Tag Archives: egg

The fastest noodles ever

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This recipe is my idea of fast food and pot noodles rolled into one. I challenge you to go to a takeaway place, queue up at lunch time and get your food faster than you can make this meal. You can scale it up and down for as many people as you need to feed. You can make it with minimal ingredients and cooking tools. It’s healthy. It’s cheap. And yes, it’s ugly. I don’t care. It has a great personality. It’s not the best noodle dish you’ll ever eat, but when you’re eating it that fast I don’t mind.

cookednoodles2

Ingredients:
1 serving of noodles (I use Sharwood’s dried egg noodles)
80g frozen peas (or whatever veg you have in the fridge/freezer!)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 medium egg
a sprinkle of powdered ginger

Serves 1, but easily multiplied
Calories: 390
Takes about 8 minutes from start to finish

Stage one: Start to boil the kettle. Meanwhile, get out a pan and put the noodles and peas in it. Take out the rest of the ingredients so they’re at hand for stage two. When the kettle is boiled, cook the noodles and peas on the stove. This will take about 3 minutes.

boilingnoodles

Stage two: While the noodles and peas are cooking, put all the rest of the ingredients together. I do this in a glass. Then, using a fork, mix it all together.

eggmix

Stage three: The noodles are done! Drain them, and then return them to the pan with the eggy mixture. Put everything back on the heat and stir so that the eggy mixture scrambles and cooks onto the noodles. This will take about a minute. And now you’re done! Eat.

cookednoodles

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Spinach and ricotta tart

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This is so not what I had intended to make for dinner. I wanted to make spinach and ricotta gnocchi, but I still have no access to a stove. Actually, this morning there was a glorious hour in which my flat had no gas and no electricity, and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. It seemed necessary to turn to pastry for comfort, and thus dinner. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, though! Those little things like adding thinly sliced raw onion rather than bigger pieces of cooked onion gave the tart colour and texture that I am now going to pretend was deliberate and intended from the start.

For the shortcrust pastry, I used this recipe from BBC good food. It’s lovely and simple and takes about 20 minutes. I’ve never really understood why people are scared to make pastry, because I’m really not a skilled cook but it’s always worked fine for me. Particularly shortcrust. But if you don’t have the time, use 300g ready made shortcrust. I don’t judge, it tastes the same.

bakedspintart

Ingredients:
300g shortcrust pastry
250g ricotta
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 eggs
35g vegetarian parmesan, grated
a handful of basil, torn
200g spinach, washed
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced

Serves 4
Calories: 560
Time taken (excluding pastry) is about 20 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake.

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C. Then roll out your pastry until it’s about the thickness of a pound coin, and fit it into a tart case. Line the pastry with greaseproof baking paper and pour baking beans over the top. (If you don’t have baking beans, rice or dried real beans work too.) Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.

Stage two: Fill and boil a kettle. Put all the spinach into a colander, and then pour the boiling water over the spinach so that it wilts. Then pour cold water over the spinach to cool it, stirring it around so that it all cools. Be careful with this bit, because you’re likely to get pockets of heat in the spinach. Squeeze the water out of the spinach as thoroughly as possible, otherwise you will have trouble getting your tart to set. If you like, chop it, which I would imagine will make your tart a lovely green colour. I don’t bother. I like big bits of spinach. This is also the stage when I grated the parmesan and sliced the onion. Slice the onion thinly, or you will end up crunching on big pieces of raw onion.

Stage three: It is now 10 minutes later. Take the tart crust out of the oven and carefully lift out the baking beans on the greaseproof paper. Try not to throw the hot beans everywhere. I’ve done that. It’s a hassle. Put the tart back into the oven for about 5 minutes more, or until the crust has gone a lovely golden colour.

Stage four: Meanwhile, take the spinach, cheese, garlic, eggs, basil and onion and put them in a bowl. Mix really well. I love the way the little bits of red onion look in this mix. Season to taste. When the crust is done, dollop this mixture into the crust and spread it around.

rawspintart

Stage five: Pop everything in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the mix is set. If I could do this again, I would serve it with some sliced tomatoes.

slicedspintart

Oven frittata

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This baked frittata is crunchy on the top and soft inside. It’s good hot for dinner, and it’s just as good for packed lunch tomorrow. The vegetables make it rainbow-like in a cheesy kind of way. I like it because you cook all the veg in with the pasta, which allows me more time to think about how much I like baked cheese.

You don’t need to stick to this recipe too closely. Use whatever veg you have that you like to eat with pasta and cheese. If you don’t keep kosher, I hear that folks these days like to add bacon to everything.

bakedfrit

Ingredients:
300g pasta
1 small tin of sweetcorn
100g frozen peas
1 red pepper
1 large tomato
1 bunch spring onions
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
4 eggs
250ml milk
100g low fat cheddar, grated

Serves: 4
Calories: 510
Takes 15-20 minutes to prep, and 25 minutes to bake

Stage one: Preheat your oven to 190C/fan170C.

Stage two: OK, now the way you organise the next bit depends on how fast you chop. The next thing I do when I make this recipe is start to boil the pasta. I used penne, which takes 12 minutes to cook. the reason you need to plan is this: I put all of the vegetables except the garlic in to boil alongside the pasta 3 minutes before the pasta is done. So basically, it’s up to you whether you chop some of the vegetables before you start to boil the pasta, or whether you want to speed chop the veg during the 9 minutes you have after the water hits the pasta. The vegetable prep you need to do is: de-seed and slice the tomato, slice the red pepper, chop the spring onions as finely as you like, drain the tin of sweetcorn, and weigh out the frozen peas. If you’re not confident about doing this in 9 minutes, do it before you start to boil the pasta. However you’re doing it, put all the veg in with the boiling pasta 3 minutes before the pasta is cooked, then drain when it’s done and put it in a rectangular roasting dish.

pastavegboil

Stage three: In a bowl, add half the grated cheese, the eggs and the milk. Season well. I add the crushed garlic at this stage. Here is a caveat – only add the garlic if you really like garlic. It will make the dish very garlicky. I’m good with that, but it’s not for everyone. Mix it all together. Pour it over the pasta and mix it all up so the cheese is distributed evenly. Sprinkle the leftover cheese over the top.

unbakedcheesefrit

Stage four: Yay, the work bit is done! Time for baked cheese. Put in the oven for around 25 minutes, or until the cheese is baked, the centre is set, and the pasta is looking golden and crunchy. Serve with some basil torn roughly over the top. You could put a green salad next to it, but this dish is not exactly lacking in vegetables and I hate to detract from the cheese.

platedfrit