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Credit Crunch Recipes

Butternut squash soup

Serves 6, costs 30p per portion

1 chopped onion, 1tbsp sunflower oil, 1 small diced butternut squash, 1 potato, 1 red chilli finely chopped, 2 pints vegetable stock (made with two stock cubes), seasoning, 1 can of tomatoes.Saute the onion until softened, add the squash, potato and chilli. Pour over the stock and cook until the vegetables are softened. Whizz the soup with a blender stick, adjust the seasoning and serve.

Vegetable chilli

Serves 4, 54p per portion

1tbsp sunflower oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 chopped onion, 1tbsp chilli powder, 1 courgette, 1 red/green pepper, 1 diced potato, 1 sliced carrot, 1 can tomatoes, 1 vegetable stock cube, 1 can kidney beans.

Saute the onion and garlic in the sunflower oil. Add in the chilli powder, courgette, pepper, potato, carrot. Stir in the can of tomatoes plus a can of water. Crumble in the veg stock cube. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the beans and adjust the seasoning. Serve with brown rice.

Lamb curry with sultanas and almonds

Using leftovers effectively can also be a good way of saving those pennies. Recycle the weekend joint into tasty stir-fries and curries and leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast can be blitzed with stock and other flavourings to make hearty homemade soup.

Lamb is one meat that our family does not favour eating cold, so this curry with almonds and sultanas is a perfect way to use up the remains the roast for supper on Monday


1 dessert apple peeled, cored and chopped

1 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

3 tabsp butter

2 tabsp olive oil

1 tabsp curry powder

2 tabsp flour

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup apple cider

½ cup sultanas

3 cups cooked lamb

½ cup mango chutney

½ cup flaked toasted almonds

Salt and pepper


Melt butter and oil in large frying pan and add apple, onion and garlic and cook until tender.Add flour then chicken stock and cider and whisk as the sauce thickens. Stir in the currants and the lamb and heat through thoroughly. Check seasoning and adjust to your taste. Stir in chutney and almonds and serve over your favourite cooked rice.

Broad Bean and Lemon Risotto


350g (12oz) frozen broad beans
Salt and ground black pepper
25g (1oz) butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
200g (7oz) arborio rice
1 litre (13⁄4 pints) hot vegetable stock
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
75g (3oz) freshly grated Parmesan
Grated Parmesan and lemon rind to garnish

1 Cook the broad beans in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3–5min or until just tender. Plunge into icy cold water to cool. Drain, peel off outer skin (optional) and set aside.

2 Melt the butter in large pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5min or until beginning to soften. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring, for 1–2min. Pour in a ladleful of the hot stock and simmer gently, stirring frequently until the rice has absorbed most of it. Keep adding the stock in this way until the rice is tender but still has a bite to it; this will take about 15–20min. The risotto should look creamy and soft.

3 Add the broad beans, lemon rind and juice and warm through. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste.

4 Serve the risotto immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan and lemon rind.

Pot roasted brisket

Serves 6, 90p per portion

1 joint of brisket, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 beef stock cubes, 1 pint water

Fry the brisket on all sides in the oil to caramelise the outside. In a large pan, cut the onion into chunks, the carrot into quarters, crumble the stock cubes in and top up with the water. Place the beef in the pan — the stock should be covering up to halfway. Place in a slow cooker, the bottom of an Aga or in the oven for four hours at a low heat, covered tightly.

Pork Kidneys with Mustard Cream Sauce


4 pork kidneys, soaked overnight in cold water
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 oz (50g) lard
1/4 pint (150ml) stock or water
1/4 pint (150ml) dry cider
11/2 teaspoons English mustard powder
11/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
generous pinch of thyme
2 tablespoons cream
1 tsp plain flour
a pinch cayenne pepper
salt and freshly milled black pepper

 First put the kettle on to boil, then after soaking the kidneys, slice them across into 1/4 inch (5mm) thick medallion-shaped slices and snip out the white cores using a pair of scissors. Now transfer them to a sieve and rinse them with a kettleful of boiling water; leave them to drain thoroughly and dry them in some kitchen paper. Next, in a cooking pot, melt the lard and soften the onion and garlic in it for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat up to high, add the drained and dried kidneys and brown them on all sides. Next lower the heat and stir in the flour to soak up the juices before adding the stock, cider, thyme and seasoning. Now put a lid on and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the mustards with the cream, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, then stir this into the cooked kidneys. Cook for a minute or two, then serve with buttered noodles or rice.

