NORMALLY after a post-work exercise sesh (ballet barre, thought it’d be chilled-out. Wasn’t), I’ll nip into the supermarche opposite the gym and get something like, oh I dunno, crab pate, crackers, stuffed pasta and a pasta sauce. Which is nice but not economical and not very creative.
A post-work workout when the boy is out, however – as was the case on Thursday night – usually results in absolute wrongness. Such as the famous runny Supernoodles covered in cheese and chopped cherry tomatoes.
I decided to be good on Thursday and do one of my two tried-and-tested ‘fancy’ things, with stuff I mostly had in the fridge.
The above is beetroot with walnut pesto and parmesan. Another menu item I snaffled from da Polpo. The chefs there obviously make their pesto from scratch, but being a cookery novice, I cheated. I cut walnuts into teeny pieces, and mixed them into shop-bought pesto with a drizzle (ho ho, I’m so Nigella) of Extra virgin olive oil and a big old squeeze of lemon – one of my new favourite things. Everything is classier with a squeeze of lemon. Probably even work on my Supernoodles. Then I chopped my organic beetroots into rough chunks and spooned the pesto on top, with a little sprinkle of Parmesan.
Then to go with, I cooked myself prawns.
Actual raw ones. In a pan. I chopped some chilli – which I later sprinkled into the pan with my hands. Don’t do it! I thought it was my makeup remover that was burning my eyes out later that evening. But when water only worked to make them burn harder I realised my mistake – and spooned in some jar-garlic. The real garlic that was in the cupboard wasn’t in the cupboard.
And so when the oil had heated up a bit I threw in the garlic and chilis and after a while, I threw in the prawns (J – BF – was back now, keeping a watchful eye over me and my prawns). I get quite a lot of satisfaction watching them turn from grey to pink. Soon after they had turned pink, they came out of the pan, in a garlicky, chili-y oil.
We only had pitta bread to go with, which didn’t massively work, but it was nevertheless really quite tasty, light, and… home-cooked! Kind of. I have a blooming gluten intolerance, which I tend to defy on an almost daily basis, but nevertheless this would have been delicious with big hunks of crusty white bread. Oh, and by the way, we didn’t use chopsticks, despite them being in the picture (ooops.)
I am attempting to leave my comfort zone tonight and take on haloumi, roast tomato and quinoa – apparently pronounced keen-wah, not quin-noah as I’ve been saying all these years.