How was Mother’s Day for you? Chance to put your feet up for once? Well for your sake, I sincerely hope it was, being one of the few days a year when there’s the slightest chance you might be let off food duties. But let’s not forget those Mum’s that may not have had the opportunity for some down time – single parents with small children might well have gotten a bit miffed with all the mentions of lie-ins and slap-up meals and the like, so on days such as these, are there any meals that can be made with a minimum of fuss and effort but still befitting of such an occasion? Of course there are! We’re not talking beans on toast here, but something that feels a bit special without you every having to spend ages on your feet in the kitchen. It might not be quite the same as having the day off, but every minute saved counts…
My first recommendation is roast chicken. You might think this one is a bit strange – surely roasting anything requires a fair amount of planning and preparation? Well, just because you roast a chicken, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to serve it with all the trimmings. The actual roasting the meat bit of a roast is relatively simple – get a decent quality chicken, rub with a small amount of butter or oil, season, and then place either some fresh herbs, a quartered apple and/or onion or half a lemon in the cavity to add extra flavour. Stick in the oven at 220 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes, the turn down to 180 minutes for approximately 45 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of the bird). When the juices from the chicken run clear, it’s ready, but let it rest before carving. And the easiest way to serve chicken? With some fresh bread and a bit of salad – this takes a fraction the time to prepare whilst still being a delicious meal in its own right.
Pasta is pretty darned easy to boil, but making the sauce to go with it from scratch will require slightly more effort. But when is a pasta sauce not a pasta sauce? When it is a pot of crème fraiche. Let me explain… chopping up some onions can take a bit of time, depending on how fast you are with a sharp knife, but crushing a couple of garlic cloves is a fairly quick move. Fry them for a few seconds in some hot olive oil, add a couple of tablespoons of crème fraiche, then toss in some chopped cherry tomatoes and a bit of fresh basil. Stir in the cooked pasta and season. Easy peasy.
Steak. It’s a contentious issue in my house, but there’s no denying that it’s very quick to cook. Contentious because we tend not to eat it too often – in my opinion, the only steak that should be eaten is a good quality one that’s come from a happy cow and unfortunately this sort of steak tends to come with a fairly large price tag. But, if you’re tempted to order a takeaway to treat yourself and get a break from the cooking, think about this – put the money towards some top notch steak instead and have yourselves a delicious steak sandwich. It will only take a few minutes to prepare and will be a fair bit healthier than chicken chow mein and prawn crackers. Although there’s nothing wrong with chicken chow mein and prawn crackers every now and again…[indeed-social-media sm_list='fb,tw,goo,rd,pt' sm_template='ism_template_3' sm_list_align='horizontal' sm_display_counts='true' sm_display_full_name='true' ]