Beef enchiladas with a lime sour cream

I regularly have cravings for spicy food and it doesn’t get much hotter than Mexican dishes for when I need to fulfil the craving. Now I don’t put cheese on my enchiladas as it doesn’t feel very authentic to layer a nice flavoursome filling and sauce with a great big handful of English cheddar, however if you prefer cheese just put it on - a good sour cream and a cooling bottle of cerveza does the trick nicely though.

Ingredients

  • 500g of Tesco premium beef mince (£2.20)
  • 1 can of KTC red kidney beans (25p)
  • 500g of Tesco tomato passata (50p)
  • 1 large brown onion (17p)
  • 8 plain tortilla wraps (£1)
  • 300ml of soured cream (88p)
  • 1 lime (30p)
  • 3 fresh green chillies (20p)
  • 1 can of Tesco value chopped tomatoes (35p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, vinegar, chilli powder, paprika, cumin and 1 beef stock cube.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco where it came to £5.85 - that's £1.46 per head!

Instructions

  • Get the oven preheated first to 180C.
  • First up is the tomato sauce as we want this to reduce down a little and really develop some flavour. Get a little olive oil in a saucepan and gently sauté 3 green chillies and 2 cloves of garlic (both finely chopped) for about 60 seconds. Try not to get too much colour because if the garlic burns it will taste bitter. Now add the tomato passata, the can of tomatoes, 1 pint of beef stock, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of sugar and a good twist of salt and black pepper. Turn down to a simmer and you want to reduce down by about 30% until the sauce thickens a little.
  • Next up the beef filling for the enchiladas. Get a good heavy pan on the heat; add a little olive oil and 1 finely chopped onion. Gently fry the onion for 2 minutes. Then add the beef - you want a nice high heat as we want to get the beef browned. It will take around 5 minutes to take on a good brown colour.
  • Once the beef has a nice brown colour, keep on a high heat and add 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, 2 teaspoons of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 2 teaspoons of cumin and a good twist of salt and black pepper. Cook out the spices for a further minute and add around ¼ of a pint of water, simmer for a further 3 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Now we’re ready to assemble. Take a tortilla, place a good tablespoonful of the beef filling into the centre and roll into a cigar shape and place into an oven dish (we want a good snug fit for the enchiladas). Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
  • Then pour the sauce over all of the tortillas and place in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Whilst the enchiladas are cooking squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl of the soured cream and mix well with a good pinch of black pepper.
  • Happy eating!

Slow roasted duck legs & charlotte potatoes with a carrot & cumin salad

This is a cracker. The meat from the legs will just fall off and you’ve also got an amazingly crispy skin, couple that with a refreshing salad and we’re close to perfection. I’ve never understood why we don’t each much duck in this country (well outside a crispy duck pancake roll at a Chinese restaurant), the French eat quacks of the stuff. It’s cheap and wonderfully rich – please give this a go if you feel you need convincing.

Ingredients

  • 4 duck legs, two 430g packs (£5)
  • 450g of carrots (32p)
  • 1kg of Tesco charlotte potatoes (60p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar and cumin seeds.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco where it came to £5.92 - that's £1.48 per head!

Instructions

  • Get the oven preheated first to 150C – season the duck legs well with salt and pepper and place them in a deep roasting tin (lightly covered with foil). They’ll need 1 hour and 20 minutes in the oven.
  • While the duck legs are in the oven par boil the potatoes ready for roasting (make sure you salt the water).
  • After 1 hour and 20 minutes remove the duck legs from the oven and turn it up to 200C. Drain the excess fat from the pan (there will be a bit and remember to save for future roast potatoes!) and add the potatoes into the pan leaving enough fat to give them a coating – place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes.
  • Whilst the duck legs and potatoes are crisping up you can make the salad.
  • It’s well worth giving the cumin seeds a toast first to get the flavours going. So get a frying pan on a medium heat and add four teaspoons of cumin seeds – remove them from the heat when they start to go brown. Watch they don’t start to smoke. Add the seeds to the bowl you want to make your salad in.
  • Now grate the carrots into the bowl along with a pinch of sugar, some seasoning, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
  • Let the legs rest for 5 minutes before serving and happy eating!

Paella

Now, paellas can get very expensive if you go right down the traditional route; lots of chicken, prawns and clams can really drive the price up. This version is a more frugal version, but trust me it will taste great. One of the finest paellas I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy was in Valencia (the home of paella) and it was very simply made as I’m showing you now.

