Recipes to master before turning 30

As told by two millennial chefs Jo Barrett and Mitch Orr

Jo Barrett and Mitch Orr

With millennials spending more than a third of their income on wining and dining, and one in five splashing the majority of their disposable income on Uber food and rides[i], Australian Eggs has partnered with two millennials chefs to help reduce your food delivery bills and sharpen your culinary skills beyond the basic scrambled and fried eggs.

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.

Jo Barrett says: “I created these recipes with my 30-year-old brother in mind. I appreciate that your twenties are a time of self-discovery so spending hours learning about and preparing food isn’t an option, especially for those with school or work on their plate. What I like about these recipes is that even if you mess them up, they’ll still taste delicious!”

“I think at the very least you should be able to master a few recipes and be able to whip them up from scratch. Take carbonara sauce as an example. They’re incredibly effortless to throw together when you know what tricks to use, like not putting the egg mixture straight in the pan without the pasta to avoid a scrambled egg situation. Next time skip the pasta sauce aisle and grab the fresh stuff!” recommends Mitch.

Budget dinners, reimagined

  • Mi Goreng with fried egg, chicken thigh and dry shiitake

Mitch’s tip: If you want to move away from two-minute noodles and step up your dinner game, mi goreng with a fried egg should be your go-to. Mi goreng is a cupboard staple when you’re in your 20s, but mix in some soy sauce, shaoxing, shiitake, chicken thigh, put an egg on it and you’ve turned packet noodles into a five-star dish. If you want that Instagram-worthy snap of your latest dish, don’t over-fry the egg because you want the yolk to ooze a little when you cut into it.

Mitch’s tip: Everybody knows and loves spaghetti carbonara but to be able to make the sauce from scratch and brag about it to your mates, now that’s pretty special. Once you give this Italian classic a go in the kitchen, you’ll never go back to the ready-to-use jar from the supermarket. On top of the fresh taste, it’s a great dinner for when you’re trying to use up all the extra eggs, cheese and spaghetti in your fridge and pantry.

Omelettes all day, everyday!

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.

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!)

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.

Jo’s tip: A great investment for your kitchen in your twenties 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.

Fool-proof desserts

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.

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.

 


[i] Vice, here’s what we learned from running Australia’s Biggest Millennial Money Survey, https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/438v3n/heres-what-we-learned-from-running-australias-biggest-millennial-money-survey