Me and complicated food… We’re alright. Our relationship is somewhat like the one between you and that one friend you have, the too-cool friend, that you aren’t super close to, but when you hang out you have a pretty good time. But you don’t want to meet up more than occasionally. Because it’s tiring. It’s fun.. but being honest with yourself, you are a bit too lazy to meet up with them every day. Every week even. Perhaps once a month or so?
Don’t judge me. I like drinking tea in the afternoon and eating cheese and cake. And being a bum. This is a very cute place that Shobie and I went to, that serves good tea, and cheese, and apparently cake.
Anyway. These recipes are more like your best, comfortable friends, the ones you don’t mind meeting up with loads of times, for tea, coffee, or random snacks. The ones that you don’t have to entertain or make awkward conversation with. You can just be (your weird self). I wonder what this says about me.
Aglio Olio e Pepperoncino
Yeah so I don’t have a source for this recipe, it was one of the first things I learnt to cook, and I kept trying until it worked. I think everyone makes this a bit too complicated.
Pasta for 2, boiled and drained – Spaghetti or linguine is best
4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
Chilli – either a spoonful of flakes, or 1 or 2 fresh chopped red chilli. Both are fine, depending on what you have and how hot you want it.
Approx 1/4 teasp salt
A bit of hard cheese, like parmasan
- Get a big wok, and heat up a few tablespoons of oil. I use about 3-4 tablespoons for 2-3 portions of pasta. Turn the heat to medium, and let it get hot. If it starts smoking, turn take it off the heat for a bit and make the fire smaller.
- Put the salt into the oil. Sounds weird, but it makes the garlicky taste come out better.
- Drop in a piece of garlic. If it sizzles on impact, that’s good, put the rest in. If it sizzles then turns black and turns into charcoal, take the pan off the heat for a bit and turn it down. If nothing happens, and the heat is already on medium, DON’T TOUCH! Just wait a few minutes longer until it starts sizzling and dancing around in the oil. Then put everything else in (garlic + chilli).
- Keep the garlic on the heat until it turns golden, not brown. Then dump in the pasta and stir it around, still over the heat.
- Stir stirrrr, keep going until the pasta is all coated. If it looks dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water and keep mixing.
- Remove from heat, grind some black pepper on, and add a little cheese. Tadaa! Dinner in 15 minutes.
Salad with Balsamic Caramelised Onions
So this is the actual first thing I ever learnt to cook, because one of my jobs while cooking in uni with my friend Bar was to make the salad dressing. I couldn’t really be trusted with anything else. I distinctly remember a conversation with her in which I complained that it was not working, and she told me to turn down the heat and be patient because I was burning the onions. My impatient cooking philosophy in a nutshell: heat higher = cook faster, but try not to burn it.
Half an onion
2 tablesp balsamic vinegar
1 teasp sugar
Some oil to fry the onions
- Chop the onion into long strands.
- Heat oil in the pan – put it on medium.
- Dump in the onion and let it cook a bit.
- Throw in the balsamic and sugar.
- Stir and keep going until your desired level of caramelisation is reached.