All posts tagged: butter

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 …

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 …

Cherry & White Chocolate Bake, 21p

I made this adaptation of my original – and very popular – Peach Traybake from A Girl Called Jack, last weekend for Mrs J’s local cycling club. She reported back that it had all vanished within minutes; the most popular of the three cakes at the tea stop by far. I was very chuffed – although I had also made the other two as well! Recipes for those to follow later – for now, please enjoy this utter delight. I used defrosted frozen cherries as they come ready pitted and are cheaper than fresh ones (I long for the careless frivolity of being able to spend both time and money hurling fresh cherries into cakes!) but tinned cherries and glace cherries work just as well. I’ll also be posting a vegan edition later down the line using applesauce in place of the eggs; I just want to test it first as this is a particularly moist cake so I’ve a feeling it won’t be a straight simple swap and that the other ingredients may need …

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 …

Cornish Yarg Fish Pie, £1.11 [ITV]

I was asked to make a fish pie for ITV This Morning ‘with a Cornish element to it’, so I opted for a healthy dollop of Cornish Yarg in the mash. Yarg is one of my favourite cheeses; it was brought to prominence by a couple called Alan and Jenny Gray (Yarg is ‘Gray’ backwards!) around 30 years ago, after they found a recipe dating from 1615 in a dusty old book in the attic. I love a bit of foodie folklore, so I happily went and found some, but if you can’t get hold of it, you can use a blend of mature cheddar and Caerphilly for a similar flavour. Also, the lovely Gemma in makeup did my HAIR AND LOOK AT IT!! (Back to the fish pie, sorry!) Serves 4-6 from £1.11 per head Mash: 800g white potatoes with skin, 40p (£1/2kg, Farm Stores at Asda) 100g butter, 58p (£1.45/250g, Smartprice at Asda) 120g Cornish Yarg, £2.56 (£5/235g, Waitrose) Filling: 100g sliced leek, 14p (99p/700g, frozen at Asda) 2 sticks celery, 5p (50p/10 …

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, …

Carrot Cake Rice Pudding, 33p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I make my rice puddings with long-grain rice as I don’t often have pudding rice in the house, but you can make it with either. This recipe came about from a pile of carrots that needed using up (even with a rabbit in the house!) and ever more inventive ways to do so … If you’re a carrot cake fan, you can add a handful of sultanas as well, and some chopped nuts to the top. Serves 4, from 33p each. (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.) 2 large carrots, 6p (approx 300g), (20p/kg) 410g evaporated milk, or thereabouts, 64p (64p/410g) 500ml whole milk, 25p (49p/litre) 2 tablespoons sugar, 3p (£1.19/kg) 120g long-grain rice, 5p (45p/kg) a few pinches of grated nutmeg, 1p (84p/42g) 25g butter or equivalent, 15p (£1.45/250g) 2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup, 12p (£1.24/425g) First preheat your …

Tree Biscuits, 5p each [A Year In 120 Recipes]

My Small Boy and I make these every year – although they don’t always make it to the tree..!! (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.)   Ingredients (made 24 assorted sizes for £1.11) 300g plain flour, 9p (45p/1.5kg) 100g butter, 58p (£1.45/250g) 100g sugar, 12p (£1.19/kg) 2 eggs, 27p (80p/6 medium free range) 1 tsp cinnamon, 5p (59p/34g) First, the butter – because I make these with my son, I melt it in the microwave for a minute to make it easier to stir in. Traditionally, you would rub it into the flour with your fingertips, but once I started melting my butter in the microwave, I’ve never looked back. Whatever method you choose, you need to combine the butter and flour to form a breadcrumb consistency. Tip in the sugar and cinnamon, and beat in the eggs to combine to …

Boxing Day Pasties, 13p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

An ideal place to smuggle leftovers – for today or for the freezer, these pasties are as versatile as the scraps of whatever you have left over from your dinner – just knock up (or buy) a quick shortcrust pastry and you’ll have lunch in a jiffy for not very much at all. This recipe was first featured in my second book, A Year in 120 Recipes. Serves 6 at 13p each, (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.) 250g fat (butter, marge, or a combination), 60p (Vitalite, £2.40/kg) 500g plain flour, 18p (55p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) a few teaspoons ice cold water Any quantity of leftovers: finely chopped veg, potatoes, stuffing and a good slug of fresh extra thick gravy   Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. First make the pastry. Dice the butter or marge. Tip the flour into a large mixing …

Sneaky Sprouts, 15p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Brussels sprouts: you either love them or you hate them, but if your only experience of them is as a bland yet sulfurous accompaniment to your Christmas dinner, you should definitely give these a go. Sliced and pan-fried with cabbage and butter: this is how I smuggled them into my Small Boy when he was younger, and now he requests it as a side dish to a Sunday roast. Serves 4 as a side dish from 15p each. 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 or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 200g Brussels sprouts, 38p (95p/500g) 30g butter or a splash of oil, 2p (£1.10/1l) 1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 4 fat cloves of garlic, 8p (69p/4 bulbs) ½ savoy cabbage or a handful of greens, 6p (62p/500g) salt and pepper, <1p a grating of nutmeg …

St Clement’s Chicken [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I named this one St Clements chicken after the old nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and lemons, sang the bells of St Clements…’ Although I use mandarins in mine, a mere technicality… Serves 4, (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.) 1 x whole chicken Zest of 1 lemon 1 x 200g tin of mandarins 75g butter (softened) 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs a fistful of flat-leaf parsley First, preheat your oven to 190C. Then weigh your whole chicken to calculate the cooking time. You need to cook it for 20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes at the end. For example, a 1.4kg bird will need just over an hour and 20 minutes in the oven. Grate the lemon zest into the bowl and combine it with the drained mandarins, using a fork to break up the …

Microwave Marmite Mac n Cheese, 34p [Cooking On A Bootstrap]

Friends will know that my Marmite obsession is almost as out of control as my peanut butter obsession. In leaner times, I would substitute Marmite, which was well out of my budget range, for a paste made from a crumbled Basics beef stock cube, mixed with boiling water, and allowed to cool. Smeared onto toast with butter, it delivered that tongue-warming tingle and salty kick I used to get from my yeast-extract friend. These days, my cupboard has a jar of Marmite in for toast and snacks, and today, it went in here, too. If you’re a hater, not a lover, just leave it out – or of course, you could always cook your pasta in a stock made from a crumbled Basics beef stock cube, and we’ll call it quits… Serves 1 from 34p per portion. 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 …

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 …

Crumpets, 6p [from ‘Veganish’]

I very rarely advocate the use of specialist equipment in my recipes, but there is simply no way to make a crumpet without the use of an egg poaching ring. I retired mine when I went vegan, and had to properly search through my kitchen to find them again, but it was worth it. I picked mine up for £1 from a well known hardware and home store, and they have lasted a good few years so far, so I consider them a worthy investment. You could make a giant crumpet in a frying pan, I suppose, but it would be mighty ambitious. They take a little practise and patience, both of which I sorely lack, and I spent an entire day perfecting this recipe, which is virtually unheard of in my slapdash, quickfire kitchen, so enjoy them. There is an ongoing debate about whether they are best eaten for dinner, supper, breakfast, lunch, or tea – let me know when you have yours in the comments below! (This post is not sponsored; I provide …