Author: Jack Monroe

How To Dry Mushrooms

Before your mushrooms go slimy in the back of the fridge, dry them out to store them. Dried mushrooms are marketed as a gourmet ingredient when, really, they’re very simple to make. I keep my eyes peeled for mushrooms on special offer, or in the reduced chiller at the supermarket, and stock up on them to dry out at home. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Clean any dirt from your mushrooms with a dry tea towel or dish cloth, with paper towel or – as I do – use a clean soft toothbrush. Slice or chop the mushrooms...

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Creamy Salmon Pasta, 33p

This speedy fish supper – really simply a tinkering with a cheap jar of fish paste – takes just a few lazy minutes to put together and tastes absolutely divine. The sharpness of the lemon complements the salmon flavour, and the yoghurt lends a creamy subtlety. When I first put this recipe on my blog, over 100 people tried it, admitting disbelief that such simple ingredients could make such a yummy meal – but it does! (For vegan and vegetarian readers, this recipe was published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014 – I have simply updated the prices...

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Bootstrap Budget Chilli, 25p

This chilli is adapted from a beef chilli recipe by Gordon Ramsay. I simply left out the beef and halved the wine to make it cheaper – plus, of course, Mr Ramsay doesn’t use a tin of cheap baked beans in his version! I’ve tweaked and fiddled with it so much over the years that now it’s not Gordon’s chilli, it’s mine. It first appeared in A Girl Called Jack, and has since been stripped back to this even simpler recipe, where it is handed out on recipe cards at Trussell Trust food banks – minus the red wine,...

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Mushroom, Lentil & Ale Pie, 34p

This pie came about because firstly, I adore pie. It was my pregnancy craving, steak pie followed by cherry or apple pie. I would buy packets of Mr Kipling and polish them off by the half dozen. Something about the crumbling, yielding collapse of the pastry, the hot-or-cold, sweet-or-savoury, the lingering lubrication, satiation, of a layer of fat and gravy disappearing down my greedy gullet. I make a pie most weeks, more so since cooking vegan food than ever before. This particular pie came from a longing for something ‘meaty’, but not meat, of course. A hearty, wholesome, dark...

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Peach & Chickpea Curry, 56p

This is my favourite curry, my go-to, easy but perfect comfort food. I used to make it with a cheap turkey leg, but any protein source will do – so feel free to chuck a fistful of whatever you fancy in with the onions if you want to bulk it out or extend it. Recipe from A Girl Called Jack. Serves 2 from 56p each 250g canned chickpeas (drained weight), 33p (33p, Asda) 1 onion, 5p (80p/1.5kg, Asda) 2 fat cloves of garlic, 4p (20p/bulb, Asda) 1 chilli or a pinch of dried chilli flakes, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or...

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