Monthly Archives: October 2011

Up Close and Personal with Plantain

For an imported product, plantain is SHOCKINGLY cheap. I got 3 for a £1. It just shows how much they are grown in excess. These plantain chips can be cooked, and then put in the freezer like you would chips, and then reheated in the oven when you want to eat them.

Funny story: My housemate (A) asked my other housemate (B) if she could have a banana of hers, B affirmed that she could, and so A took a random banana from our fruitbowl. She unknowingly took one of my plantains. I knew something had gone wrong when I came down later to find a plantain missing, I laughed at the hilarity of it and asked B if she had any idea what might have happened. She told me the story, and we laughed at the idea of  A cluelessly eating a plantain. I can imagine her peeling this “fruit” (which is bigger than your average banana) and eating this really crunchy fibrous banana, noticing its lacking flavour of your usual potassium laden fruit.  Later in the evening, I told her “you realise that wasn’t B’s banana you ate, it was my plantain”. LUCKILY, she replied “That was yours? I didn’t eat it cos it didn’t look very nice!”. So I was once again one plantain richer, however I forgot to cook it before it went off (approx. 2 weeks) and so I had to throw it away anyway. TO AVOID A SIMILAR PROBLEM, cook your plantain when it is ripe (you can buy plantain green, but don’t cook until it is yellow), and then freeze.

Ingredients (serves 1-2)

1 plantain

-2 tbsp oil (any, though olive is healthier)


Peel your plantain, this might involve using a knife as it very tough.

-Cut the fruit into coins, but alternatively you can cut them into slices like so.

-Pour oil onto a frying pan and heat, add the plantain coins and fry on a medium heat. Leave for 3-4 minutes, then turn over and fry the other side, the chips should be a golden brown colour.

-Transfer to paper towl to soak up oil and serve as a side to any dish. I like to have mine with chili.



Filed under Other, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian

Thrifty’s Courgette Risotto for One

If you enjoy, as Nigella calls it, ‘the solace of stirring’, then you’ll love making risotto. It’s salty, creamy and requires a lot of stirring. But just get a newspaper, or a JSTOR article, and just keep on going. Risotto is ridiculously maleable, so please replace courgette with whatever you want, chicken, sausage, mushroom, peas, beans. And if you don’t want to buy parmesan, just use cheddar instead.

I always was a bit daunted with making risotto, but fear not-it’s stoopid easy, just buy the right kind of rice and you’re already 3/4 the way there. I just spent a month in Italy, so making things like risotto is like eating nostalgia.

In other news, I’m having a lot of trouble with photographing my work in my new house. Bad lighting and bad lens means I can’t get what I’m looking for. I’ve been trying very hard with the post-production but’s it’s not coming out how I want. Any suggestions?


-1 tbsp olive oil

-1 tbsp butter

-1 red onion

-1 clove of garlic

-1 courgette or whatever you want-see above for ideas

-1/4 cup of arborio rice

-around one litre of vegetable or chicken stock

-1 dessert spoon of parmesan, or grated cheddar, plus extra for serving.

-1 tsp salt

-2 tsp dried basil and any other green herbage you have.

-1 tsp green pesto(optional)


Chop up the onion, garlic and the courgette(into coins) and fry lightly in the oil and the butter, and soften. This should take about 5 minutes.

-Add the rice, if using meat, make sure it is cooked in the oil before adding the rice and make sure the grains are covered in the oily buttery-ness. Once they are covered, start by adding a generous swig of stock, continuing to stir the mixture. You should move it to a lower heat now.

-Once the rice has absorbed that stock, add another helping of stock, and continue to stir the mixture from time to time until the rice has absorbed all the water. Don’t get the impression that you have to stand there stirring maniacally, but just make sure you keep your eye on the mixture.

-Keep on repeating the process of adding stock and stirring, until the rice has soften and is edible.The whole thing should take about 30-40 minutes. Try to not to add too much stock.

-By the time the rice is beginning to soften, add the cheese and pesto.

-Serve with more cheese.





Filed under Italian, Rice and Pasta, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian