Sunday, 12 September 2010

Onion Tart.

i really fancied making an onion tart but the internet provided little in the way of appetising recipes - plenty for onion quiche, but i wanted something significantly less eggy. finally i found and modified a recipe which suggested double cream. win!

one large white onion
one large red onion
one 200ml tub double cream
one tsp honey
salt, pepper, thyme, worcester sauce & butter


(also, plain flour, butter, milk, water, salt and pepper for the pastry; or you can buy ready made. homemade pastry is super easy and wonderful tasting and i love making pastry and dough SO MUCH; i probably make it at least once a week for something.

i tend to guess at measurements, but 5 heaped tablespoons of flour and 4 knive-fulls of butter will about do it, then sprinkles of salt and pepper, and rub the butter in til the mixture is like breadcrumbs. add a splash of milk and stir together with a spoon, then add water til the dough forms a ball. if it's too sticky, add more flour. knead on a floured counter for a few minutes, then roll out to desired size and thickness. EASY. it doesn't need to be cooked through before the filling is put in either! and if you grease up the tin with plenty of butter, the tart should come out really easily.)


slice the onions into thin slices. add a large knob of butter to a frying pan, warm up then throw in the onions. after a minute, turn the heat right down and leave them to simmer away, stirring every minute or so.

make your pastry (or roll it out and line your tin if you're using pre-made); preheat the oven to a medium heat.

when the onions and browned and super soft, add salt, pepper, thyme and a little worcester sauce to taste, and stir in a teaspoon of honey.
tip around 2/3 of the double cream into the pan and let it thicken slightly.
add the mixture to the tart, and stick it in the oven until the pastry is brown and the top is bubbling.

i also grated some cheese on top about 5 minutes before the end, and served with green beans, parsnip and mushroom that had been fried in honey and mustard. gorgeous - the cream hadn't quite set, which was perfect because the dish wasn't too dry.

i have 2 pieces left, which i'm gonna serve with mash, green beans and rosemary and mint gravy tonight, and salad with honey mustard dressing tomorrow.


i had a little pastry left over, so before i added the cream i plonked 3 little spoon fulls onto the rolled out scraps and made 3 little snack-sized onion pastry parcels - just an idea for leftovers!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Product: Garlic Card

this thing is genius; and i can't understand how it actually works, but work it does.
i give you the garlic card.

i bought it in the design museum when i was in london... (but you can buy it on amazon - it comes in a range of colours; i got red cos i have red chopsticks, also from the design museum. i see a theme developing here.)

...and basically, it purees garlic.

and you think "well that doesn't look like much!", but then you swipe the puree off the card with your finger, and into a pan/into a bowl and it looks like quite a lot of puree, AND THEN your meal is remarkably garlic-y.

i mixed it with pepper, oregano and soya butter.....

...then spread it on some bread and grilled. garlic bread! (perfectly garlic-y!)

served with fry-veg soup...?
i read this recipe on some site the other day and tried to recreate it from memory since i didn't bookmark it...

one large tomato, cut into chunks
one medium onion, cut into chunks
one large mushroom (or a few smaller ones), sliced

fry in olive oil until brown
add stock, mixed into a cup of warm water
add half a tin of chopped tomatoes
flavour with salt, pepper, basil, oregano and worcester sauce, and a squirt of ketchup if you are a fan of the sweet taste

put a lid on the frying pan and simmer until the sauce thickens (10-15 mins).
serve with crusty bread - or garlic bread!

a hearty but small tea or a great lunch dish!

NB: i also topped mine with thinly sliced goats cheese and pepper.

great tip!
in order to melt the cheese and keep the dish
warm while the bread finishes off browning, put
the pan lid on top of the bowl for a minute or two!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Salmon Balls.

salmon balls.
does what it says on the tin.
much like meatballs, but considerably more fishy and pink.

you will need
one small tin of salmon
plain flour
salt, pepper and thyme

drain the salmon and mash it with a fork, in a bowl with the herbs. add some flour and shape small handfuls of the mixture into ball shapes.
heat up some butter in a frying pan.
drop the balls into the butter.

add to pasta - here i added sliced mushrooms, broccoli and spinach to the salmon balls, and then chucked in some cooked pasta with a cream cheese&milk sauce. add some worcester sauce for flavour and flour to thicken if necessary, then grate some cheese on top. et voila.

