitchen recipe was going to be for flapjacks – which may or may not be cakes. So, for the avoidance of doubt, here is a simple biscuit recipe. Before baking, decorate your biscuits with bonkers patterns using utensils or clean plastic toys.

RECIPE: BONKERS BISCUITS

Ingredients

200g unsalted butter, softened

200g golden caster sugar

1 large egg – beaten

½ tsp vanilla extract

400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 200°C, 180°C fan or gas mark 6.
  2. Beat the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until soft and creamy. Beat in the sugar, then the egg and vanilla. Beat in the sieved flour until you have made a dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky; if it is, knead in a bit more flour.
  3. Roll out some of the dough, about 6mm thick.
  4. Use pastry or biscuit cutters to cut out your biscuit-shapes. You also use an upturned glass, or an egg cup for tiny biscuits. Peel away the surplus dough from the sides of the cutter and save it to roll out again.
  5. Press clean utensils or plastic toys into the surface of the biscuits to create crazy patterns or silly faces. Press quite firmly so the tool makes an indent, but you don’t want to go all the way through.
  6. Put the biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are just brown.
  8. Leave to cool for five minutes, then serve. If you manage not to eat them all straight away, they will keep for about three days in a biscuit tin.

Take a photo of your creation before eating and tag #LockdownKitchen on social media.

Ideas from the lockdown kitchen

Now things are settling down in the lockdown, and hopefully we’ve all established some kind of routine, there’s a bit of time to reappraise our supplies from the early days of the virus. Many of us visited our local shops and supermarkets, on the hunt for soap, pasta and toilet roll plus, if we could get it, paracetamol. But as the shelves cleared, so did the choices and you might find that in your coronavirus stockpile are some tins of frankly baffling items.

Chickpeas, for example. Possibly a staple of your diet, for us they are something used to bulk out a curry or other slow-cooked stew. But chickpeas have their own merits, not just as an also-ran, or trolley filler in desperate times. If you managed to get a bag of tortillas, or can rustle up some vegetable sticks (or crudités, if you’re feeling fancy), you need a pot of hummus to anoint your favourite snack. And here’s how.

RECIPE: EASY-PEASY HUMMUS

Ingredients

1 tin of chickpeas (drained)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of tahini paste or smooth peanut butter (optional)
Juice of half a lemon (1 tablespoon)
1 garlic clove minced
¾ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt (to taste)

Method

  1. If you don’t have a food processor, mash the chickpeas in a saucepan or other container with a potato masher until smooth, then blend in the other ingredients, otherwise…
  2. Put all the ingredients into your blender and blitz until smooth. It might be worth scraping down the sides of the bowl and blending the mixture again.
  3. Serve your hummus with warm flat breads, sliced raw vegetables, such as carrot or pepper sticks, celery or even raw asparagus. Or, if you need some comfort food, crisps or tortillas.

Ideas from the lockdown kitchen

Friday 8 May marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day – Victory in Europe, the day that Germany unconditionally surrendered to the allied forces. The Second World War is almost entirely confined to the history books now. Nonetheless this terrible time in human history will still be in the minds of those who fought in it, those who spent those difficult years in other occupations, plus those who were children.

As the country experiences a new international crisis, we have the chance to commemorate this special VE Day in a unique way. Certainly all across Europe villages, towns and cities were thronging with revellers on that day back in 1945. Under normal circumstances we might consider holding a street party, or maybe a barbecue. But with lockdown, we must celebrate in our homes. So, raise a glass and have a slice of homity pie – a wartime favourite you can make in your own lockdown kitchen using simple ingredients.

RECIPE: HOMITY PIE

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry
Use ready-made, or make your own – ingredients below

  • 125g/4oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 125g/4oz wholemeal flour
  • 150g/5oz butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Filling

  • 850g/1lb 14oz floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g/3½oz spinach leaves or other vegetables of your choice
  • 175g/6oz mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Pastry

  1. Blend the flour and butter in a food processor, or rub the fat into the flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse, or stir, until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Bring the dough together and roll it into a circle.
  2. Put the pastry in the centre of a 20cm/8in pie tin and carefully ease it over the base and up the sides of the tin.

