Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

This is one of those cheaty mid week meals.  A la Delia Smith. (I remember her being vilified for her series and book “How to Cheat”.  But most meals you go out for are similar to this…). As ever, Delia was right to make us think that sometimes the prep can be done by someone else.  Life’s to short to stuff a mushroom as (I think) Mary Berry said.

The main concept is for speed without it all being ‘ready meal’.  There’s a time for that too, I think.  Maybe the demise of the Chinese take away is as much to do with people returning to their roots as the economy grows faster than the west, as much as the excellent supermarket Chinese Take Away Favourites packs?  Anyway – enough of this tangent…

The packed in chops

The packed in chops

How do you make sure the loin steaks don’t dry out?  I am sure pork doesn’t have the flukes and worms in it that make us overcook it anymore – but I do like it cooked through still.  As you can see, I put some apple pieces around it.  This was a week old, slightly wrinkly apple, that was transformed into something lovely by being cooked in the steaminess around the pork.  I added a glass of cider near he end, switched it down to very low, and stuck a pan lid on this very small omelette pan.

On the table...

On the table…

The rest of the bits are obvious here.  The spinach?  One of those £1 bags, steamed in the microwave in the bag (washed and ready to cook – cheating!).  Red cabbage – an extra side with a £10 meal deal.  The chips – King Edwards – oldish, hard peeled, sliced into chips and microwaved for 5 mins before 25 minutes in the oven – with the tomato and mushroom placed in there with 10 minutes to go). As you can see, the meat is almost lost beneath the apples!

And that’s it really – keep it simple and don’t be afraid of cheating a bit.  Cooking almost from scratch, with a little help from sous chefs in a factory somewhere…

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