Friday, 13 August 2010


decided on a whim that i'd like a wrap for tea the other night, but had no change on me to pop to the corner shop for tortilla wraps. a quick google told me i had all the ingredients and so i set about making em from scratch!
scroll down for tortilla recipes and some filling suggestions inc. one veggie/vegan option...

chicken & avocado tortillas with spicy rice

this is really still in trial and error phase - i've made them on two occasions, both producing great tortillas, but of different sizes and amounts of tortillas. as such, this will, i think, make 2 decent sized tortillas (about 10 inches across, but very unlikely to be circular!)

4 heaped tablespoons plain flour
large dash of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
warmed up milk (add as necessary)
pepper (optional)

you can also add other herbs/spices/flavourings as desired, but these make great plain tortillas!


add flour, salt, pepper and olive oil to a bowl and stir together with a spoon. gradually add the milk (i heated a little through in the microwave) and stir or whisk 'til you have a slightly sticky dough. turn it out onto a floured surface and knead, knead, knead for a few minutes - it should take the stickiness out of the dough! split the ball into smaller balls (one for each tortilla) and leave to rest in the fridge for about half an hour.

heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
flour up a rolling pin and a bench and roll out your tortilla - they should be as thin as possible, and you're trying to get them round (but mine were either square or wonky; no matter). you can also pick them up and let gravity do it's thing if they're thin enough! whack them in your pan for about a minute on each side (they should crisp up a bit and, well, look like tortillas!) then stick them on a plate. they can then either be filled or you can cover them in cling film and leave them in the fridge for a couple of days - great if you like to eat wraps instead of sandwiches!

**the website i got this from also included baking powder but i had none and didn't notice a difference!


now you've got your tortillas, you can fill 'em. these are three fillings i've had in my tortillas over the last couple of days - 2 chicken-y numbers for tea (with homemade fries and spicy rice, respectively) and one for veggie lunch option.

chicken and humous - fills two tortillas (or one large one)

one small chicken breast, cut into strips & marinated
half a tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 a small white onion, sliced
1/3 red pepper, sliced
1/3 yellow pepper, sliced
a big dollop of humous
1 heaped tablespoon natural yoghurt

for the marinade: olive oil, plus squirts and splashes of ketchup, honey, worcester sauce and fish sauce, and some chilli powder, basil, salt and pepper.

- slice your chicken and stick it in the marinade (i did this while my tortilla dough was resting), then put it in the fridge.

- the mint yoghurt is THE EASIEST THING EVER and is great. literally, sprinkle mint into some natural yoghurt. keep tasting it to get to the desired mint-y level and leave to one side...

- fry your chicken in a little olive oil for a minute, then add in the peppers and onions and continue frying until cooked through.

- spread humous on the tortilla - you should keep your fillings to the centre of the tortilla, leaving space at the bottom too! - then lay the sliced tomato on top. if you want to add salad (spinach is a great choice) put this on too, then top it off with your chicken-y mixture. dollop the mint yoghurt on top then fold the bottom up and the sides over each other! (i'm keeping mine together with skewers in the pic...)

chicken and avocado - fills two tortillas (or one large one)

one small chicken breast, cut into strips & marinated
half an avocado, sliced
dollop of cream cheese

half a tomato, roughly chopped
1/3 large red onion, sliced
2 small mushrooms, roughly chopped
chilli powder
large squirt of ketchup
a little worcester sauce

tablespoon natural yoghurt

tablespoon lemon juice
teaspoon honey
big sprinkle of coriander
little sprinkle worcester sauce

- as before, slice and marinade the chicken.

- for the relish, add the onion and tomato to a little olive oil in a pan and fry for a minute, then add the mushroom and fry for another minute. add the other relish ingredients and keep it simmering until the rest is ready.

- fry the chicken for a few minutes; until cooked through.

- spread the cream cheese as before. add the sliced avocado and the chicken on top of that, then place

the relish on top

and wrap. this was my favourite wrap of the three! the chicken marinade is wonderful.

(leftover relish goes into spicy rice, along with some peas. alternatively you can leave it in the fridge for another time!)

humous, tomato and avocado - fills one tortilla

one big dollop of humous
half a tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
a little salad

this is simple - just layer up the ingredients, starting with the humous (i find wraps are best when they go like this: spreadable things/slices of things/chunks of things/sauces&relishes).
add some basil or pepper if you'd like!
this would probably be great with some cheese on top too!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Testing, Testing: Fruity Beef Curry (& Dessert!)

those who
follow me on twitter might've noticed me post this last night. a tweaked version of this recipe, as posted on the guardian website last week - here are there weights and measurements, and you can of course find my tweaks and method below, as well as the all important taste test...

