One positive thing that Singapore’s circuit breaker period (or quarantine period for the rest of the world) has brought about is that it turned nearly all of us into amazing home cooks. All of a sudden, we’re absolute superstars with a pot and pan.
Because our favorite restaurants have either closed down or have begun selling their items frozen and “ready to cook”, the general population reentered their kitchens and discovered their hidden ability to prepare amazing meals for their families.
Those of us who haven’t tried cooking, and have relied on others to cook our food, you’re certainly missing out. But we haven’t forgotten about you. Perhaps, it’s time for you to don the chef’s knife and step into the heat of the kitchen.
Some of us also live alone, so we have no choice but to prepare our own meals. Regardless, cooking should be simple, easy, and fun.
We’ve discovered some amazing, easy-to-prepare, but incredibly delicious meals you can make for yourself or your entire family during this circuit breaker period. The recipes are easy enough to follow, and ingredients include stuff you have lying around the house. Some ingredients are even optional.
The bottom line is, you can make these dishes, and they are totally worth it. Give it a try tonight, and you could be amazed.
Today, Evolve Daily shares three easy nutritious but delicious meals you can prepare tonight for your family.
1) Salmon with Creamy Lemon Butter Sauce
American YouTuber and home cook “Sam the Cooking Guy” is known for his over-the-top, overindulgent recipes that will certainly get you fat. But although his dishes aren’t exactly healthy, they are without a doubt delicious.
Every once in awhile, though, he’ll make something wholesome and light, without sacrificing flavor — like this awesome salmon with garlic butter sauce recipe that’s sure to hit all the right notes.
The ingredients are simple:
1 pc. of Norwegian salmon
Red Onion (2 tbsp. diced)
Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
Vermouth or White Wine (½ cup for cooking)
Butter (2 tbsp. cold)
Heavy cream (¼ cup)
Juice of one lemon
Fresh dill (1 tbsp. chopped)
Steps to cook:
1. Start preparing the sauce by sautéing your garlic and onions in a lightly-oiled pan at about medium heat. Sweat the aromatics until soft and tender, then raise the heat to medium-high before adding your vermouth/white wine. Stir occasionally, so the sauce doesn’t burn.
2. You want to simmer this sauce until it reduces by about a third, and that’s when you lower the heat and add in the cold butter. You want the butter to melt slowly to really bring out its lusciousness. Once the butter is melted, you then add the cream and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add your chopped dill and continue stirring until the sauce has reduced by another third.
Pro Tip: In cooking, the more a sauce reduces, the more concentrated the flavor gets. You want to reduce a sauce to your desired consistency, constantly tasting along the way to get the flavor just right.
3. Turn off the stove and stir in your lemon juice. The residual heat is enough to finish this sauce off. Now set it aside, and it’s time to cook the fish.
4. In a clean pan, heat up about a tbsp of olive oil and a half tsp of butter. This fat will be used to sear the salmon. Lay the salmon on the pan, skin side down. If there’s no skin, then lay the side down that will be facing up when it’s time to plate. The key here is to have the pan at medium to high heat, hot enough to get a good outer crust on the fish when frying. You want a good hard sizzle as soon as the fish hits the pan.
5. Cook the fish for about two minutes on this side before flipping. Once you’ve flipped the fish on the other side, bring the heat down to low and gently cook the other side for about a minute. What you’re looking for is a nice golden brown color on both sides, and a warm light pink in the center — a perfect medium-rare.
6. Drizzle the sauce over the fish and add more chopped dill.
2) Easy Roast Chicken
French-Filipino food and lifestyle vlogger, Erwan Heusaff, the man behind the popular “The Fat Kid Inside” brand, is known for cooking really wholesome, healthy, and delicious dishes from his home/studio kitchen.
Erwan famously overcame childhood obesity through a combination of strict diet and exercise.
In this video, Erwan shows us how to prepare a very easy roast chicken that you can make for your family during this circuit breaker period.
