Toad in the whole with mustard crème fraiche sauce & pickled red cabbage

This seems right, so so right for the time of year we’re about to enter into. We need to stock up on wholesome food to see us through the winter and toad in the hole is one of the ultimate recipes that can help us squirrel away some calories for the impending cold months. There is also no need to constantly serve toad in the hole with gravy. I find the gravy makes the batter too soggy - a nice snappy mustard sauce works wonders as an alternative.


Ingredients

  • 8 Cumberland pork sausages (£1.34)
  • 300ml of crème fraiche (£1)
  • 6 Hoads farm free range eggs – medium (£1.49)
  • 1 medium red onion (20p)
  • 1 medium red cabbage (51p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, sunflower oil, milk, plain flour, vinegar, grain mustard, sugar and 1 chicken 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 £4.54 - that's £1.14 per head!

Instructions

  • Pre- heat the oven to 220C (that’s gas mark 7 or 425F).
  • The batter needs to be made first as it will benefit from resting for at least 20 minutes (30 minutes is even better). Take a large bowl and add 140 grams of flour, a good pinch of salt and 4 eggs. Mix well and then gradually whisk in between 300ml and 350ml of milk. You’re looking for a reasonably thick consistency. About the consistency of yoghurt. Set to one side to rest.
  • The secret to a great toad in the hole is getting the oil nice and hot first. This makes sure you get a good rise in the batter. Get a roasting tin and add 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil and put in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes (or until the oil is smoking hot). Take the roasting tin out of the oven, add the sausages and put back in the oven for 5 minutes,. Now take out of the oven and add the batter to the roasting tin. Return to the oven 25 minutes.
  • Whilst the toad in the hole is in the oven you can make the mustard sauce and red cabbage.
  • Take a deep sided frying pan and sauté off one very finely chopped red onion in a little oil, add 700 ml of hot chicken stock and reduce down for 5 minutes on a high heat. Now turn down to a medium heat and stir in 300ml of crème fraiche and 2 tablespoons of grain mustard. Reduce down for a further 2 minutes on a low to medium heat and season to taste. Cover and set to one side in a warm place.
  • For the red cabbage, cut into quarters, remove the stalks and finely slice. Add the cabbage to a saucepan with 100ml of vinegar, 150ml of water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and seasoning. Bring up to the boil and then bring the heat down and simmer for a further 5 minutes (you want to retain some bite in the cabbage so check around the 3 minute mark).
  • The toad in the hole will be done now – so just take out the oven, cut into nice thick slices and serve.
  • Happy eating!

Pot roasted chicken with paprika, shallots and potatoes

Now this is one tasty dish and criminally easy. Pot roasting really does give you the best of both worlds. You get a beautifully moist chicken with nicely browned skin. The most important aspect for me though is you keep all of the flavour from the chicken in the pot and this of course creates amazing gravy. Get this one done this Sunday.

Ingredients

  • 1kg extra special corn fed chicken (£4.08)
  • 450g of shallots (£1.37)
  • 450g of maris piper potatoes (50p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, paprika, 1 bulb of garlic (use all the cloves) and 1 chicken stock cube.

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 £5.95 - that's £1.49 per head!

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C (325F or gas mark 3).
  • Best to get the shallots, garlic and potatoes prepared first. Just peel the shallots keeping them whole. The potatoes should be peeled and then cut into good sized cubes – if they are too small, they will dissolve a little too much in the oven. The garlic can just be roughly chopped.
  • Now season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and then rub paprika all over the chicken. Really rub the paprika in and don’t be shy with it – make sure you coat the whole chicken.
  • Grab a large casserole dish (one that can go on the heat to seal the chicken first – a le creuset dish is perfect for the job), add a little olive oil and get on a high heat. Add the chicken to the dish and brown all over. This will take about 10 minutes. Once browned set the chicken to one side and add the shallots to the dish. Get a little colour on the shallots and then add the garlic, frying for a further minute and then finally add 450ml of chicken stock to the dish (using one chicken stock cube - of course, fresh stock is better if you have it) and the potatoes.
  • All you need to do now is put the chicken back in the dish and cover with a lid (or foil) and cook for 1 hour. After 1 hour turn the oven up to 200C (400F or gas mark 6), take off the lid cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is done, leave to rest in a warm place (loosely covered with foil) for around 15 minutes before carving and serving. This gives the chicken time to relax and let some of those juices flow out into the gravy. It will also be a lot easier to carve.
  • Happy eating!

Smoked haddock and leek risotto

This recipe is in honour of lovemoney.com’s esteemed mortgage sales manager, Tim Wilson. Tim is Welsh (hence the leek angle) and his favourite dish is risotto. This is for you Tim. Do try and add a glass of white wine if you have one around. I know that's not strictly frugal, but it really does wonders for the risotto. Happy stirring.

Ingredients

  • 400g of smoked haddock (£3.51)
  • 1 lemon (25p)
  • 400g of leeks (88p)
  • 1 pack (500g) of Tesco Arborio rice (99p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, butter and 2 chicken stock cubes (and a glass of white wine to make extra special)

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 £5.63 - that's £1.40 per head!

Instructions

  • Start by poaching the haddock in a shallow pan of simmering water (not salted) for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and cover with a tight lid and leave for about 6 minutes. This cooks the haddock perfectly.
  • Now add a good glug of olive oil and three teaspoons of butter to a thick bottomed pan, when the butter is starting to froth add the leeks (finely chopped). Soften the leeks down. This will take around 7 minutes on a low to medium heat – we want to get the sweetness out of the leeks.
  • Once the leeks have softened down, add 350g of the risotto rice and really get all of the grains of rice coated with the oil, butter and leeks and turn up to a medium to high heat. Now gradually pour in the white wine if you have it and keep stirring! This will create a lovely creamy consistency. Once all the wine has been absorbed into the rice start gradually adding some hot chicken stock. I would make up about 2 pints of chicken stock. The risotto will probably take all of the stock. A good risotto is all about adding a little stock at a time, letting the stock absorb into the rice and keeping that stirring going. The risotto is ready when you have a good creamy consistency and the grains retain a hint of firmness.
  • Finally flake in the haddock, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and season with a few twists of black pepper. You also have half a lemon left, so cut into wedges and serve with the risotto.
  • Happy eating!