All posts tagged: shallots

Ultimate Lasagne, 35p [from ‘Veganish’]

This beautiful lasagne barely needs an introduction, as when I posted it on my Instagram, it received rapturous demands for the recipe. Good things come to those who wait, and here it is. Making lasagne from scratch is always a bit of a fanny, so I have deliberately made this recipe enormous so you can freeze it in portions for a quick ready meal, to make all of the work involved worthwhile by rewarding yourself with days where you won’t have to cook. Simply portion it into foil containers with those cardboard lids (around 8 for £1 from most supermarkets and factory outlet type stores, and reusable dozens of times if you wash them carefully) and pop into the freezer for a lazy day. For those of you who don’t have wine kicking about the place or don’t want to slosh it into your dinner, simply add stock or extra tomatoes in place of it. I have opted not to put cheese on mine, but you can if you want – for my vegan readers, …

Bootstrap 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, because it isn’t strictly essential. (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 4 from 25p each 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, 30p  1 x 400g tin of baked beans, 23p 1 onion, 5p (54p/1.5kg) powdered chilli, to taste, <1p …

Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Burgers, 9p [A Girl Called Jack]

This burger is where the media storm began, and dubbed ‘the 9p burger’ because of the low cost of the ingredients used to make it, it’s one of my most popular recipes. A can of value range red kidney beans is a cheap but excellent source of protein and I built a lot of my early cooking around it, and they became a firm staple in my household. I triple the recipe to make a batch of them, and freeze them in patties to whip out at a moment’s notice and fry on a low heat. I like mine best in a pitta bread (22p for 6) and a dollop of mango chutney or mayo… (I’m currently trialling a partnership program with the budget supermarkets that I shop in for my recipes. If you click the links in the recipes I may earn a small commission, but don’t just click for the sake of it as they’re wise to that! As ever, I don’t promote anything I don’t genuinely use and love myself, but if …

Chestnut, Apple & Stilton Roast, 36p

I buy vacuum packed chestnuts in December and January, when supermarkets mark them down to get rid of their Christmas stock. They have a long shelf life, so last well into the year. The cheapest I have found them was 20p a bag, in Asda last year, and my friend Caroline, a fellow yellow-sticker aficionado, has given me several packets of chestnut puree over the years. If chestnuts are outside of your price bracket, any nuts will do; search the snack aisle in the supermarket for cheap bags of redskin peanuts, or salted peanuts and cashews. Simply soak them in cold water overnight and rinse thoroughly to get rid of as much of the salt as possible. If you can bear it, a change of water and second soak strips away most of the lingering salinity, but it is a bit of a fanny to do. To make this vegan, simply swap the stilton for a vegan cheese – Asda again have a good vegan ‘garlic and chive alternative’, and Violife ‘Blu’ would also work …

Beef, Black Bean & Mandarin Stew, 66p [Tin Can Cook]

This is a brand new recipe from Tin Can Cook – 75 store cupboard recipes by Jack Monroe – which is available here, and there is a fundraiser to donate it to foodbanks here. I based this recipe very, very loosely on a Brazilian feijoada. Very loosely. More a nod to it than any attempt at an authentic rendition. Feijoada is traditionally made with pork, beef and black beans. Some versions are served with caramelised orange slices on top and stirred through, so I have used mandarins here; their bright citrus flavour helps to lift the heady, heavy black beans and beef. This may sound an odd combination but it is truly delicious. My apologies to my Brazilian friends – if you do get the chance to make an authentic feijoada, seize it, it knocks absolute spots off this one, but I’ve done the best I could with what I had! This improves with a day’s rest, as do most of us, so keep leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge and enjoy them …

Cheeky Corn Fritters, 20p [Tin Can Cook]

