I’ve been wanting to bake a ratatouille for a while now, and an opportunity presented itself last weekend. I’d decided to throw a small banquet on the occasion of my birthday, and had called a few friends over. Ratatouille was to be the first item on the menu— a super simple vegetarian starter.
I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes that are quick to put together and cook up, while also being nutritious— a perfect workday meal. This recipe was a product of things I found in my fridge and pantry that I realised would work beautifully in a roast.
The average and sometime sub-par canteen and mess food of my college years often saw us venturing out to restaurants for a culinary break of sorts, where the dish that nearly everyone would most easily agree on ordering was Palak Paneer. When in doubt, order Palak Paneer.
This is a strange transition month. Circumstances have rendered me homeless for exactly the month of August, and I’ve been relegated to a sort of frontier living. I have at my disposal one knife, one skillet and once saucepan, so everything I cook for the days ahead have to be worked out with this limited set of implements and utensils.
Once in a month or so, I buy a whole chicken and stock it. Stocking is one of those processes that is wildly efficient — it uses the entire chicken (some even use the head and feet) and a lot of vegetables without any fancy preparatory techniques or special skills. The flavour they contribute to anything you make with it will put any factory extruded bullion cube to shame. It’s so good that someone even put it in a cocktail (the Velociraptor, is made with 1½ Oz vodka, 4 tablespoons of stock and three dashes of Tabasco sauce).
Spaghetti aglio e olio is one of my lazy day staples. If you’re quick and careful, you can easily put this together in just around 13 minutes. Traditionally, spaghetti aglio e olio is meant to be a celebration of the quality of the best olive oil money can buy, but when I make it (with my imported brand of olive oil of questionable repute), I also throw in some mushrooms to up the nutritive value of the dish.
My first Jamaican Jerk Chicken experience was a little disappointing. I ordered it at a restaurant in a business park after a meeting (to their credit, the standard of food was higher than what you’d expect at a business park lunch). The chicken was sweet, mildly spicy and a little red.