Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio Cooking: Pasta with Pork & Greens

Pork and greens is a classic combo; the fatty sweetness of the pork and earthy bitterness of greens means all cultures are loving it.
This recipe is based around chorizo and courgette, but feel free to substitute any broccoli and ham that could be sitting around, or a couple of sausages and some greens. Remember, this is getting a good ratio of pasta, meat and veg, not seeing perfection, and using what’s in the fridge to be your relay race cooking inspiration.

Pasta with pork & greens

Got a little meat, a little veg and not sure what to do? read on...
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheap recipies, family recipies
Servings: 4 people
Author: Ann Storr

Equipment

  • Knife and chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Heat proof jug or just a mug
  • Colander/sieve
  • Optional: garlic crusher/microplane

Ingredients

  • around 100 grams cooking chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 200 grams pasta
  • salt & pepper
  • cheese to serve

Instructions

  • Dice the chorizo and courgette into 5mm cubes. Place the chorizo in the cold frying pan and leave the courgettes to one side. Turn the heat to medium, so that the chorizo cooks in its own, delicious, fat.
  • Once the chorizo is crispy, remove and put to one side. Add at least one tablespoon of oil (any will do, including any leftover pork fat you might have from a roast). Put the diced courgette into the pan and cook slowly.
  • With the courgettes in the pan, put your pasta on to cook. Put the timer on for 4 minutes fewer than the packet cooking time.
  • Before you strain the pasta, dip the jug or mug into the pot and save at least 50ml of pasta water. Then strain away.
  • When your courgettes are soft, chop/crush/grate your garlic. Turn the heat up a little, and stir the garlic through for a minute, until you can smell it. Return the chorizo to the pan, and then pour the pasta into the pan.
  • Stir everything round, and splash on a little pasta water to help to combine everything (this is why you undercooked the pasta). Taste, season, and add a drop more water if you like.
  • Serve.

Storage

  • Any leftover pasta can be kept in a lidded container for up to 5 days. If the meat has now been cooked twice, I would play safe and get it all eaten up with this dish.
  • You could freeze any leftovers, and make a simple pasta bake by pouring some white sauce over and baking from frozen.

Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio Cooking: Pasta with Pork & Greens

Pork and greens is a classic combo; the fatty sweetness of the pork and earthy bitterness of greens means all cultures are loving it.
This recipe is based around chorizo and courgette, but feel free to substitute any broccoli and ham that could be sitting around, or a couple of sausages and some greens. Remember, this is getting a good ratio of pasta, meat and veg, not seeing perfection, and using what’s in the fridge to be your relay race cooking inspiration.

Pasta with pork & greens

Got a little meat, a little veg and not sure what to do? read on...
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheap recipies, family recipies
Servings: 4 people
Author: Ann Storr

Equipment

  • Knife and chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Heat proof jug or just a mug
  • Colander/sieve
  • Optional: garlic crusher/microplane

Ingredients

  • around 100 grams cooking chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 200 grams pasta
  • salt & pepper
  • cheese to serve

Instructions

  • Dice the chorizo and courgette into 5mm cubes. Place the chorizo in the cold frying pan and leave the courgettes to one side. Turn the heat to medium, so that the chorizo cooks in its own, delicious, fat.
  • Once the chorizo is crispy, remove and put to one side. Add at least one tablespoon of oil (any will do, including any leftover pork fat you might have from a roast). Put the diced courgette into the pan and cook slowly.
  • With the courgettes in the pan, put your pasta on to cook. Put the timer on for 4 minutes fewer than the packet cooking time.
  • Before you strain the pasta, dip the jug or mug into the pot and save at least 50ml of pasta water. Then strain away.
  • When your courgettes are soft, chop/crush/grate your garlic. Turn the heat up a little, and stir the garlic through for a minute, until you can smell it. Return the chorizo to the pan, and then pour the pasta into the pan.
  • Stir everything round, and splash on a little pasta water to help to combine everything (this is why you undercooked the pasta). Taste, season, and add a drop more water if you like.
  • Serve.

Storage

  • Any leftover pasta can be kept in a lidded container for up to 5 days. If the meat has now been cooked twice, I would play safe and get it all eaten up with this dish.
  • You could freeze any leftovers, and make a simple pasta bake by pouring some white sauce over and baking from frozen.

Ratio: Cauliflower Cheese

Ratio: Cauliflower Cheese

Knowing how to make a basic white sauce is one of the world’s best things. It’s cheap when you know how to make it for yourself. It’s full of goodness and can be used to stretch other food nice and far. Most Brits love a cauliflower cheese, but of course you can shove any veg in there; broccoli, roasted leftover veg and of course, pasta.

