All posts filed under: Entertaining

Baby Dutch Babies With Fruit Cocktail, from 35p

Fancy getting a little bit fruity? Whether spoiling a special someone, or simply showing yourself some love, you won’t regret whipping up this quick, gorgeous, and deliciously luxurious treat for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert. I topped mine with caramelised pears, canned peaches, and fruit cocktail in the testing phases, and fruit cocktail just about pipped the others to the post, but mostly because of that cheeky little cherry on top. Let me know what you would have on yours in the comments below, or by commenting on Facebook or Instagram! And if you make it, I always love to see your photos on social media – tag me with #jackmonroe on Instagram or @bootstrapcook on Twitter – it’s nice to be nice! <3 AD : This post is part of a long-term commercial collaboration between me and Del Monte Europe. Other links in this post may be affiliate links and may earn a small commission on purchases made. This does not affect the integrity of the recommendation, as I truly only recommend products I …

Vegan Pastitsio, 77p

This recipe has been produced in partnership with Linda McCartney foods for Veganuary. Pastitsio is a food that reminds me of my childhood; snaffled from piled-high buffet plates at various relatives’ houses following Greek Orthodox church services, usually a christening or a funeral. My aunties would usually make them; huge trays of something that was a cross between a lasagne and a macaroni cheese. Usually stuffed with ground meat and several kinds of cheese, it was a challenge to make one that was vegan but still authentic enough to not get myself excommunicated from my family! But here it is – and it’s an instant classic in my household already. Using Linda McCartney’s Vegemince, it’s super simple to make – and can be enjoyed straight from the fridge, so make a large batch and give yourself a few days off cooking. Who said Veganuary meant missing out? Ingredients – serves 6 generously from 77p each. All prices quoted are based on Asda groceries and correct at time of writing. For the bechemal:50g flour, 2p (45p/1.5kg)60ml …

Cranberry, Mandarin & Cashew Nut Stuffing Roast, from 27p

[*This post recommends Del Monte products because I genuinely really love them, and also because we are currently working together in a long term commercial partnership. I never recommend anything that I don’t genuinely use and love, but in the interests of transparency, that’s why they’re namechecked here!] Serves 8 adults, from 27p each. For the full shopping list, click here. 2 onions, 12p (60p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda) 200g fresh bread, 9p (36p/800g, HW Nevill at Tesco) PLUS washed clean peels from parsnips, carrots and potatoes, chopped up very finely 125g cashew nuts, soaked in two changes of cold water for 1hr minimum each to remove excess salt, 75p, (75p/125g, Smartprice at Asda) 1 can of mandarins, £1 (Del Monte* at Asda or Tesco) 2 tbsp or 35g cranberry sauce, 9p (49p/200g, Tesco) 1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p (30p/18g, Asda) 40g baking spread, melted, 9p (55p/250g Best For Baking Spread at Asda) 20g lard, melted, 3p (39p/250g, Stockwell at Tesco) – if making for vegan or veggie friends replace with 20ml cooking oil …

Yorkshire Puddings, from 11p

This recipe makes eight small Yorkshire puddings in regular sized muffin tins or four large Yorkshire puddings in Yorkshire pudding tins. 2 tablespoons or 25g of lard, 4p (39p/250g, Stockwells at Tesco) 125 g plain flour, 4p (45p/1.5kg, Stockwells at Tesco) A pinch of salt, <1p Half a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs, 1p (30p/18g, Asda) 2 medium eggs, 25p (75p for 6 medium free range eggs, Asda) 150 ml of whole milk, 13p (50p/568ml or 1pt whole milk, Asda) First turn your oven on to 190°C. Drop a little lard into the bottom of each muffin tin, and pop the tin into the oven to heat. Weigh your flour into a jug, this makes pouring out the batter far easier. Add the salt and herbs and stir briefly to distribute. Crack in the eggs and pour over half of the milk, and beat in the remaining milk. Check your muffin tin, the fat should be very hot! Remove it carefully but quickly from the oven. Pour the batter in, divided evenly between the tins. Return …

Big Pigs In Kingsize Blankets, 39p

Serves at least 4, but that’s allowing for three full sized sausages each, and even I admit that may be a little excessive. Maybe. For the full shopping list, see here. 12 sausages, £1.20 (Woodside Farms at Tesco) 200g cooking bacon, rashers only, 30p (75p/500g, Woodside Farms at Tesco) 1 tbsp cranberry sauce, 4p (49p/200g, Tesco) First separate your cooking bacon out into ‘rashers, chunks and scraps’. You want the rashers for this, but some of the more substantial scraps will do as well. The chunks work well in stews and casseroles, and the scraps in pasta sauces and in with your sprouts. Brush each sausage with a little cranberry sauce – this helps the bacon stick to it and stops runaway blankets, and also imparts a note of sweetness that’s delightfully pleasant and unexpected. Wrap a rasher (or substantial scrap or two) around each sausage, and place snugly in a small roasting dish, side by side. If you pack them in tightly, they are less likely to unravel, so you can get away with …

