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Cheap & Easy Recipes

Discussion in 'Fitness, Health & Nutrition' started by GodsChild77, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. GodsChild77

    GodsChild77 Regular Member

    I'm not very experienced at cooking and I'm also trying to save money. Please tell me if you have any favorite recipes that are cheap and easy.

  2. Lady Derelict Content

    Lady Derelict Content Goodbye

    I have some and will post them when found.

    I'm in the catering business, so know my stuff. I'll get you some more later as it's late now.

    Okay, here we go...


    Cheap and easy recipes

    Thyme and garlic chicken wings

    Sweet and sticky, and as good cold as hot.

    Serves 3-4, depending on the size of your wings
    thyme about 12 bushy stems
    garlic 2 cloves
    thick honey 4 tbsp
    dried chillies a couple of good pinches
    lemon 1 large
    chicken wings 1 kg
    lemon 1, to serve

    Pull the leaves and flowers from the thyme branches, measure 2 lightly heaped tbsp of them and put into the bowl of a food processor. (If you are making your marinade by hand, then put the thyme into a mortar.) Retain extra leaves and discard the stems.

    Peel the garlic and drop the cloves into the thyme together with a generous grinding of black pepper, the honey and the pinches of chillies. Grate the zest of the lemon into the mixture, then squeeze in all of the juice. Blitz for a few seconds till the ingredients become a sloppy paste, or, if you are doing it by hand, pound with the pestle instead.

    Transfer the paste to a nonstick roasting tin and add the chicken wings and reserved thyme, turning them over in the marinade so they are thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or even overnight. Turn from time to time, so the wings stay in contact with the marinade.

    Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Season the wings with salt, then roast them for 40 minutes, or until they are deep, golden brown and the marinade has turned dark golden brown. If there is a lot of liquid in the tin then cook for a further few minutes until dark and sticky.

    Season the wings with salt, then roast them for 40 minutes, or until the wings and their marinade are deep, golden brown. If there is a lot of liquid in the tin then cook for a further few minutes until dark and sticky. Cut the lemon in thick segments and squeeze over the chicken wings as you eat.

    This is also good for a barbecue, but it is essential to make sure the coals cool to grey before adding the chicken, otherwise they will scorch outside before being cooked within. They will probably take 15-20 minutes' total cooking time, turned once, but the exact time will depend on the heat of your coals.....

    ... Partners really well with: Grilled spring onions with grilled tomato sauce

    I like to pile 2 or 3 of the onions on to a piece of roughly torn French bread or sourdough, then to spoon over a dollop of warm, rough-edged tomato sauce.

    Serves 2 as a snack or part of a light lunch
    fat spring or salad onions 12
    olive oil
    vino cotto or balsamic vinegar 2 tsp

    For the tomato sauce:
    cherry tomatoes 225g
    oregano 3-4 stems
    garlic 2 cloves
    olive oil a little
    red-wine vinegar 1 tsp
    crisp crusted bread to serve

    Make the sauce. Pull the tomatoes from their stalks, cut each one in half and drop into a shallow roasting tin or grill pan. Remove the leaves from the oregano (you need 1 tbsp, loosely heaped) then add to the tomatoes and discard the stalks. Squash the garlic cloves flat with a heavy weight, the side of a knife or the palm of your hand, then add to the dish. (We are only after a faint whiff of garlic here.) Pour over enough oil (about 2 tbsp) to thoroughly moisten the tomatoes. Grind over some salt and pepper, then place under a heated grill for 8-12 minutes or until the tomatoes start to colour and their juices run. Tip them into a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Set aside – the sauce is to be served warm rather than hot.

    To prepare the spring onions, cut off the roots and darkest green tips, leaving plenty of green stem in place. Put the onions on a grill pan or shallow roasting tin (I use the tomato tin, rinsed and dried) then trickle over a little olive oil – just enough to moisten them – and grill till they are tender and start to brown very slightly here and there.

    Remove the onions from the grill then transfer to a serving dish. Spoon a little vino cotto or balsamic vinegar over them. They are unlikely to need salt or pepper. Serve the onions warm with the tomato sauce scooped up with roughly torn bread.
    Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers.

