Hello Dear Reader,
Here's the menu plan for this week's frugal food. Everything's home made a simple.
Monday - I made beef stew today and froze half of it for another day. Here's the how to -
400g diced braising steak,
2 large onions,
half a swede,
2 large leeks
1 stock cube and a litre of water.
Stick this in the slow cooker at 6.30 in the morning and leave for work at seven. When you get home at six it will be delicious.
Dumplings - 100g of SR flour and 40g of beef suet - mix together with enough water to make a dough, roll into balls and place on top of beef stew. Walk the dogs and these should be fluffy and cooked when you get home.
Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday - We don't do Lent but as a nod to tradition, will be cooking pancakes. I can't stand the sickly sort with sugar and jam, but love them as a savoury wrap.
Pancakes - You will need -
One cup of milk,
One cup of plain flour,
Blitz the lot in the food processor before you go to work in the morning. Something magic happens with the gluten if you leave batter mix in the fridge for the day. You can always do this the night before and have pancakes for breakfast.
Get your pan smoking hot, drop in a little butter (non for me as I'm a follower of fat fighters!) and your first pancake will be rubbish - feed it to the dog! Then make all the pancakes and pile them up until you need them.
Pancake filling - Finely chop - carrots, leeks, one peeled parsnip,courgettes, tomatoes, red or yellow peppers, grated celeriac - oh go for it! It's your choice. I always add onions and garlic, usually plenty of smoked paprika, or something spicy such as coriander or cumin or a sprinkle of all of them! I fry them with the tiniest amount of oil in a wok. I make a sauce to bind it all with tinned chopped tomatoes. I then leave it to simmer until all the veg are soft. I lay the pancakes out and spoon some of the filling and roll them.
I then cover them in a bechamel sauce, which I flavour with 50g of strong cheddar. I have just one pancake with the filling on top and I don't have the cheese. These freeze well and can also be reheated the next day for lunch.
Wednesday - Sweetcorn Fritters with Salad.
One tin of sweetcorn,
One heaped tablespoon of SR flour,
Blitz the lot, but leave some of the sweetcorn in lumps.
Drop into a sizzling hot pan with one tablespoon of oil. Four each are plenty. Serve with salad.
You can pad these out with chunks of cooked potato. They are brilliant with some fiery chopped green chilli and then serve them with yoghurt and mint.
Thursday - Cornish Pasties - These are purely for the benefit of Dearly Beloved - he loves them. I love them too but they are too calorific for me. I will cook the filling in foil and eat that without any pastry. We don't celebrate Valentine's day - we're deliriously happily married every day ;)
Half fat to flour - I use 200g of plain flour, 50g of butter and 50g of lard, cut into chunks and put the flour and fat, with a pinch of salt into the food processor. Pulse until it resembles bread crumbs. Dribble water in from the top until it clots into larger lumps and it will almost by magic, turn into one lump of pastry. Chill until needed.
You will need 100g of beef steak per pasty- skirt ( from the underside of a cow between the brisket and flank) and if you can find any slightly marbled with fat, it will taste much better.
You will need one large finely diced onion, large finely diced potato and a quarter of a finely diced swede. You will also need plenty of salt and pepper.
Roll out pastry into a circle, there should be the same quantity of steak to vegetables. Season well, crimp your pasty any way you see fit. Use a fork to press it together if you have to. Glaze the pastry with a beaten egg.
Cook in a hot oven for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down and cook gently for another 30 minutes.
Friday - Dolmades without the vine leaves. I use my food processor to finely grate carrots, onions, courgettes, celeriac, and them cook them all in a wok I then mix in plenty of mint and some rehydrated cous cous. I wrap them in a cooked white cabbage leaf and cover them in home made tomato sauce. If you have any pine nuts you can sprinkle them over. If like me, you're a follower of fat fighters, them only 'points' to count are the in the cous cous and the pine nuts if you use any.
Saturday and Sunday - Cook once and eat twice - mock roast! I buy chipolata sausages and get the sausages with the highest percentage of meat, I usually buy the gluten free variety which are just meat. I bake them with a tray of pre cooked spuds which I spray with fry-light and a some stuffing. (Me and the rest of fat fighters don't eat stuffing) so I'll just make enough for Dearly Beloved. To make stuffing you will need to blitz a crust or two or bread, and then blitz an onion, stir together with a beaten egg and enough water to soften and season with plenty of dried sage. Roll into balls, spray with fry light and then bake. I serve this with plenty, or should I say mounds of steamed veg and we'll eat the same on Sunday.
Over to you, what frugal food plans do you have for the week?
Love Froogs xxxx