Friday, 20 May 2011

The new Frugal


Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may like to know that a new edition of The Frugal Cook has just been published. And for others who are coming across it for the first time I’d just like to say a bit about the approach I took in the book.

I got a bit of flak when the first edition was released for not concentrating enough on traditional recipes. One reviewer asked why I didn’t focus more on cuts like hearts, tripe and pilchards (because I don't much like them, is the honest answer). Another said “If the author thinks this is frugal she should have a word with my mother who cooked her way through the Second World War both domestically and running a night canteen for firefighters”. But that was nearly 70 years ago, I need hardly point out. Tastes have changed.

What I tried to do was create a budget cookbook that took account of the fact that people had less time, most probably less cooking experience and and access to a much wider range of ingredients. So there are Asian dishes like this Chicken broth with Coriander and Noodles (above) rather than an old fashioned chicken soup and a frittata rather than an omelette (below). There are meals to cook in bulk and make ahead (Basic Bolognese) as well as ones to rustle up from the storecupboard (Linguine with Stilton and Onions is a treat if you've got a piece of Stilton in the fridge)


There are tips for salvaging often discarded ingredients like spinach or broccoli stalks (Stalky Spinach, Pea and Mint Soup) or the leftovers from a barbeque (Chargrilled Chicken, Pepper and Herb Couscous Salad). And ones for cutting down the cost of family favourites like my Frugal Fish Pie. In fact there are tips for substituting ingredients and saving money throughout.

There are also treats - would I deprive you of treats? - like Empress of Puddings (a poshed up version of Queen of Puddings based on humble eggs, breadcrumbs and frozen berries as well as jam) and good old profiteroles. Who doesn’t love them?

In short there’s something for everyone whether you’re living on your own, feeding kids or entertaining friends and some lovely pictures (by Mike Cooper and Genevieve Taylor) to inspire you. At £9.99 - less than the original edition - it's cheap enough to treat yourself and a good gift for a friend. End of sell!

PS if you want to buy the new illustrated edition make sure it’s the one with the red cover not the green one!

10 comments:

verity said...

How exciting Fiona! Too bad I have the old edition, as I'd love to see the photos - wouldn't be very frugal to buy another copy I guess...it's ages since I've looked at it and now I want to (but as we're moving house, it's in a box somewhere). But I feel inspired to make frittata for tea as we still have lots of eggs from when they were on special offer and I couldn't remember how many I needed (17 in the end...) for the 12" tier of my wedding cake (that's not very frugal, but it will hopefully feed a lot)

Fiona Beckett said...

I usually use five large ones for a frittata. When's the wedding?

Vanessa Kimbell said...

Well i didn't get the first edition .. so I shall be buying this one. It looks great.

Fiona Beckett said...

Thankyou Vanessa! Hope you enjoy it :)

Signe Johansen said...

Congrats on the new edition Fiona. Can't see why you received flak for the first edition, thought the book was (and still is) relevant, timely and extremely useful. Curmudgeons!

Anyway, good luck with this one :)

Fiona Beckett said...

Very kind - many thanks, Sig :) I guess it wouldn't have been reissued if there hadn't been a demand for it - and fortunately it got some great reviews to balance the curmudgeonly ones!

Greedyrosie said...

Ooh, I'll definitely be getting that. Not sure about this tripe business - nothing's good value if you buy and can't bear to cook it!

Frugal Student said...

I'm trying to figure out where to leave this comment. I just found you though another blog and yum. I am still learning to cook, and trying to cook frugally is hard for me. I love almost every recipe I have read on here. I'm going to add you to my blog list and keep up from now on. What a wonderful blog.

Fiona Beckett said...

Thankyou @FrugalStudent!

Canadian said...

I just bought your new edition. I have made Frugal Fish Pie (good) and Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake (I liked it, but my husband thought there was way too much spinach). There are other recipes I plan to try too.

Evidently some foods which are expensive here in Canada are frugal in the UK (lamb, Stilton...). I haven't seen a frugal Canadian cookbook though.

UA-3466976-1