I cooked a three course meal for my Pollock pantry

No oven? No worries.

Living in catered halls definitely has its blessings – breakfasts so big you forget how you used to survive off just a bowl of cornflakes every morning, and sneaking out half your dinner stuffed in your North Face puffer jacket because it’s only available from 5 to 7.30, and you know in your soul you’ll be hungry again by 9.00.

But the struggles are real, too.

For some reason, despite only providing two meals a day, Pollock Halls don’t have any decent cooking facilities. That means no oven and no hobs, only a microwave and a kettle.

What happens when you’re too hungover to roll out of bed for breakfast? Or, like some students, you’ve got a lecture over dinner time? How many pot noodles or late night Chicken Club combo meals can you take before you begin to lose touch with your nutritious dinners you might be used to at home.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The next logical step? A fancy three course meal in your pantry, using only a microwave and a kettle.

*taking some of the ingredients from the JMCC somehow seemed more convenient than just buying salt, pepper, sugar and butter.

Lucky for you, we did some experimentation (with some very mixed results) to give you a head start:

First Course – Eggs Benedict 

First things first, and this is very important, poached eggs in a microwave are an absolute game changer. And it’s ridiculously easy too.

  • Fill a mug 1/2 way with water and add a pinch of salt.
  • Crack egg into mug,
  • microwave for 1 minute

Just look at that gooey goodness.

The hollandaise doesn’t work quite so well. Maybe it’s because I used a lime since the lemons at Lidl only come in bags of 6. Maybe it’s because I didn’t use enough butter due to rationing what I could steal from the dining hall. Maybe it’s because I can’t cook for shit. But I’ll put the recipe here anyway – it seems legit.

  • Add 4 egg yolks, juice from 1/2 a lemon, salt and pepper to a bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Pour in 1/2 a cup of melted butter while whisking.
  • Heat in microwave for 20 seconds, and whisk again.

Looks like puke and smells like it too

Main Course – Lasagna. 

A poor man’s lasanga, but lasanga nonetheless. Is there supposed to be mozzarella? I don’t know

Apparently just putting pasta sheets in tupperware and pouring boiling kettle water over them is enough to call it cooked. This is not true. Try putting the box in the microwave for a bit and it might stand a chance, but the edges will probably still be uncooked and stuck together, which leads to some very chewy pasta.

I’m embarrassed I even tried this.

Before we continue, let me to take this moment to remind you aesthetic isn’t everything. Although ugly, this lasagna actually tastes amazing.

  • Crumble mince in a bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Pour out the liquid that happens down the sink.
  • Stir in pasta sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for like 5 more minutes or just enough so it all heats up.

Layer up and microwave a bit more to melt the mozzarella and you’re sorted! (Due to the pasta drama I didn’t have enough to make a top layer although that is advised, this being lasagne. Because it’s just impossible to get pasta portions correct ever.)

The real winner here? Hungry housemates:

Cheese is the hero of this dish

Dessert – Mug Cakes.

that’s not nearly enough sugar, as it turns out.

If you’re a student and you’ve never even tried a mug cake, re-evaluate everything. They’re super easy and super tasty (if you have enough sugar).

  • In a mug, mix 1 egg, 4 tbsp of brown sugar, 1/3 a cup of flour, 2 tbsp of butter, and chocolate chips.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes ish or just whenever it sort of looks done.

Aren’t they cute?

So there you have it. Definitely posher and nicer than pot noodles, and just as easy.