My mum used to make cauliflower cheese into a meal for 6 by piping finely milled mashed potato around the inside of an oven proof dish; my dad loves whole tinned tomatoes in the middle. Topped with breadcrumbs and baked for 20 minutes, please can I suggest you try this? It’s frugal, and delicious.

Top tips for cheese sauce:

  1. If you have rinds from your ‘parmesan’, use them to flavour the milk that you’ll be using. This means you’re using less cheese in the final dish, and making the most of the flavour from the cheese. I use mine at least twice, and then the dog has a lovely chew toy… instructions here.
  2. Never walk away from the pan. Ever. It could burn on the base, boil over, set into a thick lump… more trouble than its worth
  3. If you have a balloon whisk, use it! It’s much more effective than a wooden spoon.

You can bake the dish without par-boiling the cauliflower. If the oven is already on, then go for it. But, that is a lot of electricity for one meal if you’re only cooking the one dish! If baking with the cauliflower from raw, bake for about 40 minutes.

 

Cauliflower Cheese with mash & tomatoes

Serves 4, heartily

Equipment

  • Colander
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Optional: pan and steamer
  • Saucepan
  • Balloon whisk
  • Scales
  • Serving bowl
  • Heatproof jug
  • Ovenproof dish

Ingredients

  • 700 grams floury potatoes such as white/red/King Edwards/Maris pipers
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 50 ml milk

For the cheese sauce

  • 500 ml milk
  • Aromatics – all optional but all lovely: freshly ground nutmeg, parsley stalks, leek tops/half an onion, parmesan rind
  • Salt & pepper
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 90 grams plain flour
  • Around 100 grams strong cheese – whatever you like including cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese, even emmental, gouda – this is a great way to clear the fridge
  • 1 teaspoon mustard

Instructions

Method

  • Turn the oven to 180C
  • Make the mash: peel the potatoes, and steam/boil/microwave in salted water until cooked through
  • Once they are cooked through, mash with plenty of butter, and season. Really make sure there are no lumps (Only add enough milk to make the mash the right consistency for you; you can use more if you like). If you have a potato ricer or mouli, this is the time to break it out – you want a really creamy mashed potato. No lumps thanks.
  • Steam/boil the cauliflower for 10 minutes/microwave for about 3, so it's halfway cooked

Make white sauce

  • Strain any aromatics from your milk
  • Place a saucepan on the hob and melt the butter
  • Add the flour and, using the balloon whisk or a fork, mix the flour in
  • Splash in about 50ml of the milk and make a thick paste
  • Keep on adding around 50ml of milk, whisking until all the flour/butter mixture is combined
  • Bring gently to the boil and, once it’s popping gently, turn the heat down and stir occasionally for 5 minutes
  • Add in the cheese/cheeses and mustard (if using), and mix the half-cooked cauli and cheese sauce together.

Assemble the dish

  • Squash the mash around the edge of your oven-proof dish
  • Next, pour in the cauliflower cheese
  • If using the tomatoes, make a well in the middle and use a spoon to place the tomatoes in. Keep the leftover sauce to add to a tomato sauce.
  • Cover with a thin layer of breadcrumbs and grated cheese

NOTE – if freezing the whole dish, leave it to cool, cover, label then freeze

  • Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked through & the sauce is bubbling

Storage/further meals

  • If you’re not planning to eat this dish within 3 days I’d play it safe and pop it in the freezer

Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio: Pasta with pork & greens

Ratio Cooking: Pasta with Pork & Greens

Pork and greens is a classic combo; the fatty sweetness of the pork and earthy bitterness of greens means all cultures are loving it.
This recipe is based around chorizo and courgette, but feel free to substitute any broccoli and ham that could be sitting around, or a couple of sausages and some greens. Remember, this is getting a good ratio of pasta, meat and veg, not seeing perfection, and using what’s in the fridge to be your relay race cooking inspiration.

