Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Toad in the hole

Hello Dear Reader,

Happy St. George's Day! We had to have something traditionally English for supper. Pork Sausages, cooked in a thick batter with onion gravy. Commonly known as Toad in the Hole.

You will need:

Oven heated to searingly hot.

1 pack of sausages, cooked in a shallow dish.
1 mug of plain flour,
1 egg, 
1 mug of milk
Beat the egg, flour and milk together to form a batter.

Ours was made from gluten free flour, it works much better and is fluffier and rises better with wheat flour. Nonetheless, the batter was crispy around the edges and fluffy in the middle.

Cook for around 20 - 30 minutes.

We had ours with local kale, carrots and frozen peas. 

The sausages were gluten free too (Black Farmer's daughter brand and from Morrison's) so they are quite expensive at £3 a pack, although with the fluffy batter and a pile of veggies, a pack would stretch to feed four. We stretched to two large meals and two small ones for our lunches tomorrow.

Over to you Dear Reader. Which traditional English recipes are your favourites? For me, it's anything with sausages. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxxxxxx

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