Saturday, 14 January 2012

Stuff the rush

Thursday night I had a meeting at my daughters' school that started at 6.30pm. I could have gone down the easy option of having a ready meal for dinner but that's not my style. Instead, I opted to just start making dinner extra early. Just before 5 I put a couple of spuds in the oven to bake then set about preparing stuffed mushrooms whilst my eldest got on with making a scone-based pizza for her and her sister.

Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 2)

4 large flat mushrooms
1 leek
2 rashers of bacon

Preheat oven to 180°C, gas 4. Pull the stalks out of the mushrooms and finely chop. Slice the leeks finely and snip the bacon into small pieces. Next, fry the mushrooms stalks, leeks and bacon together for about 5 minutes, adding a little pepper for seasoning. Divide this mixture between the 4 mushrooms then sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve hot.

Scone based pizza is a really handy recipe to have up your sleeve because it means you can make a pizza from scratch with basic food cupboard ingredients - no need for strong flour and yeast. You just need self-raising flour, butter and milk to make the base and then some pasta sauce or passata, cheese and toppings.

Anyway, despite my best efforts and estimates, it took slightly longer to prepare and cook all this than I had anticipated and I ended up sitting down to eat at 6.10. I don't know about you, but I hate eating in a rush but that was what I had to do. I managed to cram most of it in ten minutes flat but decided to admit defeat on half my baked potato.

Half a baked potato is a good starting point for a left-overs lunch. You could put all sorts of things on that a make a complete meal. Baked beans maybe - only that would leave a part open tin as left overs for another day. Instead, I decided to make pizza-style baked potato for my lunch, using some left over pasta sauce from the girls' pizza and left over cheese from the Christmas cheeseboard. There seems something luxurious about a 3 cheese topping!

So for this I heated the half potato in the microwave for a minute then spooned on some pasta sauce and grated over plenty of cheese before returning it to the microwave for another minute to heat the sauce and melt the cheese. Two minute lunch from left-overs - yum!

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