Pasta with pork & greens

Got a little meat, a little veg and not sure what to do? read on...
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheap recipies, family recipies
Servings: 4 people
Author: Ann Storr

Equipment

  • Knife and chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Heat proof jug or just a mug
  • Colander/sieve
  • Optional: garlic crusher/microplane

Ingredients

  • around 100 grams cooking chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 200 grams pasta
  • salt & pepper
  • cheese to serve

Instructions

  • Dice the chorizo and courgette into 5mm cubes. Place the chorizo in the cold frying pan and leave the courgettes to one side. Turn the heat to medium, so that the chorizo cooks in its own, delicious, fat.
  • Once the chorizo is crispy, remove and put to one side. Add at least one tablespoon of oil (any will do, including any leftover pork fat you might have from a roast). Put the diced courgette into the pan and cook slowly.
  • With the courgettes in the pan, put your pasta on to cook. Put the timer on for 4 minutes fewer than the packet cooking time.
  • Before you strain the pasta, dip the jug or mug into the pot and save at least 50ml of pasta water. Then strain away.
  • When your courgettes are soft, chop/crush/grate your garlic. Turn the heat up a little, and stir the garlic through for a minute, until you can smell it. Return the chorizo to the pan, and then pour the pasta into the pan.
  • Stir everything round, and splash on a little pasta water to help to combine everything (this is why you undercooked the pasta). Taste, season, and add a drop more water if you like.
  • Serve.

Storage

  • Any leftover pasta can be kept in a lidded container for up to 5 days. If the meat has now been cooked twice, I would play safe and get it all eaten up with this dish.
  • You could freeze any leftovers, and make a simple pasta bake by pouring some white sauce over and baking from frozen.

Recipe: Turkey Pilaf

Recipe: Turkey Pilaf

Recipe: Turkey, pistachio & pomegranate pilaf

Christmas is a time of feasting – and wasting. If you struggle with leftover turkey and can’t face another turkey curry, then may I suggest this pilaf? It’s simple, needs only onion, cinnamon and rice. Sprinkle over some leftover nuts from the table and you have a thrifty, delicious meal to feed the masses.
If you can get pomegranate, the sweet & sour crunch adds variety, but it’s not essential. A handful of parsley is refreshing after a solid diet of roasties and Quality Streets, again not essential.
With thanks to Veolia for commissioning this recipe!

Turkey, pistachio & pomegranate pilaf

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: eating on a budget

Equipment

  • Sharp knife & chopping board
  • Large frying pan

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 300 grams basmati rice
  • 450 ml leftover gravy/chicken/turkey stock/water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
  • salt and pepper
  • handful each of pistachios, pomegranate seeds and parsley (all optional)

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and fry until golden
  • When the onion is nice and soft, add the rice and stir so that the grains are covered in oil
  • Pour in the stock/water and cinnamon, salt and pepper and stir well
  • Bring up to the boil, then cover and simmer on a low heat until the rice is almost cooked
  • Add shredded pieces of turkey just before the rice is ready and ensure hot all the way through
  • Serve, topped with pistachios, pomegranate seeds and parsley

Notes

Storage/further meals
This dish is best served straightaway as you are re-heating meat.

Ratio: Basic Quiche

Ratio: Basic Quiche

Ratio Cooking: Quiche

As a veg-box customer I’ve got used to making quiche from loads of different things. Using just egg yolks for luxury, or an egg and an egg-white when that needs finishing up. Half a jar of roasted peppers and a few olives? A little bacon and loads of greens? Half an egg left from egg washing some scones & some cream from Sunday crumble?
Read on and find out how your small leftovers are the perfect inspiration for a quiche.

Quiche base

Simple: buy a pre-made base.

Easy: a packet of ready made shortcrust pastry. You’ll need a metal or ceramic dish (usually easy to find in a charity shop)

Make your own. For a 15 cm dish, you want 115 grams of flour and 55 grams of fat. Got a great big lovey tart dish, 40 cm across? Double it!
If you’re buying Sainsbury’s plain flour at 50p/kilo, you’re looking at 6p of flour. 2 oz of regular butter will set you back 30p. So, about 36p, rather than a quid! When I have rendered lard, I use half butter half lard. Using rendered lard saves expensive butter for another dish and adds a layer of flavour to my finished dish.

The filling

Egg: let’s start with 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks. You could use 3 egg yolks + 1 egg and a little more cream, or your version.

Cream: you can use single, double, whipping. You can even use slightly cheesy cream, as you’re using cheese and any worrisome bugs will be killed by the cooking process.

Thrifty tip
If you don’t already store the rinds from your Parmesan/Italian Style Hard Cheese, then start. A couple of hours before you make your quiche, warm the cream with a parmesan rind, some seasoning and a bay leaf, maybe some thyme. The flavour from the cheese rind will infuse the cream – result? You need less cheese in your final dish.

Veggies, a little meat

The great thing about quiche is that you can shove loads of random stuff in there. Greens, mushrooms, roasted peppers, a little bacon.

The total weight you want it around 500 grams cooked weight. If you have some cold, leftover greens, a few olives, a little meat.

The cheese

You can use most cheeses here. Cheddar, Emmental, blue cheese, goat. Chunks of feta stirred through a roast pepper mix. A couple of slices of that not-amazing Brie you picked up or some crusty bits of blue.
The point is to use up what you have, and enjoy the mix! If you love greens and feta, then go for it. Love cheese and onion? The cheddar and onion is your friend.
You know what you enjoy eating, so start there. And message me with questions.

 

Quiche: Ratio Guide

Want to clear out the fridge and make a quiche? Here's your ratio guide to make a perfect quiche or tart from weird leftovers.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Keyword: cheap recipies, empty the fridge, no food waste
Servings: 4
Author: Ann Storr

Equipment

  • Scales
  • Optional: food processor
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowl and lid
  • Tart/pie tin
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking beans and greaseproof paper
  • Measuring jug
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Frying pan

Ingredients

For home-made pastry

  • 115 grams flour (can be, say, 90 grams plain white + 25 spelt...)
  • 55 grams fat (all butter/half butter half lard/margarine)
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

For the custard

  • 2 whole eggs around 90ml of egg
  • 2 egg yolks around 30 ml egg yolk
  • 300 millilitres cream double, single, whipping... slightly cheesy...
  • 1 rind Grana Padano/Italian style hard cheese
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • nutmeg optional
  • spring onion greens or leek top optional

Cheese

  • around 100 grams cheese Cheddar, gruyere, double gloucester, Parmesan...

Veggies and/or meat

  • 1 kg raw veggies onions, mushrooms, greens...
  • oil/fat to cook them - lard, butter, olive oil...

or

  • 500 grams cooked, leftover veg
  • up to 150 grams bacon/sausage/chorizo

Instructions

The custard - ideally a few hours before you want to cook the quiche/tart but ** not essential **

  • If you have a parmesan rind and/or bay leaf/freshly ground
    nutmeg etc, place them in a saucepan with the cream and bring the heat to
    medium. Season with salt and black pepper. After about five minutes and before it
    boils, turn the heat off and leave to one side/in the fridge overnight, if you wish.

If making your own pastry

  • Either process the flour, fat & salt in your food processor and then add a little water until it comes together in a ball.
  • Or, if making pastry by hand, rub the fat(s) into the flour/salt mixture until sandy. When there are no lumps of butter left over, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until it comes together in a ball.
    Either way, place the pastry in the small bowl, cover with a lid (I just use a plate) and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

Blind baking

  • Turn your oven to 220C
  • Lightly flour your kitchen counter and place the pastry in the middle. Roll out the pastry to about 10 cm wider than the tin/dish you are using. Move the dish to next to your raw pastry. Either by nudging the pastry onto the pin, or by lightly folding the pastry into quarters, lift the pastry over the tin.
  • Prick the pastry all over with a fork and trim off any excess. Cut a length of greaseproof paper and grease it a little. Oiled side down, place it on the pastry and cover with the beans. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sides are golden brown.
  • Once ready, remove from the oven. Carefully pour the very, very hot baking beans into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool down. Dispose of the greaseproof paper.
    You can either go straight on to cook from here, or leave to cool and bake the quiche/tart another day.

The meat/veggies

  • Greens (around a kilo): wilt in a frying pan and after about 5-10 minutes tip into a colander and then squeeze out any water or other ideas.

Cheese

  • Grate; if feta, into chunks

Baking

  • Turn the oven on to/down to 180C. Place a tray in the oven to heat up. Strain the cream and discard the cheese rind. Take the eggs and/or egg yolks and whisk into the cream. Taste and season as necessary. Stir the cheese through.
  • If using spinach/onions, I tend to stir them into the custard. For peppers/feta, I pour in the custard and attempt to make a pretty dish by placing them carefully.
  • Place the tart on the waiting try in the hot oven and bake for between 30 and 40 minutes.
  • Check on it after about 25 minutes; if the top is brown but the middle is still very wobbly, you can turn the heat down and continue to bake. It’s ready when the middle of the tart feels firm to the touch.

Eating

  • If you’ve used a loose-bottomed tin, you can release the tart by propping it onto a tin and letting the side fall down. If you’re using a solid tin or ceramic dish, just leave on the wire cooling rack until ready.

Storage

  • The tart will keep in the fridge for around 5 days. If you want to reheat, it's best to let the tart come to room temperature and then place in a warm oven until warm through. Don't reheat again. And don't microwave! The pastry will go all floppy and foul.

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