Chrissy Teigen's banana bread, a tater tot casserole and more

By Ana Calderone
March 27, 2020 02:05 PM
Advertisement
Credit: Ari Michelson

It’s no surprise that right now, people everywhere are cooking more than they ever have before.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants have been forced to close temporarily, non-essential workers are doing their part to “flatten the curve” by social distancing at home, and cooking is a great way to pass the time. Twitter revealed that there were about 500,000 tweets each day this week about cooking and baking alone.

So what’s everyone making? For one, a lot of bread. According to Google, search interest for “bread recipes” this month was the highest it’s been all year. “Banana bread” searches also reached an all-time high in the United States.

Aside from bread, people are craving comfort foods (because, well, duh). Some of the top trending recipe searches on Google in the past week are as follows: whipped coffee recipe, frittata recipe, tater tot casserole recipe, Chrissy Teigen’s banana bread recipe, beer bread recipe, churro recipe, beef stew recipe and lemon bars recipe.

Number one, the whipped coffee, also known as Dalgona coffee, is pretty straight forward. The now-viral drink thanks to TikTok is made from just three ingredients — instant coffee, sugar, and water. Combine equal parts of each ingredient in a bowl, then using a hand mixer, mix until you get a caramel-colored frothy mixture. If you don’t have a hand mixer, it can be whipped by hand, just know the process takes a little bit longer. Once it’s ready, pour on top of your milk of choice.

The other trending dishes are a little more general — but we have a specific recipe that falls under each category for you to try at home. Each one was contributed to PEOPLE by a celebrity or chef, and has been perfected in our test kitchen for optimal results. Scroll below for each recipe, starting with Teigen’s banana bread, which nearly broke the internet in 2018.

Credit: Ari Michelson

Chrissy Teigen’s Banana Bread

2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (from 6 bananas)
4 large eggs
2/3 cup canola oil, plus more to grease the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 cups granulated sugar
1 (3.5-oz.) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 (3.5-oz.) bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
Salted butter, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Combine the mashed bananas, eggs and oil in a large bowl. Stir together the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well but gently. (I swear this came out differently when I used an aggressive electric mixer.) Fold in the coconut and chocolate chunks.

2. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (that means wipe a little grease all over the inside of the pan, dust it with flour, and tip it upside down to shake out any extra flour). Pour the batter into the pan. (This can also make 2 [8×4-inch] loaves, but it’s so much more moist in one Bundt pan!)

3. Bake in preheated oven until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. (Test it with a toothpick at around 50 minutes.) Let it cool slightly in the pan, then use a butter knife to gently release the cake from the sides of the pan and around the inner circle, then flip it onto a plate. Let it cool, and cut it into slices. Rewarm them and serve with salty butter.
Serves: 12
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Credit: Victor Protasio

Tim McGraw’s Spinach & Avocado Frittata

4 large eggs
1 cup egg whites (about 6 eggs)
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 (10-oz.) yellow onion, minced (1 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
4 cups baby spinach (about 3 oz.)
2 ripe avocados, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, and cheese in a large bowl. Whisk in salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on stovetop over medium high. Add oil, onion, and jalapeño to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add spinach to skillet. (It will look overcrowded at first, but spinach will wilt down.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted and liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and add egg mixture, gently folding to completely incorporate.
4. Transfer frittata to preheated oven and bake until eggs have set, about 20 minutes. Top with chopped avocados. Cut into slices, and serve immediately.
Serves: 6
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Credit: Con Poulos

Mark Anderson and Ryan Fey’s Tater Tot & Egg Skillet

1 (28-oz.) pkg. frozen potato tots
½ lb. thick-cut bacon (5 to 6 slices)
1 small white onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, cut into ¼-in. pieces
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
6 large eggs
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (optional)
¼ tsp. black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare tots according to package directions; set aside.

2. Place bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat; cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels; reserve 2 table-spoons of drippings in skillet. Chop bacon.

3. Add onion to drippings in skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, paprika, half of the chopped bacon and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Evenly top tomato mixture with tots, without stirring them into sauce.