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Number of servings: 4

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 455
Sugar: 32g
Fat: 9g
Saturates: 3g
Salt: 1g

2 onions
400g of lean diced beef
1 tbs of curry powder
1 apple
100g of sultanas
2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400g each)
4 tbs of low fat yoghurt
1 tbs of olive oil
160g of brown rice, uncooked weight
i can't speak for how my tweaks effect the calorie intake and such, but i made 2 small portions (one for tonight!) with:
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
a portion of beef, with the fat removed, and cut into chunks
half an apple, chopped into chunks
a handful of raisins (for i had no sultanas)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

1 heaped teaspoon of garam masala, and a sprinkle of curry powder
a sprinkle of coriander, salt and pepper


add the rice to boiling water in one pan.
in another* brown the beef in a little olive oil, then leave to one side.
add a little more oil to the pan, and cook the onions and garlic until soft, then add the herbs and spices and fry for another minute or so.
add the beef back into the pan along with the apple, raisins and tomato. let it simmer until the tomato juices reduce, then add the yoghurt.
the rice should be ready now (20 mins, ish), so serve up and enjoy!

i had a mini garlic+coriander naan, too, which went under the grill for a minute or two, so make sure to heat the grill up if you're also having a naan. shop bought, but one day i will get around to making my own naans, as i keep saying about pasta. i have the recipes!

* if you don't already have one, get a non-stick wok. i use it for EVERYTHING - omelettes and pancakes come out perfectly shaped, and you can throw everything into it without fear of the bottom bits getting stuck in stir frys and curries. great for things like shallow fried chips too - again, no sticking (clue's in the title)

this is a wonderful curry - the apple is great, but the raisins were perfectly sweet and soft in the mixture. i don't know if sultanas would have had the same effect, but next time i'll definitely add more raisins than the small handful i added this time.

and for dessert?
well, i had to do something with the other apple half!

sweet fried apples with ice cream:

(serves one!)

thinly slice half an apple.
heat up butter in a frying pan, and add the apple segments.
sprinkle sugar over the apple and fry for a minute or so.
turn the apple over and sprinkle sugar on this side - add more butter if you need to!
when brown on both sides, add to a plate with vanilla ice cream (mine is haagan daas, ofcourse) and drizzle with honey.

they should be sweet and crunchy but soft on the inside, and a great accompaniment to curry (but especially this one!)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Testing, Testing: Thai Style Chicken

of the couple of food blogs i follow, or recipes i come across that make me go "YES. I AM TRYING THAT." i very rarely actually get around to making them.
this one is different.

thai style chicken legs, from smitten kitchen:

pic from smitten kitchen

aka the first time i ever used fish sauce, a sentiment shared by Deb of SK.

the ingredients listed?

5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley if you are cilantro-averse)
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (I accidentally doubled this and can only advise you do the same)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
8 whole chicken legs, split, or 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs (about 5 pounds total)
Thai sweet chili sauce, for serving
of course, i am but one person, so i took one chicken thigh and added it to a dish which had 1 finely chopped garlic clove and significant splashes of fish sauce, olive oil and hoisin sauce, plus large sprinkles of coriander, salt and pepper. i rolled the chicken around in the sauce and whacked it in the oven for about half an hour (until the juices ran clear when poked), occasionally taking it out and splashing the sauce over it a little more.

verdict: delicious. i'd recommend fish sauce and might look for more recipes involving it, cos it has a nice taste and isn't overly fishy. you can find it in supermarkets, but i got mine from one of the asian stores in town on a whim. really delicious, and perfect for a summer dish.

tips: keep the dish covered or the sauce will burn a little. leave the chicken to marinade overnight if you have the time.

serving suggestion: SK had hers with mango coleslaw (of which there is a recipe on her blog), but i had me with potato... cubes? (boiled for a little while then fried in shallow oil. essentially, chips, but in cube shapes) and with mixed pepper and onions, fried, and with the excess sauce added. delish.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Murder Mystery - A Meal.

