All posts filed under: Guardian Food

Rolly-Up Pancakes, 8p

Unless you’re very deft with your pans, don’t try cooking more than one at a time. Just serve them as soon as they’re ready, or keep them warm on a heatproof plate over a pan of gently simmering water. Makes approximately 10 from 8p each. Prices correct at time of publication 2 eggs, 25p (£1.48/12 medium free range, Asda) a pinch of salt, <1p (27p/750g, Smartprice at Asda) 120g plain flour, 4p (45p/1.5kg, Smartprice at Asda) 400ml milk, 20p (49p/l, Asda) 50g butter, melted, 29p (£1.45/250g, Smartprice at Asda) To serve: lemon and sugar Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, and add the salt, flour and milk. Beat until you have a smooth batter, then cover with a tea towel and leave to stand for an hour. Melt the butter in a thin, shallow frying pan on a medium heat, tilting the pan to run the butter around it as it melts. Ladle in just enough batter to form a thin layer when you tilt the pan. When the pancake starts to brown around …

Pinwheel Biscuits, 9p each [A Year In 120 Recipes]

A few years ago, the Guardian asked me to write a recipe feature on a Christmas dinner inspired by Finnish traditions. I was a new food writer, and a little green around the edges, and I attempted it with gusto. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most authentic or brilliant of my recipe collections, and if I’d been asked again today I would have gently pointed them in the direction of a Finnish food writer, instead of trying to do it myself. However, I did learn to make these adorable pinwheel biscuits in the process, and although the liver and sultana casserole effort made headlines for all the wrong reasons, this recipe has stayed in my Christmas favourites. Makes 10, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 100g sultanas or prunes or 50g of each, 20p (99p/500g) 2 tablespoons marmalade or honey, …

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, 3p

Last night I found myself with an urge for chocolate chip cookies. I was a bit miserable, the gas meter was running out (and even more so by the time I type this…), my tiny flat was cold and I was generally feeling a little bit grouchy and blue. Usual distractions don’t apply – I don’t own a television and nor do I have broadband to distract myself from the occasional bout of gloom (I run this blog from the internet on my mobile phone!) These are choices I have made for myself, because I am still fearful of long term financial contracts, especially as a freelance writer, especially in insecure rented accommodation in the first few months of my contract. So when it comes to mood-boosters, my options are somewhat limited. So, cookies. I put a rallying cry on Twitter, as the wonderful people who follow me are often so very generous at sharing their favourite recipes and ideas when I feel in need of inspiration – most recently inundated with over 100 recipes …

Peanut Butter Granola, 8p

I first made this for myself as I love peanut butter in the mornings, but not having a toaster, popping bread under the grill inevitably goes wrong when you have a child to get washed and socked and shoed in the mornings – so I cobbled this together and bunged it in a big jar. Perfect with hot milk, or cold, or even pop it in the microwave for a minute for a warm, soft, stodgy, comforting start to your day. There are endless variations to this too, just add a good oil, like coconut, in place of the peanut butter to hold your oats together (oo-er) and the possibilities are endless. I recommend dark chocolate with toasted or ground almonds if the purse stretches. Dark chocolate and marmalade is similar to a famous round chocolate orange in a bright blue box, and for breakfast, such fun! Golden syrup can be replaced with treacle, sugar, or any sweetening agent of your choice. If you feel like erring on the side of virtuous, chop a banana …

Keralan Aubergine Curry

One of my favourite restaurants in Southend specialises in Keralan cuisine – and when I couldn’t afford it but really wanted a rich, spicy curry, I decided to make my own version. Aubergines are comparitively expensive to buy individually, so look out for the bags of three or four, and eat them all week! (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) Serves 2: 2 aubergines a pinch of salt 1 onion a fat clove of garlic 2 tablespoons oil 1 red chilli or a pinch of the dried stuff 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1 tsp cumin (ground or seeds) 1/4 tsp English mustard zest and juice of half a lemon, or a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice 1 x 400g carton of chopped tomatoes a fistful of coriander, to serve Cut the stems from the ends of the aubergines, and pierce the skin …

Broad Bean Salad, 38p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Broad beans can be bought frozen for around £1.50 for a 750g bag – much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and no prising them from fiddly little pods either – although I do love thumbing the velvety lining of fresh pods to pop them out… Whether you choose fresh or frozen beans, this salad uses a lot of storecupboard basic ingredients, like lemon, garlic, herbs and cheese. It takes just minutes to knock together, and I think it tastes like summer’s coming… 140g broad beans, 23p (£1.25/750g frozen broad beans, Asda) 40g hard strong cheese, 43p (£1.60/150g, Smart Price grated hard cheese) 50g salad leaves, 48p (70p/75g, Asda) a fat clove of garlic, 2p (60p for 3 bulbs, Asda) 1 tbsp oil, 1p (97p/1l sunflower oil, Asda) Juice of half a lemon or 2 tbsp bottled lemon juice, 4p (39p/250ml, Asda) A fistful of fresh mint, 3p (60p/25g, growers selection at Asda) Salt and pepper First bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop in the frozen broad beans for two to three minutes …

