First year at university can be hard. Away from home, clueless freshers are forced to fend for themselves, getting to grips with the unusual customs of Oxford, engaging in painful small talk with other newbies and formulating sentences in tutorials when their eyelids are visibly drooping. Meals can become something of a chore; the temptation to avoid hall, where there is an expectation to socialise and appear presentable, mounts higher as the term goes on. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with kitchens, so these simple recipes will enable you to immerse yourself fully in the lifestyle of a hermit. With the humble kettle, iron or toastie maker, fine dining is not as out of reach as you might think.
Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Ingredients: rice paper (buy at Lung Wah Chong Chinese Supermarket – look out for it en route to Wahoo), 1 packet vermicelli noodles, 1 packet of prawns (OR surplus pork from Mission Bur- rito since the meat to rice ratio is a bit absurd), 1 packet shredded carrot, lettuce, coriander, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, kettle.
- Lay out all your ingredients and an empty plate on which you will construct
- Boil the kettle and pour the water intoalargebowl
- Soak one sheet of rice paper until soft
- Place on the plate and quickly blot with paper towel if necessary
- Pile on all your ingredients
- Fold and roll into a mini burrito shape. Serve with more sweet chilli or soy sauce
Heated falafel wraps
Not even going to pretend that these are nicer than the wraps at El Mexicana but they will prove how creative you are.
Ingredients: 1 packet of burrito wraps, 1 tub of hummus, 1 packet of falafels, 1 packet cherry tomatoes, 1 packet coriander, lettuce, 1 packet halloumi, tin foil, iron
1. Chop up all the tomatoes, coriander, lettuce and halloumi
2. Lay a burrito wrap down on one half of a sheet of foil and fold the other half on top of it to sandwich the wrap inside
3. Iron the burrito
4. Place all the ingredients inside
5. Wrap it up in the same way as you did for the summer rolls and then wrap the foil tightly around it so nothing spills out
6. Iron it again – particularly aim to heat up the halloumi. Remove foil and serve
NB: The heating of the wrap may make it seem that I have merely added unnecessary complica- tions to an ordinary cold meal. However, the use of an iron elevates this dish by softening the hal- loumi and validating your decision to bring an iron to uni in the first place, since your clothes are rarely washed let alone ironed for the 8 week long duration of your stay in Oxford.
Like a classic fry up but without meat because toastie makers rarely reach temperatures high enough to make that a safe option.
Ingredients: 1 packet mushrooms, 1 packet cherry tomatoes, 1 egg, butter, sliced bread, coriander, toastie maker.
- Turn toastie maker to the highest temperature and put a knob of butter on one half of it Crack an egg into the dipped plate of the toastie maker
2. Close the lid as much as possible, without cracking the yolk. You may need to prop the lid in place
3. Leave for about 3 mins (assuming your toastie maker is as ineffective as mine)
4. Add a knob of butter to the other half of the toastie maker. Add chopped up mushrooms and coriander
5. Close the toastie maker again and leave for 2/3 more minutes
6. Chop up tomatoes. Add these to the mush- rooms and leave for 2/3 more minutes – the egg should still be cooking away
7. Put a piece of bread on top of the mushroom/ tomato mixture – this will allow all the tomato juice to soak into the bread and taste yum.
8. Hopefully the egg will have cooked by now – check this very carefully Remove egg and fully close toastie maker to toast the upper half of the bread for a few minutes
9. Put everything on a plate. Serve with more coriander to make yourself feel fancy.