Category Archives: Freezer challange

Almost free, Chicken Stock (1.5l for 31p) – Freezer challenge

The freezer challenge

So, I have mentioned before that I save bones and skin and roasted carcasses from any chicken we eat in the freezer until I got a large portion. Then I make it into a super delicious stock, believe me, it can be used for so many things, soup, risotto, anything that requires stock. This time, I only had a small bag full of bones and skin, but it was more than enough to make 1.5l of stock!.


All it took was my slow cooker, the bones, and a few vegetables peelings and spices and stock was made. Obviously, it takes some electricity as well. But, when calculating the price of the stock, I do not calculate in the bones/skin, as that is calculated into my original dish (like the fake away I mentioned yesterday).


I think my husband thinks I’m slightly nuts making stock out of this, as I could just throw it, but I do enjoy it. I remember my grandad mentioning that under the second world war this was done and absolutely, nothing was wasted! Ohh.. how I miss my grandad and grandma at times. I wish I had asked them many more questions when they were alive, but at least I spend a lot of time with them.

Chicken Stock

Approximately 1.5l

Ingredients:

Skin/bones of chicken
3 cloves garlic
1 cm ginger, finely chopped
1 small onion, halved

The washed peel of a few potatoes and carrots (or you could just cut a carrot finely/and a potato)

Whatever, else of sad vegetable ends you got in the fridge. But nothing too overpowering, like broccoli and cauliflower (except if that’s the flavour you are going for).

Salt and pepper.

1.5-2l water (depending on your size of slow cooker as well)

Method:

There are two ways to do this A or B (I prefer B)

A) Bang it all in the slow cooker on high, forget about it for 4-6 hours or longer. This will intensify the taste. If you don’t find the taste strong enough, leave the mixture on high without lid for a while to intensify further.

After 4-6 hours, add salt / pepper to taste then strain the mixture and it is ready to be used.

B) Put all the ingredients into a pot and place on the stow (the inside of my slow cooker can go straight on the stow). on high heat, and roast the mixture, until the skin, bones starts slightly colouring and releasing the oils. Then add the water to the mixture and bring to the Boil.

When Boiling, put it into the slow cooker and leave it on high for 4-6 hours or longer, then after this time, add salt/pepper to taste. Strain the mixture and it is ready to be used.

If you don’t find the taste strong enough, leave the mixture on high without lid for a while to intensify further.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken bones and skin (free)
Garlic 9p
Ginger 5p
Onion 10p
Salt and pepper 2p
Left over vegetable peelings 5p? (estimated as it depends what you are using!)

Total 31p

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Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chinese Chicken Fakeaway Stir fry (89p per portion) – The Freezer Challenge

Freezer challenge 

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m doing a bit of a freezer challenge, as we got way too much random stuff in the freezer that needs using up. I would like to get as much of it used before the baby arrives. However, I do think I have started way too late to achieve this, but never mind.

My husband was away yesterday for a business meeting, so only needed to cook for myself and Toddler “Blip”, however, I still ended up cooking for 4. At least I can freeze the portions and I got some ready meals for when the baby arrives.

Now, you may ask what is a Fakeaway? In my opinion, it is exactly the same as a takeaway, except that it is made at home and it resembles a takeaway. I always, like to cook from scratch, one, it is cheap, two, I know what goes into the food and three I know how fresh it is.

In the freezer, I had quite a bit of chicken, 2 drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs. In general, I like to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for stir-fries, it got more taste and it is much cheaper. I must have been lazy when I froze the thighs, (or just pregnant) as I froze them with skin on and bones in. But never mind, I defrosted it and removed bones from thighs and drumsticks and there was almost 450g of meat. Which is a perfect amount for 4. But you can use more/less as it fits with your family, don’t forget you can always bulk it out with more vegetables.

Now, with the skin and bones, don’t throw it away, instead debone them and remove the skin then put it in a separate freezer bag and keep in the freezer, until you got quite a large portion. Why you may ask? Because it makes a fantastic stock (almost for free). I will post the recipe for that another day.

