23.04.15 (Day 487 / 44)
The half kitchen is now half-equipped, as you would expect half a kitchen to be. For the purposes of this and future food blogging, I shall list at the outset the equipment I have at my disposal and which I will be using to prepare meals. If you aspire to be just like me, this is what you will need. In all likelihood, you will aspire to more but for students, those recently released from prison and who’ve been homeless and now find themselves with limited means and budgets, here’s what we have:
A microwave oven
Microwave roasting bags
A microwave browning plate
A blow torch
That is the extent of my kitchen: very much a work in progress but for now, that’s what we have and that’s what we’ll use.
Before leaving the bedsit part of the flat and descending to the half kitchen, I need to select some mood music to accompany my preparation and enhance my dining experience. New arrivals into the CD collection today are Polly Paulusma, Leona Naess, more Imogen Heap, Frau Frau, Florence and The Machine, Cradle of Filth and Emiliana Torrini. I shall take the latter down to the kitchen.
You now join me and Emiliana live the kitchen, where we shall prepare tonight’s microwave wonder: corned beef cottage pie. To do this, we have the following:
Two large potatoes, unpeeled
One tin corned beef
One tin diced, mixed vegetables
A picture of what it should / could look like:
This meal serves one. Emiliana isn’t eating as she’s too busy singing.
Microwave the potatoes on full power for 10-15 minutes, so that a sharp knife will pass through them. If you really can’t be bothered to take this any further, at this stage, you have perfectly usable jacket potatoes. If you can be arsed to carry on though, allow the potatoes to cool for a while, then slice them in half and scrape out the filling. This will be our mash and the skins can be set aside for snacks of loaded potato skins another time. If you have a fridge – me and Emiliana don’t – you can add butter and milk if you wish but the scraped out mash has a nice baked flavour.
Boil a kettle and make some gravy using the granules: about four teaspoons to make a cup of thick gravy.
Remove the corned been from the tin and mash it up. Drain the tinned vegetables and mix them with the corned beef in a microwave dish. Pour over the gravy and spread the mashed potato on top. Season to taste. This microwave cooking lark may not produce the best looking dishes in the world but they are tasty and the seasoning is crucial.
Set the whole thing aside and it’s ready for re-heating in the microwave any time to want it: about 4-5 minutes on full power.
For a more authentic / appetising look, run a blow torch over the top and it’ll look something like the one in the picture.