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Quarantine Cooks with Pepper: September Edition

Wow, guys! We made it to September. Let us be the first to say “Merry Christmas!” As an early holiday gift, we’re changing up this month’s round of recipes. Think of us going rogue, and giving you stuff you’ve asked for—midnight snacks, toaster recipes, cheese overloads, and more. Oh, and if you haven’t already, follow us on TikTok!

Michelada

A Michelada is pretty much like the lovechild of a beer and a Bloody Mary. It’s a light, savory cocktail great for afternoon drinking… or if you’re dealing with a hangover.

Note: This recipe is from “The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes” by Megan Krigbaum.

Serves: 1 person | 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 3 ounces tomato juice
  • 5-6 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili powder

Instructions

  1. Mix salt, pepper, and chili powder on a plate.
  2. Run a lime wedge along the rim of a pint glass and dip into the mixture.
  3. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. Add lime juice, hot sauce, and tomato juice.
  5. Top off with beer and give a light stir.
  6. Add lime wedge for garnish and sprinkle rim mixture to the top.

Cheesy Gochujang Tempeh

Tempeh doesn’t need to be intimidating. This easy tteokbokki-inspired toaster recipe proves just how easy it is to work with-and how it can work with a variety of flavors.

Serves: 1-2 people | Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 200g tempeh, cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 3/4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • Cheddar cheese/Quickmelt, to taste
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Chopped spring onions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Lay the tempeh into a small oven-safe dish.
  2. Spread sesame oil over the tempeh.
  3. In a bowl, mix the gochujang, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and chili flakes until combined. If you find that the sugar hasn’t dissolved, add a splash of hot water to thin it out.
  4. Cover the tempeh with the tteokbokki sauce.
  5. Cover with as many slices of cheese as you like.
  6. Put in a toaster oven for 350F for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  7. Top with sesame seeds and spring onions.

Bacon Pao de Quiejo

Our hit pao de quiejo recipe gets a breakfast-y upgrade in this slightly refined recipe, making it great start to the morning.

Serves: 5-10 people | Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella/cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C.
  2. Whisk together tapioca flour and all-purpose flour. Set aside.
  3. On a saucepan, combine milk, oil and salt. Heat until mixture boils.
  4. Fry chopped bacon. Once cooked, drain excess oil on a plate with a paper towel.
  5. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add combined flours and hot liquid. Mix on medium for about 5 minutes.
  6. While mixer is running, add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated
  7. Add parmesan, mozzarella/cheddar, and bacon. Mix until just combined.
  8. The mixture should be sticky/stiff enough to scoop, and not run. If the mixture is too wet, add 1 tbsp. of tapioca flour until desired consistency.
  9. Using an oiled spoon or cookie scooper, scoop the dough in 1 tbsp portions onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and a light golden brow.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!

Herby Garlic Pasta

This easy, garlicky pasta gets a boat load of freshness and flavor from a handful of fresh herbs. We used a mix of arugula and basil for this one, but you can use whatever combination of herbs you have on-hand.

Serves: 4 people | Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 250 g spaghetti, uncooked
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup fresh herbs
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and cook until golden and soft, stirring often and pressing down on cloves so they make good contact with the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add red pepper flakes and cook another minute to let the flavors infuse.
  5. Transfer pasta to pot with sauce and add butter and ½ cup pasta water.
  6. Cook, tossing often, until each strand of pasta is coated and pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes. Add more pasta water if needed.
  7. Remove pasta from heat and toss in herbs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Serve with a little more drizzle of oil.

Italian Soda

Italian soda is an easy refreshing drink you can make using soda water and flavored syrup. If you don’t have the latter, you can use jam like we did in this recipe.

Serves: 2 people | Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp jam (we used strawberry)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 can soda water, cold

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, whisk together jam, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar.
  2. Heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches a syrup-like consistency then set aside to cool completely.
  3. To serve, divide fruit syrup between two glasses then add ice if using.
  4. Top off glasses with soda water.