another day, another meal for 8 people.
we played a murder mystery game called 'the champagne murders' which i decided meant something classy with a hint of 'france' about it.
menu+pics+recipes, PLUS tips for cooking for a large group of people, you ask?
step this way...

potato and courgette fritters with hot red onion relish

no pics of the starter - apologies - but this was so easy. as with most of the menu, a lot of it was prepared beforehand - all relish ingredients were chopped and stored ready to chuck in the pan, and the potatoes and courgettes for the fritters were pre-cooked and left to cool in the fridge. AND the batter was mixed ahead of time.

for the fritters - serves 8
8 small/medium potatoes, mashed
2 courgettes, chopped into small batons
bicarbonate of soda
herbs and spices: basil, salt and pepper

for the relish
2 large red onions, chopped into long strips
one box of cherry tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped finely
2 small chillis
half a tin of chopped tomatoes
herbs and spices: salt, pepper, coriander
extras: heaped teaspoons of honey, worcestershire sauce, ketchup


cook and mash the potatoes, and fry the courgettes in butter until soft. mix together, throw in the herbs&spices, and leave to cool.
mix a little flour and water in a bowl until smooth but quite thin, then add 2 level teaspoons of bicarb and mix again.

when it comes time to serve, throw all the relish ingredients apart from the tinned tomatoes into a hot pan with oil in it (i use olive oil). you'll need to stir this mixture every couple of minutes - don't forget or it might burn, but you can turn the heat down a little. its good to get someone to stir for you....
also, add plenty of oil to a separate pan. keep the oil handy for topping this pan up!

with your hands, mould the potato and courgette mixture into coin-shaped pieces, dip both sides in the batter, and plonk them in the oil in the empty pan. they can be any size you like, but i made them approx 2 inches (??) in diameter and they ended up serving 3 fritters per person, which is pretty good.

fry for around a minute on each side, then transfer to another plate (we put them all on one big plate which was warmed through to keep them hot, and dished them up once they were all cooked. highly recommended.)

when there's only a little mixture left (meaning you're probably on the last batch of fritters), add the tinned tomatoes to the relish and stir in. this should mean both are ready at the same time.
plate up the fritters and the relish - we choice to put all the relish in one big bowl and let people help themselves. which was a good idea, because some people LOVED it and though I thought this might be too much for 8 people, it was just right.

creme fraiché chicken + creamy mash + broccoli

again, serves 8
8 chicken thighs*
one large tub of creme fraiché

9 medium potatoes, with skins on, mashed
double cream
one large head of broccoli


*chicken thighs are, IMO, the perfect cut of chicken. they aren't too big, they're easy to cook, and they're CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP! (or, £1.50 for 4 in Morrisons). they're on the bone, of course, but they have the wonderful taste of chicken quarters without being as big or fiddly. AND they have the skin on. yumyumyum.

before the party: brown the chicken thighs in a grill pan, then put them in a shallow tray for the oven - sprinkle a little olive oil on them, plus the coriander, salt and pepper, than pour the whole tub of creme fraiche over them and leave in the fridge.
you could also chop the potatoes and the broccoli and leave them in pans ready to cook, but you should keep water in the pans so they stay fresh.

this is such a simple main, though - once the party is going, all you need to do is bang the chicken in the oven and set the veg off to cook when needed. i recommend turning the oven on to warm up as you serve the starter, as the chicken takes about half an hour to 40 minutes to cook.

the chicken can then be plated up, one to a plate. we poured the sauce left in the tray into a jug for those who wanted extra sauce.

the butter, double cream and salt and pepper just need to be chucked into the pan with the potatoes and mashed until smooth. again, we served the veg in large dishes for everyone help themselves. we also served a jug of gravy...

note: a little more mash (10 potatoes worth?) and more veg (either 2 medium instead of one large head of broccoli, or perhaps a packets worth of baby carrots) wouldn't have gone a miss, according to our guests. although i thought my portion was just right, given that we had a 3 course meal!

crème brûlée with strawberries dipped in chocolate

easier than it sounds, honest. but, a cooking torch is advised. i got mine from ebay (plus butane gas from amazon) for under a tenner....

i cooked ours in one big cake tin and cut it into smaller portions before creating the caramelised sugar topping - because we didn't have any ramekins, let alone 8. if you have them, or have more time to collect small tins*, then i recommend that. purely because it doesn't matter if the crème sticks to the pan/tin foil, then...

