Pan fried trout fillets with a dill potato salad

This recipe is summer on a plate and obviously inspired by the return of some good weather! This is a simple, clean and light dish that’s perfect for a long lunch along with some chilled white wine and crusty bread. You could substitute the fish for salmon or sea bass if you’re feeling less frugal.

Ingredients

  • 4 large trout fillets, around 150g each (£4.14)
  • 1 large red onion (20p)
  • 1 lemon (30p)
  • 25g of fresh dill (67p)
  • 1kg pack of British small potatoes (50p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, a little butter and olive oil.

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

  • Boil the potatoes (you’ll need to use around 700g of potatoes to have plenty for 4 people) in a large pan. Whilst the potatoes are cooking very finely chop the red onion and dill. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and then slice the potatoes in half whilst still they are still warm. Now add the red onion, dill, 8 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients and season to taste. Set to one side (covered to keep warm so the potatoes can take on the flavour of the dressing).
  • Now for the trout. Get a large frying pan on to a medium heat add a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil (the oil will stop the butter from burning) and season the trout fillets well on both sides. Once the butter is frothing and bubbling in the pan add the trout fillets and cook for 3 minutes on each side. It’s ready!
  • Happy eating!

Chicken braised with cider and red cabbage (and proper baked potatoes)

We’re going to do this recipe using the whole bird and that includes making a fresh stock as well. This is a quicker version of a usual stock and I find it works really well. This is taking it easy food perfect for a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen. The chicken served with a proper jacket potato is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Ingredients

  • 1.3kg freedom food endorsed whole chicken (£3.63)
  • 2 large onions (30p)
  • 1 small red cabbage (45p)
  • 4 baking potatoes (70p)
  • 440ml (1 can) of dry cider ( 90p from the local off licence)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, flour, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 bay leaves and whole grain mustard.

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 £5.98 - that's £1.50 per head!

Instructions

  • First up you’ll need to de-bone the chicken – you’re looking for 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 breasts (cut into 4 pieces) and 2 wings and of course the carcass left over for a stock. This video is an excellent demonstration of how to de-bone a chicken:
  • Now for the stock. Get a medium sized saucepan on the heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and brown off the chicken carcass for a few minutes. Then add a few peppercorns, three bay leaves and enough water to cover the chicken carcass (probably around 3 or 4 pints). Bring up to the simmer and skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. Leave simmering for around 80 minutes or until you have about a pint and a half of stock.
  • Whilst the stock is simmering away you can start to prepare the chicken dish and jacket potatoes. For the potatoes lay them individually on a square piece of foil (enough to wrap the potato), season with a good pinch of salt and add a drizzle of olive oil. Then wrap and set to one side ready to go in the oven.
  • Now for the chicken. Dust all the chicken pieces with 2 tablespoons of seasoned flour and finely slice the onions, cabbage and garlic. Get a good pan on the heat (heavy bottomed best and one that can go in the oven) and add some olive oil. When the oil is hot add the chicken pieces and brown nicely on all sides – once browned remove the chicken from the pan and set to one side until the stock is ready. Keep the pan for later as well. Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
  • Once the stock is ready just drain with a sieve. Now get the pan back on the heat (add a little more olive oil) and sauté off the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Then add the cider and reduce down for 1 minute. After the cider has reduced down, add 2 teaspoons of mustard and 1 and ½ pints of the stock along with the chicken and cabbage. Season well and then place in the oven (covered with foil) for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Do check the chicken every now and then to see if it needs a little more liquid.
  • You can put the jacket potatoes in the oven at the same time as the chicken.
  • After 1 hour and 30 minutes the chicken will be lovely and tender, but the jackets will probably need a quick blast at a higher heat, so just unwrap the foil and turn the oven up as high as it will go for a further 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Happy eating!

Lincolnshire sausages with red onion gravy and thyme and Gouda polenta

This is real comfort food with a slightly more elegant twist on the standard mash offering we so often see in gastro pubs around the country – polenta can be pretty boring on its own and really benefits from the cheese and fresh herbs. You can use any sausages really; Toulouse or Cumberland would be great if you wish to stretch the £1.50 per person budget.

Ingredients

  • 8 Lincolnshire sausages (£1.83)
  • 500g of Dunn’s fine polenta (44p)
  • 200g of Gouda (86p)
  • 25g of fresh lemon thyme (67p)
  • 4 large red onions (60p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, butter, Lea and Perrin’s sauce and 2 chicken stock cubes.

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 £4.40 - that's £1.10 per head!

Instructions

  • The gravy needs at least an hour so make this first. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and add the finely sliced onions. Let them soften down on a very low heat for around 30 minutes until you get a nice caramelised brown colour. Once browned add 1 ½ pints of chicken stock and a few dashes of Lea and Perrin’s, along with some salt and lots of black pepper – reduce for another 30 minutes on a low simmer and the gravy will be ready.
  • Whilst the gravy is reducing down, get the sausages under the grill and cook as you usually would. You could always pan fry if you feel that way inclined. Keep warm once cooked, ready for serving.
  • Now the polenta – get 2 pints of water in a large pan and up to the boil. Now slowly add (in a nice even stream) 500g of polenta and keep stirring as you add the polenta. Keep stirring until nice and smooth. Now add 2 tablespoons of butter, 200g of grated Gouda and the finely chopped fresh thyme. Keep stirring on a low heat for a further 6 minutes until it thickens. Season to taste before serving. Serve in the traditional way!
  • Happy eating!