Tuesday 18 September 2012

Super-saving September #11 - Recipes 13, 14 & 15

Thai fish soup 
Based on a recipe from the Danish Meat Association, this was originally intended to be made with strips of pork (which is also delicious). I usually go for fish though as I find it quite hard to think of ways to cook fish which aren't fish pie, breaded fish and baked fish.
  • 2 fillets of pollock (Any fish will do but I use frozen pollock on account of it's low price and sustainability)
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • Sesame oil to fry with (though any oil works, sesame gives a really nice taste)
  • 400mls stock
  • 200mls coconut milk - as with previous recipes, I used the Maggi powdered milk as you don't need to halve a can. If you can't get the powdered milk, you can plan to make this and the other coconut dish in the same week so as not to waste any.
  • 1tsp of turmeric
  • 1tsp sugar
  • a good handful of frozen peas
  • a good handful of frozen sweetcorn
  • 1tsp sambal olek (or a strong, red chilli... or both if you're that way inclined)
  • Soya sauce (optional)
  • The juice of one lime (optional)
  • Glass noodles (optional)
  • Frozen prawns (optional)
If you're so inclined, trim a little of the green from the tops of the onions and slice them long-ways. Set these aside for decoration. Chop the rest of the onions and fry them off in the sesame oil. Add the coconut milk, turmeric and the stock. Add the fish and simmer for around 15 minutes. Add the frozen veg and other 'essential' ingredients.

If you're adding prawns, do so along with the fish. If you're using the glass noodles, prepare these and stir through at the last minute before serving. Drizzle the lime juice and soya sauce over the soup in the bowls and scatter on the spring onion strips you saved.

With only spring onions as a 'fresh' ingredient - the others coming from the store cupboard or the freezer - this is a really good standby dish.

Bramble Jam
  • 2 cups of brambles (or any other fruit you might want to use)
  • 1 cup of finely grate cooking apple (must be cooking apple as this contains more pectin)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup of sugar
I toss all of the above into the bread machine and leave it to work it's magic, but if you need to make this the traditional way, follow this instructional video.I used to ready the jars with my old Avent microwave steriliser, but these days it's quicker and easier to just throw them in the dishwasher and use some Milton on them when they come out.

Because of the low sugar content, this does actually benefit from being kept in the fridge. You can use it for stirring through natural yogurt for a cheaper way of getting fruity yogurt. And aside from serving on toast for breakfast, you can also use it as a substitute for a compote in a 'sundae' - layers of natural or fruit yogurt (depending on what your budget can stretch to), compote and granola/museli.

Elderberry cordial
  •  Elderberries
  • Sugar
  • Whole cloves
  • Water
Removed your elderberries from the stalks and place in a pan with just enough water to cover them. Simmer for 20 minutes and strain. Measure the remaining liquid in a jug and take note of how much you have. Return the fluid to the pan, sans the berry husks, and add 500g of sugar per 500ml of juice. Add around 12 cloves and boil for ten minutes. When you bottle this, ensure there is a clove in each bottle as this helps to preserve the cordial. The bottles should be sterilised too, and again, I keep this in the fridge to ensure a really long life. Properly made, this can last up to two years, so get out there and make enough to see you through until next berry season. It could save you a fortune on juice!

You can use pretty much any fruit for this, though since elderberries are free when gathered from the hedgerows (as are the brambles used in the recipe above) this is some of the most cost effective squash you can get. Yes, there is a lot of sugar in it, but that's all there is - no nasty chemicals. It's also said that drinking a glass of this a day can help to bolster the immune system.

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