This is a brand new recipe from Tin Can Cook – 75 store cupboard recipes by Jack Monroe – which is available here, and there is a fundraiser to donate it to foodbanks here. A good corn fritter recipe is an excellent thing to have up your sleeve, for breakfast, brunch, or making a meal out of a tin of corn. This is as good a recipe as any, and once you know how to do it, you’ll never be short of a speedy, filling brunch recipe. Serves 2–4, depending on appetite, from 20p 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.) 1 small onion, finely chopped, 9p 75g self-raising flour, 2p ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper or ¼ tsp chilli powder, 1p a little salt and pepper 300g tinned sweetcorn, drained, 35p 2 eggs, 28p 2 tbsp milk or water 2 tbsp cooking …

Three Tin Tender, 94p [Tin Can Cook]

This is a brand new recipe from Tin Can Cook – 75 store cupboard recipes by Jack Monroe – which is available here, and there is a fundraiser to donate it to foodbanks here. I originally titled this recipe ‘sticky barbecue beef’, but describing this as barbecue-anything feels wildly disingenuous, not least because it hasn’t been anywhere near one! The quantities given here will serve one or two people, depending on appetite, and can be easily scaled up to serve more, though it will need a longer cooking time. To make it go further, pack the sauce out with onions (100g per person) or kidney beans (1 tin per same-sized tin of steak). You can make this fancy by adding paprika or mustard for heat, or a dash of vinegar to offset the sweetness, but it works perfectly well just as it is. A large pot of this makes an excellent dinner, served atop a pile of mash. I use cheap full-sugar cola in mine, because I care not for preachery, but the diet version …

Bean Goulash, 26p [A Girl Called Jack]

This recipe first appeared in my cookbook, A Girl Called Jack. I originally adapted this from a beef goulash recipe in the Abel and Cole cookbook, but tweaked it and tampered with it in the way that all recipes are. Beans are cheaper than beef, financially and environmentally, and this dish is simply fine without it. I use cheap baked beans in place of haricot beans, as they are usually a third of the price of a tin of the plain ones! Eat warm on toast, with rice or stuffed in a pitta bread with lashings of crunchy lettuce for lunch. Eat from a bowl, water it down with a little more stock or tomato and enjoy as a soup, or nosh it straight from the pan in the name of ‘testing’. For a slightly Mexican twist, have it with tortillas, some grated cheese, sliced red onion and iceberg lettuce, with lime to squeeze all over. Serves 4 at 26p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use …

Pearl Barley, Mushroom & Lentil Risotto, 44p

I have a feeling I should be calling this a ‘barlotto’ rather than a risotto, as the ‘ris’ in risotto refers specifically to rice, and I take enough liberties with that particular medium as it is, with my use of long grain rice in place of arborio to keep the costs down. But risotto, barlotto, whateverotto, this combination of pearl barley and brown lentils is fast becoming my new favourite, having had it in various guises for dinner for the last three nights running. I was once quite intimidated by pearl barley, not being entirely sure what to do with it, how to cook it, if it needed soaking beforehand, and thinking it was more of a ‘waitrose type’ ingredient than something for me, but my Mum, who is a Northern Irish lass, scolded me for my preconceptions, telling me that it was one of the main ingredients in her Irish Soup that she would make for herself, her eight brothers and sisters, and her Mum and Dad. Chastened, I decided to investigate it for …

Ratatouille, 69p

For the last two years of our courtship, Mrs J has been asking me very nicely to make her a ratatouille. Some childhood memory of a baked potato hot from a food van, piled high with soft, veg-laden ratatouille, stirs within her a bone-deep blissful comfort. Oblivious to the emotional sentiment, I would simply mutter something about ‘not being a frigging cafe’, and make something else. The truth is, I had never made a ratatouille before. My knowledge of it stemmed entirely from a Pixar movie starring a small excitable animated rat, and an indeterminable can of mush I was given at the food bank once that was so inexorably unappetising, I never wanted to see it or its ilk again. And then one day a few weeks ago, with the holy triumvirate of courgette, aubergine and pepper in the fridge, I decided to surprise her. I dug out my French cookery books – French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David, The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo, and Elisabeth Luard’s Classic French Cooking, all liberated …

