COOKING FOR ONE
Janneke Vreugdenhil’s delicious dishes for some quality me-time
Don’t have mince? Try swapping for prawns or tofu instead
‘This is a one-person version of the renowned Vietnamese beef soup, which can be made in a flash. Gobble up the noodles using chopsticks as you hold the bowl next to your mouth and take the occasional sip of soup. Slurp as loudly as you like, because no one will hear you anyway.'
Serves 1 Prep 10 mins plus standing Cook 10 mins £1.90 per serving
50g rice vermicelli a few drops of sesame oil 1 spring onion, sliced into matchsticks 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped 2 mint leaves, finely chopped (optional) 4 tsp light soy sauce, plus extra to taste, if you like 350ml beef stock (from a stock cube) ½ red chilli pepper 1 star anise 100g lean beef mince 4–5 shiitake or button mushrooms, sliced
1 Put the rice vermicelli in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let it stand for 3 mins. Turn into a colander, rinse the noodles with cold water, and mix in a few drops of sesame oil. Put the noodles back in the bowl. Add the spring onion and green herbs, 3 tsp of the soy sauce and some freshly-ground black pepper.
2 Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil along with the chilli pepper and star anise. Knead the final 1 tsp of soy sauce into the mince, and crumble this mixture into the pan with the stock. Then add the mushrooms. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 3 mins. Pour the stock into a bowl along with the meat and mushrooms. Add soy sauce to taste, if you like. And don’t forget to slurp.
Good old steak sandwich
Serves 1 Prep 15 mins Cook 5 mins £4.35 per serving
1 shallot, sliced into rings a small splash of red wine vinegar 1 entrecôte steak (around 150g) ¼ baguette or a crusty bread roll 1–2 tsp Dijon mustard 1½-2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 head Little Gem, leaves separated
1 Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the shallot rings into a small bowl, add the red wine vinegar and let it sit for 10 mins.
2 Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until very hot. Rub some salt into both sides of the entrecôte. Fry the meat for 1–1½ mins on each side. Place it on a cutting board, grind over some pepper and let it rest.
3 Warm through the crusty bread or rolls in the hot oven (or slice them open and toast in the steak pan). Meanwhile, stir the mustard into the mayo in a little bowl, to taste. Slice the warmed bread in half lengthways, then spread both halves with a generous amount of mustard mayo and add some lettuce leaves.
4 Slice the entrecôte diagonally and arrange the slices in the sandwich. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the shallot rings and sprinkle them over the meat. Top with the other half of the bread, and dinner is served.
Fry for an extra minute if you don’t like your steak rare