Sometimes though, I'll actually bother to rummage through my cupboard and have a root around my freezer, fingertips going slowly numb. I gave a hoot of surprise when I pulled out a bag of baby octopus and a few frozen prawns.
I would normally have cooked this with rice, but alas I was down to the last of the bag. Instead, some green lentils worked out well for this; nutty little grains that didn't sit too heavy on the stomach. Some fiesty spices, a bit of Meditteranean flavours and I had myself a dinner that you'd never known was scavenged from a near empty fridge. You can use whatever you've got leftover, but here's what I did.
Spicy Prawns with Octopus & Lentils (snazzy title, right?)
Feeds two (though I ate it all myself. Burp.)
50gr green lentils
3 baby octopus, defrosted
8 raw prawns, defrosted
3 large cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp tomato puree
2 birds eye chillis (or to taste)
1 green pepper
A handful of frozen sweetcorn
A handful of cherry tomatoes
100ml chicken stock
A handful each of coriander and parsley
Large knob of butter and a drizzle of oil
1/2 a lemon
Heat up a small pan of water and when its boiling, add the lentils. Dice the onion finely. Heat up a pan and add the butter and oil. Fry the onion slowly until softened. Dice the carrot, mince the garlic and finely chop the chillis and lob them in. Cook until the onions are golden brown.
Slice the green pepper finely. Rinse the rice and add to the pan along with the octopus, chopped roughly. Drain the lentils, put them in the pan with the paprika and the tomato puree. Stir to coat. Add the stock and bring up to the simmer. Add the green pepper and simmer on a medium heat for about 12 - 15 minutes. By this time the liquid should have absorbed or evaporated away. Chop the herbs finely, add half to the pan and stir in the sweetcorn. Halve the cherry tomatoes and scatter them around the lentils. Place the prawns on top and on a low heat, put the lid on the saucepan and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the prawns are completely pink. Throw the rest of the herbs on top, season with salt and pepper, add the halved lemon in wedges, and serve.