Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Frugal Fare Challenge Day 5: Wednesday

Nearly at the end of the frugal five days...and for interest's sake (more my own than anyone else's) I'm going to have a little tot up session to see exactly how much I spent. That will follow, but for now, I've still got one last day that I've not penned up. Am very behind the times!

Since my kidney fetish started, I've been flipping through Delia and several other cookbooks to see what other ways there are of cooking them, and I found one rather intriguing recipe that looked very cheap and easy, and oh-so-World War Two. It had to be done.

By now, my butcher guffaws slightly every time I open the door, and makes references to my offal obsession. What can I say, I have a reputation to upkeep! Although most girls I talk to are a little wimpy about the stuff, I've been getting into animated discussions with the builders who are in, who apparently 'love a bit of steak and kidney pie/liver cooked with onions'. Maybe I should worry about my manly taste in meat, but I personally think it connotes an open mind, and an economic one too!

And so, to cook...

Lunch: Kidneys baked in Potatoes
1 Serving

1 large potato, scrubbed; salt and pepper; knob of butter; 1 kidney; 1 tspn dijon mustard/mustard powder; 1 rasher bacon

Scrub and dry the potato, and rub salt into its skin. Bake in teh oven at 220C for about an hour or until it feels soft when pinched. Cut a cap off the potatoe and scoop out some of the inside. Skin the kidney and rub in salt, pepper and a little mustard. Roll it in a rasher of bacon and put in the potato case. Wrap the potato in foil with a scrap of butter and bake for an hour longer. The kidney gravy is soaked up by the potato - which, if you like kidneys, is scrumptious!
Serve with a lovely crisp salad and sharp dressing.

Dinner: Pasta Puttanesca

That was it, I was pretty much at the end of my weekly shopping supply and so the time had come for a truly store-cupboard only meal. I'm a bit obsessed with the 'store-cupboard' meal. I'm not sure why - I think it's something to do with the creativity and innovation behind it. Or maybe it's just the stingy so-n-so which hides deep within me. Whatever the reason, pasta puttanesca is without a shadow of a doubt a beautiful example of the ultimate SCM. Most seasoned chefs are well aware of the dish, but for those who aren't, a little history. Pasta puttanesca is a powerful, punchy pasta dish made with most ingredients which fussy eaters abhor - ie. all the seriously flavoured ones - capers, olives and anchovies. Yikes! As a result, this isn't a dish for the wimps. Its name literally translates as 'whore's spaghetti', a nod to the gutsy, raucous and unapologetic flavours frolicking around the dish. I blimmin' love it.

Serves 2
Storecupboard - a glug of olive oil; 1 clove garlic, chopped; 1 tin chopped tomatoes; 2 tablespoons capers; a handful of tinned black olives, roughly chopped; 3-4 anchovy fillets, drained of oil; salt/pepper; whatever pasta you fancy (I like linguine)

Start to cook the pasta as you cook the sauce, in a large saucepan of boiling water.
On a low heat, fry the garlic in the olive oil until golden, then add in the tin of tomatoes. Stir and cook for a few moments, and then add in the rest of your storecupboard ingredients. Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, by which stage the anchovies will have melted into the sauce barely to be seen again, leaving only a salty, savoury hint of their existence.
Drain the pasta and pour over the sauce.

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