Here, chefs, Jo Barrett (Oakridge, VIC) and Mitch Orr (who’s heading to the soon to open Ciccia Bella), share the recipes they believe that everyone (regardless of cooking skill) should be able to master before they turn 30, with tips to stop you reaching for your phone every time mealtime rolls around.
1. Prawn and kimchi omelette
Jo’s tip: An omelette is such a simple meal, and this is one of my favourite dinner options because it’s so easy to make. It even feels a little gourmet if you’re trying to impress someone. My tip for making this meal as efficient as possible is that you can buy pre-cooked and peeled prawns to speed up the process to getting dinner on your plate. Plus eggs should always be a staple in your fridge.
2. Bitter Melon omelette
Mitch’s tip: I think you need to be adventurous with your meals in your twenties and experiment with different flavours, so that’s why the bitter melon omelette is the perfect starting point. It’s a less refined version of a French omelette so you can be a little rougher when throwing it together and the bitter melon gives it a crunchy texture that meshes well with the egg’s softness. It’s perfect for a beginner.
Good for breakfast (lunch or dinner!)
3. Potato tortilla with caramelised onions and chive mayonnaise
Jo’s tip: I’m really passionate about reducing waste and for most people in their twenties, saving money is important so knowing how to use your leftovers to make meals is a must. This potato tortilla can be made with last night’s roasted potatoes and the mayonnaise from all those extra eggs you tend to find in your fridge. Divide the tortilla in containers for work lunches or for an easy dinner with your mates.
4. Steamed egg custard with sesame garlic bok choy
Jo’s tip: A great investment for your kitchen should be a bamboo steamer because it’s simple to use and it also works to make healthy meals. This steamed egg custard is a light dinner option mixed with the bok choy and doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to cook. That sure beats the hour long wait for the delivery guy.
5. Italian meringue turned marshmallow
Mitch’s tip: The marshmallow only has five ingredients so you can’t go wrong with this classic. The great thing is, you can flavour it with absolutely anything before setting the mixture or you can store it for a later time. If you’re after a sweet treat, add cinnamon, cocoa or coconut or spice up your desserts with added marshmallow and Sichuan pepper. Have fun with them and don’t worry if you don’t own a blow torch, pop them under the grill to give them some colour and they’re great for s’mores.
6. Almond Swiss roll with strawberries, lemon myrtle & vanilla custard
Jo’s tip: A sponge dessert is extremely easy to make, and everyone should master this because it’s great for entertaining and when you need a slice of something sweet to keep you going. With the custard, there’s a notion that it’s a complex dish and therefore often bought from the store rather than made fresh. Sponge and custard go hand in hand for me as a dessert staple and it’s delicious without being overly sweet.
For more inspiration, visit https://www.australianeggs.org.au/recipes-and-cooking/