Quick student meal – Fried Rice

So being at university I don’t have all the time in the world (strange after 4 months of holiday) so I like to cook and prepare things in advance so that I can eat them quickly when needed. Fried rice is incredibly simple to make and you can add any vegetables and meat to it you like to incorporate those important fresh ingredients. All you’ll need are eggs, rice, and your choice of vegetables.

Prepare the rice using a rice cooker or boiling in a pot. Cook your vegetables/meat if needed.

Heat a pan (thank you mother for the non-stick one, makes it so much easier!) until hot and add some oil. When hot, crack an egg into the pan. Wait 10 seconds before gently stirring a few times. You don’t want to completely scramble the egg  as you want it to slightly ‘bind’ to the rice. When most of the egg is cooked, add the rice. Continue frying and stirring so that the egg and rice mix together.

Then add in your meat/vegetables one at a time.

When you are satisfied that everything is warmed up and mixed together nicely, turn off the heat. Add a splash of soy sauce and serve. Fried rice is really easy to store in the fridge and microwave for a quick meal (which is what I did), just keep refrigerated.

Advertisements

Bonus food!

Greetings everyone and welcome to the month of July! I thought I’d just share with you all the exciting food (strawberries, eggs, early potatoes, mangetout, garlic, onions and little radishes) I got yesterday after work, July and August are the best months for collecting crops –  now I just need to find ways to eat it up! It is all wonderfully organic and fresh and if you guys have any suggestions for exciting new ways to eat it, please comment just below!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Omelette – The First Attempt

So I had never made or eaten an omelette before until about half an hour ago. Omelettes are great for quick snacks or accompaniments to meals because all you need are eggs and you can chuck in whatever takes your fancy. I thought I would make one because we have so many boxes of eggs thanks to the chickens at the farm I recently started working. I called this my first attempt because I know that there are lots of things I could improve on for next time, so here’s the slightly haphazard ‘recipe’ I used.

First I cracked two fresh eggs into a pyrex glass jug (I find these easier to pour into the pan as opposed to a regular bowl) and mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you have some herbs like chives or parsley or other herbs, now would be a good time to tear them up and mix with the egg. Heat up a medium sized pan (about 20-30cm in diameter) and add some olive oil. Make sure the pan is relatively hot before adding the eggs. Meanwhile prepare your filling. I used finely chopped peppers and some ham in mine, but any vegetables, meats, and cheeses work nicely too. (Maybe leave your favourite combinations in the comments below and I’ll be sure to try them out?)

Turn your pan down to a medium heat and pour in the eggs.Keep turning and mixing very gently (you don’t want it to become scrambled) every 10-20 seconds so that different parts of the omelette will cook. Obviously you don’t want liquid uncooked egg in the middle with your filling when you sit down to eat it. When about 2/3 of the egg is cooked, sprinkle on your filling of choice. Carefully use a spatula to ease off half the omelette and fold it over the other half so that your filling is sandwiched in between. The omelette should now be semi-circle shaped, cook for 4-5 minutes until ready and serve immediately.

I ate this for dinner with some toasted homemade soda bread baked lovingly by my mother and it made a delicious meal!

 

How to make tomato pasta sauce

It has seriously been such dull drizzly weather for the past few weeks and I was really craving some fresh tomato sauce on Friday, so I decided to make it. This recipe is really easy to make and takes about 30-40 minutes in total including preparation. I have used tinned tomatoes as that was all we had in the kitchen, if you want it to be really fresh you can easily use the same weight in fresh tomatoes.

Fresh Tomato Sauce, serves 6-8 

Preparation time : 30-40 minutes

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 2-3 small cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

– 1 piece of ginger (about the size of your thumb), peeled and finely grated

– 2 medium sized onions (or a handful of shallots – I used a mixture as we were running low on onions), peeled and roughly chopped

– 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes

– 200g tomato passata

(Alternatively you may use the the same weight in fresh tomatoes, to prepare – put in boiling water for 10-15 seconds and carefully peel off the skin, chop roughly and use a blender to purée them so that half the mixture is smooth and the other half still has some tomato chunks in)

– 2 large handfuls of fresh basil

– 2 tsp of dried oregano

– salt and freshly milled pepper, to season

– a pinch of sugar

First ‘peel’ the ginger with a small sharp knife and grate finely. You can see in the photos the size of the piece that I used, it doesn’t have to be totally precise so just use what you feel is right and suits your taste.

 

Next prepare the garlic and onions. A good tip for peeling garlic is to use the flat side of a wide knife to crush it slightly, the skin peels off much easier this way. Chop as finely as possible. Do the same to the onions. It doesn’t really matter what type they are (I used a red onion and a shallot as that was all we had).

Heat a large pan and add the olive oil when hot. Next stir in the onions. After a few minutes, add the garlic and ginger. Let the onions soften but keep stirring to avoid burning. This should take about 5-8 minutes (before and after photos below).

 

Next pour in all the chopped tomatoes and passata. Mix thoroughly with the onions, garlic and ginger. Season with salt, pepper, torn basil leaves and dried oregano. Lastly add a pinch of sugar.

Cover the tomato sauce partly with a lid and simmer gently for a further 20-30 minutes until you reach your preferred consistency. The sauce should become much thicker at this point.

I also added in a sliced red pepper and some meatballs which were left over in our fridge.

Serve hot and season again if necessary. This sauce will keep for a few weeks stored in the fridge. I hope to do a post in a few weeks about how to make your own meatballs to accompany this, so look out for it. This is an incredibly easy sauce to make and is very versatile once you have this basic sauce. You can add mince to make it into a bolognese or add more vegetables to include more protein, or serve with meatballs – it’s totally up to you!