Salt (2 tsp)
Spanish Paprika (2 tsp)
Dried Thyme (1 tsp)
Garlic Powder (3 tsp)
Steps to cook:
1. Flip the chicken on its back, and with a pair of kitchen shears or sharp scissors, cut through the meat to remove the tailbone (seen in the video). This will effectively split the whole chicken open, right down the middle. Spread the chicken out and just flatten it, pressing down firmly on the breast part. Arranging the chicken like this will allow it to cook evenly inside the oven.
2. Mix together your dry spices in a small bowl (salt, Spanish paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder). This will serve as your dry rub. Pat the skin of your chicken dry with a paper towel, as well as the inside meat. This will make sure you have a nice crispy skin on the outside as your chicken roasts in the oven.
3. Sprinkle your dry rub mixture all over the chicken, especially on the skin side. Gently massage the spices into the skin and meat, coating every part very well. Let that marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to about 250 degrees centigrade for about 5-7 minutes. Place your chicken on a wire rack, and put it into the oven. Bring the oven down to about 180-200 degrees centigrade and just leave it in there for 45 minutes or so. You can peak through the oven to carefully watch if it starts to burn. But the general idea is that you leave it in there untouched until it’s done (usually a golden brown color).
Pro Tip: Don’t constantly open the oven door because it releases the heat and brings down the internal temperature of the oven. That will really disrupt the cooking process and may ruin your dish. Resist the temptation to open the oven door. You also want to place a pan underneath your wire rack so you can catch all of the chicken drippings and oil.
3) Spicy Garlic Butter Linguine
YouTuber Marion’s Kitchen has a ton of great recipes on her channel, but this is one that truly stands out. It’s Asian fusion at its finest, bringing together Italian cuisine with a nice oriental touch.
Everyone loves pasta, but this spicy butter garlic linguine is nothing short of amazing. Marion describes it as “emergency pantry pasta” because you have everything you need in your cupboard. It’s simple and easy to make, and you can even toss in some grilled chicken or shrimp to take it to the next level.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (½ cup)
Garlic (1 head, finely sliced)
Garlic (2 cloves, finely minced)
Dried Chili Flakes (1 tsp)
Unsalted Butter (2 tbsp)
Light Soy Sauce (2 tbsp)
Oyster Sauce (3 tbsp)
Linguine (¼ kg dried instant noodle)
Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)
A few sprigs of chopped spring onion (for garnish)
Steps to cook:
1. Heat a pan on low and put in your olive oil. Then add the finely sliced garlic, and slowly bring the heat up to a light simmer. You want that garlic to cook low and slow, and infuse its flavor into the oil without burning. The key is to take the edge off the garlic slowly, and allow the pungency of the garlic to marinate the oil. Now, garlic goes from slightly crispy to burnt in a split second, so you have to watch this carefully. Turn off the heat just before the garlic gets golden brown, and set it aside in a small bowl. The residual heat will continue to cook the garlic even off the stove.
2. Cook the linguine according to package directions. It’s just your standard pasta. You’re looking for a nice al dente bite to it. Save some of the salty pasta water to thin out your pasta sauce later, if necessary. Remove pasta noodles from heat just as it hits al dente, and drain in a strainer under running water to stop the cooking process and wash away the excess starch.
3. In a medium-hot pan, heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil and add your 2 tbsp butter. Combine the two together and then add your finely minced garlic and dried chili flakes. Stir the pot, marrying the flavor of the two ingredients. You want that garlic to be just slightly soft and not golden brown like we did before with the sliced garlic.
Pro Tip: You add olive oil and butter together to prevent the butter from burning. Butter can burn in a hot pan, and it makes a dark brown film that’s hard to remove.
4. Add in your soy sauce and oyster sauce, and mix the entire sauce well. Simmer on low for about a minute. Then add the pasta that you set aside earlier. With the heat still on low, coat the noodles in the sauce, gently stirring and tossing until everything is well combined. Cook for about a minute or until the sauce has reduced quite a bit, and it has become thick and glossy. Remove from pan and plate.
5. To finish things off, toss the pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese and let the residual heat melt the cheese. Garnish with the crispy garlic chips and infused oil on top, as well as your chopped spring onion. Serve immediately. This dish is a little more complicated than the other two, but the extra care is worth it.
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