Staff Picks: How the Heck Do I Even Cook?The unofficial Riot Fest staff cookbook of (mostly) useful home recipes
Following up on our list of favorite takeout spots, we’re cracking the recipe vault open this week and sharing our most (and least) coveted home recipes. Is this the official Riot Fest cookbook? No, far from it. In fact, it comes as no surprise that many of our staff have resigned to simply eating cereal every day.
Hey, no shame—but if you’re getting bored of the same old oats every day, here’s a few fun recipes to add some flavor to the table. Just don’t pop any veins trying to figure out how a stove works.
THE CRUNCHWADE SUPREMEBy Dan Wade (Art Director)
Behold, the Crunchwade Supreme. It tastes just like fast food but it’s cheaper and is faster than delivery. This has become a weekly go-to in my house during The Quarantimes. Try it the next time you do taco night.
✶ 1 burrito flour tortilla
✶ 1 regular tortilla (corn or flour)
✶ 1 tostada shell
✶ 4 oz cooked taco meat (protein of your choice + 1 package of taco seasoning)
✶ Shredded cheese (your preference)
✶ Plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
✶ Shredded lettuce
✶ Pico de Gallo (diced tomato, onion, cilantro, jalepeño)
✶ Shredded lettuce
STEP ONE: First, dice your onion, cilantro, tomato and jalapeño and mix together in a bowl to make your pico de gallo. Set aside.
STEP TWO: Shred up some lettuce. I prefer iceberg for this recipe because it is more crunchy than romaine. Set aside.
STEP THREE: Follow the instructions on your packet of taco seasoning and cook up your protein in a pan. Put cooked taco meat in center of burrito tortilla. Sprinkle cheese. Place tostada shell on top of meat and cheese. Spread Greek yogurt or sour cream on tostada shell (you can sub guac/avocado as well). Spoon pico de Gallo on top of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle shredded lettuce on top. Place regular corn or flour tortilla on top. Note: you can skip this step if you want 100 less cals or so.
STEP FOUR: For this next step, be sure to either have your original pan rinsed out, wiped down, and lightly greased with oil or butter or, have a second pan with oil or melted butter ready to go on medium heat.
STEP FIVE: Fold up edges of burrito tortilla from the bottom until the entire top is wrapped up. Gently place your Crunchwade Supreme in hot, lightly greased pan with the folded side down to form a seal, and let it cook for about 1.5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip with spatula and cook the other side for about a minute or until the tortilla is golden brown. Be sure to keep your heat at a medium level so that you don’t blacken your tortilla and ruin your dinner.
STEP SIX: Remove from pan, slice down the middle if you want (for the ‘gram, obvs), and add some Taco Bell fire sauce or hot sauce of our choice. I only have Tapatio in my house. Run for the border (or your couch, social distancing, etc) and enjoy!
Note: You can sub canned nacho cheese for shredded cheese if you want something that’s closer to a fast food experience—or, order up some Taco Bell on GrubHub and ignore this recipe.
‘GRAM-WORTHY CEREALBy Monique Doron (Graphic Designer)
One of the best ways to start your day is with a bowl of cereal. While it may seem like a simple meal, pulling it together is like building a great tour package.
First step is picking your bowl. Now I know what you’re thinking: Why does that matter, Monique? It’s all about the feeling of the dish—plus if you’re a person who likes to ‘gram their meals, a lighter-colored bowl will give you that nice mommy blogger/minimalist/my child is named after a wildflower type of Instagram feeling. Extra points if there’s a ring of color around the edge.
After picking your bowl, the cereal is next. Depending on how you shop, you might have options so go with your gut (heh). I like, and only have, the Special K Fruit & Yogurt kind because it makes me feel healthy even though I strategically pour so that there are more fruit and yogurt bits than actual cereal. Also, if you’re a milk-before-cereal kind of person, don’t even bother eating cereal, how dare you?
Adding milk is next, but the combination is crucial. I’m an almond milk fan, but the cereal is my headliner because I prefer the crunch of it. The milk-to-cereal ratio is all up to you, pour wisely.
Go ahead and add some extra fruit, take that photo for the ‘gram, and then dig in!
SIMPLETON’S OAT CEREAL By Riot Fest Twitter Person
A simple dish that will simply delight.
✶ 2 cups lightly toasted whole grain oat cereal
✶ 1 cup plant-based broth made from filtered almonds and water
STEP ONE: Place two cups of lightly toasted whole grain oat cereal in a bowl.
