Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Assembly line cooking.

According to a comprehensive tracking study undertaken by a vast panel of leading academics, comprising me and someone I asked, five out of ten people don't know what they'll be cooking for dinner when they reach the kitchen.

But five out of ten people don't need to panic. They no longer even need to flip through old copies of Cuisine, Bon Appetit or Super Food Ideas. All they need to do is open the fridge door and google what they see + recipe. Magically, up comes six million ideas!

I'm only half joking.

Sometimes I'm too tired to think about cooking, so I just assemble instead. Assembling dinner is fun. It's like shopping at Ikea, without the crowds and the ball pool, plus you don't need an allen key.

Here's what I assembled last night (without the use of google) from the contents of the fridge and the kitchen cupboard:

Couscous with sardines and pinenuts.

From the fridge: cherry tomatoes, turkish olives, tahini, butter.

From the cupboard: Canned sardines, canned chickpeas, pinenuts, sesame seeds.

Pour boiling water over couscous in a pot. Add a knob of butter, swish it around and let it expand. (Maybe a minute or two on low heat if it's reluctant. That's hardly cooking.)

Place two mounds of that hot, steaming goodness in two bowls.

Add sardines (or tuna), cherry tomatoes sliced in two, a few olives halved and pitted, some drained chickpeas, a small handful of pine nuts, a generous splodge of tahini and a shower of sesame seeds.

That's about four different continents' worth of ingredients, so let's go the whole hog and add a fifth, as an afterthought: who would have thought sweet chili sauce would go so well with couscous and sardines?


Dorling Kindersley said...

Calling all food lovers:

DK would like to give you a sneak peak of the new book, How to cook the perfect…by Marcus Wareing. Follow this link to find out how to make the perfect custard tart:

This recipe and many more are featured in his fantastic new book, publishing 5 April. It is filled with “key to perfection” tips for cooking everything perfect.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I call your assembly dinner excellent!
I've never been able to do that.

Lucy said...

Sardines and sweet chilli sauce...I'm not entirely convinced...

Open the fridge, open the pantry, avoid shopping as often as possible. That's my favourite kind of dinner.

kitchen hand said...

Thanks, HalfCups.

Neither was I, Lucy. But it worked.

Lucy said...

You are right. Sorry to have doubted you. A surprisingly weird combination, but it works.