Prawn Cocktail With Caramelised Grapefruit, £1.15

[*This post recommends Del Monte products because I genuinely really love them, and because we are currently working together in a long term commercial partnership. I never recommend anything that I don’t genuinely use and love, but in the interests of transparency, that’s why they’re namechecked here!] To serve 4, generously. For the full shopping list, see here. 200g small prawns, £2 (Smartprice at Asda, frozen) 90ml/6tbsp seafood sauce, 36p (£1/250ml, Tesco) salt and pepper, <1p 1 can of grapefruit, £1.10 (Del Monte*) 130g shredded iceberg lettuce, 35p (Growers Selection at Asda) 200g cherry tomatoes, 48p (Nightingale Farms at Tesco) half a cucumber, 32p (Growers Selection at Asda) First defrost your prawns overnight in the fridge – best to do this in the sealed bag they came in to catch the excess liquid that comes out as they defrost. If you forget, and we all do, you can leave them in a bowl of cold water, covered, at room temperature on Christmas morning, but squeeze one between finger and thumb to make sure it is …

Jack Monroe’s 3 Course, Zero-Waste Christmas Dinner from £4.34

All prices quoted are per person or portion, and based on generously feeding four adults, with leftovers! The full shopping list is given at the bottom of the post, which was accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change. Prawn Cocktail, from £1.15 Roast Potatoes, from 12p Mandarin-Glazed Carrots & Parsnips, from 19p Cranberry, Cashew & Veg-Peel Stuffing Roast, from 27p Yorkshire Puddings, from 11p Free Range Roast Chicken, from £1.26 Big Pigs In Kingsize Blankets, from 39p Christmas Odds-And-Sods Gravy, from 11p Sneaky Sprouts, from 29p Mincemeat Pudding, from 37p Get the full shopping list HERE. A version of this menu was originally devised and developed for The St Giles Trust Pantry, registered charity number 801355. You can support their vital work by texting PANTRY to 70460 to donate £5. If you like this, you may like my books, and if you purchase them through this neat affiliate link you support me as the author AND support local bookshops too.

Anchoiade Devilled Eggs, 21p

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never had a devilled egg, let alone tried to make one. I had read about them with fascination in various novels, usually set in the American South or housewifely suburbs, passed around as canapes at fictitious afternoon parties by women who lived the kind of lives I could scarcely imagine, peppered with scandal and boredom, kitten heels and daytime martinis. Devilled eggs represented, to me, something otherworldly, something aspirational, something bordering on the celestially obscene. Anchoiade, pronounced an-shoy-ard but very quickly, according to a French youtuber with a voice of clipped velvet with a laugh never far behind, was stumbled across on the Instagram feed of my former Daily Kitchen Live colleague, Matt Tebbutt. A passing mention on a restaurant menu, that I scrawled in a notebook, commenting ‘Oh, anchoiade!’ with hearts for eyes, as though I knew what it was. I didn’t, of course, but I loved the word already, and suspected I would love the thing itself. Weeks later, with a Delia Smith recipe in …

Pangrattato Al Pomodoro, 31p [VEGAN]

Firstly, a confession. This recipe is a twist on an Italian classic, Pappa al Pomodoro, which is essentially a bread-crust and tomato soup, with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sometimes garlic and basil or rosemary, depending on whose recipe you consider to be sacred. This version eschews the traditional, using dried stuffing crumbs to replace the bread and herbs. But Stuffing Crumb And Tomato Puree Soup didn’t seem like a particularly appetising recipe name, so I translated it into Italian as a nod to the original. Serves 1, from 31p, (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any products.) First peel and finely slice your onion, and set to one side for a moment. Measure the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one, and warm it for a moment on a medium heat before adding the onion. Season with a little black pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Quarter your tomatoes and add those too – when …

Cream Of Mushroom Soup, 48p [VEGAN]

I love mushroom soup and have made many of them over the years, but think this one is my best so far. If you don’t have celery to hand, or don’t like it, you can use extra onion. Mushrooms soup traditionally has a splash of wine in it, but I try not to keep it in the house at the moment – if you wanted to add some and it’s the kind of thing you have kicking about, do feel free, but I think it’s perfectly luxurious and delicious without. This cream is a delicate golden colour – or it was when I made it – which is a relief from the minky greys of mushroom soups gone by! I use full fat coconut milk here as you get more bang for your buck, but if you only have the reduced fat version available, double the quantity and reduce the water accordingly. Serves two, from 48p each, (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase …

