Come Dine With Me

Since the coronavirus hit, my household and I have been trying to think of creative ideas to entertain ourselves, while we follow the governments ‘stay at home’ advice. This week, we decided to do our own ‘Come Dine with Me,’ – coronavirus style! This has meant that each night, one member of my family has been given the task of creating a three-course meal, using only the store cupboard supplies that we already had in the house. Last night, it was my turn to cook. I had to be really creative, giving that we had a limited range of food in the house!

Starter –

To start, I decided to make tomato soup! This was pretty easy, considering we had tinned tomatoes in the cupboard, frozen basil in the freezer, and an onion and a few carrots left over in the fridge. Blended together with a vegetable stock cube, everyone really enjoyed the starter.

Main course –

The main course was a bit more difficult, giving that im a vegetarian and the rest of my family are meat eaters. Typically, we would all eat separate things. After raking in the cupboard for a while, I found two tins of chickpeas in water, which I used to make chickpea fritters! They were really easy to throw together, and everyone loved them! also, they count as two of your five a day, so it’s a win win situation!

Ingredients

  • 1 slice of bread, preferable stale, but fresh would work fine
  • 400g Chickpeas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Oil
  • Curry powder

 

Method

  • In the bender, pulse 1 slice of toasted bread, until dry breadcrumbs are formed. Leave until required.
  • Drain and rinse a tin of 400g chickpeas
  • Blend the chickpeas into a rough paste, not too smooth though or the fritters won’t hold their shape
  • Peal and dice 1 red onion and 2 cloves of garlic, mix into the chickpea mix with a spoon.
  • Add 1-2 table spoons of curry powder, depending on your personal taste! I’m not too keen on spicy food, so I settled for 1 table spoon.
  • Using your hands, use the mixture to form walnut sided balls, then place on a plate.
  • Using the breadcrumbs that you made earlier, gentle press the balls into the crumbs, so that an even layer of breadcrumbs coats your chickpea fritters.
  • Heat 1 table spoon of olive oil (or an oil of your choice) in a non-stick pan.
  • When hot, fry your fritters! The amount of time they need will depend on how thick your fritters are. When the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy, flip the fritter over and repeat the process on the other side. You may need to do this in batches as there might not be enough room on one pan!
  • To serve, I put 4 chickpea fritters on a place, and made a simple salsa with another tin of tomatoes. The end result was delicious!

 

Dessert –  

I had originally planned to make a chocolate cake for third and final course, but unfortunately, we had no flour in our house! Flour is really difficult to get these days, due to a shortage in the production of flour bags. So, I had to improvise! I found a recipe online that used ground almonds instead of flour. I didn’t have any ground almonds to hand, so used my blender to blitz some roasted almonds that I found in our cupboard. It took a while to ground them, but the end result was worth it. The cake was really fudgy and rich, almost like a brownie!

 

Ingredients

200g ground almonds

200g chocolate (dark preferably, but milk would work too)

125g butter, melted.

3 eggs

170g sugar, any colour!

20g cocoa powder

1 table spoon of baking powder

 

Method –

Chop the chocolate on a chopping board. Place in a microwavable bowl with the butter.

Melt in the microwave in short 30 second blasts (to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn). Repeat until it is totally smooth, then leave to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, using a fork, whisk the eggs and sugar together, then pour into the cooled chocolate mixture.

Gently fold in the coco powder, baking powder, and ground almonds, until a smooth batter is formed.

Pour your cake batter in a lined tin (ideally a round tin of around 20cm, but any would work, as long as you keep an eye on it during the cooking time)

Cook in the oven at 180OC for around 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out the centre clean and there is a slight crust.

Allow it to cool in the tin for around 5 minutes, then serve!

 

 

So, from our ‘Come Dine with Me’ experience, I can conclude that its pretty amazing what you can whip up with basic store cupboard essentials, and with those random tins and packets that always seem to lurk at the back of your cupboard.