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Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

White fish curry with rice and lentil quenelles

In Recipes on April 28, 2009 at 20:14

fish curry with quenelles

Found a good simple recipe for fish curry, the only difference was that we added a little bit of  water along with the fish, just to give it a bit more moisture.  We were using haddock, but this dish would be suited to pretty much any white fish.  Instead of just having rice, we made some rice and lentil quenelles, which don’t take too much effort, just a bit of preparation. They are basically like little balls of cooked rice/lentil that are crisped in the oven.

Ingredients.

Fish Curry:

2 haddock filets, skinned and cut into chunks (£2.50)

tbsp cooking oil

half a red onion (£0.15)

2 cloves garlic (£0.10)

handful chopped coriander leaf (£0.25)

1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric

2 small tomatoes (£0.20)

2 tsp garam masala

salt +lemon juice, to taste

Quenelles:

75g rice (£0.30)

75g lentils (£0.20)

300ml water

300ml vegetable stock

25g flour

1 tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chopped mint/coriander

coconut oil (to top the quenelles) (£0.20)

Total cost: £3.90 (+ spices)

—SD—

Method.

For the fish we just followed the recipe in the link above.  However, the quenelles take a bit of preparation and so that is where you start!  First you put the lentils and rice into a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.  Then drain into a sieve and rinse with warm water, before returning to the pan with the 300ml of stock, bringing to the boil, and then simmering for as long as it takes to absorb the water (15-20mins).  While this is cooking, prepare the ingredients for the curry, and maybe make the sauce.   Just hold back on adding the fish for now.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, and grease a baking tray with a little oil.

When the rice/lentil mixture is cooked, empty into a mixing bowl and add in the flour, cumin, coconut, garlic, mint and salt and pepper to season.  Mix it all together until it forms a sticky dough-like mixture.  Now you can either use two spoons or your hands, depending on how hot the mixture is, to shape the mixture into individual egg-sized balls.  Try not to make them too big, as they wont come out of the oven as crisp.  Place the balls on the baking tray and top each with a little bit of coconut oil.  Put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once and basting with the surplus oil.

While they are cooking, crack on with adding the fish to the curry sauce.  Actually, maybe hold off for about 10 minutes so the fish doesn’t end up being overcooked.  Everything should come together then at the end.

Take the balls, sorry quenelles, out of the oven and plate up with the curry.

—SD—

It was worth the extra bit of effort making the quenelles.  Yes they have a funny name, but they taste great, and the contrast between the cripsy shell and the soft inner is a treat.  You could put anything in them really, maybe some chilli to add a bit of heat.  Basically anything small that can be shaped into a ball.

—SD—

Washing up count: chopping board, mixing bowl, measuring jug, wok, saucepan, two wooden spoons, knife, baking tray, teaspoon, two dessert spoons = 12.

***supper diem***

Sweet potato cannellini spring stew

In Recipes on April 27, 2009 at 21:15

stew

After arriving back home amid a downpour everything was looking a little bit murky in the flat, so far away from the spring sunshine we’ve been enjoying.  So I thought tonight that a good warming stew would help to brigthen things a little.  Added to that we weren’t eating together tonight and so needed something that could be warmed up later.

—SD—

Ingredients.

1 sweet potato, diced (£0.35)

Half a large onion, chopped (£0.15)

Half a cup of lentils (£0.15)

Can of tomatoes (£0.30)

Can of cannellini beans (£0.25)

2 large flat mushrooms, sliced (£0.45)

3 tsp Dijon Mustard (£0.20)

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp bouillon powder

large handful sage, chopped

handful parsley, chopped

few sprigs of thyme, stripped of leaves

salt and pepper to season

sunflower oil

two spring onions, sliced (£0.15)

Total cost: £2 + spices (can that be right???!)

—SD—

Method.

First I heated up some oil in a heavy bottomed pan, before adding the chopped onion.  When it had softened I added the diced sweet potato, along with the cumin and chilli powder, as well as the thyme.  Stirring for a few moments to make sure everything was coated, the lentils were then added to the mix along with a cup of recently boiled water and the bouillon powder.  Making sure all the powder was dissolved, I then brought the contents to the boil before reducing to a simmer and adding the tinned tomatoes and beans before covering with the lid.

