This month we've changed things up. Yvette, otherwise known as Nigella, (to no-one, ever)! Has put together her favourite take out's. Which, by the way, all sound amazing. My Friday night is sorted, that's for sure. (If anyone know's when Friday is, let me know)!!
And Dom has created a super easy, veggie bolognese pasta bake of dreams. Healthy and delish. Let's get stuck in.
By Yvette Thomson
#stayhome (but eat like you’re out)
The C-word. Chances are you’ve heard it a dozen times since having your morning coffee. Events are scrapped, plans are cancelled and thigh masters everywhere are being dusted off. We are experiencing a lockdown of epic (pro)portions.
I have decided to use this time being holed up at home to be really constructive and learn how to cook.
In no particular order, I’ve spent my time watching workout videos, burning every scented candle in my house and slowly depleting my gin collection.
I’ve also been working my way through Deliveroo’s entire menu. Because, you know, research.
So to save you from mindlessly swiping through a bunch of food delivery apps, I’ve carefully and tirelessly sorted through a host of delicious options to bring you London’s best takeaways.
Pan-Asian & Sushi
Areas covered: west London
Ryōri isn’t just any Japanese restaurant. Oh no. This is a place that serves authentic, Pan-Asian inspired dishes to housebound Londoners. These chefs certainly know a thing or two – the team has over 60 years of collective experience and their commitment to their craft is evident. Not only is the sushi outstanding, the prawn gyoza is some of the best I’ve had outside of Japan. Don’t even get me started on their tempura; light, golden, crispy and crunchy. This is the stuff #foodgram dreams are made of.
Head to @ryori.uk for details and drool-worthy pics
Areas covered: East London
Quick anecdote. Robert Downey Junior once thanked a certain US burger chain for getting him off drugs. In 2003, with a car full of drugs he had a burger that was so gross it made him rethink his life and dump the drugs into the ocean. The moral of the story? Don't do drugs or eat mediocre burgers.
Burger & Beyond describe their burgers as “the real, good stuff with no rubbish” and this is exactly what you get. My personal fave is the Hot Mess, a heavenly creation of double Pepperjack cheese, jalapenos, chipotle mayo and a 45 day aged beef patty.
Check their Instagram for full ordering details @burgerandbeyond
Areas covered: South London
I salute businesses that are trying to keep their heads above water during this surreal time. The Farmer’s Mistress is not only open for takeout and delivery, they have also adapted to become a local general fruit, veg and essential store. The lovely owner Jo tells me: “Many people are struggling to get the basics so we’ve set up a little shop where people can grab what they need along with ordering takeout from our full menu.” They have even put together a FM At Home Sunday Roast package for collection or delivery. The food is divine – think wholesome yet indulgent dishes such as wild mushrooms, poached egg, wilted spinach, confit garlic and truffle on sourdough and corn-fed grilled chicken, dill crushed potato cake and wild garlic pesto.
Go to @farmersmistress for news and updates
Areas covered: Southeast London
Hands up who has had to cancel their holiday? I feel you. My upcoming trip to Italy had to be postponed indefinitamente and whilst this is probably not a bad thing for my bank account, it makes my heart sad. Because we all know pizza goes to the heart, not the stomach. Luckily I can almost recreate a Roman dinner out. Almost. Sure, I might have to swap a view of the Colosseum for the skip I can see from my balcony, but thanks to Four Hundred Rabbits I can still have epic sourdough pizza. The selection really is something special, from a three vegan cheese pizza with vegan sausage and sriracha to a meaty option of Brindisa Iberico Chorizo with pickled chillis. They also offer a great selection of craft beers.
Pop over to @4hundredrabbits for updates
Areas covered: Northeast London
I know this is controversial and please don’t hate me for it, but I’m not the biggest fan of Indian food. I know, I know. I can almost hear the collective gasp coming from the other side of the screen. I am also a big meat eater. So when a friend – let’s call her The Vegan One – suggested dinner at a 100% plant-based curry house I immediately regretted not turning off my WhatsApp read receipts.
I really don’t like being wrong, but boy was I wrong. I ordered a Cashew and Coconut Chick’n Korma, the creamiest cashew-based curry packed full of seasonal veg. The Vegan One ordered the Chana Masala, a delicious tomato-based chickpea curry. Their takeaway menu includes these and many more, from potato and pea samosas to bhajis I’d close my Uber account for. It’s fair to say that Spice Box has completely changed my perception of Indian and vegan food. Who dis?