Vegan Rainbow Dhansak, 31p

Authentic dhansak recipes that I’ve found sometimes include tamarind sauce or fresh tamarind, which I didn’t have to hand, so I replicated the slightly sour note with a dash of lemon juice instead. I am aware that I am extremely lucky to have found this particular bag of stir fry veg so cheaply, but I am often asked by readers what to do with them that isn’t a stir fry, so when I swagged this one from the markdown chiller today I thought it an ideal opportunity to address this particular conundrum. If you don’t have a similar bargain to hand, you can make similar by adding roughly equal amounts of red and green cabbage, thinly sliced or thickly grated carrot, and some sweetcorn. Or use whatever veg you have to hand, of course. If serving between four, this recipe contains four of your five a day. It keeps in the fridge forum to three days, or in the freezer for three months. Reheat to piping hot before serving – it is not advised to …

Cheesy Tuna, Courgette & Mushroom Gratin, 65p

This recipe is a riff on the Courgette, Tomato and Brie Gratin from A Girl Called Jack, with some extra veg and protein added, and mushrooms for Vitamin D as the darker evenings draw in. You can use pretty much any veg you like in this; I toyed with a wrinkly red pepper in the fridge and fingered half a leek before deciding I could use them elsewhere and plumping for this particular combination. If you’d prefer a veggie version, simply swap the can of tuna for a can of beans or chickpeas to keep the heartiness and protein intact.   Serves 4, from 65p each. Prices correct at time of publication. Other supermarkets offer similarly competitive pricing – this is just my closest right now. (This post contains affiliate links – I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any products.) 140g onion, 12p (80p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda) 140g carrot, 14p (30p/500g, Growers Selection at Asda) 125g mushrooms, 25p (49p/250g, Farm Stores at Asda) 1 medium courgette – …

Sticky Lemon Pudding, 30p

I couldn’t decide between making myself a sticky toffee pudding, classic in its stodgy saccharine comfort blanket, or a lemon drizzle, zesty and bright with its promise of sunny afternoons…so I took to the trusty barometer of reason, Twitter, to ask for help. The poll came back as a 52/48 split, and we all know how contentious those are, so in order to try to satisfy both sides of the pudding referendum, I mashed the two options together. The sticky warm component structure of toffee pudding, with the flavour profile of a rich lemon drizzle cake. I wasn’t sure it would work (but was willing to give it as many goes as was necessary for the name of, uh, research), but to my delight, it came out perfectly first time. [I made mine in a 135mm wide x 55mm deep x 165mm long mess tin, as after six cookbooks and eight years my solitary loaf tin has finally given up on me, and the mess tin holds a third less than a standard loaf tin …

Zero-Waste Banana Peel Ketchup, 43p

I first came across banana chilli ketchup while staying in a self catering apartment in Edinburgh. It takes a certain amount of planning to buy exactly enough food to sustain two adults for three days, wasting nothing, when your nearby shopping options are the Harvey Nichols food hall (ineffectual, expensive, but fun to walk around gasping at and making furtive notes at all the fancy pastas), or a Sainsbury’s Local, where fruit and veg are sold in large packets and nothing by the handful. I found a banana habanero chutney in Harvey Nicks by Mr Vikki’s, a small Cumbrian company, and we wolfed our way through two jars of it in a weekend. I knew that as soon as I got home and into my own kitchen, I would be knocking up my own version. And I have done it many times since, each batch slightly different to the last, and each disappearing into the homes of various friends who are absolutely obsessed with it. It’s an ideal accompaniment to a curry, or grilled cheese, …

Tomato, Bread & Butter Pasta, 24p

This pasta sauce started off as a pappa al pomodoro, but quickly veered towards a tomato butter sauce as I craved comfort on an increasingly blue day. I don’t know about you, but lockdown is playing havoc with my already unreliable emotional weather vane, clattering it all over the place, and I am learning to take things hour by hour, meal by meal, and take pleasure in moments of simple comfort in this strange new world of unknowns. I am grateful that all members of my household are healthy and well, and that we are able to do most of our day jobs under lockdown, even with the challenges that presents, and that my young son seems to have adapted well to the changes. He Facetimes and Zoom calls his friends and family every day, keeps a diary of his thoughts, feelings and experiences, does some educational work each day, and seems to be faring the best of all of us. Anyway, back to the pasta sauce. I have a recipe for a three ingredient …