I left it simmering for a good 10 minutes before then adding the mustard along with the field mushrooms.  After a few minutes in went the sage and parsley, together with a good grind of salt and pepper.   Make sure the lentils and sweet potato are cooked before garnishing with the spring onions and perhaps some grated parmesan and black pepper.  Good with some crusty bread if you’ve got it!

—SD—

Washing up count: Saucepan, wooden spoon, chopping board, peeler, knife = 5.

Tamarind trout with three-herb and orange couscous salad.

In Recipes on April 26, 2009 at 22:20

trout and couscous

In today’s Observer Food Monthly were a few Nigel Slater recipes for couscous, and one in particular looked like it would go well with some fish we had in the fridge.  The mixture of herbs and orange suggested quite a light and fresh dish, and so we went with quite a strongly flavoured marinade for the fish.

—SD—

Ingredients.

Fish:

Two trout fillets (£2.50)

Tamarind paste, 2 tbsp, (£0.35)

Coriander, handful, finely chopped (£0.15)

Ground cumin, 2 tsp

Ground coriander, 2 tsp

Hot Chilli powder, 2 tsp

Large garlic clove, crushed

Salt, a good grind

Lemon slices, to garnish

Couscous:

100g couscous (£0.10)

Boiled water

Orange (£0.20)

Mint, few leaves

Parsely, handful

Coriander, large handful

Lemon, juice of one (£0.30)

Total cost: £3.60 (not including all the spices and herbs, which are either free from the garden or too small to calculate!)

—SD—

Method.

The fish would need marinading for a good 30 minutes, and so this was prepared first.  After mixing the tamarind paste with a dash of water to loosen it up a bit, we added the herbs and spices, as well as the garlic which was well crushed.  When it was all mixed together the fish were laid on a plate and coated with the mixture.

After 30 minutes the fish were put skin down into a moderate grill for about 10-12 minutes.  I put some foil on the grill to stop it getting covered in burnt fish, which can be a pain to clean!

While the trout was getting its grill on, the couscous was made.  Usually we just put the required amount into a bowl and just cover with boiled water, and then cover for 5-10 minutes to allow it to be absorbed.  While waiting, the herbs were finely chopped and combined, and the orange peeled and chopped into smallish pieces.  The smell of the herbs at this point suggested it was going to taste delicious.  After fluffing the couscous with a fork, the herbs and orange pieces were added to it, along with the juice of a lemon and a good grind of salt.  The trout by this time was smelling amazing, and after taking it out of the oven it was ready to serve, and more importantly, to eat!  It tasted delicious, and there was even some couscous left over for lunch tomorrow.

—SD—

Washing up count: chopping board, knife, 2 bowls, teaspoon, table spoon = 6.

***supper diem***

Frittata (for emptying the fridge)

In Recipes on April 25, 2009 at 19:17

frittata

We were planning sushi tonight, but time for making the rice ran out.  So having looked in the fridge and seen no obvious ‘dish’ I resorted to good old frittata.

It’s probably the easiest meal we’ve made so far, but hardest to photograph.  However you look at it, it doesn’t look good.  No matter though coz it’s tasty.

—SD—

Ingredients.

Half an onion, roughly chopped (8p)

4 Eggs (60p – came from a big box)

A handful of leftover new potatoes (boiled yesterday)

Aubergine, couple of inches, sliced thinly.

Courgette, quarter, sliced thinly.

Brocolli, around three florets, chopped.

Coriander leaves, two handfuls roughly chopped.

Yellow Pepper, half sliced roughly.

Tomato, chopped into big pieces.

Coriander seed, teaspoon.

Cumin seed, teaspoon.

Fenugreek seed, half a teaspoon.

Cardonom pods, three.

Chilli oil.

Sunflower oil.

Parmesan.  (If I had proper cheese I would have used instead, but desperate times call for parmesan)

—SD—

Method.

I started by heating the spices in the pan (I used a griddle, not the best option, better to use a flat pan) and ground them up in the pestle and mortar once the coriander seeds started to pop.

