As we adjust deeper into a time of slowing down for many, the evening schlep of getting home from work and shovelling whatever works into our bodies to sustain us fades into baking bread and rolling fresh pasta dough, which is one thing we are relishing. We’ve written about the things we want to make, or what you could make, but what are we actually consuming in iso? Below, we round up some favourites, challenges, and iso frequents.
Aside from baking multiple-layer cakes on the weekends to fill them with something wholesome, iso-cooking doesn’t look entirely different for me on the meal front, save for the time factor. My comfort amid these times has been a good roast chicken, which is nursed in the oven for an hour with red grapes and cherry tomatoes, then while resting is covered with briney green olives and lemon juice. All the beloved components: salty, sweet and sour are nestled amongst perfectly tender chook which I may never get tired of. The key to my heart comes in the shape of a perfectly browned drumstick.
Market & Beauty Director
Since the weather turned and the wild chill factor soared all I want is warming, spicy food. I went and restocked my spice cupboard and have been making a chickpea, roast pumpkin curry since. It’s not really a recipe but an attempt to recreate a meal my sister dropped to my door recently. Go overboard on the garlic, ginger, chili and spices - just pour them with no measurements. Roast the pumpkin aiming for burnt edges for extra flavour and simmer in bone broth and coconut milk. Think of your immunity, warmth in your belly and your toes and your fully stocked freezer.
Pasta forever. I know this is basic but it’s my most treasured, warming and loving dish that fills me with joy. Now that I have a lot more time to indulge in cooking, I’ve found that making pasta from scratch has been both rewarding and exhausting - I may have some serious jacked muscle on my arms after this. My favourite so far has been my portobello mushroom and parmesan stuffed ravioli with a sage and burnt butter sauce. The tortellini with boscaiola sauce was a close second, then followed by my modest potato gnocchi with homemade pesto. Isolation may only be temporary, but pasta is forever and ever.
Digital Content Director
I’m a bit of a creative cook ordinarily. I love finding ways to sneak extra vegetables into ordinary dishes, play with pan sauces and experiment with interesting ingredients at my local Harris Farm. Now isolation has given me the one extra ingredient I can never usually find - time. I’ve finally been able to mess around with the recipes I’ve always wanted to try.
I bought a stand mixer over Christmas and it’s finally getting some use. Like many others, I’ve made my own bread - something that was never possible before when you have to factor in two hour-long proves. I’ve tried spicy, sticky spare ribs, chocolate mousse, pork dumplings and a bunch of pasta sauces from the tomatoes in my garden. I even managed a 5-hour roast leg of lamb. It’s been so cathartic being able to take my time to make something fun; instead of being in a mad rush to pull something together at 7:30pm after my long commute home from work.
Digital Operations Manager
I’m not going to lie, cooking is definitely not my strong suit. Isolation has however given me a newfound respect for it and I now kind of (sort of) get why so many people love it. My house has been doing themed Friday nights in an attempt to make the weekends something to get excited about. Last week was Spanish night and it inspired me to make my mum’s famous prawn and chorizo paella (with chicken added for good measure). Finding rice at the supermarket was a bit of a mission and the recipe definitely took longer than I would usually have the patience for but it is pretty much fail proof so was definitely worth the effort. One pan, throw in as many veggies as you want with some rice, meats of your choice and all of the spanish spices and you can’t really go wrong. Especially if you wash it down with sangria or this amazing grenache wine like we did.
Brand & Art Director
A favourite in my household during isolation has been the humble scone. What I love most is that it sits ambiguously in between a 'treat' and a 'snack'. It keeps you guessing. I’m still perplexed by how 20 minutes in the kitchen and four ingredients can have such a scrumptious, fluffy outcome ... and yet I don’t find the need to investigate it much further. The scone simply is what it is. I cannot say I ate many growing up, yet there is something undeniably nostalgic and comforting about them, not the mention the perfect companion to that 4pm cup of tea.