Ultimate Challenge: £10, one person, microwave (and hob), 20min decadent menu

Ultimate challenge: £10 student microwave (and hob) 20min menu 

I’m not sure you are technically allowed to review yourself when writing a blog but having addressed the ultimate  challenge for any student. You have finished a module of your exams, you want to treat yourself but all your friends are still busy. You can’t really afford (nor would you want to ) to eat alone in a restaurant and you only have a microwave. On top of that your fridge is the size of a shoebox and you can almost guarantee that anything left in it will go off before it has been worth the money you paid for it, plus you are trying to be relatively healthy but are pretty damn hungry. You also (in this woman’s case) have recently purchased a ridiculous amount of amazing bordeaux wine for only £3 a bottle,  what is the point of going out anywhere.

Yes I was lucky to find the £4 rump steak (reduced from £5) but otherwise….and it is £10.41 but who is counting!!!!

Ingredients

2x Mussels in white wine sauce (save one for later) – £2.99

4x bread rolls (3x lunches for the week) – £0.69

Rump steak 200g – £4

1x sweet potato (save half for later) – £0.49

Asparagus bunch (save half for later) – £0.49

1 muller light coconut and lime yoghurt – £0.69

4x lightest cream cheese individual packs (save 1 for later) – £1.00

6 large eggs (save 5 for later) – £1.15

1 snack pack Belvita breakfast biscuits – £0.50

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20:00 Whisk together 1 egg, yoghurt and cream cheese until smooth.

19:00 Pour into a microwave proof dish. Chop the sweet potato into thin strips (the thinner they are the better they work).

18:00 Chop the asparagus and place in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Season a frying pan with salt, pepper and a very small drizzle of oil. Place on a high heat to heat up.

17:00 Meanwhile place the cheesecake in the microwave covered in a small piece of paper towel. Microwave on high for 1min, it should be mostly cooked. Microwave in 20sec bursts until cooked in the centre. Crush the biscuits into crumbs and sprinkle over the top, refrigerate.

16:00 Put the mussels in a saucepan to heat up (roughly 4 mins). Place the bread roll in the microwave on a low heat for about 45s    ec to warm up. Put the steak on to fry, roughly 2mins on each side for medium rare.

12:00 Cover the steak in foil and put aside to rest. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper a small drizzle of oil and smoked paprika. Put in the microwave on medium high for 10mins. Meanwhile eat your mussels and crusty warm bread.

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02:00 Boil water and cook the asparagus for about 2mins. Turn the microwave to high and cook the potatoes for a further 2mins.

00:00 Serve. Eat cheesecake after.

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When In Bruges…

When In Bruges
If you haven’t yet been to see the 39 steps in the Criterion theatre I would strongly advise getting a ticket (not that it seems to be going anywhere soon, they just celebrated their 3000th performance….). After you’ve been to see the fast paced, british slapstick comedy piece of genius, you might be peckish (we certainly were at 10pm). We headed over to what can be described as possibly too trendy for the group of Cambridge students that encountered it but I was very glad that we did go there because despite the overly trendy feel of exposed piping and industrial staircase the food was delicious and very good value. A restaurant called BELGO. I’ve been told the beer was rather good but I’m afraid the meagre sip of honey beer I tried just tasted like beer to me – I clearly haven’t had enough beer to taste the subtle nuances of different flavours. I did like the exciting looking test tube that one of the beers came in, and exciting presentation does always make me like things better, but I’m still not sure I would’ve liked any of the beers their no matter how superior their glassware.
Having ordered and declaring ‘I am a Snob’ to order the Snob mussels (well employed someone else to do it on my behalf – I was chicken), we were impressed when the starters came within minutes – did I mention it was 10pm? I made a very wise choice with the duck salad. It came warm with soft and crunchy croutons ( I do mean this), a perfectly on the cusp of soft boiled egg, some sort of delicious dressing (I would love the recipe) and hidden treasure troves of black pudding. Passing the salad round it got approval from all areas. Although a close second was the chicken liver pate which came with giant sourdough croutons and was rustic but spreadable with a salty smooth flavour – pretty sure I can create this one at home, watch this space. The melting gruyere cheese croquettes were never going to be my choice not only were they too cheesy for me, but also served with beer relish… however I was assured from all sides that they lived up to the hype and a very popular option round the table. There was also the lobster bisque which looked like a rather dull butternut squash soup but one sip was enough to show the there was a really deep seafood flavour, it wasn’t grainy and it wasn’t too thick or thin, I was almost jealous but luckily I was having the snob mussels for main, champagne, cream and lobster.

 
The blondie decided to splash out on the ‘add half a lobster for £10’ deal, although all of us were questioning whether surf and turf really expanded to include pork belly… As I’m afraid has been the case before I think the lobster was some what of a disappointment. The lobster lovers out there will probably heavily berate me for saying this but as my opposite dining partner said, lobster really only tastes properly fresh if it is cooked from living in a pot of boiling water (now I’m off to hide before the witch hunt comes) and this one was probably frozen… The sauce on my mussels was absolutely heavenly, full of flavour, decadent and the mussels weren’t chewy or overcooked. My only gripe was possibly I would’ve preferred to be offered bread to mop up the sauce, the fries were nice, but they were nothing special. I believe the same was said of the classic mussels, they were excellent too. I’m afraid I didn’t here much about the pork belly and half chicken as they were sitting down the other end of the table.

We finished the meal around midnight with a surprise plank of shots appearing from somewhere. I am still not entirely sure what these shots were but the menu described them as SCNAPPS SHOTS: MIXED SHOT STICKS IN A VARIETY OF FLAVOURS. I believe I smelt, apple, vanilla, chocolate… etc
Probably should’ve gone for the waffles/ice cream, the salted caramel flavour looked really good. Belgo – I shall be coming back!