I am a bit rushed for time at the moment with hundreds of essay hand-ins all arriving at once and the constant looming threat of the dreaded dissertation. Because of this I haven’t got much time to dedicate to cooking or blogging. I thought for this week that I would just share the quickest easiest recipe I know for a delicious bowl of pasta. For anybody out there who is in the same position as me this is a recipe for a lovely home-cooked dinner that won’t eat up your evening. Throw out the ready meals and take aways for just one night and give this a go.
So its really really cold at the moment. I don’t know why it is but the idea of winter becomes so much less appealing after Christmas, the frosty mornings and air so chilly that your breath condenses as you talk is no longer charming, it is a nuisance. As the rest of the country experiences the first snowfall of 2015 and spends their weekends reliving a scene from a Victorian Christmas card, the Manchester skies are a flurry of dismal unidentified slush. I have never seen anything so depressing.
After Christmas I felt so sick I could barely eat for weeks but now with the advent of this weather a small part of me is longing for buttery mashed potatoes and pies and sponge puddings and roast dinners and ah everything that would screw up any hope of being able to fit through my front door by my forties. This is also seriously challenging my need for easy, cheap food, created by a mixture of essays, exams, a post christmas overdraft and some serious January sales bargains! As a result I have been trying my best to find interesting recipes that are comforting, healthy, quick and inexpensive, because at this time of year a salad just won’t cut it.
This skillet is a great example. Its more summery than wintery but it is a perfect hot lunch that won’t break your bank or rip your jeans and best of all it can be eaten straight out of the pan! The chorizo gives it a fiery, smoky hit and the oozy egg yolk brings a silky delicious texture. An added bonus is that you can chuck just about anything in it. If you don’t have potatoes this is really nice with just a handful of quinoa stirred through. Equally you can use half a tin of tomatoes instead of fresh ones. It also tastes great with spring onions, courgette, parsley or sweet potato so its a great one for cleaning out the odds and ends of your fridge. Enjoy!
If you are anything like me, Saturdays call for lazy mornings in the kitchen accompanied by good food, great music and even greater dance moves. Saturday breakfast is one of the best things civilisation has given us, but in the last few years it has morphed into a new strange, unplaceable meal called brunch. The reasoning behind brunch is as follows: we are all either fucked from the night before or just unashamedly lazy and can’t call this meal breakfast because we’re eating it at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I am usually not a fan of portmanteau words in the vain of “kimye” or “frenemy” but I am pretty chillaxed about this one because it has become so much part of our culture that it has adopted its own space in our language.
I like brunch, it sanctions laziness and it tastes good. You can do anything you want with brunch, it is the perfect combination of amazing breakfast things, that we wish we could eat all day, and more substantial lunchy stuff that properly fills you up. Take these eggs for instance, they are far to rich for early morning fare but they taste amazing and are, therefore, perfect for brunching. They are also really quick to make, unlike a full english, so you can get on with your day. Today my music of choice was Jimi Hendrix, the god that is, but I was barely half way through the album by the time I had cooked eaten and cleaned up!
This week, it has felt like summer is finally here. You might say summer has been here for a while but that heavy, grey, mugginess that has been surrounding us for the last few weeks, and making me want to spend every second in a fridge or a cold shower, is not my idea of summer. For me, summer is sunshine, long walks, drinking in the day and eating dinners outside on sultry evenings. Thus my first al fresco dining experience of the year marked the beginning of my summer.
My first summer dinner had to be a salad. Salad’s are as synonymous with summer as orange airoplanes rammed with lobster skinned Brits and rain. This is a shame because, like the aforementioned, they don’t fill me with enthusiasm. I don’t particularly like salads, a bowl full of tasteless leaves and half a tomato does not a meal make. Food is supposed to make your heart sing and your stomach full, for the most part salads fall short on both counts. This, however, is not to say that salads have no potential. A few years ago they were in their gawky teenage years, they had glasses and braces and shaved carrot and oily, flavourless dressing. Now perhaps they are in their mid-twenties, a few mistakes have been made but they are growing into themselves and starting to look and taste good.
The people who know salads are really the italians, they realise the importance of proper flavour. This tomato salad is inspired somewhat by a Jamie Oliver recipe but I have switched it up a bit and added some mozzarella because I love cheese, I can never make a salad without cheese, it’s a real weakness. I think this is great on its own for a light dinner or starter, or equally brilliant as a side for fish or anything barbecued. Cost wise I splashed out a bit on this one because I wanted loads of different types and colours of tomato and I am lucky enough to live very near to an amazing fruit and veg shop. If you don’t have access to this kind of ingredients don’t fret, normal tomatoes are just fine, however, I would advocate buying the posh ones from the supermarket as they have so much more flavour. What you lose in terms of cost efficiency with this dish, you more than make up for in time saved, it is so easy to make but still looks impressive if served to friends. Continue reading