Freshers’ Food Diary

Contrary to your tutor’s beliefs, man cannot live on knowledge alone. Here are some tried and tested student recipies lovingly collected by Nouse’s expert chefs for your benefit alone.

Twist (n’ shout) Pesto Chicken

Pesto: one of the tastiest foods that comes in a jar. A sheer brilliant mixture of basil, pecorino cheese, and pine nuts. What could be better? This recipe has the added twist of red pepper in the pesto adding extra flavour and colour to the dish.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

4 chicken breasts, sliced
½ jar red pesto
1 can chopped tomatoes
200ml crème fraiche
4oz stoned olives

Turn the oven on to 180°C.
Fry the chicken in a little olive oil.
Remove the chicken and place in an oven proof dish.
Mix together all the other ingredients, twisting as you stir.
Season with a little salt and pepper.
Pour mixture over the chicken fried chicken.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes.

Serve on a bed of pasta with a green salad, and bingo: a twisted pesto chicken dish is your name-o.

Libellious Lemon Risotto

The journalist’s risotto of choice, didn’t you know? This tasty treat got its name when served to an irate member of the Trampolining Club after they threatened to sue us for defamation of character. One bite in, the suit was dropped and Nouse lived to report another tale.

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

75g risotto rice
2 chicken breasts (or 100g king prawns)
1 onion, diced
Juice of one lemon
100ml of white wine (which we know every student has)
750ml of chicken or vegetable stock
75g frozen garden peas
1 red pepper, sliced

Fry the onions gently until cooked, but do not brown.
Add the risotto rice and cook until translucent.
Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in the juice of the lemon and the white wine a little at a time until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
Repeat this process with all the stock.
Lastly, throw in the peas, pepper and chicken and simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with lashings of parmesan, and relax. Easy.

Winter Wonderland Leak and Potato Soup

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but this soup is oh so delightful. And if you just make it now, it’ll wow, it’ll wow, it’ll wow.”

This is the perfect winter warmer to make when there is snow on the ground and you’re suffering from Freshers’ Flu. The vitamins in the veg won’t hurt either.

Serves: approx. 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

25g butter (a knife full)
1 onion, diced
2 leeks, cut into strips
250g potatoes, cut into small chunks
500ml of vegetable stock
200g frozen peas
150ml single cream
(1 tbsp parsley – optional, but adds great taste to this recipe)

Melt the butter in the pan.
Add the leeks and the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft.
Add the potatoes and the stock, then bring to the boil.
Cover it and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Stir in the peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and blend the soup until smooth (or the consistency you desire).
Stir in the cream.

Sprinkle with the parsley and a fresh roll from the local bakery. OK, Morrison’s will have to do.

The Ultimate Comfort: Spicy Macaroni Cheese

You haven’t stopped all day, and the hunger has really set in. The books on your desk need to be read, the essay needs to be written, you need to speak to your supervisor, you’re meant to be at rehearsals in the Drama Barn or at 22 acres for rugby fitness training. Yet all you want to do it put your feet up. Do it, and relax with the ultimate comfort pasta dish. You probably weren’t that essential anyway.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes, then 30 minutes in the oven

400g macaroni pasta
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp plain flour
1 small pack of strong cheddar, grated
Half a pint of milk
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small chilli
(3 tbsp chilli sauce – optional, for added spiciness)

Preheat oven to 180°C
Cook pasta according to pack instructions, cutting a couple of minutes off the recommended cooking time so that it’s still a little bit hard.
Drain the pasta and pour it into an ovenproof dish.
Whilst pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and the small chilli (stir in the chilli sauce now if so desired).
Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Add the flour and firmly stir to make a paste.
Pour in the milk gradually, stirring to avoid creating lumps.
Turn down the heat to a simmer and slowly add the grated cheese.
Mix the spicy onion mixture with the cheese sauce.
Pour the combination on top and mix it together with the pasta until all covered.
Grate cheese over the top.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is slightly browned.

This is great with a salad, with ketchup, on toast, with some vegetables or simply by itself for the ultimate comfort.