Having chopped all the veg I started by frying the onion in some sunflower oil over a medium heat.  I then added the rest, a bit at a time, leaving the tomato and coriander leaf til the end.  I kept stirring until it all looked pretty cooked.  I then mixed up the eggs, poured them over and once they started to cook I grated over the parmesan and popped it under the grill for about 5 minutes.  Done. Simple as.

—SD—

Washing up count: Griddle, Pestle and Mortar, 1 sharp knife, 1 wooden spoon, 1 plastic fish slice for serving, glass jug = 6.  Not bad at all.

***supper diem***

Aromatic Salmon with New potatoes and broccoli

In Recipes on April 24, 2009 at 20:25

aromatic salmonAfter yesterday’s thai green curry we still had half a can of coconut milk in the fridge. Well, I’d put it into a little jug because my mum always said not to put tins in the fridge.  Was she right?  Anyway, I was looking for some recipes that had both coconut milk and salmon steak as key ingredients and found this. As we were only eating for two (unless the lady of the house has a secret…) I just halved the quantities.  That’s the sort of maths I can handle.

I like these all in one pot affairs, and so after checking we had all the ingredients got down to making it.  It was very simple to prepare, just a bit of slicing and…more slicing.  Then all in the pot, apart from the coconut milk which was combined with the juice of a lime and then poured over the other ingredients.  We didn’t have any mint so bought a little plant from Olympic Produce that will hopefully stretch to a few meals over the summer! Or mojitos for those cocktail fans.

—SD—

Ingredients.

Two salmon steaks (£2.20)

Chopped root ginger, about a teaspoonful (£0.20)

Clove of garlic (£0.01!?)

Three tomatoes, halved (£0.30)

Half a red chilli, finely chopped (actually free, courtesy of Albany Halal)

Half a yellow pepper, sliced (£0.30)

4 cardomom pods (I forgot to crush them…whoops)

Half a tin coconut milk (£0.30)

—SD—

New potatoes, boiled (£0.40)

Broccoli, handful, steamed (£0.30)

Total cost: £4.00

—SD—

Method.

Followed the method as described in the link above.  You will need an ovenproof dish with a lid.  Just boiled up the potatoes with a steamer on top with the broccoli in.  Easy peasy. I get a strange satisfaction from boiling potatoes and steaming broccoli on the same hob…saves energy anyway!  That said, this satisfaction soon ebbs away when faced with washing all the little bits of broccoli off the steamer.

—SD—

Well, it turned out really well! The peppers and tomatoes really swelled with the flavours, and the thin sauce went well with the potatoes and brocolli.  The salmon wasn’t bad either!

—SD—

Washing up count: Casserole dish, saucepan, steamer, chopping board, knife, peeler = 6.

***supper diem***

King Prawn Thai Green Curry

In Recipes on April 23, 2009 at 20:32

king prawn green thai curry

Wanted something quick and easy tonight and already had some prawns, half a red pepper, and opened green thai curry paste in the fridge.  After popping to the Albany Halal shop opposite the Claude Pub and picking up some coriander and coconut milk it didn’t take long to figure out what to make…I’ve never made my own green thai curry paste but it might be something worth doing when I’ve got more time!  However, this way it only took 20 minutes from start to finish.

—SD—

Ingredients.

Third of a jar green thai curry paste (£0.40)

240g King Prawns (£2.99)

Half a can of coconut milk (£0.30)

Half a red pepper (£0.35)

Handful of coriander, roughly chopped (£0.35)

Tbsp Vegetable oil (£……pennies)

Half a cup wild rice (£0.30)

Total cost: £4.69

SD

Method.

First I put the oil in the wok and once it was at a medium heat added the chopped red pepper.  After stirring for about a minute I added the prawns.  I was going to use half the pack and save some for tomorrow but couldn’t resist putting them all in! Seemed mean to split them up after they’d come so far together.   Once these had heated through I added two tablespoons of the curry paste.  The smell is just amazing, and it drew appreciative comments from the sofa.  After making sure that everything was nicely covered I added the coconut milk and gave it another good stir.  After bringing to a gentle boil, I reduced the heat and left to simmer for 15 minutes.