Take a peek at their Instagram for further deets @eatspicebox
On a final note, as much as I make fun of the fact that I Can’t Cook Won’t Cook, I really do believe that we need to do our best to keep our local restaurants in business during these crazy, unpredictable times. Remember, this too shall pass and when it does, we all want them to reopen and continue to provide us with date nights, next day hangovers and #foodporn gram pics.
By Dominic Franks
The Recipe | Veggie bolognese pasta bake
You just might have noticed that pretty much the whole planet is in lockdown. It’s also entirely possible that you’ve been kidnapped by alien mole-people and trapped in their underground lair for the past 6 months (and strangely only have access to lisapotterdixon.com), and so don’t know that the planet is in lockdown. So just in case the above applies to you; there’s a dangerous virus spreading across the world and we’ve all been told to stay at home.
Now that we’re all safely tucked up in our houses it means we’re all having to be very inventive about what we cook and how we cook it. Obviously I want to be as helpful and practical to everyone out there but it’s hard to know what people have in their homes and what people can get hold of where they live. I live quite remotely in a little village up in Lincolnshire and so ‘popping to the shops’ is always a big deal. That and my love for cooking means I am quite practical and have a good stock of basics so I thought I’d make something relatively simple with ingredients most of us should have in our store cupboards or the odds and ends left on the supermarket shelves once the nasty locust-people had swept them clean.
This veggie Bolognese pasta bake uses these enormous rigatoni that were hiding like a shy little child on the top shelf of a local garage shop (glamorous, I know!) so I’m using them but honestly any pasta will work. Whatever you can find, even if it’s lasagne sheets, just crack them up into bite-sized chunks. It also includes some other basics such as; a jar of pasata -although you could easily swap this out for a tin of chopped tomatoes or your favourite cook-in sauce, basic vegetables (again, use what you have) oil and veggie stock. I’m also using veggie mince as pretty much all the meat shelves have been stripped bare. If you can find meat-based mince, it’s a simple substitute but any mince will work – turkey mince would be nice. I had some Quorn mince in my freezer so I’ve used that.
The other thing I love about this dish is that it’s a ‘one-pot-meal’ which makes life so much simpler. It’s also the kind of meal that you can make one day for supper and save half of it to eat it the next day for lunch. Like a lot of dishes like this, it tastes even better a day later. It also freezes really well so you could portion it out and freeze. It will be good for at least 2 months in the freezer.
This dish is also my mums classic home-comfort meal so it reminds me of her and I think that during this time it’s nice to be reminded of those we love.
Ok, with the sentimentality and practicalities done, here’s the recipe:
1 medium onion – peeled and finely chopped
2 medium carrots – finely diced
2 stalks of celery – finely diced
1 punnet of mushrooms – quartered
herbs – I used fresh rosemary, thyme and a teaspoon of dried oregano
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
400g vegetarian mince
1 400ml jar passata or your favourite tomato sauce for pasta
400ml veggie stock (re-fil the jar)
1 glass red wine
250g large rigatoni pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
150g strong cheddar – grated
two large balls of mozzarella
150g parmesan – or any other hard cheese – grated
I’m using my 30cm shallow cast-iron casserole dish but any large pan with a lid would work.
Warm up your pan, add a generous amount of olive oil and once it begins to gently bubble, add the onions, celery and carrots, stir and let them shimmy in the pan for a while, as they begin to soften add the mushrooms, garlic and the herbs and let the whole thing saute gently for at least five minutes.
once the veg are beginning to soften add the mince, stir well and let it all sizzle together for at least another 5-8 mins or until the veg are beginning to colour and the mince is soft
add the wine, tomato sauce and stock and stir well… turn the heat down to the very lowest and let it gently plop away for at least an hour, the longer you leave it the better meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling water for half the time it says on the packet, drain well and set aside pre-heat the oven to 160C after at least an hour, stir all the cheddar and parmesan and one of the mozzarella balls into the sauce until stringy and melted, then add the half-cooked pasta and stir together ensuring all the pasta holes are filled, then top with the last mozzarella ball torn into bits on top.
Place the lid on top and pop it into the oven for 20 mins with the lid on and 10 mins with the lid off
eat and of course, enjoy!
Hey, it's Lis again. I'm now starving, which happens to be me every second of every day at the mo. So i'm off to make a pasta bake and order some sushi!! Let us know your fave isolation meal in the comments below.
Love & lipstick & lasagna & lamb chops & lemon cheesecake........