Marrowfat & sausage ratatouille

Ratatouille and potatoes

Ratatouille and potatoes

Serve 5… this is part of the food bank menu for 5.

Ingredients:

  • 300g tinned ratatouille (FB or 70p)

    Ingredients for the ratatouille

    Ingredients for the ratatouille

  • 330g drained marrowfat (FB or 60p)
  • 5 hotdog sausages each cut in 4 (FB or £2.00 (chicken wings might be a better option if buying meat))
  • 3 twigs of fresh thyme or pinch of dry thyme
  • 100g onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt & Pepper (or chilli flakes)

Total spend: if on food bank budget: £0.00. If on low income £3.30 or £0.66 per person.

Method:

Tinned sausages for meat can be replaced by chicken

Tinned sausages for meat can be replaced by chicken

Dice the onion and garlic. Quarter the sausage. Rinse then marrow fat set all aside separately.

Heat 3 tablespoons if vegetable oil. Fry the thyme, onion and garlic together for 1 minute then add in the sausages and fry until the latter are golden. Stir often to allow all sides of the sausages to brown. This will also allow the meat to absorb the Garlic and onions flavours.

Once the sausages are brown, add the marrowfat and ratatouille as well as 200ml water and black pepper (or chilli flakes). Cover to simmer for 5 minutes. The sausages can be very salty, you might want to wait until the end before adding salt if needed). Serve with the previously roasted potatoes… Bon appetit!

Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

See the full menu by clicking on the following links for the starter and the dessert. Hear the show on Croydon Radio here it was broadcasted on 6th June 2015.

FB means Food Bank. Low budget means low income. The total spend for a foodbank user would have been £1.42 or £0.28 per person. For a person on low budget, the spend would have been £10.17 or £2.03 per person.

Starter, main, dessert... Enjoy!

Starter, main, dessert… Enjoy!

See you next month! We are cooking a French menu… homely. Always!

 

 

Roast herbs and garlic potatoes

One. drain, rinse, cut

Season

mix

This is part of the main in the food bank menu Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 800g tinned new potatoes (FB or 2 x 80p)
  • 40g fresh parsley (40p)
  • 3 garlic cloves (10p)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Total spend for this dish:

if food bank user is £0.50p or £0.10p per person. If on low budget £2 or 0.40p per person. Knowing that oil, salt and pepper… and garlic are already in the kitchen cupboard.

Ideally, the tinned new potatoes should be eaten as is just warmed up or deep fried to give it a bit of hardness and colour. Since the oven is already heated. I thought I could just roasted them for this menu.

Drain the potatoes, halve them, put them in an oven dish and add a hand full of chopped parsley and minced garlic. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Also add 3 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to mix and place the dish in the oven for 1 hour at 200°C… Serve with the Marrow fat ratatouille

 

All roasted!

All roasted!

Black pepper and chilli flakes croutons

Ready croutons

Ready croutons

These croutons were made for the starter as part of the food bank menu

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices of brown bread (from the fridge)
  • Chili flakes (optional, from the cupboard)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil (can be found in the 99p store, but already in the cupboard)

Total spend: £0.00

The oven should already be heated given the potatoes and Crumble already done.

Cut the bread, season and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to stir as you bake.

Asparagus & spinach soup

The green stuff all god for you!

The green stuff all god for you!

Serves 5

This is the starter for the Food Bank Menu.

Ingredients:

  • 50g fresh parsley (40p)

    The soup ingredients

    The soup ingredients

  • 265g drained spinach – 1 small tin (FB or 0.65p)
  • 244g drained asparagus – 1 small tin (FB or £2.00 (would be cheaper fresh))
  • 10g fresh ginger (or dry ginger 10p)
  • 50g onion (in the cupboard)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 heaps tablespoon dry milk (FB or 10p (or use breakfast milk))
  • 2 stock cubes (2p)

Total spend: on Food bank budget £0.52 or £0.10 per person. On low budget £3.27 or £0.65p per person.

Method:

Dice onion, garlic and ginger. It is preferable to grate the ginger if you can. If you do not have a grater, finely chop it, then bash to bring out it full flavour.

Removed parsley leaves from the stalk, rinse and chop. Set aside. Drain the spinach and asparagus, leave them for 5-10 minutes in the sieve to allow as much liquid from the tin as possible to drain away.

Prepare the stock; place the stock cubes to dissolve in 800ml of boiling water and stir in the dry milk until all the granules have dissolved set aside.

Not exactly green from the tin

Not exactly green from the tin

In a deep pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil and fry for two minutes the ginger, onion and garlic.

Add the asparagus and spinach salt and pepper then fry until the all he water left in them evaporates. This will take about 5 minutes to 7 minutes on medium heat. Do not cover the pan.

Add the stock and bring the contents of the pan to boil until it no longer foams. That will take another 5 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. Now add the parsley and simmer for just 3 minutes to wilt it. Do not let the parsley lose its colour.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand blender, liquidize the content of the pan until smooth before serving as suggested with home made croutons (see how to make them here).

Serving suggestion

Enjoy!

Apricot crumble with golden coconut

Apricot Crumble pot

Apricot Crumble pot

Serves 5

Ingredients:

Crumble ingredients

Crumble ingredients

  • 2 tins drained halved apricots (FB or 40p)
  • 8 teaspoons white sugar (kitchen cupboard)
  • 100g desiccated coconut (40p)
  • 225g ready crumble mix (FB or 40p)
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • 5 ramekins
  • Instant custard (FB or 40p)

Total spend:

On a food bank budget the only add on is the desiccated coconut. Which in LIDL cost 89p for 225g

If all the ingredients were shop bought and bearing in mind that few of the ingredients are from the kitchen cupboard, this dessert cost £1.60 for 5 or £0.32 per person.