While it was cooking I put some rice on, with some added turmeric for extra colour.   Entirely optional!  Could have made the rice a little more exotic, but like I already said, was after a simple meal tonight.

After the sauce had thickened and the rice was cooked it was ready to serve.  I love the way the juice gets soaked up by the rice…actually it’s making me want some more! Any seconds???

—SD—

Washing up count: Wok, saucepan, knife, tablespoon, wooden spoon = 5.

***supper diem***

Lentil and Spinach Curry, Chapattis, and Lime and Pistachio yoghurt

In Recipes on April 23, 2009 at 09:04

Lentil + spinach curry

Ingredients.

For the curry:

Red Lentils (150g) (50p)

Ginger (a good couple of inches) (10p)

Water (850ml)

Three Green Chillies (left whole) (10p)

Turmeric (¾ teaspoon)

Tomatoes (two, blended) (20p)

Spinach (a couple of handfuls, washed) (50p)

Sunflower oil (1 ½ Tablespoons)

Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)

Garlic (2 cloves, chopped into 5 or 6 pieces)

Garam Masala (½ teaspoon)

Coriander Power (1 teaspoon)

For the chapattis:

Chapatti flour (150g) (50p)

Lukewarm Water

Sunflower Oil (a dash)

Lime and Pistachio yogurt:

Plain yogurt (I used about 3 desert spoons) (40p)

Zest of half a lime (15p – but you can still use its innards)

Unsalted pistachio kernels (approx 5, smashed up with a rolling pin)

I’m not an accountant… I haven’t calculated the minutia of this recipe, but the spices can be considered as an investment!

Total cost: £2.45

This is a really simple curry to make, it is a variation of one of Anjum Anand’s, but I tend to vary what I put in – it would probably taste just as good with some added onion, extra spices or other pulses or beans.

—SD—

Method.

I start by rinsing the lentils in some cold water. Next, place the lentils, ginger, green chillies, turmeric and water in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Once it’s bubbling, give it a stir to make sure nothing’s sticking, and turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes or so, before adding the tomatoes and a bit of salt. Leave to cook for another 10 minutes or so, then stir in the spinach. Keep simmering for 10 or 15 minutes until the lentils are nice and soft and the curry is starting to thicken. Just before you are ready to serve, heat the sunflower oil in a small saucepan, add the cumin seeds and garlic, and cook until the garlic starts to turn brown, then add the coriander powder and garam masala, give it another quick stir, then add it to the curry. Then it’s ready!

I normally start making the chappati dough while the lentils are boiling. It is so simple, just add a little bit of a water at a time to the flour, stirring and finally kneading into a dough. Once it’s done, roll into a ball, cover and cool in the fridge. After it’s chilled for 15 minutes or so pull off small sections and roll into pancake-like disks (using lots of flour and a rolling pin). Cook them as you go: heat up a large non-stick frying pan (I use a wok) until it’s really hot, don’t use any oil, just cook them on both sides until they bubble up and brown (a bit like pancakes).

For the yoghurt, I just mixed all the ingredients, to make a fresh tasting and zesty accompaniment.

—SD—

Washing up count: 2 pans, 1 wok, 2 wooden spoons, 1 serving spoon, measuring spoons, colander (for the spinach), sieve (for the lentils), rolling pin, 2 plastic bowls, measuring jug, blender and one very messy hob! =A whopping 15. Lucky I’m not washing up tonight!

***supper diem***

Seafood Spaghetti

In Recipes on April 21, 2009 at 20:58

seafood spaghetti

Ingredients.

Spaghetti (2 servings) – (£0.20)

Prawns 200g – frozen, from a 500g bag (£1.50)

Smoked Salmon 50g – £0.65

Rocket – handful – from garden (£ree)

Lettuce leaves – two handfuls (£ree)

Cherry tomatoes – £0.60

Creme fraiche – scrapings from pot – £0.20

Olives – 12 – £0.30

Brie – 20g – £0.15 (@75p/100g)

Balsamic vinegar / olive oil – splash

Total cost: £3.60

—SD—

Method.

