Tropical fruits sorbet

Made from tin fruit

Made from tin fruits

I chose to do a tropical sorbet because it is very practical and innovative way to use tinned fruit. I find that tinned fruits often have an after taste. In a sorbet form the after taste disappears.

Ingredients for 500ml:

Sorbet ingredients

Sorbet ingredients

  • 1 small tropical fruits tin – Foodbank or 41p from Marks & Spencer’s
  • 1 small carton guava juice – 59p from the news agent
  • 1 table spoon sugar – Any sugar
  • Zest of ½ lime – 5p from the market

Total spend: £1.05 or 17p per person

Method:

This sorbet was made the old fashion way; a fork, patience, and elbow grease. This version is for people without ice maker.

Drained tinned fruits

Drained tinned fruits

Open the fruit tin, drain the fruits and discard the syrup.

Using a hand blender, liquidise the fruits and add the guava juice. Add the sugar and zest. Mix well until the sugar granules have melted.

Pour the mix in a plastic container with lid and place it in the middle section of the freezer for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Sorbet ready for the freezer

Sorbet ready for the freezer

After that, bring out the container and break the ice/sorbet crystals that are starting to form with a fork or a hand blender. I used a fork throughout as I wanted the lime zest specs to still be visible at the end. So, mix well and return the container in the freezer.

Repeat the process 2 more times before the sorbet is ready to serve.

Best consistency for sorbet

Best consistency for sorbet

If you are not serving it right away, after breaking the ice/sorbet crystals 3 times, return the bowl in the freezer. If you serve the sorbet 5, 10 hours later or the next day, take the bowl out of the freezer 15 minutes before hand. That way, the sorbet won’t be too hard to scoop out.

Do check out the rest of the Mexican menu here

Enjoy!

Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

Lime syrup

Ready lime syrup

Ready lime syrup

For 100ml of ready syrup

Ingredients:

  • 100ml lime juice or 5 limes – 40p from the market
  • 3 limes zest
  • 100 ml water
  • 200g unrefined brown sugar granules – From the cupboard

    Syrup ingredients

    Syrup ingredients

Total spend: £0.40p

Method:

Grate the zest off 3 of the 5 limes before juicing all 5 of them. The juice form 5 limes should produce about 100ml of lime juice.

To squeeze out the maximum juice from a like or any citrus, roll it on a hard surface while pressing it down with the palm of your hand… Be careful not to press too hard or it will burst.

Lime zest

Lime zest

Mix the sugar with water in a small sauce pan and place on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Brown sugar tends to foam a lot, so keep an eye on it and stir it constantly until the white foaming starts to diminish.

Now, add the lime and a pinch of salt. Leave to simmer for another 2-3 minutes, then remove for the stove and mix in the zest. Mix well and leave to cool down for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Adding the zest at the last minute will guarantee a very strong lime flavour as the zest will be warmed but not cooked by the hot syrup.

This lime syrup was made to serve Bunoelos in the Mexican menu.

Bunoelos

Served with lime syrup and icing sugar

Served with lime syrup and icing sugar

For about 20 units. Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 150g Self-rising flour – Foodbank – or ~10p
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100ml water
  • Zest of 1 whole lime 10p

Total spend: £0.20p

Method:

Mix everything in the bowl. Make sure to sieve the flour to avoid lumps in the dough. The dough should be stretchy and lumps free.

Cover the dough and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Dough batter

Dough batter

Meantime, heat about 300ml of vegetable oil. If you’ve got a chip pan, use it. What we are looking for, is to have enough oil so the dough ball will rise to the surface within seconds after being dropped in. The oil should be really hot.

To test that the oil is hot. Drop in a very small piece of dough. If it stay on the bottom of the pan. Leave it to heat well and do another test.

Once the oil is hot. Cut the dough in small pieces and put them into the oil… 5-10 piece at a time depending on the size of your pan. Fry for 3-5 minutes until the balls are brown all over. PS: You won’t be able to use a knife to cut the dough… you will have to be creative with a spoon or your fingers… It is a very sticky dough.

Dough swimming in oil

Dough swimming in oil

Using a skimmer (that big cooking spoon with holes like a colander) remove the now browned dough from the oil and put on tissue/absorbing paper. Repeat until all done.

Serve just rolled in granulated sugar.

As part of my Mexican menu, I served mine with a lime Syrup (recipe here) and a tropical fruit sorbet (recipe here) or even a mango and red grapes nectar (recipe here).

Enjoy!

About the Mexican menu

Mexican-No Tacos!

Mexican-No Tacos!

Hi! Hopefully you would have read the previous post by the time you got here. Mexican food was suggested by one of our listeners on Croydon Radio… Read about it here.

I tried to make it as authentic as possible. In most parts of the world like Asia, Africa, India or Latin America, the use of pre-prepared

Collecting the corn kernels

Collecting the corn kernels

ingredients can be seen as un-authentic. So, where necessary, spices will be grinded at home, the corn kernels will be remove from the cob at home if necessary, the beans will be bought dry, soaked and cooked in house if the dinner requires it.

That way, the ingredients have better value for money and deliver the most authentic taste, consistency and texture.

Here in Europe, it can be cheaper to buy the tin of corn or beans as they are better value for money, but with no control over the texture.

Funnily enough in the places above mentioned, buying tinned or frozen could be considered a luxury while here in Europe it is the basics.

So, in my Mexican menu, I have used the dry black beans that I have

Dry black beans

Dry black beans

soaked for 24hrs and boiled for 1hr to obtain a just-right texture. I have used black beans, but they aren’t as easy to find in tins so, feel free to use the kidney beans available in all supermarkets… Those can easily turn in to mush I don’t use them that much.

