There is nothing more demoralising, particularly as winter hits, than returning home from university and realising that you forgot to get anything out for dinner. If you can resist the inevitable pressure to get a takeaway, particularly just after your student finance comes in, there are so many opportunities to scrape together what’s left in your cupboard and fridge for a delicious dinner.
My kitchen scrap favourite begins with a versatile and healthy student staple: potato. The rest of the ingredients are essentially dictated by whatever takes your fancy (and most importantly what you actually have left), but this is the basic recipe…
- Dice a medium-sized potato into small, evenly sized cubes.
- Wash the potato cubes in the sink under running water to remove some of the surface starch and prevent the sugars from browning before the potato is cooked.
- Dry the potato cubes thoroughly with a towel.
- Fry the potato cubes in a frying pan with plenty of vegetable oil.
- Add plenty of salt, pepper, herbs and any other seasonings (such as paprika) you may have into the pan.
- Whilst the potatoes are frying, prepare your other ingredients. These will be added in to the frying pan later on, and can include things like bacon, chorizo, bell pepper, onion, garlic and mushroom. Finely chop these, and once your potato is semi-cooked, add them into the pan gradually depending on how long each will take to cook (as a rough guide, onion and bacon will tend to need longer, whereas mushroom and chorizo can go in towards the end).
- Keep the ingredients in the frying pan moving with a spatula, particularly the potatoes, to ensure it all cooks through.
- Once cooked, serve onto a plate and eat! I would also recommend frying an egg and placing it on top of the potato mix before eating – a runny yolk goes perfectly with the fried potato!
This dish was born not out of a set recipe, but more out of me throwing things from my fridge into a pan and praying it works – and I can confirm, it does! It is a particularly good staple on a cold winter night, when you want something warm and filling.