One never hears very much about elusive food, indeed it is in general particularly static. This dish, first attempted a number of weeks ago, has however managed to elude my blog twice because of camera issues. Indeed, any suggestion that my food has been hiding from me can be taken as entirely false. Nevertheless I have finally caught the little blighter and am now bringing it to you, and do you know what? It’s bloody delicious. Until recently, pulses have never really been my “thing”, they never appealed to me, I don’t know why. The best thing about them, though, is that they are actually very tasty but also they are filling and cheap, how can someone as frugal as I possibly have ever hated those little munchy wonders?
Recently I’ve been providing more complicated recipes that aren’t on the cheaper side of the frugal scale. Whilst they are still very cheap, I can do better, so I will. There really is nothing nicer than a good, traditional pasta sauce, with simple, yet delicious flavours that don’t try to do anything too complicated. For this reason I have found that basic pasta sauces based around tomato always taste better without any tomato puree or balsamic vinegar, to name but two examples. It is my opinion that the most that should be added are more basic ingredients, chilli or basil for instance.
These have been described as the world’s best Chocolate Brownies by, seemingly, everyone who has ever eaten them. I must, however, admit that I have alighted this recipe from somewhere else and feel obliged to attribute it to a certain Mrs. Dimbleby, an ex-Sunday Telegraph food writer of fifteen years. Dense, gooey and with a crisp outer shell, these chocolate brownies are more or less literally to-die-for. Just make sure you lick the bowl – you may regret not doing so for some years.
Following on from yesterday’s custard tart recipe today I bring you a use for those two egg whites you should have saved. After all, how can something be called frugal if you end up disposing of half of two good eggs? I know these meringues probably won’t count as a complete dessert, but they are so adaptable, you’d be mad not to make them. You could simply crumble them up into a few scoops of ice cream, or cut them in half add some whipped cream and fruit, the possibilities aren’t quite endless, but there are a fair few.
The recipe will make four large meringues, but you can scale up to suit, and take around 40 minutes to make.
- two egg whites
- 4 ounces of caster sugar, this is around 115g, granulated sugar will do
Beat the eggs with a hand mixer until they are able to form stiff peaks. People tend to test if this step is complete by holding the dish upside down above their head. However, by doing this there is the potential for looking like a fool as well as the problem of it not being a particularly accurate method.
To the whisked egg add the sugar a little at a time, mixing it in on a high speed every time you add some. Make sure not to over-whisk it. The mixture should have an almost glossy look to it.
Prepare some baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180C. Spoon the meringue mixture into four separate splodges and bake for around 25 minutes. After the alloted time turn the oven off and leave the meringues to remain until the oven has cooled.
Well, if you’re using the egg whites from the previous recipe their price was included in that recipe, that makes the cost of these meringues around 20p. I think that’s around 5 times less than what you’d pay in the supermarket, if not more.
One of the best things about coming home to Aberystwyth for the holidays are my parent’s chickens. There’s nothing better than three home-grown free range chickens each producing an egg a day for your eating pleasure. Apart from the fact that, beyond a little upkeep, the eggs are basically free, the bonus of keeping chickens is that the eggs are so much better than the ones you find in the supermarket. Because the chickens are treated properly and the eggs are fresh, eggs laid by your own chickens will have far more colour and flavour.