The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters

Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and are still publishing today.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Something Outta Nothing A Fabulous Feast For Free

Something Outta Nothing A Fabulous Feast For Free
Published in Issue 23, June 2013
Written by Gill from Personal Space Interiors

In the interests of scrimping (and making sure nothing lurks in the fridge, freezer or store cupboard for too long) I like to have a good kitchen clear out every couple of months. It saves money, gives me the opportunity to clean without having to rearrange the entire kitchen and allows my inventive side to come to the fore. That despondent cry “There’s nothing to eat!” just isn’t allowed in my house. There’s always something; it just takes a little time and imagination…

An Indian Feast; perfect for a Saturday night in

My Indian feast was made entirely from the store cupboard, plus a few everyday essential ingredients like potatoes, onions, eggs and butter. This is a vegetarian meal; you could add prawns or chicken to the main curry dish for meat eaters, or remove the eggs and butter/ghee to make the meal suitable for vegans.
Serves 4-6
Potato and egg curry
Sweet and sour lentil dhal
Mushroom bhaji
Almond pilau rice
Fresh chapati

Potato and egg curry

This is perfect for using up bits and pieces from the fridge. I’ve made this curry with some left over new potatoes, some eggs and green beans but you could pretty much use anything you like. Aubergine, cauliflower and broad beans work brilliantly. It’ll work well with chicken or prawns if you prefer a meat based dish.

New potatoes – approx. 500g
4 eggs
1 large onion finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter or ghee
2 cloves garlic crushed
Thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ground ginger
1tsp each of ground coriander, cumin and garam masala
1 tin coconut milk
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
Vegetables – green beans, peas, broad beans, aubergine, cauliflower etc. cut into even sized pieces around 2cm
Salt, pepper and if you have it, fresh coriander roughly chopped

1. Cut the potatoes into chunks, parboil for 5 minutes if raw and roast in a little olive oil until golden.
2. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes, run under cold water then drain, peel and cut into quarters.
3. Cook the onion gently in a large lidded sauté pan with a drizzle of oil and a knob of butter until golden and soft.
4. Add the spices, garlic and ginger to the onions and fry for a minute to form a paste.
5. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
6. Season to taste and add the fresh herbs.

Sweet and sour lentil dhal

You can use red or yellow lentils for this. I prefer yellow for the fabulous colour with the turmeric. If you have too many yellow lentils you can make a pot of pease pudding too. Simply take 4 tbsp cooked lentils from the pan after step 1, season well and blitz to a smooth puree. Keep in a covered pot in the fridge. It will set to a smooth paste. Delicious with ham.

250g dried lentils
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp cider vinegar or tamarind paste if you have it
2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Rinse the lentils in cold water and place in a saucepan. Cover with stock, add the bay leaves and turmeric and simmer until tender – around 25 minutes.
2. Add the cider vinegar (or tamarind paste) and sugar and mix thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved. The lentils will break up as you mix to form a rough puree.
3. Season to taste.

Mushroom Bhaji

This is a great way to use up mushrooms that are starting to look a little sad.  A breathable mushroom bag will keep your mushrooms dry and fresh in the fridge for longer.
Sliced mushrooms – any closed cup variety will do
1 tsp each olive oil and butter or ghee
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp each coriander and cumin
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp corn flour slaked with a little water to a smooth paste
100ml white wine
200ml chicken or vegetable stock

1. In a small saucepan, fry the mushrooms in the oil and butter until golden.
2. Add the garlic, spices and lemon juice and simmer for a minute.
3. Add the wine and stock and simmer until reduced by half.
4. Stir the corn flour through until thickened and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. Season to taste.

Almond pilau rice

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g basmati rice rinsed in cold water
600ml cold water
Knob of butter or ghee
100g flaked almonds

1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until golden, then add the garlic to soften for a minute.
2. Stir the rice through to make sure each grain is coated then add the water, cover and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and let the rice simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice covered to continue to steam. Don’t be tempted to stir the rice – the lid needs to stay on for the cooking to finish.
3. Toast the almonds in a small pan until lightly golden.
4. Add the butter and almonds to the rice and fork through gently. Season to taste.

Fresh chapati

The quickest easiest bread in the world! They take 5 minutes to make and 2 minutes each to cook, and they’re great for getting the kids involved too. This mix will make around 10 chapatis.

450g plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Warm water
Melted butter or ghee, or olive oil

1. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and drizzle in the oil.
2. Add enough warm water to form a soft and pliable dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth – around 5 minutes.
3. Place a wide shallow frying pan over a medium/high heat
4. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then roll out to 3mm thickness.
5. Place the chapatti in the hot dry pan and cook until it puffs up on top and begins to brown underneath. Turn over and cook until this side is browned.
6. Place the cooked chapati on a warmed plate and brush with melted butter or ghee. Cover with foil to keep warm, then carry on with the rest of the dough until you have a lovely stack of fresh chapatis.
7. Perfect with pickles – hot lime is my favourite.

I hope you enjoy my recipes. Why not follow my blog for other foodie treats

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