Spanish Spicy Chicken


11⁄2 level tsp turmeric
1.1 litres (2 pints) hot chicken stock
2tbsp vegetable oil
4 chicken thighs, skinned, boned and roughly diced
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
50g (2oz) chorizo sausage, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g (11oz) long-grain rice
25g (4oz) frozen peas
3tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

1 Add the turmeric to the hot stock and leave to infuse for at least 5min. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large (at least 2.8 litres/5 pints capacity) frying pan and fry the chicken for 10min or until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2 Add the onion to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5min until soft. Add the pepper and chorizo and cook for a further 5min, then add the garlic and cook for a further 1min.

3 Return the chicken to the pan, add the rice and mix together. Add one third of the stock and bring to a simmer, then stir until all the liquid has been absorbed.

4 Add the remaining stock and the peas and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low and continue to cook, uncovered, for 15-20min until the rice absorbs all the liquid. Five minutes before the cooking time is up, season well and add the parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Tomato sauce

Serves four, 30p per portion

1 chopped onion, 1tbsp sunflower oil, 1 clove garlic, 1tsp Italian herbs, 1 can tomatoes, 1 veg stock cube, 1 tsp sugar, seasoning.

Saute the onion and garlic in the sunflower oil. Pour in the tomatoes. Crumble in the stock cube, add a little water if too thick. Add the herbs, sugar, seasoning. Cook for 10 mins until slightly reduced. This is a fantastic base for so many recipes. Stir in oven roasted spicy sausages or meatballs made with minced beef shaped into balls or use for this pizza recipe.

Southern Fried Chicken


8 chicken joints
groundnut oil, for deep-frying
a little milk
4 oz (110g) plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

salt and freshly milled black pepper
rock salt, crushed

Into a wide, deep pan, pour enough oil to give a depth of 1 inch (2.5cm) and heat to 350F/180C, or until a small cube of bread turns crisp and golden in 1 minute.

Meanwhile, dip the chicken pieces in milk. Mix the flour with the baking powder (I use a plastic bag), adding a good seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Jump the chicken joints up and down in the flour to coat them evenly. Now deep-fry them in the oil for 15 minutes, turning them over occasionally. When the chicken joints are cooked, drain them on crumpled greaseproof paper and serve immediately, sprinkled with a little crushed rock salt.

In America, Southern Fried Chicken has a traditional accompaniment of fried bananas and corn fritters. I think it's equally nice with some saute potatoes and a crisp salad.

Smoked Salmon Kedgeree (serves 2)

Fry in a little oil a cup full of frozen peas and a few chopped up spring onions

Add a packet of Uncle Ben's express rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes

Add a tablespoon of Curry paste (or to taste) and half a cup of water

Simmer for couple of mins then add a small packet of smoked salmon trimmings, heat through and serve.

Smoked Salmon cost 88p (Asda), Rice cost about £1.25, everything else I had in fridge / freezer.

 French bread pizza

Serves 4-6, 42p per portion

1 French stick, 1 quantity of tomato sauce, 50g mozzarella or grated cheese, topping of your choice: try a rasher of cooked bacon, pepperoni, ham, pineapple. Cut the French stick in half, spread each half with a generous topping of tomato sauce, top with meat of your choice, sprinkle with cheese. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pasta Bake


1tbsp olive oil
100g pack bacon lardons
450g (1lb) boneless and skinless chicken thighs, chopped
3 medium leeks, chopped
300g (11oz) macaroni pasta
350g tub ready-made cheese sauce
2tsp Dijon mustard
2tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley
25g (1oz) freshly grated Parmesan

1 Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add bacon and chicken and cook for 7–8min. Add the leeks and continue cooking for 4–5min.
2 Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain well.
3 Preheat the grill. Add the cheese sauce, mustard, bacon, chicken, leek and parsley to the pasta and mix. Tip into a heatproof 2.1 litre (33/4 pint) dish and sprinkle with parmesan. Grill for 4–5min until golden.

Beat the credit crunch and eat well

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