STEP TWO: Add one cup of plant-based broth made from filtered almonds and water.
GOURMET DAD-A-RONI & CHEESEBy Bailey Davis (Managing Editor)
There is no denying the beauty and grace of boxed pasta, especially during these odd times—but by now, you’re probably getting a little tired of the same old Kraft formula. If you haven’t begun adding your own fancy substitutions yet, you are sorely missing out.
Be warned, though: there’s a right way and a very wrong way to go about this. Most everyone I know has had a traumatic experience with a parent who cannot cook and served up some sort of hideous monstrosity that looked like this:
That? That is what we call a crime, my friends. It doesn’t have to be that way. Thus, dear reader, I am here to correct your awful memory of hot dog macaroni with my own gourmet take on Dad’s classic blunder.
✶ Kraft macaroni & cheese (spirals are best; avoid shapes)
✶ Chicken sausages (sun-dried tomato & basil variants encouraged)
✶ Colby cheddar, shredded (Pick whichever has the coolest packaging)
✶ Parmesan, shredded
✶ Parsley flakes (for appearance only)
✶ Milk (or substitutes)
STEP ONE: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. If you can’t accomplish this step, hey pal, there’s some lovely pre-cooked pasta dishes in the microwave dinner aisle.
STEP TWO: Pour your box of Kraft macaroni & cheese in and stir until soft. The spiral-shaped noodles cook better than the regular shaped noodles, and the shapes (as fun as they are) will not survive the rigorous stirring in of actual cheese.
STEP THREE: Bring your stove heat down to low, and add two nice spoonfuls of butter/margarine/whatever, then a dash of milk. Don’t add too much milk unless you like cheese soup.
STEP FOUR: Start shredding a buttload of Colby in there, with the stove still on to melt it. Add a little bit of that Kraft powder cheese, then parmesan (I usually go roughly 85% Colby, 15% parmesan). What? How much cheese, you ask? I don’t know, how much cheese can you eat before you start feeling sick? I put a lot in. Probably too much.
STEP FIVE: Chop up that delicious-looking sausage and simmer in a pan until ready. Throw it in after the mac is done. Don’t cook it inside the pasta, you nasty gremlin!
STEP SIX: Serve yourself up a bowl and sprinkle a dash parsley on top—not enough to actually taste it, but enough to look like you made something fancier.
Enjoy! Remember that awful picture I made you look at earlier? Boy, does this taste a whole lot better.
FAMOUS TOMATO SAUCEBy Miles Raymer (Editor-at-large)
Cut an onion in half. Put both halves (sans skins) into a pan along with a can of whole tomatoes and most of a stick of butter. Bring it to medium heat and let it simmer. Stir it every once in a while and mash up the tomatoes as they get soft. After 45 minutes, voila: a decadent, umami-loaded tomato sauce appears as if by magic.
Marcella Hazan’s iconic recipe is so simple that it feels like it almost doesn’t technically qualify as cooking, but it is. There are about as many steps as making a packet of ramen, but when you’re done you’ve got what odds are is probably a more flavorful dish of pasta than the last one you ordered in a restaurant, as well as the satisfaction of having made something completely from scratch. About a million good cooks got their start making this. Keep it up and you might make it a million and one.
DILL & FETA SCRAMBLED EGGS By Jen Moers (Office Manager)
Well, folks, to be quite honest, since nothing matters anymore, I’ve mostly just been eating 2-3 breakfast-like meals over the course of many hours until I realize it might be time for dinner. If I don’t feel like cooking dinner, which I probably don’t, I’ll likely make something quick like… a PB&J or a bowl of Rice Krispies (wait, that’s more “breakfast food”—see what I mean?). Breakfast all damn day. But sometimes soggy cereal doesn’t cut it and you need something savory, satisfying AND quick.
So, here is the “recipe” for one of my favorite breakfasts: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with my good friends Dill, Feta & Sourdough.
(Notice there are no measurements—you gotta make some decisions for yourself. You got this.)
✶ Eggs (pasture-raised, if you can)
✶ Greek yogurt (I use non-fat plain)
✶ Dill (fresh is always better, but since we’re not making special trips to the grocery anymore, dried will have to do)
✶ Feta (block feta crumbled with your own hands is best, but the pre-crumbled is fine too)
✶ Sourdough (for toasting, duh)
✶ Butter (for both the eggs and the toast)
STEP ONE: Crack the desired number of eggs into a “medium” bowl. A bowl that’s bigger than you think you’ll need. Gotta have room to whisk!