Filling

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain in a colander, tip back into the saucepan and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces with a round-bladed knife.
  2. Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the onions gently for 15 minutes, or until soft and pale golden-brown. Add the garlic and cook for two further minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C (fan)/Gas 6.
  4. Add the onions and garlic to the potatoes and sprinkle with 100g/3½oz of the cheese and the parsley. Add the spinach leaves and season.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
  6. Spoon the filling mixture into the pastry case. Pour over the cream and allow it to drizzle down between the layers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  7. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and pale golden-brown.
  8. Leave the pie to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the pie from the tin and place it on a serving plate. Cut into thick wedges with a sharp knife.

Ideas from the lockdown kitchen

During the first flutterings of the Covid19 pandemic shoppers got a bit lively; panic-buying long-life staples like toilet paper, pasta and soap. Supermarket shelves were also denuded of other more perishable items, like eggs.

This egg drought might have got people thinking about keeping their own chickens. Mmm, chicken – that’s some tasty meat. You don’t need to be living the Good Life to enjoy a lovely chicken pie. Here’s one you can make in your lockdown kitchen with even the most basic culinary skills.

RECIPE: CHEATS CHICKEN PIE

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry
Use ready-made, or make your own – ingredients below

  • 125g/4oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 125g/4oz wholemeal flour
  • 150g/5oz butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Filling

1 tin of chicken in white sauce
3 flat mushrooms, or about a dozen closed cup mushrooms
1 onion
Dried mixed herbs
Butter or oil for frying
Milk to seal the pastry
1 beaten egg for glaze

Method

Pastry

  1. Blend the flour and butter in a food processor, or rub the fat into the flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse, or stir, until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Bring the dough together and roll it into a circle.
  2. Put the pastry in the centre of a 20cm/8in pie tin and carefully ease it over the base and up the sides of the tin.

Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C or gas mark 6.
  2. Dice the onion and slice the mushrooms. Shallow fry until the onions are soft and the mushrooms brown.
  3. Open tin of chicken in white sauce and pour into the frying pan. Stir into the fried mushrooms and onions; add herbs.
  4. Pour the mixture into the lined dish. Use a pastry brush or a clean finger to dab a coating of milk around the rim of the pastry. Add the pastry lid. Using a blunt knife, trim excess pastry. Using the back of a fork, firmly press the edge of the pastry lid to the pie base, to make a seal.
  5. If there is any leftover pastry, use it to make shapes to decorate the top of the pie. ‘Glue’ the shapes to the lid with a dab of milk.
  6. Poke a couple of slots into the pastry lid and use your pastry brush (or finger) to glaze the top of the pie.
  7. Pop the pie into the oven for forty-five minutes (or whatever the instructions are on the pastry).
  8. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

Ideas from the lockdown kitchen

We’ve just experienced one of the most unorthodox Easters on record. Arguably the biggest day in the Christian calendar, this important festival had – like pretty much every other aspect of daily life – succumbed to the lockdown. Where churches would traditionally be full to the rafters, this year they were not even open as worshippers paid heed to social distancing advice. The global situation doesn’t mean that people weren’t celebrating; just that congregations were virtual, not actual.

If you were able to get a food delivery, you may have stocked your lockdown larders with hot cross buns and Easter eggs or chocolate. So what to do when your buns go stale and you just can’t squeeze in one more wafer-thin fragment of Easter egg? Turn them into hot-cross bun and butter pudding!

RECIPE: HOT CROSS BUN AND BUTTER PUDDING

Ingredients

6 hot cross buns
25g butter
Chocolate egg leftovers, or a bar of chocolate
2 large eggs
250ml milk
1tbsp caster sugar

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 170°C, or gas mark 3.
  2. Cut the hot cross buns open and spread the insides with butter.
  3. Place some broken chocolate inside each bun. Dark chocolate is good, but any will do. And why not experiment with using the innards too? Or leave those to eat separately; adding Smarties or a Crème Egg could be a bit too random – but perhaps not!
  4. Place the filled buns snugly into a deep-sided baking dish, not a shallow baking tray.
  5. Beat the egg with the milk and sugar, then pour the mixture over the buns.
  6. Sprinkle some more chocolate fragments over the top and pop the baking tray in the oven for about half an hour.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

News & Updates

Bembridge Update

Support with getting out and about Holy Trinity Church is co-ordinating a group of volunteers from the village to help anyone who has been Shielding and would like a bit of extra support going out and about for the first time For more information, call the Support...