I have to confess I am quite proud of myself. Although the first working week of January was only 4 days long, I brought food into work twice. However, I also learned that preparing dinner and lunch does require a little bit of planning.
As I went on Monday for my weekly supermarket trip (with my grandma trolley), I had the shopping list for Monday night … and that was it! While I was in Sainsbury’s, I realised that if I wanted to stick to my resolution I would probably need to cook as well on Tuesday night (Wednesday being yoga night), so I should probably buy everything while I was there!
3 ½ minutes on my iPhone recipe app trying to decide what I would cook on Tuesday night, finally opting for Jamie Oliver Mushroom risotto.
Another 1 ½ minutes in the ‘prawn cracker’ aisle (my favourite snack) wondering what I had in my cupboard and what I needed to buy (having just arrived back in the UK after 10 days on holiday in France didn’t really help matters.)
Getting the precious prawn crackers but of course forgetting not only the parmesan but also the mushrooms!
I had to send my boyfriend get parmesan two hours later. And of course I ended up going back to the supermarket on Tuesday night to get the mushrooms and some chicken (to add some protein to the risotto)!
Conclusion: Next week I’ll plan what I will be cooking during the week on Sunday!
Recipe #2: La Blanquette
Today I would like to share another great Sunday night winter recipe: La Blanquette! It is a French stew and usually French people cook blanquette de veau (= veal blanquette) but I find it quite hard to find veal in this country (or at least it is at my local Sainsbury’s), so instead I use another cheap white meat: turkey!
My recipe comes from a French recipe website and I have tweaked it to include more vegetables, for a healthier and more complete dish. As usual, the quantities are good for 2 people for diner and lunch at work. Last but not least, we usually serve the stew with rice.
You will need:
At least 500g of turkey (or more if you are hungry) – You can buy diced turkey breast or turkey breast/steak and then cut them into small diced- £4
1 cube chicken stock
1 cube vegetable stock
3 carrots- 30p
1 large onion – 20p
1 clove of garlic, chopped or mashed
2 leeks– £1.20
200g of mushroom (I like chestnut mushroom or white mushroom) – £1 / or a can of slices mushroom if you’re really lazy!
1 egg yolk
20cl of white wine – I usually buy the mini white wine bottles (20cl) at Sainsbury and pour in the whole amount. I use the white wine in other dishes, so I always opt for the 2 small bottles for £3 offer at Sainburys. So 1 bottle costs me £1.50.
A little pot of crème fraîche- £1 (you can get low fat if you’re looking to lose some Christmas pounds.)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons plain flour
That adds to around £9.20 (£10.20 with the rice) for this dish or £2.55 per person, per meal … pretty good!
Dice the turkey (if not pre-cut) and chop the onion, garlic, carrots, leeks and mushrooms. Add the chopped onion, turkey and a knob of butter into large saucepan. Brown the meat in the butter until golden. Add 2 tablespoons of plain flour to thicken the sauce and stir well.
Add the white wine, stock, carrots, leeks, garlic and mushrooms to the pan. Add water to the pan until the contents are fully covered. Season with salt and pepper and add the herbs. And, as Jamie Oliver (whose recipes I love but come on!) would say, ‘It smells delicious!’
Bring the mixture to the boil and let simmer on very low heat for at least 1 hour. The sauce should slowly get thicker. If not, you can thicken the sauce by adding more plain flour. The aim is a consistency that’s somewhere between gravy and chowder.
Just before serving, mix together the crème fraiche, egg yolk and some lemon juice. Add it to the dish and mix well. Serve on rice.