STEP TWO: Add a dollop of Greek yogurt (for creaminess and flavor boost), a pinch of dill, a few turns from the salt and pepper grinders, and then whisk vigorously, mixing thoroughly until bubbles form.
STEP THREE: Put a tablespoon or so of butter in a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat, wait for it to melt and bubble, but don’t let it burn.
STEP FOUR: Whisk the egg mixture AS you are pouring into the center of the pan. You want maximum bubbles for that light and fluffy texture.
STEP FIVE: Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes, then, using a silicone spatula, begin to push the eggs towards the center of the pan, rocking the pan around to move the liquid eggs onto the newly available hot surface area. (You can add feta in this step if you want, or at the end, or both because why not?)
STEP SIX: Continue to push and fold the eggs over onto themselves until they are cooked to your liking. But I beg you, don’t let the eggs get browned and rubbery (unless you like it like that—looking at you, MOM).
STEP SEVEN: Toast and butter your bread.
STEP EIGHT: Plate the eggs, toss a little feta on top, maybe sprinkle some more dill, for flair. Serve with a side of sourdough.
No matter what time of day it may be, these eggs won’t disappoint… unless you fuck up the recipe, but that’s on you. Happy cooking! …Or whatever.
NOTHING, THANKFULLYBy Luba Vasilik (Ticketing Director)
Here is a photo of my lunch from today. I will do you all a favor and spare you my favorite “recipes.” You’re welcome.
EASY PARMESAN PASTABy Hannah Tittle (Street Team Manager)
I learned this super easy and quick recipe from Netflix a while back that I make all the time.
✶ 1 box of pasta
✶ 6 cloves of garlic
✶ Olive oil
✶ Red pepper flakes
✶ Salt & pepper
Cook a whole box pasta in salted water in one pot. In another pan, add a half cup of olive oil, add more if you need, 6 garlic cloves cut in thin slivers, about a table spoon of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Then, you just add the pasta to the pan, dump in a whole mess of parsley, about half a cup, and as much parmesan cheese you need (I need a lot) and it’s done!
QUESADILLAS… AND ICE CREAMBy Buck Foley (Talent Buyer)
Can’t go wrong with a tortilla, cheese, and whatever else you’ve got lying around.
(So between quesadillas, Jet’s, the gym being closed and, drinking 6 out of every 7 days, I’m definitely gonna put a couple two tree pounds.)
Oh, also, ice cream. I have a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream every night. I’m so glad I don’t have a scale right now. The mirrors are bad enough!
JAKE’S SPECIAL SCRAMBLED EGGSBy Jake Biniszkiewicz (Talent Buyer)
Here’s how I’ve been making my eggs in the morning. There’s plenty of room for creative license, I feel like you can’t really mess it up!
✶ Sour cream
STEP ONE: First, crack your eggs into a bowl. Add in some pepper, a bit of salsa, and a scoop of sour cream in place of milk. Whip it together and get the eggs ready to scramble.
STEP TWO: Now, cut up some pepperoni and get it heating up in a pan on medium heat with a little bit of butter.
STEP THREE: Once the butter is all melted, add your egg mix and scramble them up. Melt some cheese on top, add in some hot sauce and you’re good to go!
I like to toss mine into a tortilla or on some toast, but any vehicle to get ‘em from your plate to your gut will do. Enjoy!
SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH LOBSTER AND CAVIAR
By Riot Mike (The Boss)
Pair with a bottle of Dom Pérignon for a simple and delicious breakfast.
✶ 8 large eggs, beaten
✶ 1/4 Cup milk
✶ 1 1/2 Pound cooked lobster meat
✶ 2 shallots, minced
✶ 2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
✶ 4 tablespoons chopped chives
✶ 4 tablespoons butter
✶ 2 tablespoons créme fraîche
✶ 1 tablespoon American sturgeon caviar
STEP ONE: Heat up a large skillet. Melt the butter and add the shallots and tomatoes. Sauté until crispy.
STEP TWO: Add the eggs and scramble.
STEP THREE: Add the lobster meat and toss lightly. Add the salt, pepper, and chives.
STEP FOUR: Place in 4 bowls. Top with crème fraîche and caviar.