Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Delia's got a point

Much coverage in the papers over the last few days on Delia's new book 'How to Cheat at Cooking' a collection of recipes based on time-saving products.

Now you might think that would make the recipes costlier than cooking them from scratch but that isn't inevitably so as I explain on my website www.beyondbakedbeans.com today.

Last night was a case in point. Rooting around in the cupboards (it was a No Food Shopping Day) I found a jar of puttanesca sauce - not difficult to make, admittedly, but costly if you don't have olives, capers and anchovies already to hand.

The trouble with ready made products like this is that they tend to be bland so I fried off the last of the spring onions I bought a couple of days ago, added two crushed cloves of garlic and scooped in the sauce, finally adding a big handful of chopped parsley (one of my must-have fridge ingredients). Tossed together with half a pack of spaghetti it made a really tasty - and frugal - meal for two.


Melissa Cole said...

Now I've moved much away from a busy high street and only have a dodgy convenience shop I have found that having these things in the cupboard/fridge/freezer/on the windowsill means you can't go wrong:

Pasta shapes
Green/Puy Lentils
Rice (brown/white/basmati/wild whatever!)
Tinned tomatoes
Mixed dried herbs
Curry powder
Chilli salt
Various vinegars
Pine nuts
Olive oil (EV & bog-standard)
Tuna in spring water
Duck eggs

Thai curry pastes
Tom Yum paste
Paysan Breton cream cheese
Lemons & Limes

Baby octopus/cuttlefish/squid

Window sill:
Fresh herbs
Living salad
Shoots of some sort (normally radish) - even in a fifth floor London flat you can manage this!

It gives you a lot of scope - although buying some additional fresh veg once in a while might not be a bad idea!

Fiona Beckett said...

Great post, Melissa, thanks! I like that Paysan Breton cream cheese too.

Melissa Cole said...

Hiya Fi, I came home late and sadly sober to find the other half had been out and was indulging in lashings of it on toast as a guilty post-pub snack! It's just so versatile, chuck chives in and it goes in a baked potato (epecially baked sweet potato), mix a little harissa, and crushed coriander & cumin seeds into it and stuff it in a chicken breast or as I said just use it with pasta - it rocks!