    Asparagus Soup
    Serves 4

    a good litre of home-made chicken stock
    a large stalk of lemon grass, or 2 of the little supermarket ones
    150g / 5 oz podded broad beans
    250g / 8 oz thin asparagus spears
    a double handful of young chard or spinach leaves
    essential herbs: mint, coriander
    good herbs if you happen to have them: lovage, lemon balm, lemon thyme, etc

    Pour the chicken stock into a pot and bring it to the boil. Put a pan of water on for boiling the broad beans. Meanwhile, peel away the tougher outer leaves of the lemon grass and slice each stalk across very, very thinly to give hundreds of paper thin rings. Tip them into the chicken stock, and if the stock has boiled, turn it down to a brisk simmer. The lemon grass needs to cook for a good 10 minutes to soften.

    Drop the beans into the boiling water. They will need about 8 minutes or so, depending on their size (baby ones need little more than 5 minutes). Cut each stalk of asparagus into short lengths - nothing longer than the bowl of your spoon - and discard any tough ends. Drop the asparagus into your stock along with whatever you fancy and let it simmer to tenderness, a matter of 6 or 7 minutes.

    While the asparagus is cooking, drain the beans under running water and pop them from their skins, then drop them into the stock. Wash the spinach or chard leaves (sand can get caught in the leaf folds) and tear them into reasonable sized pieces. Push them down into the stock and let them cook until soft and silky - maybe only a minute or two for spinach, a little longer for chard.

    Chop the herbs roughly. You do, really, need both mint and coriander, but the rest are very much up to you. I like to add lemon thyme, even with the lemon grass already in there, for the ultimate freshness of taste. Ladle the soup in to warm bowls, then stir in the herbs. Serve very hot, so that the fragrant oils from the herbs rise up in the steam.

    Six sandwich special: Roast chicken ciabatta with lemon and thyme

    Enough for six sandwiches

    6 free-range chicken pieces, bone in (thighs and breasts)

    For the marinade:
    a nice bunch of thyme
    2 juicy cloves of garlic the juice of two large, juicy lemons
    an equal amount of fruity olive oil

    To serve:
    6 soft, floury baps or ciabatta
    mayonnaise or garlic mayonnaise for spreading
    4 handfuls of rocket or watercress

    Set the oven at 200°C/gas 6. Pull the leaves from the thyme and discard the stems, then chop the leaves roughly. Peel and crush the garlic and mix it with the lemon juice, the oil and a few turns of the peppermill. You will have a loose paste.

    Lay the chicken in a shallow dish and rub it with the lemon and thyme. Set aside somewhere cool, but not cold, for an hour or so. Grind over a little salt then roast the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes, occasionally turning the pieces over.

    Remove from the oven, and when the meat has cooled enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones. It should come away easily in thick, juicy strips. Split the rolls or ciabatta and spread the cut sides generously with mayonnaise, then lay some washed watercress or rocket on the bottom halves.

    Toss the torn chicken in any oil that is left in the roasting dish, then stuff it into the rolls with watercress or rocket.

    Meat on the cheap: Roast pork belly with five-spice rub (a super Nigel Slater recipe).

    Ask your butcher to score the skin of the pork for you - it is his job, not the cook's. This hatching of narrow lines through the skin not only helps the crackling to crisp nicely but makes carving a little easier. There is no 'gravy' or pan juices with this, so the oyster-sauce greens are essential.

    Serves 4

    1.75kg pork belly, bones left in, scored
    For the spice rub:
    3 juicy cloves garlic
    1 tsp black peppercorns
    1 tbs sea salt flakes
    2 tsps five-spice powder

    For the greens: 4 handfuls purple-sprouting broccoli, bok choi or mustard greens

    1 tbs groundnut oil
    2 tbs oyster sauce
    steamed rice to serve

    Remove any wrapping from the pork, then wipe the meat with a piece of kitchen paper to remove any moisture. Dry-skinned pork cooks crisper than wet.

    Peel the garlic, then pound it, together with the peppercorns, salt and five-spice powder, using a pestle and mortar. You want to end up with a spice rub the texture of potting compost.

    Lay the pork, skin-side down, in a china, stainless steel or glass dish, then rub the spice mixture into the flesh. Cover the dish and leave in a cool place for a good four hours.

    Set the oven at 220°C/gas 7. Put the pork, skin-side up, into a roasting tin. Leave in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180°C/gas 4 and continue roasting for a further 50 to 60 minutes. Test the meat for tenderness with a knife and check the juices that emerge. They should be clear and pale with no trace of blood. If they are not, then let the meat roast a little longer. If the fat isn't quite as crisp as you would like it, move the meat to the top shelf of the oven for a further 15 minutes.

