Student cooking made easy with the new 365 Student Cookbook
Is your no-longer-a-child going to be heading off to university in September, far away from home cooked meals? You might want to invest in this new ‘student cookery bible', writes Ella Walker
THE fear is that teens heading off to university for the first time will survive solely on beer, take-aways, Super Noodles and frozen pizza.
And while the chances of this are really quite high (it's almost a rite of passage, after all), you can still tuck a cookbook into their suitcase and hope they stumble upon it: the new 365 Student Cookbook by Jo McAuley might just be that book.
:: WHO WILL LOVE IT?
First off, parents and grandparents of budding freshers - you'll feel as though you've armed your youngster with the skills to feed themselves until at least the Christmas break (or until their big food shop - that you paid for - runs out). Second, (give it a few weeks...) once the buzz of being out in the world, fairly drunk most of the time, and having got through the stress and drama of making new friends, the young adult in receipt of the book might just open it. And then, bar the odd order of cheesy chips on a night out, might just start working their way through it.
:: WHAT'S IN IT?
Quick meals that take 10, 20 or 30 minutes to whip together. It covers the likes of '12 ways with poultry', 'brain boosters', 'hangover helpers' and 'cheap eats', and has a fair amount of veggie ideas too, if not vegan. They're largely designed to be healthy and nourishing, although there's still a pudding section (the chocolate orange cheesecake looks particularly good).
:: HOW EASY IS IT TO USE?
Very, as you'd hope, seeing as it's designed for cooking newbies. The ingredients lists are nice and short, and the instructions to the point – there's also a picture of every dish, so you know what you're aiming for.
:: THE BEST RECIPE IS?
Cheese and onion potato waffles– these are such a good idea, we can't believe we've never thought of them before. Perfect hangover cure, brunch option, and late night snack, all rolled into one.
:: THE RECIPE WE'RE MOST LIKELY TO POST PICTURES OF ON INSTAGRAM IS?
The classic cheese fondue – because then you can pretend you're in a Swiss chalet, rather than eating your body weight in cheese to avoid an essay deadline.
:: THE DISH WE'RE LEAST LIKELY TO TRY IS?
Berry-full baskets: realistically, who amongst us – especially students – is going to know where to find brandy snap baskets in the supermarket? And why bother looking when you could just have a bowl of berries and cream on their own?
:: WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
Overall, we give the book a solid 7/10 rating. A few of the recipes feel quite dated – warm sardine, bean and potato salad, cranberry poached pears; bacon-wrapped pesto chicken – but for those who are new to basics like soups, stews and traybakes, it's ideal.
:: 365 Student Cookbook by Jo McAuley is published by Hamlyn, priced £9.99. Photography Octopus Publishing and William Shaw. Available now.
:: HOW TO MAKE CHEESE AND ONION POTATO WAFFLES
Ingredients (Serves 2):
4 frozen potato waffles
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
4 spring onions, sliced
1tsp dried thyme (optional)
125g grated mature cheese
Green salad, to serve
1. Arrange the potato waffles on a grill rack and cook under a grill preheated to a medium setting for six to eight minutes, turning once, or according to the packet instructions, until hot and golden.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan and cook the spring onion over a medium heat for three to four minutes until softened. Stir in the dried thyme and set aside to cool slightly before mixing with the grated cheese and plenty of pepper.
3. Leaving the waffles on the grill tray, scatter over the cheese mixture, then return the tray to the grill for a further minute until the cheese has melted. Serve with green salad.