Time to think about speedy after-work suppers, rather than leisurely aperitifs on the terrace.
And this is where leftovers come into their own: the wonderful thing about leftovers is that often they are already cooked- and just need assembling into something appetizing.
For example- this is my 3 Minute Biriyani:
Put a pouch of pilau rice into the microwave for 2 minutes, meanwhile fry some onion and peppers in oil and then add leftover chicken strips which have been tossed in tikka seasoning. When the ping sounds, mix the rice with the chicken (add sultanas or toasted almonds if you like) and your meal is ready. I served this with some leftover Bronze Vegetable Curry (one of my 'Olympic' dishes which I had in the freezer.)
Fish is another speedy standby- try my Six Minute Salmon:
Coat salmon fillets in either chilli dipping sauce or soy sauce and a little honey (for a teriyaki style).
Microwave for 4-5 minutes or grill, turning through 90 degrees each minute to cook through.
If you prefer, cook the salmon plain and flake it into some pasta, add some cream, some seasoning and some grated cheese (parmesan, emmental or grana padana):
Nice glazed with honey and some coarse grain mustard - as in this picture.
You can make pronto pizzas too from whatever is in the fridge: olives, ham, mushrooms, peperoni etc . A really simple base can be made very quickly and crisped up in the frying pan.
Mix 4 heaped tablespoons self raising flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix to a dough with some milk or natural yoghurt. When it is smooth, flour a board and roll the dough out thinly to fit the shape of your frying pan.
Oil the pan, slip in the dough circle and begin frying- then arrange your toppings as it fries. After a few minutes, lift it with a palate knife at one side to see if it is golden and crispy. If it is, slip the pan under the grill and grill until the toppings are bubbling and cooked. Less than 15 minutes all in I reckon.
duck and lentil salad
I noticed in the paper today that Jamie Oliver is doing a new series and book called '15-minute Meals' or some such. Nice to know I'm on-trend. I wonder if he'll use any of mine?