frugal cooking

28April

Nigel Slaters Swirly sausage and amazing cheesy roast potato mash

Nigel Slaters Swirly sausage and amazing cheesy roast potato mash

Once upon a time, in fact.......... a long time ago. Last century in fact, there was a time when on a Saturday when you would nearly always find me in the Pub on a Saturday lunchtime.

Our local at the time, which is no longer in existance, sadly (I think they knocked it down and built some appartments on the space) started doing a menu for lunch which was served on sizzlers.

Nearly everything was less than a fiver, and came with a pile of chips.......chips which were of course so salty that you had to have a pint of beer to wash it down with.

Of all the sizzlers, my favourite was the cumberland sausage (I wont tell you what its nickname was) and since those days I have not had many curly sausages.

 

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07April

Lamb Pasticcio - A Greek Family Dish

Delicious either Hot or Cold

Lamb Pasticcio - A Greek Family Dish

This is not a dish for you if you don't like Lamb.  I would suggest its probably very nice with Beef mince, but due to the lack of punchy flavours, this dish tastes very lamb-ie.

As a result my Husband wasnt at all impressed, and I think would have much preferred I had constructed a Bobotie.  However I am not at all happy with the topping on a Bobotie as it feels a bit like an omlette on top of your dinner.....something not quite right there.

So perhaps next time I venture this way Ill use the Bobotie base and the Pasticcio topping.

For those of you who have never ventured the way of a Bobotie try it - the Good Food recipe is quite a good one to start with.

 

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19March

Not quite Spinach and Ricotta cannelloni, but just as delicious

Family tea for little more than a bag of spinach, a pot of cottage cheese and a couple of eggs

Not quite Spinach and Ricotta cannelloni, but just as delicious

I have written this blog entry for Alan.  A friend of my Husbands, who thought that the dish looked delicious and complicated.  However its not and with the simplest of ingredients you end up with the most frugal of family suppers.

The Ingredient list is as follows.

- 300g of spinach

- 300g of cottage cheese with chives

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12March

A Casserole of Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

A great warmer after a day in the garden with the dogs

A Casserole of Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

Beautiful day today, so glad we had preplaned and prepped this meal so that we didnt have to slave in the kitchen, but instead could spend our day in the garden with timber care and tidying the shed.

We added vaccum packed precooked chestnuts to our dish but mushrooms would be nice too.

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12March

Roasted Squash, bacon, pecan and feta supper with a touch of spice

Salty supper for a Spring Day

Roasted Squash, bacon, pecan and feta supper with a touch of spice

The wild rice pumpkin and feta salad on this blog here is a massive hit is house, particularly with my teenage daughter whom I think would have this dish as a preference over pretty much anything.

Today's dish is simlar but the pine nuts have been replaced with Pecans, the pumpkin roasted iwt the onions and the addition of cinnamon and cayenne gives the dish just a little heat.

 

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12March

Cheese and Onion Pie - a British Classic

No Pastry version of the British Classic

Cheese and Onion Pie - a British Classic

Cheese and Onion.........its a marriage made in heaven.  Perfect as a sandwich filling, probably the best crisp flavour.  My husband has a problem with extra mature cheddar, just the smell of it sends him heading for the veg drawer in order to snuffle and slice of onion. For me Cheese and onion is the best pasty filling, but I am not sure I ever thought making a whole pie out of it until  I started looking in to it as an idea and discovered that theres a million different ideas on the subject.

Everyone has an opinion on what goes in the classic cheese and Onion pie, and mostly everyone thinks it needs to be enclosed in a pastry case.............so heres one which doesnt have a pastry case for those of you who can take or leave pastry.

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12March

Rick Steins Circassan chicken

Another excellent recipe from Rick Stein's wonderful book

Rick Steins Circassan chicken

So far, dipping in to Rick Steins Venice to Instanbul book has been a complete joy.  The book, like the series was and is a feast for the eyes and whilst we dont eat fish, (and there is a large section of the book devoted to fish) there are lots of recipes in this book to try which from the ingredient list alone you know are going to be a hit.

Confidence is built when the lovely Mr Stein gives you a picture of the finished dish, but there is no picture of Circassan Chicken, so we had to be brave.......the result however is lovely and worth the risk.

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25February

Meat free tea for the price of a tin of chickpeas and four carrots

Okay you will need a bag of spinach and some natural yogurt too!

Meat free tea for the price of a tin of chickpeas and four carrots

This all turned out to be quite a surprise.  I wasnt at all sure how with so few ingredients that we were going to get a family dinner.  To be honest this is really only a recipe for three with a few slices of bread, but it is very cheap so it would also cost very little to double the ingredients.

So to serve three adults you should get away with four large carrots, a 500g of Spinach and Rocket, and a 400g tin of chickpeas.  You also need cararway seeds a garlic clove, some freshly chopped coriander and some lemon juice, plus greek yogurt to serve.

