Sam Stern's tips and recipes for student cooks

Date:12-09-2013 07:58:03 read:1

Sam Stern's tips and recipes for student cooks

Chef Sam Stern, who wrote his first cookbook when he was just 14, offers top tips and favourite recipes for students heading off to university.

Sam Stern: 'Don't get stressed out if things go pear-shaped: you will learn from it. I still make mistakes all the time.' Photo: Jeffrey Stern
< >
  • Student recipe

    Simple roast pork with apples

  • Student recipe

    Fast frittata

  • Student recipe

    Spatchcock chicken

10 top tips for student cooks

1. Try and get the basics down before you leave home if possible: you will know what recipes work for you and what equipment to take. There won’t be much storage, so only take the essentials.

2. Get someone to cook with you if you haven’t cooked before: if you can't find someone, then follow the recipe very carefully.

3. Don't get stressed out if things go pear-shaped: you will learn from it. I still make mistakes all the time. The mark of a good cook is learning how to rectify these mistakes and this comes with time.

4. Give yourself enough time and always read the recipe through before you start. Cooking in a relaxed environment is much easier. I find that listening to music always helps.

5. Look out for good places to shop: butchers and fishmongers can give you great value and taste over supermarkets. They can also give you some great advice for what to do with cheap cuts of meat or mystery vegetables.

6. Remember vegetarian food is cheap and can be just as tasty. Save your meat money for quality. A lot of the world's cuisines don’t use much meat and they can be some of most creative, flavorsome and healthiest.

7. Chip in together to create your store cupboard - herbs, spices etc. These can be expensive but not if you are sharing. They make a world of difference to the finished results so are well worth it.

8. Great eating starts with smart shopping: make a plan when you head to the supermarket. Planned meals mean fewer impulse buys. Don’t shop when you are hungry or you will do the same. Shop at the end of the day as you will find the reduced section fully stocked, which means great bargains. Supermarket own-brands can be better and cheaper than named brands. Remember to look for the products with the longest sell-by dates too - you can often find them by rummaging around.

9. Plan food that will last for more than one meal if you can. For example a whole chicken is more expensive than a fillet but can make four other meals. A curry, stew or tart can last for days and are often cheap to make. The freezer is your friend!

10. Cooking with your friends and flatmates is not only a great social event but reduces costs by splitting the bill. Every Tuesday night we had a dinner party for 10-15 people, each person chipping in a few quid, which allowed us to have great piles of homely roast dinners and many laughs.

'Sam Stern's Cookery Course for Students in the Kitchen' by Sam Stern, published by Quadrille Publishing, £18.99. Photography by Chris Terry

    Ever For Health Copy Rights 2013