Author: Jack Monroe

Courgette & Mint Fritters

The humble courgette – you either love it or you hate it! However, courgettes are cheap and abundant in the summer months, and extremely versatile. These fritters are great as a standalone snack with a home made raita dip, or served with sausages and ketchup. Makes 4 chunky or 6 thin fritters: 1 large courgette a fistful of fresh mint a fistful of fresh coriander a fistful of fresh parsley 1 egg, beaten 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour 2 tablespoons oil 50g natural yoghurt Finely grate the courgette into a large mixing bowl. Chop the herbs and add around three-quarters to the courgette in the bowl, and set the rest aside for the yoghurt dip. Mix the beaten egg into the courgette and the herbs with a fork. Add a tablespoon of flour and mix until it has formed a batter. You may need to add a little more flour to make the batter thicker than a pancake batter. Ideally it will stick to the prongs of your fork but come loose with a shake. Heat the oil in a frying pan and dollop a level tablespoon of the batter in. Flatten with the back of a spoon and shape the edges quickly to form a rough circle. Repeat until you run out of space in the pan, with a small gap around each for ease of turning. You...

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Chickpea & Tomato Best Brunch Loaf

This loaf is a favourite weekend recipe of mine, which is easily adapted to personal tastes and what you have in the cupboard. Sometimes I like to thoroughly mash the chickpeas for a smoother bread, and sometimes I chuck them in whole for a knobbly, crunchy texture. Delicious toasted or grilled with butter, or bacon, or an egg, or all three… Makes 1 small loaf: 240g canned chickpeas (drained weight) 300g plain white flour, plus a little extra for kneading a 7g sachet of fast acting dried yeast a handful of chopped fresh rosemary zest and juice of half...

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Pasta Alla Genovese, 19p

Pasta Alla Genovese: Serves 2 adults at 19p per portion (or in my case, 1 adult, 1 small boy, and 1 next day lunchtime snack portion!) <; 100g spaghetti (8p: 40p for 500g) 50g fine green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1cm pieces (7p: £1.40/kg, frozen) 200g potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks (8p: 15p for 540g can) Handful of basil leaves (Free, growing on my window ledge!) Handful of mint leaves (Free, also growing on my window ledge!) Pinch of grated parmesan cheese to serve, 10g approx (9p, £2.30/200g) 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed (3p: 46p for...

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Moroccan Not-A-Tagine

This tagine uses my three staple spices – turmeric, cumin and paprika – to deliver a gorgeous sweet and spicy dinner. I made it for Xanthe Clay from the Daily Telegraph when she visited for an article called ‘My 49p Lunch With A Girl Called Jack’. In her words: ‘the food is very fine, and it’s also healthy’ – so what are you waiting for? I like to serve mine with couscous and rice, and green vegetables. Serves 4 (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I...

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Hunger Hurts. (July 2012)

Today has seen fourteen job applications go in, painstakingly typed on this Jurassic mobile phone, for care work, shop work, factory work, minimum wage work, any kind of work, because quite simply, this doesn’t work. For reasons unbeknownst to me, this month my Housing Benefit was over £100 short. I didn’t get a letter that I know of, but I can assume that it’s still the fallout from the cockups made by the various benefit agencies when I briefly went back to work from March to May. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to work out that £670 of rent can’t be paid of £438 of Housing Benefit. So I’m a week in arrears, almost two, as by the time Thursday comes and the next £167.31 is due, there’ll still be nothing coming in. The Income Support went on keeping me afloat, briefly, as did the Child Tax Credit. Now I’m not only in arrears, but last night when I opened my fridge to find some leftover tomato pasta, an onion, and a knob of stem ginger, I gave the pasta to my boy and went to bed hungry with a pot of home made ginger tea to ease the stomach pains. This morning, small boy had one of the last Weetabix, mashed with water, with a glass of tap water to wash it down with. ‘Where’s Mummys breakfast?’ he...

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