Method:

Roasted desiccated coconut

Roasted desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven at 190°C

As the oven heats up, lay the coconut on a baking tray and roast until golden. This should take 5 to 8 minutes at 190°C. Don’t forget to stir with a spatula every minutes on 1 and half minute or so to even out the golden colour. Once the coconut is roasted, remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool down before transferring into a bowl. Set aside.

Drain the apricot set aside.

Rub a generous amount of butter in all the ramekins including base and sides. Set aside.

Sugar and coconut mix

Sugar and coconut mix

In a small bowl, mix 8 teaspoons of sugar with 3 teaspoons of the golden coconut and two small

pinches of salt. Mix well then spoon in each ramekin 2 generous teaspoons (heaps) of the mix. Once that is done, layer tightly in the ramekins 5 to 7 halved apricots. Sprinkle a pinch of roasted coconut on top of the apricot before covering everything with the crumble mix.

Place the individual crumbles in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes at 190°C. Keep an eye on

Filling the ramekins

Filling the ramekins

it as you won’t want the top o burn. Ideally, around 30 minutes into the baking, the sugar should start to brown and bubble up then make its way to the top of the crumble. The other 10 minutes will allow the sugar at the bottom of the pot to caramelize. Using clear glass ramekin will help you to see thru the changes in the pudding.

The custard used here is a custard that just needed boiling water. It wasn’t too sweet and helped to lessen the sweetness of this pudding…

Serve as suggested dusted with the remaining golden coconut and custard.

Serve as suggested with custard on the side

Serve as suggested with custard on the side

Enjoy!

This dessert is part of the Foodbank menu. See the rest of the menu here. And listen to the show from here.

 

Next, a foodbank menu

Hi All, we are back this week with Tom C. on Croydon radio at 4pm.

The menu on Saturday 6th June will be a 3 course meal with a food bank food parcel.

As you would know if you are a food bank user, from time to time, you will in your parcel receive stuff that you won’t know what to do with. You won’t always have tins of food that you are familiar with and the idea here is to use some of those food items in the way that you already know how.

What's in a parcel?

What’s in a parcel?

For example, some people would assume that crumble can only be made with apples or rhubarb. Now imagine that you have only been given tins of apricots and they have been collecting dust in the cupboard because you don’t know what else to do with them.

What would you do with a tin of asparagus if you found it in your food parcel?

Now cooking has no real rules unless, you are baking… Am here to help people know that celery was never meant to be eaten just as a stick. So if you like crumble desserts, you can make them with any fruit you like. If you like soups do them with any vegetables. Just don’t overdo it on sugar or fat or over eat. If you are at home, allow yourself to fail… no one is watching! Have fun, just don’t waste!

So, next Saturday we are in a family gathering situation where we are dusting off the tins we have been collecting because we had no idea what to do with them.

The menu is as follows:

Starters: Asparagus and spinach soup with homemade croutons

Mains: Marrow fat peas ratatouille with a side of herby new potatoes

Dessert: Individual apricot crumble pots topped with roasted desiccated coconut and custard

Hope the menu sounds interesting enough for you to tune in and hear about it… and of course Tom will be tasting all of it!

Starter, main, dessert... Enjoy!

Starter, main, dessert… Enjoy!

See you next week and if you have any question or ingredient you are struggling to use from your food parcel, let me know.

Have a great week!

Listen to the foodbank menu show from here. For more foodbank related recipes, download The Bank Cook recipes collection here.

The Bank Cook Book

The Bank Cook Book

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!

Paprika corn cracker cups

DSC01526 small

To make 6 to 7 cracker cups…

Ingredients:

  • 150g plain flour – From foodbank – or 68p from LIDLDSC01495 small
  • 50g coarse corn (optional) – 10p
  • 1 teaspoon oregano – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – from cupboard
  • Salt – from cupboard
  • 50ml corn oil – from cupboard
  • 6 tablespoons water

1kg of coarse corn costs £1.49 from Tesco

Preheat the over at 180C.

Method:DSC01498 small

Mix the oil and water together with the corn. Cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. The coarse corn is very hard and needs time to soften. Skip this step if not using coarse corn.

After 10 minutes, add the flour, salt, paprika, oregano and mix well by hand. The consistency we are looking for is a soft dough very near to being a crumble, but that can be shaped.

Once the dough is mixed. Cover with cling film and set aside for 10-20 minutes.DSC01500 small

To make the cups, use cupcakes moulds, spay the inside with oil and press in very tightly the dough. The thinner the sides, the better.

Once all the cups have been filled, place in the oven for 12-15 at 180C.

Remove the tray from the oven and leave the cups aside to cool down. To remove the cups from the mould, gently tap the whole tray on a hard surface to easy them from the bottom of the tray, then gently remove.DSC01501 small

If you do not have cupcakes moulds, just lay the dough on a sheet of baking foil, place another sheet on top of the dough and flatten with the rolling pin or wine bottle. Again, the thinner the better. Just remember how thin the shop bough cracker are and try to emulate.

Once the dough is flattened, remove the top baking foil and score the dough using cookie shapers or just the back of a knife.DSC01517 small

Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes at 180C, leave to cool and use as you wish.

I used it for the starter of my Mexican menu.

Click here to see the starter, main and dessert 1 & 2 from this menu.DSC01521 small

Don’t forget to post a comment below!

See ya!

 

DSC01562 small

Can you see the cup?