Not just in that 'I wonder how long is it until lunch time?' that comes over me whenever I'm in any kind of office. But also in a 'I'm not going to get home until 8 o'clock and I've just got a packet of mince and an old aubergine in the fridge and I've only had a sandwich and a satsuma to eat since breakfast and I'm starving!' kind of way. You know.
And the strange thing is that often when I get home after such a long day, that's often when I cook some of my nicest dishes. Suppers that take about 15 minutes and very little effort to make and which both satisfy and comfort me after a stressful, cerebral day.
Here's tonight's super-quick store cupboard triumph.
Quick spicy lamb with couscous
- 500g pack of lamb mince
- 1 aubergine - diced
- 1 tin of chickpeas - drained
- 1 red onion – finely sliced
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Moroccan spice (see photos below)
- Bunch coriander – finely chopped
Couscous or toasted pitta breads to serve.
Unless you buy extra lean cuts, which are much more expensive, lamb can be very fatty. To get round this I use a tip from Hugh F-W. Fry the lamb mince on a dry non-stick frying pan over a high heat, stirring occasionally until no pink meat is left. Then tip the mince into a metal colander or sieve to drain away the fat, while you cook the vegetables.
Add a slug of olive oil to the frying pan that you used for the lamb. Fry the onion and aubergine over a high heat until browned and softened. Add the Moroccan spice and the lamb, drained of its fat, and continue to stir fry for one minute.
Tip in the tin of tomatoes and the drained chickpeas and leave to bubble steadily for 10 minutes while you sort out the couscous.
To serve, sprinkle over the chopped coriander and spoon onto couscous. Add a dollop of natural yogurt too, if you’ve got some.
Oh, and I haven't been so busy at work that I couldn't catch up on Nicole's wonderful month of daily recipes as part of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo - I can't say that no matter how slowly I speak). Check out the utterly amazing Red Velvet Cake - I can't decide whether I am truly freaked out by it or whether I'm just in awe. A little bit of both I think.