Now that winter has arrived it feels like barbeque season is a distant memory. If a five-burner beast is usually your place to shine, you don’t have to resort to beans on toast and Big Macs for the next few months. Even the most kitchen-shy blokes can cook up some great winter eats with little more than a slowe cooker, a pot and a frying pan. Best of all, these quick and easy meals look and taste so great, they’ll even impress your lady friends. Dig in, mate!
Pronounced kay-sa-dee-ah (see, they’re already less complicated than you thought), quesadillas are simple yet mighty Mexican eats that are a great way to use whatever leftovers you already have in the fridge. The main filling is cheese. You can add meat, spices and even vegetables, if you’re so inclined.
Grate your cheese and select your filling ingredients. You could add shredded chicken, left over beef mince, bacon, corn, chopped onions or capsicums, tomato – you’re pretty much only limited by your imagination. To make life easier, mix your filling ingredients in a bowl with a handful or two of melted cheese. Turn your pan or electric grill to a medium heat, and then place your tortilla in dry. There’s no need for oil, because tortillas are thin and cook fast. Plop a good dollop of your filling on one side of your tortilla, spread it over half, then the empty side of the tortilla over the filled side. Cook for a couple of minutes, then carefully flip your quesadilla to brown on the other side. Once the cheese is molten and melted both halves should be nicely stuck together. Remove from your pan, pop onto a cutting board, and then chop into halves or thirds. Serve on a plate with your choice of dipping sauce, such as sour cream, sweet chilli or guacamole.
Slow Sticky Ribs
Few can resist the sweet, sticky and succulent flavours of melt-in-your-mouth ribs – and this slow cooker recipe is so easy your simple-minded flatmate, Matt, could make it. Seriously. There’s no fucking this dish up, so go for gold and impress your mates. Just make sure you have plenty of napkins/ paper towels on hand because shit’s about to get messy.
1.5kg baby back pork ribs
2 cups BBQ sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
Salt and pepper
First dump your BBQ sauce, apple cider, sugar and spices in a bowl, and give them a good mix. Season your ribs with salt and pepper, then put them in your slow cooker and cover them with your sauce. Cook on low for around eight hours (recommended), or crank it up to high and cook for four hours if you’re short on time. Spoon your sauce over the ribs a couple of times during cooking, then – when your ribs are done and starting to fall off the bone – remove them from the slow cooker and place them on a cutting board. Cut the ribs, ladle the remaining sauce into a dipping dish and serve. Simple.
One of the worst things about cooking from scratch is the dishes – but this quick and easy meal takes the hassle out of clean up, ensuring you won’t get in trouble for leaving your pots and pans ‘soaking’ ever again. A great dish that serves six, you can whip it up in about 20 minutes for your mates, or freeze the leftovers in individual portions for nights you can’t be arsed cooking.
1 – 2 chicken breasts
500 grams linguini or fettuccini pasta
1 bunch green onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons olive oil
Dice your chicken into small chunks, and cut your carrots, capsicum and green onions into strips (around 5cm long). Grab a large pot, and add your chicken. Break your pasta in half and add to the pot, dry. Throw in your vegetables, sprinkle in your garlic powder, corn starch, sugar and chilli flakes, then pour your soy sauce, stock and olive oil over the chicken, pasta and veggies. Put the lid on your pot, bring to the boil on a high heat. Give everything a stir, turn your heat down to medium, and cook for another 15-minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll know everything’s done when your chicken is cooked through and most of the liquid in your pot is gone!
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