Ingredients

  • 200g of Campofrio chorizo sausage (£1.56)
  • 175g of cooked mussels (96p)
  • 1 large green pepper (87p)
  • 1 large red onion (20p)
  • 200g of tomatoes (44p)
  • 500g of easy cook white rice (64p)
  • 200g of squid rings (£1.18)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, 6 cloves of garlic, paprika, 2 chicken stock cubes, turmeric and 200g of frozen peas

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at ASDA where it came to £5.85 - that's £1.46 per head!

Instructions

  • My preference is to prepare everything first so you can concentrate on the cooking part of the recipe. So you’ll need to roughly chop the onions, garlic, tomatoes, chorizo and pepper – rough is more authentic! Also make up 2 pints of chicken stock. Get the oven pre heated to 180C.
  • Get a medium sized paella pan on to a medium heat (you could get away with a flame resistant oven dish if you don’t have a paella pan) and add some olive oil. Fry off the chorizo first for 2 minutes, then add the onions and pepper and gently fry for a further 3 minutes. Then add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 teaspoon of turmeric and 350g of rice – cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Once all the ingredients have a bit of colour on them, add the mussels, squid and tomatoes - season well and add the chicken stock. Bring up to the simmer and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick.
  • After 5 minutes, add the peas to the pan, loosely cover with foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes (give it a stir a couple of times and add more liquid if need be – I would check after 15 minutes). Let it rest for 5 minutes when out of the oven.
  • Happy eating!

Asparagus and gruyere tart with new potatoes

This is a really nice simple spring dish perfect for when you just want to get home and enjoy the evening. Asparagus is just coming into season and instead of just steaming and serving asparagus as a side dish, make it the main event. Asparagus works great with gruyere and this simple tart lets it do the talking.

Ingredients

  • 350g of asparagus (£2)
  • 200g of gruyere (£1.99)
  • 500g of Jus Rol puff pastry (£1)
  • 640g of organic new potatoes (£1)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper and butter

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco’s where it came to £5.99 - that's £1.50 per head!

Instructions

  • Pre heat the oven to 185C as you need it up to the correct temperature to cook the pastry.
  • Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface and then place on a greased baking sheet and on to a baking tray. Now grate the gruyere cheese on to the pastry (make sure you leave around 1cm of space between the edge for the pastry to rise) and season with a little black pepper.
  • Finally lay the asparagus across the cheese and season with salt and brush the tart all over with melted butter. Place in the oven and cook until brown all over – this will take around 30 minutes.
  • Serve with new potatoes – buttered and with mint if you have!
  • Happy eating!

Haddock fishcakes with radish and watercress salad and lemon crème fraiche dressing

We have light in the evenings! So this week a good solid spring dish seems appropriate. I know this won’t be eaten al fresco, but you could look at the window whilst you eat it. This is a classic combination of ingredients and I’ve gone slightly leftfield with the radishes in the watercress salad – you will find the heat in the radishes really works though.

Ingredients

  • 340g of haddock (£2.71)
  • 200g of radishes (68p)
  • 77g of watercress (£1)
  • 300ml of crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon (30p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, flour, potatoes (350g) and milk (1 pint)

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Sainsbury’s where it came to £5.67 - that's £1.41 per head!

Instructions

  • Best thing to do is make the fishcakes first as they’ll need to be firmed up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you cook them. Cube the potatoes and get them in some salted boiling water and cook as you would usually, drain and set to one side to cool down slightly. Whilst the potatoes are cooking simmer the fish in the milk for around 7 minutes and turn the heat off and leave to stand for 3 minutes (add a bay leaf and some peppercorns to the milk if you have them).
  • Now grab a large bowl, add the potatoes and break up with a fork (so you have a rough mash) and season well - then drain the fish and flake into the potatoes. Fold the mixture (don’t break up the fish too much) and shape into 4 cakes – the easiest way to shape them is to flour your hands and roll into a ball and pat down into a cake shape. Once made place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  • The dressing is really easy – just add the juice and zest of one lemon to the crème fraiche along with a good twist of black pepper.
  • For the salad (its fine to make up in advance); finely slice the radishes and mix well with the watercress salad. When you’re ready to serve the dish toss the salad in some olive oil, a pinch of sugar and some seasoning.
  • To cook the fishcakes, get a frying pan on a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Wait for the oil to get hot and then dust some flour on the fishcakes and add to the pan. They will need around 5 minutes on each side. You’re looking for a golden brown colour on both sides.
  • Serve with the salad and a drizzle of the dressing over the fishcakes.
  • Happy eating!