Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Mouthful: Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals That Will Make Your Roommate Love You

    Weeknight meals are hard. They need to be quick, easy and most of all, cheap to even get a chance in the regular rotation. No wonder we so often resort to lame, thrown-together meals or packaged food after a long day. I’m here to say, it’s easier than you think–all it takes is a bit of creativity. Here are my favorites, time-honored and tested again and again by me and my increasingly spoiled roommate.

    (She spoils me too, it’s a two-way street.)

    1. Latkes

    A criminally underappreciated foodstuff except during Hannukah, latkes deserve to be in the spotlight more than once a year. All you really need are some potatoes and onions, a grater, a frying pan, and a few kitchen staples and you’ve got crisp, starchy goodness that’s a great base for just about anything you’d like to throw on it (though I’m partial to a pile of sauerkraut or an over-easy egg). I use Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, but there are a slew of similar ones all around the internet.

    2. Shakshuka

    Shakshuka is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, and I believe its name is Hebrew for “super cheap and easy but will still make your friends think you’re a god”. It’s made by cooking diced fresh chiles, onions, garlic and spices, then adding tomatoes and stewing until you have a gorgeous, flavorful sauce. Then just crack in a few eggs and serve the whole delicious mess on toast. The same concept executed with a jar of store bought tomato sauce will do in a pinch too.

    3. Fried rice

    I make a batch of fried rice approximately once every twenty minutes, and why shouldn’t I? All it takes is to sautée chopped onions, carrots, and some minced garlic and ginger in butter until softened, then add rice (ideally leftover, though freshly made rice that’s spent some time uncovered in the refrigerator works well too) and cook until golden brown. Add some soy sauce, then crack in and scramble a couple of eggs. Then laugh at your loved ones who can’t use chopsticks to save their lives. Sounds like a good evening to me.

    4. Egg in a basket

    Credit where credit is due: my roommate can make these better than I can. I am a mere apprentice in the field of egg-in-a-basketry, and she is my sensei. But I can get by, probably because these are so simple. Just cut a hole in the center of a piece of bread (Dave’s Killer Bread if you want to ascend to a higher plane of carb goodness), throw it in a frying pan with some butter and crack an egg in the hole. Generously add salt and pepper, and flip when things are starting to look a bit more solid. Then eat it and cry because nothing has ever tasted so awesome for so little work.

    5. “Fancy ramen”

    In the interest of full disclosure, I eat an embarrassing, inexcusable amount of ramen for a food columnist. But it’s with good reason, because even the humble bowl of ramen can be elevated with a bit of creativity. My friends and I call it fancy ramen: get your paws on a couple of packets of ramen (Nissin oriental flavor, please, I’m not here to mess around), and cook according to package directions. In the last minute or so of cooking, beat one egg per packet of ramen in a separate bowl. Once the timer goes off, slowly drizzle the egg into the ramen, wait a few seconds, and stir to create ribbons of egg in the soup. Then add sriracha, leave your pride at the door and devour.

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