Friday 9 December 2016

Bedsit cordon bleu

Forget baked beans on toast -- check out these simple, student-friendly recipes

Donal Skehan

Published 25/09/2010 | 05:00

Moving away from home can be a very traumatic experience -- I mean, who's going to wash the socks, change the bedsheets and tell you a bedtime story? Well, whether it's to a new apartment or student digs, everyone has to move out of home sometime.

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While you may have got away with doing the bare minimum in the kitchen at home, now there's no excuse. One of the most comforting things you can leave home with is a set of a few essential recipes which you can rely on to keep yourself well fed.

If you have never cooked before, don't be put off. Remember to read the recipe from start to finish before you begin, paying specific attention to the ingredients list. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and realising you are missing a key ingredient.

Prepping your kitchen is a must. You will probably be facing an empty kitchen, so stocking up on key items is the first step towards creating culinary masterpieces. Beg, borrow and steal whatever you can from the family home -- there are bound to be a few old pots and pans you can give a second life to. Even robbing a few spices shouldn't get you in too much trouble!

By having a little cupboard of essential ingredients you will never be too far from a quick supper, so head out to the shops and pick up some of my hit-list ingredients below. I have only included some of the basics, but grains such as rice, couscous and bulgur wheat store really well, and tinned goods are always great.

Next on the list is kitchen equipment. Realistically, you don't need more than 10 important tools to whip up some of the most complex of dishes. IKEA is a super place to get your starter kit for fairly decent prices.

If you can't get everything at once don't worry -- you will find that as you start cooking more, your collection will grow out of necessity. The next step is to get cooking!

The following are some of my favourite easy recipes for first-time cooks: my hot Whoohaa Chorizo Bean Pasta for a fast, filling supper after a long day; my Zingy Student Stir-fry, which not only makes a great dinner but can also be popped in a lunchbox for the next day; and while baking may not be high on the agenda, something sweet to nibble on, and extremely easy to prepare, is my Crunchie Rocky Road Buns recipe.

If you have a crowd coming round, whip up my one-pot wonder, Tasty Chicken Hotpot which, by the way, is also a great, nosy parent pleaser! Once you've mastered these recipes, you'll build up the inspiration and confidence to keep on cooking.

Irish Independent

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