Husband sent me a BBM during the day suggesting we have a mezze platter of sorts for dinner. I cringed inwardly because the last thing I feel like doing after a long day at my day job, is giving myself extra work at my night job. And mezze platters sound like extra work to me. All those many little dishes instead of just one big pot of stew – come on, which tired mother wouldn’t choose the latter?
Anyway, I bit my tongue and Googled a thing or two and I must say so myself… the results were good. Oh so good. Besides the yummy-ness, it was really quick to prepare and something that the whole family enjoyed.
The first thing we made was flatbread. I got this super easy recipe off Jamie Oliver’s website. It took literally 2 minutes to prepare the dough in my phantasmagorical food processor (remember this post, you know I love my food processor – it literally makes cooking like a dream!) and then Hubby grilled them for me. Each one took roughly 3 minutes in the pan. There’s no yeast in these things, so there’s no “leaving to set” or “allowing to rise” time required. You literally mix, knead, roll and toast. Delicious. I will make these over and over again – as a side dish to curries or potjies, as a snack for the kids or as a delicious “dipping tool” when we have dips or spreads on the menu.
Next I made hummus. Why the heck didn’t anyone tell me how simple it is to make your own? No offence Woolies, but I shan’t be buying your delicious hummus any longer. Because as delicious as it is, mine was close up there, hey. Using my food processor again, I blitzed this hummus up in about 5 minutes. Serious! Here’ the simple recipe I used. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, or maybe it was the novelty of dipping their flatbread into it – but that bowl got empty fast! I love hummus as a snack on its own with a carrot stick or just on my finger a teaspoon, I can eat it like some people eat peanut butter out of the jar. Or I use it as you would margarine on your sandwich and of course it’s a must for wraps or pitas.
I made tzatziki using another simple recipe. Although I don’t know what Kosher Salt is and I didn’t have lemon zest so I just used normal lemon juice – it still tasted delish. I love the freshness of tzatziki and that little bit of tartness just at the end. This took me another 5 minutes to mix together. Had I made stew, I would still have been sitting with a magazine in hand, waiting for the meat to braise, in the time that I had made all three of the above.
I boiled some eggs, fried some samoosas and cut up some cheese sticks for the kids. And that, my friends, was supper. I laid everything out on pretty platters and we all just got stuck in with our hands. I am definitely going to use this menu when I have friends over. It makes a nice change to the usual suspects which find themselves on our dining room tables AND there’s so much you can do with this base… next time I’ll add a guacamole dip, or a sundried tomato relish, or even a pâté or two (store bought unless I can blitz it in my food processor and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes) – the possibilities are endless!
I am not much of a cook, but I do enjoy trying new things that actually work and that suit my lifestyle – quick, easy and cheap (and I am referring particularly to what I eat over here in case you’re getting any ideas.) This whole meal didn’t cost me more than R60, excluding the samoosas which I always keep handy in my freezer. SERIUUUUS!
Go on and try it and let me know what you think! Happy cooking!