Well, the lunches project was not an unmitigated success. The salmon and potato salad worked well, packing the key ingredients in one box to be warmed up, with a dressing in a smaller pot to be added afterwards. The chorizo salad (as shown in one of my previous posts) was less of a triumph. How was I to know that our new tupperware wasn't microwaveable? After the plastic had fused to the slices of chorizo and filled the office with acrid smoke I wasn't all that popular with my workmates and it all had to be binned, leaving me with some salad leaves and croutons to keep me going until dinner time. Luckily a colleague stepped in with emergency supplies of chorizo purchased at the Tesco around the corner and I was saved. "Every day is a school day", as Mrs Jay likes to say. Which is a nice way of saying "You're an idiot. You've survived well over thirty years on this earth but sometimes I'm not sure that you tie your own shoelaces."
One thing that worked really well - but didn't microwave brilliantly - is the spring rolls and last week one of you asked me to post the recipe, so here it is. I'd always been a bit afraid of trying to make them as they look horribly difficult, but it's really not a faff at all.
1. Cook your favourite stir fry, and add some vermicelli noodles to the wok. I used a small pack of prawns (cut in half to avoid the rolls being lumpy) and a 300g bag of stir fry veg with ginger, sweet chilli sauce and a bit of fish sauce to season. This made 4 decent sized rolls.
2. Take a sheet of filo pastry for each roll and cut it in half. Brush one half with oil and lay the other on top of it. Lay a quarter of your stir fry mix along one side, leaving about 2cm on the long side and 3cm at each end.
3. fold the ends over the mix and roll from the front so that everything is enclosed. Brush with some more oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
4. bake in the oven at about 180 degrees for 15 minutes, with the seam of the roll downwards.
One makes a good starter, 2 with some salad on the side makes an excellent lunch.
With Mrs Jay heading back to the smoke next week to work after an arduous 9 months off looking after Master Jay (who now spends his days charming the pants off nursery staff - they seem to find it more amusing than we do when he blows a raspberry with a mouthful of food, bless them), I'll definitely have to spend some more time in the kitchen making sure there are decent meals to take in to town, but I think with a little imagination it can be done cheaply and well - and without resorting to that national institution, the over-priced sandwich bar.