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!