4. Using the back of a tablespoon, make 6 wells in mixture, and crack 1 egg into each well. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake in oven until eggs reach desired degree of doneness, about 15 minutes for medium or 20 minutes for harder eggs.

5. Sprinkle with scallions, black pepper and remaining bacon crumbles and¼ teaspoon salt.
Serves: 6
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Kevin Dundon’s Guinness Irish Soda Bread

½ tsp. butter
2 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp. whole cumin seed, crushed
2 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. molasses
3 oz. Guinness beer
1 ¾ cups buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with the butter; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the first 5 ingredients. Pass the baking soda through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps, and combine with the flour mixture. Whisk to combine well.

3. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with the treacle. Whisk in the Guinness and then the buttermilk. Combine with the flour mixture and mix to a sloppy consistency.

4. Pour the batter into a greased tin and smooth the top of the bread with a wet spoon.

5. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Immediately remove the bread from the tin and invert onto a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Return the bread to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool down at least 30 minutes before slicing to serve.
Makes: 1 (9-inch) round loaf
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Credit: Victor Protasio

Fabio Trabocchi’s Cinnamon & Sugar Churros

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 cup (about 4¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
½ vanilla bean pod split lengthwise
1¼ cups water
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Vegetable oil (about 3 cups) for frying
Chocolate sauce, caramel sauce or dulce de leche, for serving

1. Fit a pastry bag or snipped end of a ziplock bag with a star tip. Whisk together cinnamon and ¼ cup of the granulated sugar in a shallow dish. Set aside.

2. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Scrape the seeds from vanilla bean into a small saucepan. Add water and butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Pour hot water mixture into flour mixture, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute. Scoop dough into prepared pastry bag.

4. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high to 350°. Pipe a few 5-inch strips of dough from pastry bag directly into hot oil, using a paring knife to cut off dough at the tip to release into oil. (Fry only a few strips at a time so you do not overcrowd the skillet.) Fry churros until golden brown and puffed, about 2 minutes per side. Remove churros to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough, making sure oil temperature returns to 350° between batches.

5. Roll the warm churros in cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated. Serve with dipping sauce of choice.
Serves: 2
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Clodagh McKenna’s Beef Stew with Pearl Barley

4 tbsp. butter, divided
2 lbs. beef tips, diced
4 medium onions, sliced
4 carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
½ cup pearl barley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6 golden potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 quarts of beef stock, hot
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 300°.

2. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season beef with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add onions and next 2 ingredients and cook till browned. Transfer to plate with beef tips.

3. Add barley, fresh thyme and beef mixture to Dutch oven, stirring to combine. Place potatoes on top of mixture, add beef stock and bring to simmer over medium high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven for 1½ hours.

4. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly till a paste forms.

5. Remove stew from oven and carefully ladle liquid into saucepan with roux. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and smooth. Then pour the thickened gravy back into the stew before serving.
Serves: 8 to 10
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours

Credit: Victor Protasio

Elizabeth Chambers Hammer’s Lemon Bars

Cooking spray
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3½ cups granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided 5 whole large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1½ Tbsp. fresh lemon zest, plus ¾ cup fresh juice (from 3 lemons), divided
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack in center position. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Coat paper with cooking spray.

2. Beat butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed for 30 seconds. Add ½ cup granulated sugar; beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add beaten egg, vanilla and 2 cups flour to butter mixture, beating on medium speed just until mixture is uniformly crumbly, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping often to scrape bottom of bowl. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Chill 20 minutes. Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together whole eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl until thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add lemon zest and remaining 3 cups granulated sugar. Whisk in lemon juice alternately with remaining 1 cup flour, beginning and ending with flour, whisking until just combined after each addition. Chill 20 minutes.

4. Pour chilled lemon mixture into prepared crust. Bake until filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes, covering with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent browning. Let cool to room temperature, 3 to 4 hours, or refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

5. Using parchment paper overhang, lift lemon bars from baking pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 20 bars.
Makes: 20 bars
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 2 hours