However if you are intested in the opinion of my husband, he says it needs some toasted nuts (eg pine nuts or walnuts) to give it a little 'bite'

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15February

Fried Potatoes, Sausage and a Chopped herb topping (Gremolata)

Another hit with my Husband

Fried Potatoes, Sausage and a Chopped herb topping (Gremolata)

Some of you will know that occassionally I post the comments from my husbands Facebook page on here.  Todays comments from my husband on his tea tonight were as follows:- 

There was a time when a packet of sausages and some potatoes meant sausage, mash and onion gravy. Now look! Its called fried Potato and Sausage with Herb Gremolata' and no that is not a spelling mistake, and no I had never heard of it either, but involved lemon zest, garlic, pine nuts, a whole chilli and coriander. Very warming

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14February

Wild Rice and Pumpkin, Feta Salad

A vegetarian Sunday Salad

Wild Rice and Pumpkin, Feta Salad

Theres been a bit of a repeating pattern in this house since the new year, and to summarise it, it appears that the roast lunch is out and has been run out of town by a Butternut Squash.

There has been a lead on this charge by roasting the squash, (this week with cumin), and serving it with Feta, but this week we had an interesting dressing, and added roasted nuts and two types of rice.

Quite quite delicious for a minimal amount of fuss, but you can't make this dish in a hurry unless you want to serve it warm..........which could work nicely

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11February

Chunky Sausage Lasagne

Easy storecupboard tea

Chunky Sausage Lasagne

This dish works well if you are organised enough to have the oven on the day before and cook the vegetables and sausages the day before.  Its not compulsory but it makes the dish easier to assemble.

A packet of sausages, a few roasted veg and jars of pasta sauce, lasagne sauce and some lasagne sheets are all you need to make this delicious family tea.  If you use fresh pasta rather than dried then you can just grill the top and serve it up. If you use dried pasta then the dish needs to go in to the oven for 40-60 minutes.

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10February

Butternut Squash and Lentil Dhal

Super healthy seasonal vegetarian supper.

Butternut Squash and Lentil Dhal

This is a surprisingly cheap and easily prepared family tea. The only tricky bit is to peel the butternut squash, and then timing, just timing in getting it all together on the table on time.

Full of seasonal colours with a dash of vibrant flavours, this makes a fabulous mid week supper and if you keep the butternut squash small you can have the meal on the table within thirty minutes.

Low fat, low in calories and comes in at two of your five a day

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08February

Choice, carrot, coriander and chorizo chowder

Warming chunky soup

Choice, carrot, coriander and chorizo chowder

Its the Prep on this which takes the time, but be sure to do it before you start, because the veg needs to be prepared quite small because most of the soup isn't blended so you have to cut it up spoon sized.

Theres quite a lot of veg to prep, but you do end up with a delicious spicy soup which makes six portions or will give you five very generous lunches , and if you want to make it a vegetarian then just leave the chorizo out theres enough flavour here for it to stand on its own without the chorizo, but you might like to add a bit of paprika in its place.

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07February

Spiced Mince with a rosti topping - it's like an indian cottage pie fusion.

Quick no fuss lunch when your kids have gone shopping with mates and theres just two of you for lunch

Spiced Mince with a rosti topping - it's like an indian cottage pie fusion.

I dropped my daughter in to the centre of the nearest city, and on the way home a need for Bonios saw me visit an out of town 'Home Bargains'.  

So that was that then, she was off having a lovely Sunday spending my money on lunch and probably disposable fashion, which left just me and my husband.......and as I drove away from Home Bargains and I could see those golden arches, for a second, but just a second, I pondered the Big Mac.

It didn't last long because............I can't really remember the last time I went to McDonalds.  Don't get me wrong, I don't disapprove  as an occassional treat,nor am able to sustain a twenty minute rant in a Jamie Oliver Stylie on the downsides to fast food....I just knew it was going to be vaguely disappointing and I could do better.

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06February

Pot Roasted Chinese spiced Chicken for a Saturday Night

Short coded Chicken in a Slow cooker

Pot Roasted Chinese spiced Chicken for a Saturday Night

I opened the fridge this morning to discover that my husband had bought a short coded chicken yesterday.

Always nice to get 50% off the cost of meat, but it did leave me with the dilemma of what to do with a roasting chicken when it wasn't a Sunday.

I didn't really want to stuff it and roast it in the traditional manner, afterall this was a Saturday and Saturday in my house means bowl food in front of the tv not a roast with all the trimmings at the dinner table.

I also didnt really have time to worry about it either.  Saturday is guitar lessons, weekly shopping breadmaking and house work so I wanted to do something with it and then just forget about it until five.  In the end I decided to put it in the slow cooker.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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