for one large but relatively thin crème brûlée, which just about serves 8...
5 egg yolks (i used the whites to make a white chocolate mousse)
one tub of whipping cream (300ml?)
double cream (about 150ml, i think)
200g sugar (of course, i didn't weigh this out)
one vanilla pod
sugar for topping

one punnet of strawberries
50g-ish of milk chocolate


i prepped this first, because it need to cook and then cool in the fridge.

separate your eggs (the whites, if you're keeping them for mousse/meringues/whatever, can be put in the fridge...) and beat the yolks, then add the cream and the sugar and whisk until smooth.
slice the vanilla pod sideways and scrape all the seeds into the bowl. warning: they will get everywhere. i had them under my nails for hours. at least they smell nice. (note: i've lost the recipe i used, but the bbc site recommends cooking the mixture first and adding the vanilla case to the pan then straining all sounds very complicated, but you could read that method either by clicking the above link)

done! see how simple? pour into a lined cake tin and cook in a medium/low oven for about an hour and a half, or until you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out clean.

as for the strawbs, melt the chocolate over a pan of boiling water, then dip the bottom of each strawberry in it and leave to cool in the fridge. simple, but delicious.

when it comes to serving, remove the crème brûlée from the tin (as best you can**), cut into desired portions***, and sprinkly with sugar until unleashing your shiny-magic-torch-gadget on them.
thumbs up from our dinner guests!

** i lined my tin with tin foil, and it got well and truly stuck to the brûlée, which is, of course, not ideal. maybe try lining with baking paper next time?

*** yes, you CAN make a large brûlée and cut into smaller portions. i looked all over for an answer to this question before committing to it anyway, but i'd recommend not caramelising until afterwards because the top will crack when you cut into it. purely aesthetic reasons....

and * i'm currently collecting small tins (i.e. the single portions of baked beans, kidney beans, etc. small, quite thin, about ramekin sized, y'know?), washing them, and taking the top and bottom off them. i reckon they'd be a great, cheap way of making ramekin sized food without the ramekin, or forming 'stacks' for nice presentation. you know, like on 'come dine with me' when they make seafood stacks, or something.

also something i made: candle/old wine bottle table pieces. pretty, simple, and they don't take up too much room on your table!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Noodle Soup.

so the other night i fancied noodles, but not a stir fry.
soup, that's what.

for two small-ish, but very filling portions, you'll need:

- one portion of noodles (i use sharwood's rice noodles which are perfect cos you can snap them in half for smaller noodle pieces, whereas an egg noodle nest is harder to break into smaller pieces...)
- half a carrot, peeled and sliced into really long, thin pieces.
- a handful of spinach
- an onion, sliced into biggish chunks
- a handful of frozen broccoli

- a handful of beansprouts
- one vegetable stock cube
- sprinkles of salt, pepper, chilli powder, ginger, worcestershire sauce and coriander
- a knob of butter*
- water


in a large pan, melt the butter and fry the onions until soft.
add the carrots and then add some of the water and all of the herbs and spices, and the stock cube. then chuck in all the other ingredients (snapping the noodles in half so you have smaller chunks!) and cook until the soup thickens up a bit - add flour if necessary.

SO easy; and very tasty.

* or a dairy free alternative for a vegan dish!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Lemon Slices.

iphone pics are decent enough, right?

so, cake recipes aren't my forte, but that's mostly cos i gave up on weighing ingredients ages ago. and yknow? my cakes always turn out moist and delicious, so it's all good.

these are dairy free, cos i used soy milk and soy butter. just fyi.

sieve self raising flour and sugar into a bowl, then add an egg and some butter (i use about 1/5 of a tub of butter...) and stir in. add a few teaspoons of lemon juice (as lemony as you'd like!) and keep adding milk to the bowl as you whisk until you have batter - you want it thin, but not too thin. if the batter is too thick it won't be moist!

cook at a low-ish heat (our oven was on about 150 and it's a fan oven) for about 20-25 mins - i cooked these in a rectangular tin, which isn't as deep as a cake tin but deeper than an oven tray, and it wasn't brown on the top but was cooked all the way through. perfect.
if you don't know, cakes are done when you can stick a knife in the centre and there's no batter on it when you take it back out.

