I do love Easy Food magazine. The recession certainly needs its ethic, and it’s one publication that’s been patiently honing its act and biding its time until we’re all poor enough to require it. Now, I’m not saying it’s the home of remedial food, but it certainly takes the responsibility of its title very seriously indeed. And literally. It does stop short of saying: “For that special, ‘restaurant appetizer’ experience, in the comfort of your own TV room, simply: open a tin of tomato soup; pour into a pan; heat for five minutes; then serve in bowls, garnished with shreds of doughy, white sliced pan” – but only just.
Takes its ingredients list for ‘chicken jalfrezi’ – 2tbsp vegetable oil, 400g chicken breasts and 1 jar of Patak’s Meena’s Spicy Jalfrezi Sauce. Hang on, isn’t that just the ‘Serving Suggestion’ on the jar? No wonder they call it Easy. Oh, I forgot, you could add chopped, fresh coriander leaves (optional) too.
“BUT…” they say later on, “what if I don’t have fresh herbs?” Well, you “simply substitute them with half the quantity of dried herbs”. Which will certainly work if it’s a dish stipulating use of fragrant, freshly picked basil leaves; but, don’t fret if you have no dried basil to substitute it with – ‘simply’ cutting up tiny little pieces of green crepe paper will taste just as nice. And I’m not joking.
Finally, you haven’t lived until you’ve attempted their Knorr-sponsored zenith of culinary masochism and shanty town frugality, ‘Spaghetti with corned beef sauce’. To make it, simply… oh, never mind.
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