First brought a pan of slightly salted water to the boil before adding the spaghetti.  Once it was boiling again, the hob was turned off and the residual heat used to cook it until al dente.

There was also a side salad to go with this, with the lettuce leaves, roughly chopped, cherry tomatoes, olives and thin slices of brie. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and a grind of pepper finished it off.

When the spaghetti was cooked, it was drained and then put back in the pan, along with the prawns and the smoked salmon which was sliced into small pieces.  Finally in went the rocket and the creme fraiche (using up yesterday’s pot).  Topped off with a grind of pepper and plated up.

No leftovers tonight…

—SD—

Washing up count: One saucepan, chopping board, knife, colander, wooden spoon, spaghetti spoon (extravagance!) = 6.

***supper diem***

Basa Fillet on a bed of wild rice and sautéd vegetables

In Recipes on April 20, 2009 at 21:29

Basa is a white river fish native to Vietnam.  I bought it from the fish counter in Sainsbury’s for £7.90/kg, which I thought was pretty reasonable.  Two substantial fillets came out at £2.09.  The rice and vegetables were just using up some things from the cupboard and fridge, so substitute for whatever you’ve got.  The mushrooms are a must though, and the herbs!

—SD—

Ingredients. (Serves Two hungry mouths)

For the Fish:

Two Basa fillets (£2.10)

Lemon Juice (£0.40)

Salt and Pepper (£trace)

For the rice and vegetables:

Half a cup wild rice (£0.30)

Cup of water (£ree, kind of)

Handful broccoli florets, chopped (£0.30)

Third of a regular courgette (green, long variety!), sliced into strips (£0.20)

Handful of sliced red pepper (£0.25)

Three mushrooms (sliced) (£0.15)

Sunflower Oil (dash) (£…)

Creme fraiche (2 dessert spoons) (£0.30)

Herbs (thyme, sage, parsley – anything fresh to hand) (from the garden!)

Total cost: £4

—SD—

Method.

Preheat the oven to 200°C

First drizzle some lemon juice over the fillets, and then season on each side with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil, making two separate parcels. Put in the oven, on a baking tray in case the juices leak, for 25-30 mins.

While they are baking, cook the rice. This is the method I follow (Delia’s I think…), use your own way if you prefer.  Splash a little oil into a saucepan and then add the rice, stirring until its coated.  Add a pinch of salt and the cup of water.  Give it a stir, put the lid on and bring it to the boil. Once it is boiling give it another stir and reduce to the lowest heat, with the lid on (although be careful it doesn’t boil over while the hob is cooling down!)

Chop your vegetables if you haven’t already, and add them to some heated oil in a wok or large frying pan.  Stir here and there to make sure everything gets cooked.

Just before you pull the fish out of the oven, add the now cooked rice to the pan of vegetables and stir to mix together.  Roughly chopped whatever herbs you have and add them to the mixture, along with a couple of spoons of creme fraiche, depending on how creamy you want it.  Try not the overdo it, so you let all the subtle flavours come out later.  Season and dish onto plates.

Take the fish out of the oven and carefully unwrap the foil parcels.  Using a fish slice to lift the fillets out onto your bed of rice, and then drizzle the juices over the top.  If you kept any herbs then add a sprig on top, and more black pepper if that’s what you like.

Nice with a glass of white wine…or even apple and blackcurrant squash.

If you have any of the rice and vegetables left over, they would make a tasty lunchtime snack.

—SD—

Picture:

No picture today, was eaten quicker than a flash…

—SD—

Washing up count:  One saucepan, one wok, (baking tray should be clean if foil parcels didn’t leak), chopping board, knife, wooden spatula, wooden spoon, fish slice, dessert spoon. = 8.

***supper diem***

Preheat your ovens!

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 19:26

Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with ideas for supper.

So this blog will hopefully help us all out a bit!

It is going to be a chronicle of all the meals me and my boyfriend cook up at home, using a range of vegetarian and seafood ingredients that are tasty and easy on the wallet.

A supper a day, with a recipe, how much it cost, and a photo of the finished product.

n.b. if we eat at a restaurant then we will try to provide a review of that too!