i let them cool for a little while (while i ran to the shop for icing sugar), then mixed up some icing sugar and water to a thick consistency and poured it over the top; let it set a little; then made some more (a little thinner) and added yellow food colouring, drizzling that over the top too.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms.

or, more specifically, stuffed mushrooms on spicy rice with salad, taken on an iphone.
sorry for the pic quality...

for the mushrooms
3 big-ish, flat-ish mushrooms*

1 slice bacon
half a white onion
half a garlic clove
a splash of milk*
sprinkles of: basil, oregano, salt, pepper

*i made this a bit spur-of-the-moment, so i just picked the biggest, flattest ones i had, but i've since bought an actual flat mushroom, on of the really big ones. gonna try a different filling, more of a bolognese affair (mince. tomatoes. etc.)

for the rice
one portion brown rice
handful of peas
squirt of ketchup
dash of worcester sauce
sprinkles of: chilli powder, basil, pepper, salt

+ any mushroom filling that won't fit in the mushrooms


interesting flavours all around here...

turn on the oven; warm it up like.
boil some water, set the rice off cooking.
cut (or pull...) the stalks from the mushrooms, and place the mushroom caps on a baking tray.
fry the rest of the mushroom filling ingredients - leaving the milk til' near the end, it's just to give a little moisture to the proceedings.
spoon into the mushroom caps. drizzle with olive oil, shove in the oven to roast.
when the rice is nearly ready, bung a few peas in there. when there's only a little water left in the pan (or, because i always put far too much water in - on purpose, kthnx - strain the rice&peas and leave a little water in there with 'em) add the other ingredients, including any leftovers from the filling pan that didn't fit into the mushrooms.
check the flavour/spice is to your liking; plonk on a plate next to some salad leaves.
the mushrooms should be slightly browned and a little shrivelled by now, but as long as they're warm through they're done. serve!

course, omit the bacon for a veggie alternative, substituting it for red pepper or parsnip chunks.

* water can be substituted for vegans!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Bean Burgers.

So I had half a small can of red kidney beans this one time.
And I didn't fancy making chilli.
So I googled recipes, and I got the idea for a bean burger.


half a can of red kidney beans
one small mushroom (or half a large one); chopped into small chunks
a handful of oats
sprinkles of: salt, pepper, chilli powder, coriander

oil to fry


mash the kidney beans in a bowl
add the other ingredients, and mix together
if it's too dry (falling apart), add a few drips of oil; if it's too wet (sticky, etc), add more oats

scoop up and form into a burger shape
whack it into frying pan with a little oil; fry until browned

I served between 2 small slices of toast, with cream cheese and ketchup, but only cos that's all I have - usually a burger goes in a toasted muffin with some lettuce and ketchup. nomnom.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Creamy Lemon Chicken.

d00dz, it's been a while.
yo sup?

so yeah; this is actually (modified) from a book - "The Classic 1000 Student Recipes" by Carolyn Humphries, which my mam bought me when I moved away for uni, and which really cemented my love of cooking. You could do much worse - there are some really simple recipes in here; it literally tells you how to poach an egg (pretty much the only way I eat them now), but also gives you much more complicated and expensive recipes, including dinner party menus.
And yes, students do do dinner parties, kthnx.
I used to make this all the time in first year, and decided, when wondering what to do with some chicken, that I would bring it back for 3rd year.

chicken (preferably a chicken breast, and I will write the recipe for this, but I cut the meat off of a thigh)
one portion rice (i used brown rice)
a handful of peas

for the sauce
a few splashes of lemon juice
1 tsp honey
a splash of double cream (about 2 tsps, so sez the recipe, but really, depends on how creamy you want it)
half of a chicken oxo cube
cornflour, made up in 2 tablespoons of cold water (opt)
some splashes of water


set your rice off cooking, then move onto the chicken-y goodness.
whack the chicken breast in a pan (any will do; no oil needed) and swiftly add the water, lemon, honey, and oxo cube, plus some salt&pepper. You only need a little splash of water (again, recipe sez 5 tablespoons) but you can keep topping it up a little every now and then.

simmer with a lid on until the chicken is cooked through; topping up the water as necessary.

once that's done, add the cream to your liking, and the cornflour if the sauce is too thin at this point.

add the peas to the rice pan.
carry on simmering for a few mins, then drain the rice&peas and serve, resting the chicken breast on top and pouring over the sauce.

quick; simple; delicious.