For the corn, I used fresh corn on the cob and shaved the kernels off myself. The best alternative would be the frozen corn rather than tinned sweet corn.

The rest of the components and ingredients for this menu can be found everywhere.

The Mexican menu I came up with and is as follows:

The starter is completely suitable for vegans and the cracker cup can be made from a foodbank parcel content.

For vegans, replace the chicken with large mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms which are chewier.

If using foodbanks parcels, replace the plantain with tinned potatoes, use tinned kidney beans, carrots & tomatoes.

Those flakes ARE HOT! really!

Those flakes ARE HOT! really!

Visit Croydon Radio website to hear me talk about the menu… Don’t forget to suggest something for the next show and leave some comments below!

Thank you for checking in!

See you next month!

Don’t forget. If you are a foodbank user, you can find more specifically created recipes on http://thebankcook.com/about/. Download the recipe collection here.

If you are Vegan, check out my vegan creations on http://all-vegan.blogspot.co.uk/

Hortense

Apple Tart & Choc sauce

 

Apple tart with hearts & chocolate sauce

Apple tart with hearts & chocolate sauce

Serves up to 8

For this dish, I got the butter, sugar, orange & lemon from home. Am not a big fan of desserts and use very little sugar when making them especially with fruits. 

Ingredients for the tart:

Dessert ingredients

Dessert ingredients

  • 500g dessert pastry block – Sainsbury’s – £1.00
  • 12 apples – market – 66p
  • 50g sugar
  • 500ml water
  • Orange zest
  • 20g butter (for the oven dish)
  • 25cm tart dish

Ingredients for the chocolate sauce:

  • 100g 50% dark chocolate – LIDL – 35p
  • 25g sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml water

Total spent: £1.95 – 0.48pp

Method:

For the compote

For the compote

Preheat the oven at 180C.

  • Peel & core the 12 apples and place them in a bowl full of water and a half lemon to prevent the apple from darkening.
  • Cut 7 of those apples into small pieces and place in a small pan with 500ml of water and 50g sugar. Cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
  • Once the apples are cooked pour into a sieve to
    Apple compote

    Apple compote

    remove the excess water. Using a hand blender, blitz to obtain a very smooth paste… That paste is called compote.

Set the compote aside.

  • Remove the pastry block from the package, place it on a flat surface (or kitchen worktop) dusted with flour. Then, using a rolling pin or a wine bottle, press down the pastry evenly, but not too thinly. What you are looking for is the pastry wide and thick enough to fit in to the cake dish.

    Compote and apple slices

    Compote and apple slices

  • Once that is done, gently flip the pastry on the rolling pin, then transfer it on the baking dish. Now, using your hands flatten the dish on the base of the dish, then prick it with a fork to allow steam to escape from the base while the cake is baking. Trim and remove the excess pastry*.
  • Now pour the compote over the cake base, grate the zest on 1 small orange, then thinly slice 5 apples and align the slices as shown on the photo.
  • Once the whole surface of the cake is covered, place the tart in the oven and bake for 45 minutes at 180C.
Baked tart

Baked tart

In the meantime prepare the chocolate sauce.

  • Melt 25g of sugar in 50 ml water. Set aside.

    Chocolate squares

  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof dish.
  • Bring water to boil in a sauce pan, then place over it, the dish containing the chocolate.
  • Stir gently until the chocolate is fully melted. Now add the butter and continue to gently stir until the butter disappears.
  • Take the mix away from heat, then add in the sugar & water mix. Stir quick to make a smooth sauce.
Ready chocolate sauce

Ready chocolate sauce

Following these proportions the sauce should be liquid enough not to set even when it cools down.

Once the tart is ready, allow 30 minutes to cool down before serving.

The little hearts on the photos below are made from the extra pastry trimmed further up. Using my rolling pin again, I rerolled the pastry and cut it in

hearts & lips
hearts & lips

hearts and lips shapes, symbol of Valentine. The shapes were baked for 10-15minutes, cooled down, then dipped into the chocolate sauce just after I melted the butter in it.

 

Choc hearts & lips

Choc hearts & lips

Note: an alternative from the compote can be the readymade sponge mix sold at Sainsbury’s at @28p. But since there are many apples for £1.00 they are better used this way.

Compote is a regular dessert in France can be consumed by adult and children in the same way as yogurts are. Making a compote is a great way to use fruits if there are too much. A compote uses very little sugar as opposed to jam which is all sugar.

 

Valentine dinner – Intro

dinner 1 cost £2.60 or less

dinner 1 cost £2.60 or less

For my first ever show on Croydon Radio as a contributor, I chose to be generous by creating a 3-couse meal for 4 for £10.00.

The reason I made it for 4 was that, being Valentine day, a not-so-well off couple could cook dinner and invite their jobless grown up son or daughter & companion to share the dinner. I tried to cover here the cost, community and conviviality.

The menu is as follows:

  1. Starter – Smoked Oyster salad – recipe & cost here
  2. Main – Fusilli, tomato sauce & meatballs – recipe & cost here
  3. Dessert – Apple tart & Chocolate sauce – recipe & cost here
  4. and for drinks Pomegranate juice (0.99p) topped with flavoured fizzy water (0.39p).

To see the full recipe and cost for each course, please click on the link.

The related show was broadcasted on Croydon Radio on Saturday 14th February 2015. To listen again, please click on this link.

Thank you for checking in! See you next time.

Hortense