Kale Pesto, 12p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I knocked together this kale pesto after I found a bag of dark green leafy goodness in the reduced chiller in the supermarket, blitzed it in the blender with some other bits and blogged about it, and was inundated with kale chips and in-jokes from friends for months afterwards, including a full-page monstering in the Daily Mail by that bastion of healthy living, Richard Littlejohn, who claimed that ‘poor people don’t eat pasta, they eat spaghetti from tins’. Far be it from me to point out that spaghetti in tins is actually pasta, not to mention that kale was originally grown as cattle food, and that people in all sorts of circumstances do actually eat their greens! So if you fancy a side order of controversy with your lunch, fling this lot into a blender and feel suitably mollified that you might be doing something cheap and healthy, and irritating the Daily Mail in the process. Makes 12 portions from 12p each . This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that …

Brown Bread Ice Cream, 24p

I first discovered brown bread ice-cream in an old copy of Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, and as an avid maker of simple ice-cream and brown bread, decided to combine my two recipes. You don’t need an ice-cream maker for this one, I don’t own one. If you have an electric whisk or cake mixer, it will come in handy, but you can make this without – you just need a little patience and a firm hand. Makes around 8 portions at 24p each. Prices based on Sainsburys, Basics where available, and correct at time of writing. 100g wholemeal or brown bread, 5p (40p/800g loaf, Basics) 200ml milk, 9p (44p/litre) 3 egg yolks, 56p (£2.30/12 eggs, free range) 100g sugar, 8p (80p/kg, Fairtrade) 300ml double cream, £1 (£1/300ml) A fistful of sultanas, 10p (£1/400g, Basics) For the topping: 2 tsp breadcrumbs 1 tsp sugar, <1p (80p/1kg, Fairtrade) Few pinches ground cinnamon, <1p (80p/100g, Natco) Soak your bread in a little milk and stand to one side for an hour or so. Separate your eggs – I …

Don’t Throw That Away! An A-Z of leftovers, tired veg, etc and what to do with them.

This piece started after an article in the Independent about the top 10 foods that we apparently throw away in the UK. I took to Twitter to ask people what usually ended up in their bin, and then spent a whole day and night answering hundreds of queries – some of them came up a lot, like bread and mushrooms, and some were rather more surprising, like ‘half a jar of caviar’ (not a problem I can say I have ever had, but I am here to help, and inverse snobbery is as ghastly as the original kind so please, resist the urge.) I have compiled them all here as an A-Z, and will keep this list going, and add to it regularly, as a handy reference point – so keep checking back! And add your own tips at the bottom, our ‘hive mind’ is a much better thing than my admittedly limited experience!! Also remember you can always use the search bar on the blog to find recipe ideas too, for that stray carrot, …

Porridge Pancakes [A Year In 120 Recipes]

If, like me, you never get the porridge quantities quite right in the mornings, these are a great solution to the problem of what to do with the leftovers. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) leftover porridge (I make mine with oats and water – don’t tell the children – and add only a splash of milk at the end) flour, a little, for dusting oil, a little, to cook them After you’ve made your porridge, leave the leftovers to cool, then pop them in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and store overnight in the fridge. It will set thick and gelatinous. The next morning, take the porridge from the fridge, lightly flour your worktop and hands, and break a chunk off the porridge lump. Flatten with your fingertips to compress it into a patty – don’t try to roll it …

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca [A Year In 120 Recipes]

My take on Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is a little different – I prefer tinned sardines to the more traditional anchovies, and I like to add some of the preserved oil for a distinctive flavour. This dish is a hot, fast joyride for your tastebuds with its fiery chilli, soft chunks of fish, vinegary capers and salty aftertaste. (Serves 2) 4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled 1 fresh red chilli, chopped 2 tbsp oil 400g chopped tomatoes 100g tinned sardines in oil 200g dried spaghetti 1 tbsp capers 1 tbsp olives, pitted and diced Roughly chop the garlic – I like mine chunky in a dish like this, but if a mouthful of slightly crunchy garlic will put you off, chop it finely. Put it into a large saucepan with the chilli and oil and saute on a low heat for a few minutes. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and the oil from the sardines, and turn up the heat to bring it to the boil. Carefully remove the bones from the sardines by splitting them, …

Cauli & Bacon ‘Carbonara’

This is part spaghetti carbonara, part cauliflower cheese – and deliciously golden and moreish. Baking it at the end to melt the cheese isn’t essential, but does lift it to a better place. Using hard, strong cheese means that you don’t need very much of it, a trick I use quite often. I mean, what is the point of mild cheddar other than for kids packed lunches? (Serves 2) 150g spaghetti 1 tbsp oil 100g cauliflower, broken into small florets 100g streaky bacon, chopped 2 eggs 100ml milk Black pepper 30g hard strong cheese, grated Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and reduce to a simmer. Meanwhile, gently heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the cauliflower and bacon. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and beat in. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add to the pan with the cauliflower and bacon. Pour in the egg mixture and mix …