    Lift the pork from the tin and leave it to rest on a chopping board for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the greens into boiling water and cook for three or four minutes until tender but still crisp to the bite, then drain them, leaving one tablespoon of water behind in the pan.

    Put the oil and oyster sauce in the greens pan and bring to the boil. Tip in the greens, turn off the heat, then cover the pan with a lid while you carve the pork.

    Cut the pork along the bones. I find one large bone plus a bit of extra meat enough for most people. Serve with the greens and, if you wish, the rice.

    Lamb and mushroom flatbreads Recipe by Nigel Slater

    Deliciously messy flatbreads to roll up or eat on a plate.

    SERVES 2

    groundnut oil 3 tbsp
    small mushrooms 100g
    garlic 2 cloves
    red chillies 2, small and hot
    minced lamb 300g
    mint leaves a small palmful
    yoghurt 4 heaped tbsp
    pine kernels 2 tbsp
    flatbreads 2 large
    salad leaves 2 handfuls
    pomegranate seeds 2 tbsp
    green olives, stoned 12

    Warm the oil in a wide, shallow pan over a moderate heat. Cut the mushrooms in half and add them to the pan, occasionally stirring them till they colour. Peel and finely chop the garlic then stir it into the mushrooms, leaving it to brown nicely for a few minutes.

    Halve each chilli lengthways, removing the seeds and finely chopping the flesh before adding to the pan and leaving to cook for a minute. Tip in the minced lamb, stir into the mushrooms and allow to colour for 5 minutes or so with only the occasional stir so that it browns nicely.

    Chop the mint leaves and stir into the yoghurt with salt and pepper.

    Chop the pine kernels and stir them into the lamb with a generous grinding of salt and pepper.

    Warm the flatbreads and lay them on a chopping board or work surface. Divide the salad leaves between the warm flatbreads and tip over the hot lamb and mushrooms.

    Scatter the pomegranate seeds and stoned olives over the lamb, then trickle over the yoghurt. Roll loosely and eat.

    A quick squash stew


    pumpkin, butternut or winter squash 1 kg
    groundnut oil 3 tbsp
    onions 2
    tomato purée 2 tsp
    chopped tomatoes a 400g can
    dried oregano a generous tsp
    parsley a few sprigs
    steamed brown rice to serve

    Peel the squash, halve it and scoop out and set aside the seeds. You should have about 800g flesh. Cut into large dice, about 1-2cm square.

    Warm the oil in a wide, deep pan, add the pieces of squash (you may have to cook it in two batches so as not to crowd the pan) and leave them to fry till golden brown on their edges. Move them round the pan as they cook, adding more oil if necessary, then remove them from the pan with a draining spoon. (If you wish, wash a handful of the discarded pumpkin seeds, dry them and toast in a non-stick pan till golden brown. Set aside. You can scatter them over the stew later.)

    Peel and slice the onions, then add them to the empty pan over a low to moderate heat. Stirring occasionally, leave them for 10 minutes or until pale amber in colour and tender enough to crush between your thumb and finger.

    Stir in the tomato purée, scraping away at the tasty, sticky residue in the pan with a wooden spoon. Fry briefly, then add the tomatoes, oregano and a little salt and ground black pepper. Fill the empty tomato can with water and pour into the pan, stirring thoroughly, and bring to the boil.

    Return the squash to the pan and leave to simmer, with the occasional, gentle stir, for 25 minutes or until everything is soft when pressed gently with a fork.

    Chop the parsley and stir in. Check the seasoning and serve with the brown rice.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  3. Lady Derelict Content

    Lady Derelict Content Goodbye

    Noodles and Greens

    Preparing the ingredients first is pretty much essential in this recipe. Once started, there is no time to chop as you cook. Easy.

    SERVES 2

    spring onions 6
    garlic 3 cloves
    spring greens 175g
    groundnut oil 2 tbsp
    fresh egg noodles 150g
    mild chilli sauce 1 tbsp
    dark soy sauce 3 tsp
    fresh coriander leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs

    Chop the spring onions (white and the lower part of the green stalk) into thin rounds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Snap off the leaves of the spring greens, pile them on top of one another, roll them up, then shred them into finger-width ribbons.

    Heat a wok over a high heat. Pour in the oil, swirl it round the pan, then, as it shimmers and starts to smoke, add the chopped spring onions and garlic. Move them quickly round the pan for a minute or two till they start to soften and colour then add the noodles. As the noodles cook, drop in the shredded greens and stir or toss them around the pan as they cook for 2 minutes.

