Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Frozen Food?

Hello Dear Reader,

Most of what you see on my supper plate tonight came out of the freezer. There are plenty of people who turn their noses up at frozen food. I'm less than fussed and this is my reason why.

On my plate - spinach. If I'm going to eat it raw in a salad, then I buy fresh, if I'm going to cook it then I buy it frozen. This small jug full of spinach would have cost £1 if fresh, I paid a tenth of that by having frozen and it's there in my freezer when I need it. A quick blast in the microwave and it's cooked. 

For our supper, we had a 100g chunk of haddock each. At 50p a chunk, it's certainly affordable. Coming from Fowey and a fishing community, I know the boats go out for three to seven days. Steam down the French coast and to the Bay of Biscay, trawl back and have fish on ice in the hold. The fish monger may be proudly able to boast that it was landed this morning, but it was caught days ago. I grew up on fresh fish, caught from the mouth of the Fowey and eaten by lunchtime. I certainly don't have the time or patience I had to fish as a child. I'm none to proud to eat frozen.

Here's what we had for supper. Haddock baked with spinach, tomatoes and topped with a cheese sauce. Prices per portion.

You will need - a frozen fish portion per person. 4oz or 100g is fine. 75p (Haddock from Morrisons)
100g of finely grated cheese (half for the cheese sauce and half to sprinkle on top) 25p
250ml milk (again, I use UHT and buy a month's worth in one go, for cost and convenience) 6p
20g of butter 4p (10g for the sauce and 10g for the spinach)
2-3 heaped tablespoons of cornflour, 2p
100g of frozen spinach 5p
6 halved cherry tomatoes or two sliced tomatoes 6p
4 new potatoes - (100g each portion in weight) 5p
Green beans 100g each - 14p

Total cost per person £1.40

Place the spinach into a jug and microwave on full heat until the spinach is melted and wilted. Add a knob of butter and place in a casserole dish.
Cover with tomatoes.

Place the fish on top. Mine was partially defrosted but it's OK cooked from frozen.

 To make the cheese sauce, you will need a plastic jug and a microwave.
1. Melt the butter.
2. Stir in the flour and cheese.
3. Blend in the milk.
4. Microwave for five minutes and whisk.
5. Return to the microwave until thick.

Pour on top of the fish and veggies and sprinkle with cheese. Back in a scorchingly hot oven for 15 minutes if the fish is defrosted or 30 minutes if still frozen.

 I served ours with steamed frozen green beans. We had new potatoes, on offer at 49p a bag in Aldi.

If you were using regular sized tomatoes, then slice, arrange on top and then sprinkle with grated cheese.

Fish always needs to be just cooked. Any more and it's not great.

Over to you Dear Reader. Frozen? What do you think? Do you eat frozen food? We're happy to but I know it's not for every one. This certainly would have been a lot more than £1.40 per serving if the ingredients were all fresh.

I'll be interested to hear what you have to say.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Rhubarb Eton Mess - Easter Lunch

Hello Dear Reader,

Eton Mess is a dessert of crushed meringues, sugared strawberries and whipped cream.

I didn't have any strawberries and they are too expensive.

I have rhubarb in the garden and with friends coming for Sunday lunch, I wanted to finish the meal with something sweet.


6 sticks of rhubarb - washed and cut into 2" cubes.
Juice and zest of one orange,
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger.

Heat the oven to 120

Mix the rhubarb, juice, zest and sugar..

Arrange in a casserole dish, cover and roast for 20-30 minutes until soft. Strain but save the juice.

Add the juice to a pan and cook down to a reduction, this will be syrup like.

Leave to cool.

To serve.

1 carton of double cream - whipped
1 meringue per person - beaten egg whites and caster sugar, arrange in mounds and bake in a low oven, or do what I did and buy them reduced from the bakers.

In a dish, crumble the meringue.

Add a generous spoon of whipped cream.

Arrange the rhubarb on top and drizzle with the rhubarb syrup.

It was a really economical lunch. Slow roast rolled brisket, roast potatoes and parsnips, Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese, steamed carrots and kale all with gravy.  A 2.3kg joint of brisket was £10 from my local butchers. All the other ingredients meant the total cost was £17.26. I love to fill my dining room with friends and to feed them well with local food.

My apologies for the lack of photos, my guests arrived cold and wet and I wanted to take care of everyone.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx