It was in my first year of university that I stumbled across the first truly clueless cook I’d ever met. In my first week in fact – I wondered into my flat’s kitchen only to find a very confused looking northerner wondering how to cook pasta. For starters, it says on the side of the packet, but also to state the obvious, cook it until it’s cooked? This isn’t rocket science kids. But it might as well have been, the fire-related mishaps that happened in that kitchen.
With this in mind, these five recipes are for those helpless chefs among us that have been thrust from the warmth of their mother’s home cooked beef bourguignon and into the harsh reality of microwaved bacon and super noodles far too soon. While I would advocate learning them before you realise it’s 11pm and you can’t call for help because your parents are in bed, it’s never too late to see the error of your culinary ways and turn over a new page in your personal cookbook.
We aren’t catering for the adventurous here, just looking at the bare mimimum you should know to survive and not eat beans on toast every day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it would be nice if it was out of choice and not necessity.
Hopefully these recipes will help you steer away from the stealthy Super Noodle and into a more vitamin friendly, ‘look mum I’m a well rounded person’ zone.
A Full English Breakfast With All The Trimmings
This is something everyone should know how to cook. Not that I’d advise having it every day of course, but if you’re a fresh-faced, wide-eyed first year uni student a full english can often save your hungover bacon. Very handy for the morning after anything. As my mother so eloquently put it, “you can base a whole weekend’s entertainment around an English breakfast”.
Roast a Chicken
From a student or recent graduate’s perspective this is handy in two ways: the first is that when done right you can get about 8 meals out of a whole chicken, and secondly being able to have a whole roast with people can be a really awesome bonding experience. Yay friends! And who doesn’t love a good roast. Have it all at once with boatloads of veg, or cook it on a Sunday for sandwiches throughout the week. Whatever your jam, this is a must do.
It’s over to BBC Good Food for one of my favourite roast chicken recipes.
Check out my Christmas Roast recipe here.
This is one of the first things my mum taught me to cook. It’s been one of my favourite meals since I was tiny and is surprisingly easy. Laying out the layers is super satisfying as well, in a geeky OCD pasta kind of way.
This recipe by Great Grub, Delicious Treats is easy peasy and tastes awesome. What a classic.
This fab chilli recipe can be done on the stove. Whack some nachos on the plate, a sombrero on your head and A Fistful of Dollars on the TV and you’ve got yourself a Mexican night my friend. Top Tip: take out the beans and swap the rice for spaghetti, and you’ll be looking at a superb spaghetti bolognese. Look at you go, taking charge of your own
Find a great recipe here.
Victoria Sponge Cake
Being able to bake someone a birthday cake is nothing to be laughed at. Get stuck in with this fabulous victoria sponge cake but once you’ve conquered the actual cake bit you can do anything. Gooey chocolate cake, zesty lemon drizzle and even a mighty swiss roll is all obtainable with just a few tweaks. You’ve got this!
Let the queen of baking Mary Berry hold your hand through this cake recipe.