    Stir in the chilli sauce and soy, add the coriander leaves and continue cooking for a minute or so till all is soft, glossy and sizzling.

    Another cheap and easy supper: Chicken wings with coconut cream

    You could serve this with plenty of the brick red, coconut-scented sauce and some rice, but I prefer to reduce the sauce over a high heat, stirring almost continuously, till it is thick enough to coat the chicken wings.

    SERVES 4

    groundnut oil 2 tbsp
    chicken wings 16, or 12 large ones
    ginger a 60g knob
    garlic 2 large cloves
    ground chilli ½ tsp
    ground turmeric ½ tsp
    ground coriander 1 tsp
    small "new" potatoes 250g
    chopped tomatoes a 400g can
    coconut cream up to 320ml
    coriander leaves a small handful

    Warm the oil in a deep frying pan, add the chicken wings, seasoned with salt and pepper, and leave them to colour on both sides. Remove to a plate once they are golden brown on both sides.

    Peel the ginger and garlic and blitz them to a rough pulp in a food processor. Blend in the ground chilli, turmeric and coriander. Cut the potatoes into thin "coins".

    Return the empty chicken pan to a moderate heat and add the spice mix from the processor. Once it starts to sizzle and its fragrance rises add the potatoes and 200ml water, continue cooking, with the occasional stir, for 10 minutes or until they are approaching tenderness. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

    Pour in the coconut cream (start with 160ml, then add more as you wish). Season with salt, stir well, return the chicken and any juices on the plate to the pan and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing time for the liquid to reduce a little.

    Turn up the heat, and stirring almost continuously, let the sauce bubble till it has thickened considerably. Scrape away the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as you go to stop the sauce sticking. The sauce should be thick and should easily coat the chicken. Stir in a little chopped coriander if you wish.

    Serve in shallow bowls or deep plates and, as it's best eaten somewhat messily with the hands, provide something for everyone to wipe their fingers with.

    Chicken, garlic, herbs - a simple supper very popular with my family like the above recipe.

    There is something neat about this recipe, and I am not talking about its frugal use of kitchen equipment, though that is another point in its favour. The shopping list, as always, is short. The method is straightforward, undemanding. Spinach or courgettes, briefly boiled and tossed with butter and lemon juice, and some French bread for mopping your plate might be good here. Enough for 4.

    free-range chicken - either a small bird, jointed by the butcher, or 2 chicken pieces per person, skin and bones to remain in place
    olive oil
    a thick slice of butter
    6 large, sweet cloves of garlic
    a small bunch of parsley, plus tarragon, thyme or chervil
    a large wine glass of white wine or dry vermouth

    Rub the chicken all over with a little oil and some black pepper. In a large pan - it can be high-sided or shallow but it must have a lid - warm enough olive oil to give a small puddle in the bottom, then add the butter. Once the butter starts to froth, put in the chicken pieces and keep the heat moderately high while they colour. A pale and relatively even gold is what you are after.

    Meanwhile, put the whole unpeeled garlic cloves on a board and, with the flat blade of a knife, squash them so they flatten but remain fairly intact. Throw them in with the chicken. Turn down the heat so the fat under the chicken is gently fizzing, then add a little sea salt, cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook over a low to moderate heat. The time it takes to cook will depend on the thickness of your chicken joints, but expect them to need about 40 minutes. You will have to turn them during cooking so they colour on all sides.

    Meanwhile, pluck the leaves from the herbs and chop them roughly. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish or warm plates, then fish out the garlic (although the garlic has done its work, it may be tender and sweet and is worth adding to the plate, though the skin should be discarded at some point). Tip off most of the fat from the pan - what you are after is the golden, caramelised juice stuck to the bottom - then turn up the heat, pour in the wine and add the herbs and let it bubble. Scrape away at any stuck bits in the pan, encouraging them to dissolve into the wine with a wooden spoon. Let this all bubble away for a minute or two until you have a thin liquor. It should be pale and interesting. Now taste the juice for seasoning - it may need salt, pepper or a squeeze of lemon juice - and spoon it over the chicken.

    And more!

    A nice buttery finish

    Once the wine has bubbled down, whisk in a thick slice of butter (about 50g), cut into tiny cubes. Taste and spoon over the chicken.

