Can we be super honest? I’m a lazy cook. When it’s not bashing out a batch at the weekend, cooking means evening meals, and that window of time between work and bed is one that I cherish. It’s for reading, or baths, or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. It’s not the time to create a masterpiece in the kitchen.
But there’s room for not-quite-recipes: the food you can prepare with one knife and one pan, making the most of seasonal veg at its simplest. This is one such throw-these-things-together plan, which allows you to prep tomorrow’s high-protein breakfast frittata(ish) while you eat dinner.
A couple of weeks ago, my flatmate and I had a late night reminisce about high school. For both of us, it wasn’t a particularly positive chat: we were, predictably, a bit weird. But some of our biggest regrets were losing touch with the teachers we looked up to, the ones who imparted wisdom that wasn’t on the curriculum.
It’s strange, the things that stick with you. French and Spanish have both leaked from my memory now, verb formations jumbled beyond help; only nuggets of medical history remain; my hands no longer feel comfortable wrapped around a paintbrush. The lessons my teachers tried to give us are long forgotten, while fragments of conversation stick around.
The one that’s stuck with me the most came from my art teacher, a woman who encouraged us all indiscriminately and overlooked the fact that I occasionally sneaked supplies out of the classroom, inks and quills I still use now.
“You have to understand the rules before you can break them.”
That title right up there might well be a lie. I’m not sure. In all my years of baking and cooking so far, I’ve never learnt to become a master of egg-based foods. When does a crustless quiche become a frittata? Is it the milk, as some of the internet seems to suggest? How much milk does it have to contain to count as a quiche rather than a frittata? How about if, like this one, you don’t cook it on the stove and then in the oven, but rather, do the whole thing in the oven?
I fear these are things I may never know. What I do know, however, is that this is easy, and tasty, and ticks all the boxes for taking to work as lunch in the middle at the end of the month when money is tight.
This all came about because I got stuck in a bit of a rut, using the same ingredients to make the same meals over and over again. I got hung up on Stilton and leek, and then I started to get a touch obsessive about spinach and goats cheese (I maintain that those two things are incredible together. I may still yet revisit them.) So it was time to break out the chorizo and shake it up a bit.
Serves 4. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3mm thick)
1 medium onion, diced
75g button mushrooms, halved
100g chorizo, skin removed, sliced
120g tin chickpeas (half a tin)
8 medium eggs
40g strong cheddar, grated
1) Lightly grease a 9 inch pie dish and preheat the oven to 170C. Bring a medium pan of water to the boil and add the sweet potato slices. Boil for about 4 minutes, or until just tender. Arrange the slices on the bottom of the pan.
2) In a large frying pan, fry the onion and mushrooms until the onion is soft. Add the chorizo and chickpeas and fry for a further minute, before spreading the mixture over the top of the sweet potato.
3) Whisk together the milk and eggs in a jug, and add black pepper to your taste. Pour the egg mixture into the pie dish, and poke any chickpeas or slices of chorizo that are sticking out back under the surface of the egg mixture.
4) Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes, before sprinkling with cheese. Return to oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.