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Cooking During Quarantine

 April 1, 2020 at 2:11 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Now one aspect of staying at home is that we're eating at home more often. That means more people are cooking. Cobbling together recipes is a pleasant distraction for those experienced in the kitchen, but more of a problem for the cooking challenged if your menu has been reduced to dry cereal, peanut butter and re fried beans. Listen up to San Diego. Food experts are here to offer advice on what you should be cooking during quarantine. Joining me are Karen Golden, San Diego food writer and frequent contributor to the San Diego union Tribune food section. And Karen, welcome back to the show. Speaker 2: 00:38 Thanks Maureen. Nice to be with you Speaker 1: 00:41 and Isabel Cruz of Isabelle's container restaurants in Pacific beach and LA Jolla. Isabelle, welcome. Speaker 3: 00:47 Oh, thank you for having me Speaker 1: 00:49 and I think we'll have some time to take listener questions. So call in now to tell us what you've been cooking or what you need to know to get started. Our number is +1 888-895-5727. So Isabelle, are your friends and family turning to you for advice about cooking while in quarantine? Speaker 3: 01:10 Yes they are. What are they asking you? You know, they're asking me for recipes. A lot of them aren't used to cooking at home this much, so they're out. And so I'm trying to give them simple recipes and things that they could do and they don't have to have a lot of skill for it and also things that they could learn from and also because of what's going on. I'm trying to give them advice as to things for, to cook for their families to build up their immunities, which I think is really, really important. Right now. Speaker 1: 01:40 What would be the sum of your GoTo recipes, Isabelle? Speaker 3: 01:44 Well, um, I mean I've been making a lot of bone broth, but I've also been including lots of greens, lots of veggies, protein. And then I'm trying to use a lots of things like tumeric and ginger and things that are good for your immune system and for reducing inflammation. Speaker 1: 02:04 Now, Karen, do you find people are also using cooking as an outlet during the stay at home orders? Speaker 2: 02:11 Oh yeah. Um, it's interesting. I was invited to join a face group, a Facebook group called the quarantine kitchen. And that thing is going crazy with people. Um, making dishes and posting them and everybody flocking to get different recipes for you know, how to replicate them. And it's, it's been fascinating to see how eager people are to be making really good, I mean comfort food but in the best sense of it. Um, food that's healthy for you. That's taking advantage of pantry staples and taking advantage of seasonal produce. Speaker 1: 02:53 Now are we are opening our phones. If you'd like to call and tell us what you've been cooking or trying to cook. One eight, eight, eight, eight, nine five, five, seven, two seven. Now Isabelle, what if you don't know how to cook? Are there just some easy basics you can share with us in our listeners? Speaker 3: 03:11 Yes. I always try and make my recipes simple. You know, I have restaurants and I have a family. So when I started the restaurants I made the recipe simple so I didn't have to be married to the restaurants. And so the recipes that I do are always that way. Simple ingredients, not that many ingredients and things that anybody could do, no matter what your skill set is. Speaker 1: 03:34 And people are cutting down on the number of trips to the grocery store. Garren so now is probably a really good time to rely on your pantry. Can you share a meal that you've made that relies on stuff most kitchens might have in the cupboard? Speaker 3: 03:48 Yes. So the recipes that I've given to you for your viewers, um, are things that are shelf stable pretty much or freezer safe, stable. You know, I did a chicken with a, with a, um, Kumon chili rub and a Polti sauce. And it's very simple and it's so easy and it's great. And also, you know, I, I try to do recipes that people could learn things that they could use forever. You know, like with this chicken recipe, just doing a simple salt Brime makes your chicken so moist and juicy and anybody could do that. And then a simple soup also, um, that doesn't require making a stock. I gave a recipe with that. Potatoes and chicken and coconut milk. It's really, really good. And anybody could do it. Speaker 1: 04:41 We have a caller on the line. Alexandra wants to join us. Hi Alexandra. Speaker 4: 04:45 Hi everyone. How are you? Speaker 1: 04:47 Oh, pretty good. Thank you. We're happy about that. What do you want to know? Speaker 4: 04:52 Um, well I actually just wanted to share, um, some of my own tips. Um, your guests are just so inspiring right now, but for me, um, I always talk in the bulk section at the grocery store and um, if anybody has bull guidance in their pantry, like rice or quinoa or lentils, even dry beans, um, you can get so much good nutrients out of using those kinds of grains as a base for stir fries. Um, so I just throw it in the pot and put a bunch of veggies in the pan and you know, that gives me a really good nutritious balanced meal that I can often eat leftovers to alpha for maybe the next day or so. Um, and also if you have any veggies that are about to turn, um, definitely consider making a soup broth out of that because it can save you in a lot of recipes, um, that might require supra. Speaker 1: 05:50 Alexandra, you know what you're doing. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. It's wonderful to hear somebody getting creative like that, Karen, isn't it? Speaker 2: 05:59 It's great. And that's what we should be doing all the time. And I think a good lesson from this, um, a crisis right now is that we should always keep our pantries fully stocked. And, um, because you know, we're gonna see runs on things that are our basics and then you're left wondering, you know, what you can do. Uh, she's right about, um, the grains and beans and one of the things that, you know, we've been making the last month or so has been soups and stews and things like that, but we're heading into spring and it's getting gonna get warmer. And so you can take those same ingredients and make salads like a, um, take dried beans. People get nervous about making, but they're really simple because basically what you're gonna do is soak them for a few hours, especially if they're fresh. Um, dried beans. And we have a local, um, uh, farmer, uh, Rio, Dobe Ray that makes, uh, they, they grow beans and dry them and sell them in some of the local stores and online. And then Rancho Gordo was another great source for being and SOCOM. And then just put them either in stock or in water with all sorts of, you know, herbs, Bay leaves, garlic, um, whatever you like and cook them for a couple hours. You want them to be not so soft that they fall apart, but you know, have a little bit of a bite like aldente and then drain them and um, you can then make salads with them and they're going to taste so much better than the Canfor. Speaker 1: 07:43 Well, it sounds so good. We have another caller on the line. We have another caller on the line. I want to get to Karen, this is Leah. Hi Leah. How can we help you? Speaker 4: 07:51 Hi. Um, I have been trying to use all the grains I have. Um, so I decided to try and make Khan G or juke good Chinese porridge soup. I tried it when I was in Laos and had it for breakfast every morning. Um, and that was a good use of my rice. Speaker 1: 08:10 And if, if you hadn't had needed to stay at home, do you think you would've done that? Speaker 4: 08:16 I might've, but it was the fact that I have so much rice that kind of drove me to make that and we had some cloudy weather, so it was really comforting. Speaker 1: 08:24 Okay. Well thank you so much for the phone call. We really appreciate it. You know, you were getting into a Karen, just one thing I wanted to touch on and that is the fact that, you know, people are going to the store now and they're looking for ingredients, sometimes very simple things like garlic and onions are there and they can't find them. So are there any good substitutes? Speaker 2: 08:45 There are, and I'll get to that in a sec, but, um, I, I think it depends on where you are because, um, I'm in Tierrasanta for instance, and I went over the local smart and final to pick up a few things and they were loaded with onions and potatoes. They didn't have the loose garlic heads, but they had those, you know, like five packs in the nylon bags that you could get, which I bought. So I don't think that, I think you need to give it a little bit of time. People calm down once they get used to this idea of being at home and, um, the supply chains will get back in order. The other thing is, um, that you want to check out, um, what your farmers are selling and because they're not selling as much to restaurants, a lot of them are creating a CSA [inaudible] which are community supported agriculture. And so you might get, you know, can subscribe to them, you can find out, um, where they are on edible San Diego and um, and they can, there are lists and maps and things. And that's a good idea. Speaker 1: 09:51 Karen, we're almost at a time and I want to go back to Isabel for just one last question. If I may. Isabel, you run two restaurants. How has your business been impacted by the outbreak? Speaker 3: 10:01 Well, mine and everybody else's, it's crazy. So we're all scrambling and you know, I don't know the stimulus package, I don't know. I'm skeptical or offended with it. You know, we kind of gotten left out and I hope I'm wrong about this, but the same thing happened after nine 11 and after the housing crash, the people in the middle, you know, we, we, we really were left out. The people above us got low interest rates afterwards and we got our credit dinged for not making our payments on time. I mean I could go on Speaker 1: 10:37 Isabel, we can't go on for other ever. I'm so sorry about that. But I thank you both for being here. Karen Golden, San Diego food writer, Isabel Cruz of Isabelle's Cantina, which is doing to go, is that correct? You have to go, man. Speaker 3: 10:50 No, and also many restaurants are doing shopping baskets, which I'm doing cause our purveyors still are [inaudible] Speaker 1: 10:57 out of time. Isabelle, thank you so much. Thank you Karen, and thank you to our callers. You're listening to KPBS.

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Two San Diego food experts offer advice on what to cook while you're self-isolating at home.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments