Welfare Blog – Sunday 3rd Week (27/01/13)

Sandwich time!


This past week I have had a few requests for things that don’t require particular culinary talent, or, as in the case of front quad, a kitchen…

So this week everything is from Tesco’s, I wanted to make it as easy as possible. However, almost all of theses ingredients can be purchased from a good deli, either Taylors across the road, or the few in the covered market:


– First off, the bread. There is, in my mind, no substitute for a good old fashioned fresh baked granary loaf (£1.00-£1.50), still warm from the oven such that the butter melts! But, I know that this isn’t always practical, many a time I have got a full loaf, only to make toast with it on Monday and find it stale on Tuesday. I more often than not plump for a Hovis multi-grain granary loaf. My favorite being ‘7 seeds original’, at just shy of £1.50 it’s not as cheep as a standard white loaf, but the extra cost is by far worth it!


– Cheese fillings can be improved with a simple pickle. It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many times I have forgotten! The cheese itself, being the main attraction, can really make or break it for me. There is no comparison between tucking into a deliciously tangy mature cheddar and tomato sandwich, and two slices of bread surrounding a lifeless piece of mousetrap cheddar. Blue cheeses are generally to be avoided when it comes to the sandwich department. French soft cheese (Brie/Camembert) go really well with a little salad. And don’t forget Elemental, Edam & Jarlsberg! All these cheeses cost around £1.00-£2.00 for a decent chunk, or a pre-sliced  packet.


– Meat is a common sandwich filling, from straight sandwich ham, to the more exotic cured European meats. My favorite meats to fill a sandwich are European spiced sausages, (pepperoni, salami, chorizo etc.) As a replacement for ham, I discovered the eastern European meats section of Tesco’s, and all the wonders they stock. ‘Sopocka’ is a delightfully flavored ham, perfect for a light lunch, but in generall, all the meats in that section (across the isle from the cheeses in the local Tesco metro) are great!


If you have access to a frying pan & toaster and have a few minuets to spare, this is a fantastic little variant on a cheese sandwich:


Melted Cheese Sandwich (for 1, serve with crisps/ a piece of fruit, eat hot!)

– 2 slices of bread, toasted and buttered on both sides

– a few slices of good, mature cheddar cheese

– a lettuce leaf or two (enough for the sandwich)

– a good teaspoon of caramelised onion chutney

Construct the sandwich, order doesn’t really matter, but I always think they taste better when the chutney and the cheese are on the same side of the lettuce. Pop the sandwich into the frying pan and heat over a medium heat, turning it over every few minuets. The aim is to melt the cheese whilst not burning the bread! Its easier than it sounds and shouldn’t be a problem if you maintain the flipping and don’t bee to inpatient with the heat!

Once the cheese is sufficiently oozy, take it off the heat, slice in half, and enjoy!




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Welfare Blog – Sunday 2nd Week (20/01/13)

So, it’s Sunday again!

This week I decided to go for a simple recipe, though nice none the less.

Chorizo and chicken [Serves 1] (serve with any pasta, lovely on spaghetti, anything will do!):

– Handful of chorizo, coarsely diced

– Chicken breasts cut into thin strips/chunks

– Half a medium onion, diced

– 1 clove of garlic, crushed

– 2-3 tbsps of olive oil

– 3 medium tomatoes diced

So fry the onion in the oil over a medium heat until translucent, for around 5 mins. Add the garlic and quickly cook, being careful not to burn. Add the chorizo and heat for a few minutes until starts to brown. If the chorizo is already cooked, there is no need to cook it otherwise cook it through. The aim is to get some of the spice/flavour into the oil for the chicken find this.

Throw in the chicken and cook through, coating it in all the lovely chorizo oil. When the chicken is done, add the tomatoes, bring the juices to the boil on a low heat and simmer for a few minutes until reduced to a paste like consistency.

Serve over pasta with a good Spanish lager or a glass of dry white wine and enjoy.

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Sunday 1st Week (13/01/13)

I am a great believer that good food makes a happy mind, and so with that in mind I decided that I should compile some of my knowledge of food into a weekly column on the subject. Throughout the following I will list the prices of all the ingredients from both Tesco and from local delis, fish mongers, butchers etc. In my opinion, the quality gained by buying from a good supplier more than makes up for the extra cost, however, we are all students, and so even I will be doing some of the shopping from Tesco!

First of all, I think everybody should have a few cupboard essentials, often not on the student repertoire:

Olive Oil:
A good olive oil is much better than any vegetable equivalent for almost all European cooking. For £3.00-£4.00 from Tesco you can get a good 500ml bottle of the stuff. They last a long time, I cook with it nearly every night and it lasts me about a term.

Both red and green pesto can be used to brighten up relatively simple dishes. Filled pasta or small ravioli cooked in boiling water then thrown in a frying pan with half a jar of pesto, a good glug of olive oil and a squirt of tomato puree. Stir through until hot and serve with some sausages makes a lovely, quick and easy dinner.

Tomato Passata
This fantastic essential of sieved tomatoes got me through almost half of my dinners in the Tommy White kitchens.
A fantastically quick (less than 5 mins) and tasty pasta sauce can be made with half a carton of passata, a good squeeze of garlic puree, a little tomato puree, add herbs and season to taste. Add chicken, sausages or un-smoked, diced bacon for a meaty sauce, or enjoy as it is.

Whether in the pre-cooked deli meat form, or the smaller sausage form, this Spanish spiced sausage is a favorite of mine. It goes fantastically with chicken, dice it and put it in an omelette or fry it and use it in place of other sausages in many dishes.


This week I decided to go continental and try an interesting tapas recipe I picked up form Nigel Slater’s ‘Real Fast Food’.

Kidneys Cooked With Sherry: (for 2, serve with mashed potatoes)

8 lambs kidneys, halved and cores removed
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon of flour
1 wine glass of dry sherry
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper

Marinade the kidneys in the lemon juice for at least 10 minutes before you begin cooking.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Turn up the heat to boil away any liquid, being careful not to burn it all! Drain the kidneys and dry them on some kitchen paper. Add the kidneys to the pan and brown them on all sides, stir in the flour, and add the sherry and an equal amount of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley, taste, and season with the salt and pepper.


Kidneys can be a scary prospect for the inexperienced, Anna was quite apprehensive at first, but ended up loving it! The core is the white bit in the middle, it can be easily removed by cutting the kidney in quarters, once down its length, and once through the middle before using a sharp knife to cut out the white core from the corner. My kidneys absorbed all the lemon juice, and couldn’t practically be dried with the kitchen paper, so when I put them in they released quite a lot of liquid. If this happens, don’t worry! It will boil away to a thick liquid in about 2-5 minutes, then continue with the recipe as written above.

For this recipe I bought a nice medium dry Amontillado sherry from Oddbins on little Clarendon street for £7.50. (cheaper than Tesco, at £9.50). The kidneys were from Organic Meats in the covered market, they cost more than Tesco, but still only a couple of quid. (Tesco lamb kidneys £1.80 for 450g).

Also in the covered market, the Oxford Cheese Co. do some fantastic interesting cheeses, at the time of writing they stocked a lovely Austrian cheese ‘Tommes aux Fleurs’, at around £3 per 100g its not cheap, but its lovely nutty taste, and yeasty after taste make it fantastic for something a little different.

On the way into town I popped into Taylors, the Deli at the end of little Clarendon street. They stock all the normal deli things, meats, cheeses, olives, and jars and tins galore. They also do fantastic coffee! I bought a medium latte for £2.20, it was much nicer than the standard Costa fare, and about the same price!

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[JCR] 7th Week News

Hello Johnians,
Apologies for the delayed weekly news, it was due to unresolved technical issues using groupspaces.
Big shout out to all those who attended the JCR meeting. Minutes will be sent out in Mid-Week News. I am told that there are pictures and videos up on Facebook. This week I have some cracking videos for you. But before I let you know what they are, I hope you are in good health and having a good term.
The DVD Room, TV Room, JCR and Graves Room have been routinely left in an untidy state this term. On many occasions, Johnians have tidied up for those who made the mess. If this persists, the use of the rooms will be withdrawn which makes things difficult for everyone. Continue reading

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[JCR] 6th Week Mid-Week News

Dear Johnians,
I hope you are well and all is going good too.
Nominations for JCR Committee are still open. You can make a contribution to the JCR. If you are thinking of running, talk to present officers, check out our constitution and ask other JCR members what they would like to keep/change. The deadline is 7pm on Sunday. Continue reading

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[JCR] 6th Week News

Happy 6th week! I hope you are well and all is going well too.
What a cracking bop and in true Johnian Style, there were so many versions of Bond(age), villains and bond girls. However, we had a mishap; there was some damage to the roof near the toilet area.
With regard to the spillages and damages, sometimes accidents happen, however it is vital, not least to ensure the safety of all, that you report any damages, when they happen, to the organiser of the event. Continue reading

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4th Week News

Hello Johnians,
Today is one of those special days, finale of the Premier league, Rugby sevens, finer weather, the music quiz night at GQ reception room and a bumper package of exciting news bulletin.
I hope you are well and your term is going great too.

A couple of notices
MONDAY at 4pm in the Prestwich room, new couples will be joined in pastoral matrimony. To get married, simply come along and sign down. There will be champagne and then the Wedding Formal. DO NOT FORGET TO BOOK IN TO FORMAL TOMORROW. Continue reading

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3rd Week News

Hello Johnians,
Thanks to all those who attended the JCR meeting a couple of hours ago where we passed motions on finalist packs and providing vegetarian options in Kendrew Café. I hope you are well and looking forward to an exciting 3rd week. Continue reading

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2nd Week News

Hello St John’s,

I hope your week is going great. Just a couple of important reminders.

John’s now has an anonymous forum for disabled students. It can be found by visiting the JCR website and going to the Disabilities page under the welfare heading, or by following this link: http ://www . sjc-jcr . com/disabilityforum/ Continue reading

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1st Week News

Hi All,
1st week already! I hope you are well and all is going great too.

The first JCR Meeting of term is tonight at 8:30pm in the Larkin Room. We will be discussing constitutional reform and motions on more food and newspapers. As always, there will be plenty to eat and drink. Continue reading

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