Chef shows how to cook fancy meals for just £1 – from curry to veg wellington

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Popular chef Miguel Barclay is back with his sixth book.

The London-based cook, known for his £1 dinner recipes, has released a book called Storecupboard One Pound Meals.

His aim is to encourage people to cook affordable, simple and tasty meals without breaking the bank.

The latest title shows how to make the most of longer-lasting ingredients such as pasta, tinned goods, grains and jars.

Miguel wrote the book during the first lockdown, something he says was a “strange experience” during a time where there was limited food on the shelves and a “nation changing the way it thinks about what it eats”.

He said: “I had to use what was available in my own storecupboard, and it felt great to finally use it all up! This book became more like a handbook for a new era of cooking in the world we are now living in.”

Miguel added: “It is time to feel inspired to cook in a new way, to liberate the tins and cans from the back of the cupboard and put these hero ingredients where they belong.”

So why not try it yourself with these three recipes?

Frozen prawn thai green curry

There are plenty of books that will give you a from-scratch recipe for a Thai green curry paste, but this isn’t one of them. The jarred stuff lasts for ages, doesn’t waste your time and costs less.

Ingredients: (makes four portions)

  • One mug of rice
  • Two mugs of water
  • 4tbsp Thai green curry paste from jar
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 200ml water (for the sauce)
  • One vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • Handful of small potatoes, cut in half
  • Handful of mangetout, three or four cut into strips
  • Handful of frozen raw, peeled prawns
  • One fresh red or green chilli, sliced (optional)
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Put the rice and water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt
  • Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer for about seven minutes, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked
  • Meanwhile, using a wok, high-sided frying pan or large saucepan, start by frying the Thai green curry paste in a splash of sesame oil for about 30 seconds, then add the coconut milk, 200ml water, stock cube and potatoes
  • Season, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are almost cooked
  • Add the mangetout and frozen prawns to the pan and cook for a further three minutes
  • Once the prawns are cooked, serve with the rice and garnish with chilli, if using

Tip – To make this dish vegan, leave out the prawns. You could also replace them with an extra veggie, such as aubergine. Remember to make sure your curry paste and stock cube are vegan too.

Vegan mushroom Wellington

This is a vegan dream come true, perfect for special occasions. Imagine tucking into this, with all the trimmings, at Christmas. Why not grab that puff pastry out of the freezer and give this a try?

Ingredients (to make four portions)

  • Four onions, diced
  • 1kg mushrooms, sliced
  • Four garlic cloves, sliced
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked and stalks discarded (or 1tsp dried thyme)
  • One sheet of frozen vegan puff pastry defrosted
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Start by pan-frying the onions in a glug of olive oil over a low heat with a big pinch of salt for about 15 minutes until sticky and caramelised. Remove from the pan and put to one side
  • Pan-fry the mushrooms in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, adding the garlic and thyme halfway through and seasoning to taste
  • Once the mushrooms are cooked, return the onions to the pan, mix it all together, then remove from the heat and allow to cool
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C /gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  • Lay your puff pastry sheet on the lined baking tray, then spoon the filling in a line down the middle.
  • Fold one side of the pastry over the other and seal the edges by pushing down gently with your fingers
  • Lightly score the top with a knife to create a criss-cross pattern, then brush with a little oil. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky

Tip: Make ahead – this can be made in advance and cooked from frozen.

Speedy meatballs

Ikea’s Swedish meatballs are a classic, so here is my shortcut version using just sausages, milk and gravy granules. That’s all – and you don’t need to queue or feel like you have to buy any furniture to make the trip worthwhile.

Ingredients: (to make four portions)

  • Eight sausages
  • 300ml fresh or long-life milk
  • 2tbsp gravy granules
  • Pinch of fresh or dried parsley (optional)
  • 1tbsp strawberry jam
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper

Method:

  • Squeeze each sausage out of its skin and roll the meat into approximately four balls (depending how big you want them)
  • Pan-fry them in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until golden brown all over
  • Next add the milk and bring to the boil before removing from the heat and stirring in the gravy granules
  • Season with pepper and serve with a sprinkle of parsley and a dollop of jam

Miguel Barclays’ Storecupboard One Pound Meals is out now, published by Headline Home, £16.99.

  • Cooking

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