Student Life: Recipes to Impress

Make friends the easy way: feed them up and get them merry. The Skinny takes you through some easy food and cocktail recipes that will score you brownie points in any student digs.

Feature by Megan Watson | 11 Sep 2008
  • The White Bits

Although in this day and age it may be something of a cliché to presume all students live on beans and pot noodles, there is still something to be said for impressing new chums with some culinary skills. Making your own posh nosh will save you pennies but more importantly demonstrate your wordly ways, satisfy the munchies, and be jolly good fun. Many a bonding afternoon can be had over a good old-fashioned home cooking sesh. And these Jamie Oliver-esque recipes don’t even require fire, just one of those good cheap blenders you can get down at Woollies.

Harmonious Hummus: Grab a can of chickpeas, the juice of a lemon, one or two garlic cloves, a slug of olive oil, pinch of salt and a spoonful of tahini (to be found at all good hippy shops). Blend together and serve with pittas and slices of apple – that’s your cue for your first dormitory toga party.

Proper Good Pesto: Get a handful of basil leaves, some pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and pecorino cheese (our Scottish cities are blessed with a plethora of decent 'mongers) and blend away, my friend. Serve on fish, pasta or put a blob on your new best pal’s nose and lick it off.

Curiously pink coleslaw: Roughly chop 1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 cabbage and a beetroot (or if you have a slicing device for your blender whizz them through that). Mix with half mayonnaise and half plain natural yoghurt, season to taste. A great accompaniment to home-made burgers.

And if you have are lucky enough to have access to a hob and oven in whatever student digs you choose to reside…

Rude Bwoy Reggae Reggae Chicken: Always a crowd pleaser, courtesy of Levi Roots from that telly programme Dragon’s Den. Cover 8-10 chicken thighs and legs with as much Reggae Reggae Sauce as you like (to be found in all good Sainsbury's). Roast in the oven for 40 minutes and serve with rice cooked in coconut milk mixed with kidney beans. Jerk chicken and rice and peas, easy stylee!

Crazy carrot and orange soup: Chop 5 or 6 carrots, an onion and a wee tattie and simmer in a pan with some chicken stock and dried tarragon. When soup-like in consistency squeeze in the juice of half an orange. Serve as is, or blended, for the baby food regressionists amongst you.


Cocktail party extraordinaire

One of the best ways to make friends and influence people at uni is to make like Tom Cruise. No, not turn all scientologist and date a whiney lass from Dawson’s Creek to hide your homo-erotic tendencies towards fighter pilots, I mean get practicing your flaring and make some classic cocktails. Thought of as a rather eighties pastime, cocktail parties are making a big comeback (off the shoulder dresses and tuxedos optional of course). You might have to be a cheapskate and get all your pals to chip in and bring a bottle of spirits, and you may end up doing shots of the left over crème de menthe, but if student days aren’t the time for that then just when is?

The Cosmopolitan: The Sex and the City sluts love this one. 2 measures of vodka, 1 of Cointreau, 1 of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. Shake together with ice and serve through a strainer in a chilled martini glass. Voila!

Mojito: Separates the boys from the men. Fill a long glass with ice and heap in a generous spoonful of brown sugar, the juice of a lime, a handful of fresh mint leaves and 2 measures of decent dark rum. Give it a good bashing around in the glass using whatever you can find, top up with soda water and garnish with a sprig of the mint. Also works exceptionally well with Brazilian cachaça.

Sex on the Beach: Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, you dirty devil. Add ice to a long glass then pour in shot of vodka and a shot of peach schnapps. Mix with orange and cranberry juice and some grenadine syrup. Serve with the obligatory crap umbrella.

Mad Dog (AKA The Brain): Minging but great. Pour 1/2 shot of red Aftershock and 1/2 shot of Baileys into a shot glass. Down in one.

Aberdeen Angus: Not a classic but rather topical, and will come in handy for the chilly nights ahead. Mix a dash of honey and lime juice in a cup, then add a shot of Drambuie warmed for a few minutes in a shot glass in the oven. Stir together and serve.