My dad gave me a copy of Delia Smith’s best-selling book Dinner For One recently. I’m sure it was meant in good taste, to encourage me to cook more as a uni student instead of relying on junk food and ready meals, but to me, it was a crushing reminder of my failure to form any meaningful long-term relationships. Why the fuck should Delia be judging me for being single when she’s cooking up basic-ass recipes like “Spiced Rice” and “Another Such Basic Recipe”? I ain’t gonna get into anybody’s bed when I’m serving “another basic recipe” realness.
Anyway, that’s not the point. One morning, I woke up and thought ‘I deserve to eat good food by myself in the comfort of my own grim shared kitchen, without having to wait for the excuse of someone else coming over,’ and that’s where this recipe comes from. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I once had a really nice brunch burger that’s no longer on the menu of a popular dining establishment of my hometown (@ curio lounge y u do dis to me?) so here’s my spin on it. It’s great to eat when you’ve got a lazy day ahead of you but it’s also not a lot of hassle to do in the early hours of the morning. Plus, it has at least one of your five a day in!
A Bread Vessel – wrap, bap, pitta, whatever floats your boat
Two thicc slices of halloumi – for a vegan version, use tofu
The Spice Mix: equal shakes of cinnamon and chilli powder, plus a pinch of nutmeg
A nice ol’ drizzle of honey – enough to make Winnie the Pooh’s mouth water
One slice of black pudding – for a veggie version, replace with your favourite frozen veggie burger
A wee bit of oil to fry with – but not too much! – you’ll nail the amount on the third try
Two or three nuggets of frozen spinach. If it works for Popeye, it’ll work for you
A decent knob of butter – again, third time lucky on the quantities
Cleave the halloumi into strips and dry-fry them on a medium to high heat in a frying pan. Poke them a bit to try and squeeze the liquid out, then flip them over every twenty-ish seconds to keep them cooking evenly on both sides. When the halloumi starts to sizzle, add the cinnamon and chilli powder to the pan and coat the browning slices with the spices. After about another thirty seconds of sizzling, fish the halloumi out of the pan, shove them into your bread vessel and drizzle with the honey.
Next, add some oil to the still hot pan and chuck in the black pudding so that any leftover spices rub off on it. Whilst this is frying, quickly chuck the frozen spinach into a bowl and whack it in the microwave for however long it takes to defrost (check packet). Once the black pudding has finished frying, chop it into halloumi-strip sized slices and add to the bread vessel.
Grab your spinach out of the microwave whilst it’s still hot, add a decent scrape of butter to it, sprinkle on your nutmeg and mix it all together. Spoon the mixture into the bread vessel, and then voilà, you’re done!
Eat away, messily.
Words and images, Dan Guthrie – @danglefree