Butter Bean, Veg & Stuffing Stew, 42p

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cheap packet stuffing for all manner of culinary surprises – from a crispy coating for chicken nuggets (vegan or otherwise), to a topping for mac n cheese, to folding it into a bread dough for little herby surprises, the uses I have found for it over the years are so numerous that I constantly have a ready supply of it, decanted into a 1l airtight jar on the kitchen shelf, with instructions written on the side in black marker as to how many grams per ml of water to make up standard stuffing. I buy the cheap boxes half a dozen at a time and upend them, nestling the jar between the Salt and Turmeric, and with equal gravitas to both. Its latest incarnation is as a thickener to soups and stews that need a little bit of a lift, like this one, rustled together from frozen veg, a couple of tins, and whatever was rolling around at the bottom of the fridge. You could add greens …

Chickpea and Aubergine Curry, 66p

I love a rendang curry – the first time I ever made it, it was with slow roasted pork belly, finely sliced and slowly cooked in the sweet, sour, spicy sauce. It was so rich, so flavoursome, so fulsome and delightful, that I dared not attempt to recreate it again for many years. And then, moving my office (sounds fancy, it is also my dining room and general crap storage area), I came across a pile of old recipe notebooks, and started to pore through them in that classic way of procrastinating my any means possible. I found my pork belly rendang recipe, and scribbled down the component ingredients for the paste and sauce. I contemplated making it with jackfruit instead, but I decided to save that can for another day, and opted for slow-cooked creamy chickpeas and thinly sliced, meaty aubergine instead. Mrs J declared it one of the finest meals I had ever cooked – she says that a lot, so either my cookery improves on a daily basis, or she knows how …

Cannelini, Leek & Sausage Pasta, 41p

I have set myself a challenge to blog a new recipe every single day for a few weeks – I used to blog regularly, when I was a single mum on the dole scraping meals together from loose change and a food bank box – and I would write about what I had to hand and what I would make from it. That was six years ago now, and both my spice rack and repertoire have expanded beyond recognition. I missed writing regularly for pleasure, however, especially as I cook on average three brand new recipes Every Single Day. Most of them are scrawled on scraps of plain A4 paper, then filed away in a huge lever arch file, to be pulled out and shuffled into some kind order and shaped into a book at some point in the future. I’ve decided to keep a kind of kitchen notebook here on my blog; keeping to my original principles of cooking great food for a little money, with a simple collection of basic ingredients, and costing …

South Indian Inspired Egg Curry, 57p

This recipe is based on one I have eaten many times at a South Indian restaurant in my hometown of Southend on Sea. I have tweaked it a little, to simplify it, while trying to maintain the baseline of the original. I try not to tinker with other cuisines too much if I can help it – I did when I first started out as a food writer, I was young and more naive than I am now, and less tuned in to the politics of food outside of my own topics of poverty and austerity. This isn’t a conversation for now, as I am still trying to pin down my thoughts on the complexities of appropriation with regards to recipe writing – and I hope that my work falls on the right side of appreciation rather than riding roughshod over culturally important treasures. An essay for another time, however. For now, here’s my take on a South Indian inspired egg curry – for a more authentic recipe, I recommend you check out Swasthi Shreekanth’s …

Sausage & Beer Casserole, 74p

I love how the cheapest can of beer can be enriched by half a dozen sausages and a few other ingredients for a homely, comforting, classic dinner – delicious with a pile of mash and some green veg. This recipe first appeared in A Girl Called Jack, and an adapted version was published in my Guardian recipe column in 2014. For vegetarian and vegan readers, I have found Linda McCartney Red Onion & Rosemary Sausages are the  best here, but you may have another preference!   Serves 2 generously from 74p each. (I may earn a small fee if you click the links or purchase any recommended products below) 6 sausages, 27p (91p for 20, Smartprice frozen sausages, Asda) a splash of oil, 2p (£2.94/3l, vegetable oil at Asda) 1 onion, 9p (90p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda) 2 cloves of garlic, 4p (20p per bulb, Asda) 250g mushrooms, 54p (54p/250g, Farm Stores at Asda) 1 x 330ml can of beer, 23p (90p for 4x440ml Bitter, Asda) 1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes, …