We've been eating fast food this week. Burgers, hot dogs, stuffed mushrooms, pizzas... Hang on, stuffed mushrooms?? Life is too short to stuff a mushroom, according to Shirley Conran. I disagree. The stuffed mushroom is actually quite easy to throw together for a weeknight dinner. The trick is to use just one mushroom per person. One really, really big mushroom. Here's how it works.
Turn on the oven to 180C, and pop a couple of spuds in the microwave for 5 minutes to start the weeknight baked potatoes. While that's happening, clean the mushrooms and pop them in a shallow baking dish, with a drizzle of water on the bottom so they won't dry out and go leathery. Rip up a couple of slices of bread into crumbs in a bowl. One slice per mushroom. Add any herbs, spices, and bits and pieces that you like. Add some melted butter and an egg or two to bind. Squoosh into the mushrooms. Spray a bit of olive oil on top. Bake for 20 minutes, along with the potatoes. Make a salad or steam some greens while it's baking. All done in around half an hour. It's a nice vegetarian dinner, unless you've added ham or bacon or something.
I won't give a proper recipe, because actually this latest lot weren't the best. I had some shreds of sundried tomatoes, some caramelised onion, and some crumbled Small Cow fetta, and lots of pepper and parsley, so the flavours were good. But I tried going low fat, and the texture came out too dry. It was still quite edible, but definitely not one of my best efforts.
I'll make a few notes on the other fast foods we've had this week. Hamburgers are simply plain minced meat rolled into 100g balls, and squished into a frying pan. There are all sorts of recipes for hamburgers, with breadcrumbs, herbs, onions, and so on - and these can be fun, but are basically unnecessary. Serve the burgers in nice grainy wholemeal rolls with some salad. Don't forget the beetroot! We had caramelised onion, too.
Hot dogs - well, I kid slightly. We had some cocktail frankfurters left over from a party, and to bulk up the soup dinner we had some of them on the side. Frankfurters are a good addition to a lentil soup.
Pizza? Honestly, no Italian would acknowledge this variant. Wholemeal pita bread rounds with a commercial pizza sauce, topped as you wish, baked at 200C until nice and hot, and the cheese is melted. It takes about ten minutes. I made one without the sauce, with just caramelised onions and gorgonzola. The rest had cheese: a mix of cheddar odds and ends, not even mozzarella. Tonight I added some ham, olives, capsicum, pineapple and shallot. I was out of anchovies and pickled jalapenos. Make a quick side salad while the cheese is toasting and there's dinner.
You may have noticed the caramelised onion theme. These are not fast food unless you have them already prepared. To do that, all you have to do to is slice up a half dozen onions, pop them in a frypan with a little oil, and cook them very slowly for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Edit: as Fiona pointed out in the comments, both the stuffed mushies and the pita pizza are great for using up loose ends of things from the fridge. I originally forgot the "no waste" tag. Thanks, Fi!