Family recipes for coronavirus self-isolation
Another blog was ready for this spring time but how it usually goes in life, life serves you unexpected things. During this quarantine period my small family is stuck at home and tries to continue with the normal rituals and having a preschooler and a toddler this can be challenging. This is a bit funny because just months ago, during the „normal“ time I was complaining how I don't have enough time for my family; hence I am trying to take advantage of these moments of togetherness that are so precious to us and that show us that the beauty of life lies in these everyday simple things. And since everything is on hold and many of the restaurants are closed now people are forced to cook more so I decided to help a bit and share my favorite easy-to-make recipes that can help others during this time and spark a bit of creativity in people new to cooking. Cooking is big part of our culture and our everyday life and nothing much changed except we do not go so often in the grocery anymore. We try to supply occasionally and at the same time try to use as much ingredients that we already have at home. The best recipes always should be both cheap and healthy.
So let's go to see what I prepared for the family in these past 7 days:
1. Lentil and barley stew with pancetta
During the winter time when you don't have so much fresh vegetables it's always good to have at home some lentil, barley, dried beans, chickpeas and combine everything together. A must have in fridge is also one big pancetta which can be used in making risotto, pasta, pizza, stew, just roasted with bread....
This recipe is really easy and tasty
One bigger onion
2 cloves of garlic
200 g of pancetta
200 g of lentil
200 g of barley
2 dl tomato sauce
Bay leaf, salt, pepper, red paprika (smoked)
Soak lentil and barley in cold water during the night. Fry chopped onion on olive oil, add garlic, sliced carrots, cut pancetta in smaller pieces. After 10 minutes of frying add bay leaf, paprika, tomato sauce, barley and lentil and add some water to cover everything. Cook it for one hour and if you want you can add two tablespoons of small pasta (my children like this). At the end chop parsley and spread it on the top.
2. Spaghetti with canned tomatoes and canned tuna
250 g spaghetti
1 canned tuna
2 cloves of garlic
Basil, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper
Make tomato sauce as you do for pasta. Since there are no fresh tomatoes, I’m using canned sliced tomatoes. In the sauce add canned tuna (if it is in oil throw away oil and just leave tuna) and mix it with boiled spaghetti (or different kind of pasta that you prefer). Easy and tasty and requires no skill!
3. Leek, carrot and celery risotto
1 big leek
Half of celery root
1 dcl of white wine,
1 vegetable stock
1 cup of rice (200 ml)
Chop all vegetables, fry on olive oil, add rice, pour wine, wait until evaporates. Continue cooking risotto by adding vegetable stock until rice is finished. At the end melt one small piece of butter to make it more creamy
4. Cauliflower casserole with cheese and sour cream with crusted chicken from the oven
100 g of cheese / cheddar or mozzarella or if you like more salty version try with greek feta cheese
200 ml sour creme
100 g breadcrumbs
2 chicken breast
Crusted chicken breast from the oven are the same like those fried in deep oil but more healthy. And it is better especially because of the smell in the house during these days when you can’t ventilate it properly.
First coat the chicken with salt and pepper, put it in the white flour, then next into eggs and finally in breadcrumbs.
Heat the water in the big pot, cut cauliflower together with green leaves on small pieces. Salt the water and put cauliflower in boiled water. It should get soft but not overcooked. Put the cauliflower in the oiled pan, add grated cheese and sour cream. At the top spread breadcrumbs. Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius and leave it for 40 minutes.
5. Broccoli soup, Cheese pie and Potato pie ( Bosnian national dishes)
In this case you can use both frozen broccoli or fresh one.
1 onion or leek
2 cloves of garlic
200 ml of milk
1 teaspoon of dry thyme
Fry sliced leek (or chopped onion) on olive oil until it gets soft. Add garlic and thyme. When onion gets soft add broccoli and leave it to cook on low fire for 25 minutes. Mix the soup and add milk, leave it few minutes more on fire. When serve in plate, sprinkle it with sour cream.
Cheese pie with bought phyllo dough
Cheese pie is a baked pastry with cheese filling. I used box of phyllo dough instead of making homemade. It is easier and a time-saver but if you have time like nowadays then you could try making your own jufke (phyllo dough):
2 lbs all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1-2 teaspoon of salt
You can follow this recipe - https://balkanlunchbox.com/homemade-filo-mixed-pie/
650g phyllo dough
500g cottage cheese
1 tbsp of salt
3 tbsp of oil
100ml sunflower oil
500 ml sparkling water
Fantastic video recipe is at www.sasina-kuhinja.com
Instead of cheese you can use potato filling
1 kg potatoes
100 ml sunflower oil
Fry chopped onion and after 5 minutes add potatoes cut in small cubes. Stir it for 7 minutes more, it will be still raw but that is ok. Fill the sheets of dough and bake in preheated oven on 410 F / 210 C for 40 minutes.
6. Pork belly with apples and onion
1 kilo of pork belly
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sage leaf
1 tbsp fennel seeds
8 Granny smith apples ( or others which are not too sweet) halved
4 onions quartered
Season the meat with oil, salt, garlic, sage leaf and fennel. Preheat oven on 200C and roast it for 20 minutes until it get crispy skin. Reduce the oven to 150C and continue for 1 hour. After one hour add apples and onion and roast for a further half an hour- 40 minutes. Serve pork with apples, onion, cooking juices and mashed potatoes of you want.
7. Grilled fish with potatoes salad
As long as we have fish in the sea we won't stay hungry – this was one of the most famous sentences of those who survived homeland war in Croatia in the 90ties. And it is true. Now it is even easier to get it as most of the restaurants are closed and fishermen still go to catch it and appreciate again us small buyers. If you have barbecue at home than it is easy. Our favorite fish are sardines which are affordable for most of the people. What makes difference in potato salad is using fresh or pickled rocky samphire ( on croatian it is motar) to give more flavor. In one of my previous blogs I was writing more about it. Boil potatoes in skin, sliced raw onion, chopped raw boiled or pickled rock samphire, few capers, salt, pepper,and olive oil of course.
I really hope you’ll try some of these simple, nutritious, affordable and tasty recipes.
Stay safe and stay at home!