Now the weather is getting colder and we are spending a lot more time indoors, you may want to test your skills in the kitchen. At university, cooking is no longer something you smell, but something you have to actually do. For many, this can be daunting. But for some, you might be ready to get stuck in and try something a bit more complex.
After a few too many nights of going out and eating takeaways, your housemates are probably craving a home-cooked meal. So prepare yourself, channel Nigella, and give these amazing winter recipes a go – it is the perfect opportunity to impress your housemates after only having lived with them for a couple of months.
Pork, White Bean & Kale Soup (EatingWell.com)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika, preferably smoked
- 240 ml white wine
- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 960 ml reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinse
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring once or twice, until no longer pink on the outside – this will take about 2 minutes. Next, transfer to a plate with a pair of tongs, leaving juices in the pot.
- Add onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes until the onions begin to brown. Add garlic, paprika and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the wine and tomatoes, then increase heat to high and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a boil.
- Add kale and stir just until it wilts. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in beans, the reserved pork and any accumulated juices; simmer until the beans and pork are heated through, about 2 minutes.
Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu (EatingWell.com)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds), trimmed and tenders removed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 75g shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
- 12.5g coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or thyme
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 28g chopped ham
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt. Combine cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper with breadcrumbs, parsley (or thyme) and 2 teaspoons oil in another bowl.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large, oven-proof non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Move the chicken to the center so all pieces are touching. Spread with the cheese mixture, sprinkle with ham, then top with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes.
Seared Scallops with Crispy Leeks (EatingWell.com)
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound dry sea scallops, tough side muscle removed
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut leek in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half crosswise. Cut each quarter into long, thin strips. Rinse the strips in hot water and pat dry. Toss in a medium bowl with 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle flour, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt over the leeks; toss well to combine. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the leeks are crispy and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the baking sheet until the scallops are done.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt with Italian seasoning, lemon zest and pepper in a small bowl. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle both sides with the seasoning mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve the scallops with the crispy leeks on top.
Game pie (BBC Food Recipes)
- 675g/1½lb mixed game meat such as pheasant, partridge, hare and rabbit, boned
- 225g/8oz venison steak cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 120g/4oz smoked streaky bacon, derinded and chopped
- 120g/4oz chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 30g/1oz plain flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 300ml/½ pint chicken stock
- 300ml/½ pint red wine
- 340g/12oz puff pastry
- Salt and pepper
- beaten egg, for glazing
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil and brown the game and venison in batches until well browned. Keep on one side.
- Heat the rest of the oil and cook the onions for five minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic, bacon and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. Season well and stir in the bay leaf, orange zest and juice, redcurrant jelly, stock and wine
- Bring to the boil, add the meat and simmer gently for 40-50 minutes until the meat is tender. Cool.
- Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Put the meat mixture in a pie dish. Roll out the pastry to make a lid and attach to the dish. Decorate with the pastry trimmings and cut a steam hole in the centre. Glaze with beaten egg.
- Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen and the filling is piping hot.
If you try our amazing recipes, let us know how they taste in the comments below!