Sweet Potato Chips and Green Mango Salsa

This seems too fancy (or too elaborate) to be a snack. But trust us, it’s easy to make and so much better than any other chips-and-salsa combo you pick from your pantry.

Serves: 2-3 people | Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 unripe mango, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Add sweet potatoes into a large bowl, then add olive oil, paprika salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes until evenly coated
  4. Coat baking tray with oil and place sweet potatoes in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway.
  6. Meanwhile, combine mango, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, vinegar, and fish sauce in a bowl. Season with pepper. Set aside.
  7. When sweet potato chips are done, allow to rest for 2-3 mins.
  8. Serve chips with green mango salsa.

Sobrang Baboy” Rice Casserole

This rice casserole is a step up from those lazy midnight rice meals. The vibe is: eat like it’s the end of the world (hence, all the canned goods), but make it fancy.

Serves: 4-5 people | Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of sliced button mushrooms, drained
  • 1 can corned beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened

Instructions

  1. In a pan, cook together white rice, half a can of mushroom soup, and mushrooms until combined. Set aside.
  2. In another pan, saute garlic, onion, and corned beef together until cooked. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, and softened butter.
  4. In an oven safe dish, add your mushroom rice in one layer, and slightly flatten with a spoon.
  5. Top the mushroom rice with the corned beef in an even layer.
  6. Add the bread crumb mixture to the top in an even layer.
  7. Set your oven to broil, and heat the dish until the top is golden brown.
  8. Serve.

“50 Shades of Earl Grey” Cocktail

This cocktail marries two of everyone’s favorite things together: milk tea and alcohol. Side note: this wasn’t so boozy, so if you want it stronger, feel free to add more gin.

Serves: 1 person | 15 mins

Ingredients

For the caramel sauce

  • 50g brown sugar
  • 30g water
  • 25g butter

For the cocktail

  • 0.6 oz caramel sauce
  • 2 oz milk
  • 2 oz gin
  • 4 oz Earl Grey tea

Instructions

  1. Make the caramel sauce by mixing brown sugar and water in a pan. Wait for the sugar to completely dissolve.
  2. Add the butter and let this come to a boil.
  3. Once everything is incorporated, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To make your earl gray tea, add two packs and follow the instructions for 1 serving to make a concentrate (ours was 2 bags is to 240ml water).
  5. Once steeped (about 5 mins), let this cool.
  6. To build your drink, in a shaker add caramel sauce, milk, gin, Earl Grey tea, and ice.
  7. Shake until shaker is too cold to hold.
  8. Pour in a glass and drizzle more caramel sauce on top before serving.

Bacsilog-Style Loaded Fries

We take one of our all-time favorite food hacks and served it poutine-style on a platter of fries.

Serves: 4 people | Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup white cheddar, grated
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Knorr
  • 10-12 strips bacon, chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into even strips
  • 3-4 eggs, fried over-easy

Instructions

  1. Soak cut potatoes in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and dry the potatoes.
  2. Fry potatoes for about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oil and place on top of a plate with a paper towel.
  3. Fry them for a second time, until golden brown (around 2-3 minutes). Remove from oil
  4. For the cheese sauce, heat milk in a saucepan until warm
  5. Add white cheddar, whisking in until completely melted
  6. Remove from heat and add mayonnaise and Knorr, and whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
  7. In a separate pan, add the bacon and cook for 5-8 minutes until cooked through but not crispy
  8. To assemble, add the fries onto a platter.
  9. Top each bowl with fried egg and bacon. Spoon sauce over everything.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Easy Spicy Baked Eggs

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these eggs. They’re fun and pack a lot of heat. Plus, it takes so little effort to make that you can whip it up half-awake in the morning for breakfast.

Serves: 2 people | Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp cheese, grated
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sriracha, to taste
  • chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Place eggs in two separate oven safe bowls.
  3. Add milk and cheese on top. (Do not mix.)
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake eggs for 5-7 mins.
  6. Top with sriracha, chili flakes, and green onions.

Difficulty

Easy

Serving Size

Active Time

Total Time

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