Vanbrugh’s Legendary Mexican Burrito

The semi-legendary Van-burrito, which was created in a Vanbrugh college kitchen (see what we did there) many terms ago, is the ultimate faff-free, one-pot, rib-sticker, stomach-liner of student cookery. More exciting than bolognaise, less effort than lasagne and more fun than chilli con carne, the burrito is the daddy of mince dishes.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

500g minced beef
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper,sliced
1 courgette, sliced
Cajun seasoning
1 tin of baked beans
1 beef stock cube
8 flour tortilla wraps
200g boiled rice

Dry fry the beef until well browned.
Drain off the excess fat and water that comes out and set it aside.
In the same pan, heat some oil and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes.
Add the peppers, and then the courgette after a further 5 minutes.
Return the cooked mince and add the beans to the pan.
Now it’s time to deploy the enormous array of spices and seasonings your mum forced upon you before you arrived here.
As long as you add a stock cube, salt, pepper and cajun spices it’ll taste great. The addition of Jamaican Jerk seasoning
works well too.
Leave to simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Now tank up your tortilla wrap. Begin with boiled rice, followed by the mince mixture.

Add any one of: guacamole, sour cream, cheddar cheese, or our personal favourite, natural yoghurt, mint sauce and finely diced cucumber (that’s a raita for you curry fans) and you get serious top-end nosh.

Super Hero Omelette Recipe for Sucess

Super fast and super easy, this recipe is possibly the most fun you can have with a frying pan. Eggs are healthy, cheap and meant to be good for a hangover. Throw in some vegetables and you’ve got a meal your mother would be proud of.

Serves: 1
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

3 eggs
15g (knife full) butter
30g grated cheese
Either leftover vegetables (mushrooms, cooked onions, peppers) or or chives.

Crack the eggs into a mug, season with salt and pepper and beat with a fork.
Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the eggs and tilt the pan to spread eggs evenly.
As the eggs cook, bring the edges the cooked eggs into the middle of the pan allowing the uncooked egg to run to the outside.
Continue doing this until the egg has set.
Sprinkle with your chosen filling and top with cheese.
Fold over the omelette.
Leave to cook for two minutes.

Warm new potatoes and a fresh leaf salad tops off this quick meal. Tell us you don’t feel like you could take over the world now.

Dinner Party-Ready Spaghetti Bolognaise

Of course you could just chuck in a jar of Dolmio or Lloyd Grossman but that isn’t going to impress your new beau, is it? Here is a cracking standard and absoluely delicious recipe of one of the all time student classics.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g mince beef or mince lamb
1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tbsp tomatoe puree (ketchup can be used as a substitute)
8 mushrooms, diced
1 pepper, sliced
1 beef stock cube or gravy granules
1 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

Fry the onion and garlic on a gentle heat.
Add the mince and continue to cook until all the mince is brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and the tablespoon of tomato puree, then simmer for 2 minutes.
Add in the mushrooms and pepper, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Lastly crumble in the beef stock cube (or gravy granules), add in the seasoning to taste.

Serve with spaghetti and a good helping of parmesan.

Lady Gaga Loving with Muffins

Despite our well-documented love of The Courtyard’s pancakes, girl cannot survive on syrup alone. There’s something quite nostalgic about whipping up a batch of muffins before you head to campus. Throw on an apron and you’re practically ready to head down the aisle.

Serves: makes 10-12
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

350g self raising flour
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250ml milk or plain yoghurt (or a combination of the two)
60g melted butter
90g caster suger
A filling of your choice (for example, blueberries, raspberries, chocolate, or sultanas)

To make chocolate muffins just replace 15g of flour with cocoa powder.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Sieve the flour in a bowl and add the salt and sugar (and cocoa powder).
Melt the butter in a bowl and mix in with the milk/yoghurt and eggs.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid mix.
Stir gently, leaving the mixture slightly lumpy, and fold in your chosen filling.
Spoon mixture into muffin cases.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Eat hot or cold with a cup of tea or coffee. Truly scrumptious.

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