    Or a creamy one, even
    Once you have removed the chicken from the pan and poured in your wine or vermouth, let it bubble away until you have only half of it left, then add about half as much cream. As it continues to bubble, stir in chopped parsley and slightly less chopped tarragon. Finish with salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

    Lamb with garlic and lemon
    What works for a chicken thigh will also work for a lamb chop. Try the original idea but with chump chops and adding parsley and mint. Finish with the squeeze of a lemon.

    Pork chops with apple and cream

    Rib chops, with their generous marbling of integral fat (rather than a loin chop with its great wodge of fat running alongside the lean meat), are delectable cooked this way. You should let them colour well before turning down the heat, adding an apple or two, peeled and cut into small cubes, and letting it colour with the pork. When it is time to take out the meat, leave the apple be, then add the wine and let it simmer down a bit before pouring in a small pot of double cream. Stir, taking the sediment from the pan with you and dissolving it into the cream with your wooden spoon. Herbs are not really needed here, though the garlic is. I once crushed a few juniper berries, adding them after the meat and fruit had browned, to great effect.
  4. Lady Derelict Content

    Lady Derelict Content Goodbye

    There is a solitary peach on my desk, picked up at the local farmers' market. Grown on a tree older than its owner, its skin is covered in fine grey down. And that for me is the point of the peach and why I hold its qualities above those of the nectarine – the feel of the peach's soft fuzz on lips, the way the skin puckers as I bite, a teasing prelude to the sweet flesh that will follow.

    When a peach is at its most sublime, it needs a plate to catch the juice, though I often forget. Or is it that I can never quite believe I will need one?


    Ask your butcher to score the skin finely for this, as the crackling is essential. The first brief roasting at the higher temperature sets the crackling on the route to crispness. These ribs are not sweet and sticky like the ones in The Kitchen Diaries, but lightly crisp and lip tingling.


    Pork belly 1–1.5kg, boned, skin intact and finely scored

    for the rub
    garlic 3 cloves
    light soy sauce 2 tbsp
    groundnut oil 1 tbsp
    salt 2 tsp
    dried chilli flakes half a tsp
    Chinese five-spice powder 1 tsp

    for the peach salsa
    spring onions 2
    small red chilli 1
    peaches 3
    cherry tomatoes 8
    coriander a small bunch
    limes juice of 2
    olive oil 3 tbsp

    Put the pork in a china or glass dish. Peel and crush the garlic to a paste, stirring in the soy, oil, salt, chilli flakes and five-spice powder. Spread this paste over the skin and underside of the pork and leave to marinate for a good four hours, if not overnight.

    Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 7. Place the pork in a roasting tin, then cook, skin-side up, for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 200C/gas mark 6 and continue cooking for a further 40 to 50 minutes, until the skin is dark and crisp. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

    Make the salsa. Trim and finely chop the spring onions. Finely chop the chilli. Peel, stone and finely chop the peaches and tomatoes and chop the coriander. Toss gently, then dress with the lime juice and olive oil. Serve the ribs with the salsa.

    ... more to come
  5. GodsChild77

    GodsChild77 Regular Member

    YUM... my mouth is watering reading this stuff! I'm going to have to try some of these out. Yes, anymore is welcome. Thanks!
  6. Assuredcw

    Assuredcw Citizen for Civil Public Discourse

    This is an inexpensive and casual buffet dish, Superbowl party dish or picnic item that can be served at room temperature, and that I think is just fabulous. I got it from a Superbowl ad from the pasta manufacturer (I think), but I am writing this recipe from memory because I make it all the time. I think it will serve 8 - 10 people as a side dish, or 4-6 people as a main dish.

    Bow Tie Pasta with Italian Sausage and Lima Beans

    1 lb Bow Tie Pasta

    Frozen Lima Beans prepared according to pkg directions (as much as you like)

    Sun Dried Tomatoes Packed in Oil, diced (as much as you like)

    6 Italian Sausages, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

    Red Wine Vinegar to dress the pasta

    Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to taste

    Boil the pasta in salted water, drain it, and tumble it into your serving dish. Pour some of the oil that the sun dried tomatoes were packed in over the pasta, along with some red wine vengar, and toss. Add the cooked lima beans, the sliced italian sausage, the sliced sun dried tomatoes and the crushed red pepper flakes, and toss again. You can serve it at room temperature. I think a little fresh basil makes it more colorful, but don't go out and get it if you don't have it.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  7. NorwayUnn

    NorwayUnn -

    sounds good