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!

 

 

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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!

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

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

Pasta & Meatballs

Fusilli and Meatballs

Fusilli and Meatballs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

If you have read The Bank Cook, you will remember few items that I recommend to always have in the house. Things like onions, garlic, salt, pepper and oil must always be available in the house as they are regular in almost everything we cook.

 Ingredients for the mincemeat:

  • 500g mince beef – LIDL – 87p

    Meal ingredients

    Meal ingredients

  • ½ medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Curly parsley

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:

  • 10 tomatoes – market – 50p
  • ½ medium onion
  • Ketchup

For the pasta:

  • 500gr Fusilli pasta – LIDL – 45p
  • Curly parsley – Market – 50p 

Total spent: £2.32 – 0.58pp

Method:

  • Start by the meatball: Remove all packaging from the meat and place in a bowl.

    Mince meat

    Mince meat

  • Finely chop half of a medium onion, garlic, a handful of curly parsley and add to the mince. Also season with salt & pepper, then combine well using you hand.
  • Now form the meatballs as big or small as you’d like. And place them in the saucepan you will be using for the tomato sauce. You would have noted that there is no eggs or bread crumbs added here as they are not really necessary.

    Balls ready to cook

    Balls ready to cook

  • Now place the pan on a medium heat making sure to very gently turn each meat ball from side to as the meat browns. Allow 1-2 minutes per side. Once this is done, remove the meat from the pan leaving the pan on the heat.

As the meat cooks, it will release fat and we are going to use that fat for make the tomato sauce.

  • Chop the remaining half onion and fry it in the meat fat for 2 minutes on high heat.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cover for 10 minutes.

    Cooked meat

    Cooked meat

  • After the 10 minutes, stir the content of the pan, then add the meatballs and ketchup. Stir and add 200ml water or stock if you wish.
  • Adjust the seasoning, stir and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Now time to cook the pasta.

Follow the instruction on the package.

Boil the water with a table spoon of oil and salt. Just before serving, chop the remaining Parsley, add the pasta and toss.

Plate and serve.

Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

Enjoy.

Note: Read the whole recipe before starting! If you were doing this dish from a food bank parcel, you’d have to use tinned tomatoes, pasta and a tinned meat from the parcel also. Please download The Bank Cook to see the recipe.

Shopping: the tomatoes were bought on Surrey street market where a bowl of about 20 medium tomatoes can be found at £1.00.

Surrey street market

Surrey street market