I served the Fakeaway with rice which Toddler “Blip” loves. He tried the chicken and vegetables but wasn’t keen, but at least he tried it.

Also, because I cook it wanting my son to eat it, I don’t add the chilli, but use my special chilli oil instead.

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chicken Stir-fry

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g chicken thighs (bones and skin removed) cut in chunks
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
2 Cm Ginger finely cut (finely sliced)
2 Hot Dried Chillies (or 2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes or to taste)
1 Medium onion (cut into wedges)
2 Medium carrots (cut into slices)
1-1/2 bell peppers cut into bite size pieces (I used a combination of red, yellow and green, but you could choose just one colour)
3-4 Medium Mushrooms (quartered)
Handful Sugar Snap Peas
2 Spring onions (diagonally sliced)
1/2 tin pineapple pieces (reserve juice for Marinade)
Handful Salted Cashew nuts (optional)

Marinade

All the juice from the Pineapple tin
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Corn flour
Served with rice for four, approx. 240g

Method:

This dish is really best if you can let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight. I marinated it for 6 hours. However, even if you just marinated it for half an hour it would still taste amazing.

Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinate, leaving the corn flour out, this needs to be added at the last minute when cooking. Then cut the chicken into bite size pieces and combine with the marinate. Leave covered in the fridge until needed.

Because this is a quick cook, you need to prepare all your vegetables before starting to cook. You won’t have time to do it as you go along.

Slice the garlic and ginger and place in a bowl with the chilli. Then cut the onion and carrot, and bell peppers and place together with the mushrooms and place in a different bowl. Then wash the sugar snap peas and place it in a bowl with the spring onions.

Have the pineapple pieces ready and the cashews if using them.

The cooking

Cook rice as per packet, or your preferred method (I use a rice cooker)

In a none stick wok, add the oil, and bring it up to high heat, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry it for around 30seconds to 1 minutes. Now, with a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the marinate and place in the wok (reserve the marinate, we need this later). Now stir-fry the chicken for around 2-3 minutes until its coloured all over. If you find that a lot of marinate came into the wok, then pour it off back into the reserved marinade.

Now add the onion and the carrot to the wok and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the bell peppers and mushrooms cook for another minute. Then add the pineapple pieces and pour in the reserved marinade (except for 2 tbsp worth), give the mixture a good mix and cook for around another 2 minutes, until it starts slightly reducing. Then mix the corn flour into the last bit of marinade and pour it into the wok give it a good stir. At this point add the Mangetout and spring onions. Cook until it got a sticky consistency, shouldn’t take long.

Serve, with the cashews on top, with steamed rice on the side. Prawn crackers goes well with it.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs 99p
Vegetable oil 3p
Garlic 9p
Ginger 10p
Dried Chillies 5p (bought at Asian Grocer)
Medium onion 10p
Medium carrots 5p
Bell Peppers 46p
Mushrooms 20p
Sugar Snap Peas 35p
Spring onions 10p
Pineapple pieces 30
Cashew nuts 20p

Marinade

Ketchup 5p
Tomato puree 5p
Brown sugar 5p
Ginger 10p
Garlic 6p
Soy Sauce 10p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Corn flour 3p
Rice 11p

Total price: £3.59  (per portion 90p)  

 

 

Cheats “Pulled pork” (84p per person) – The freezer challenge!

The freezer challenge!

As you know I’m expecting Baby “Flipper”, hopefully soon! I’m 37 weeks and finally I seem to have some better days, less sickness and I’m able to enjoy pregnancy a bit more (finally). However, this also means I suddenly realised that there are certain things I would like to have done before the baby is here. A lot of things I have left too late though.

But one of the things I would love to get done is sorting out my freezers a bit, I got lots of lovely bits and bobs in it, and some unmarked weird things. So, for the next couple of weeks I’m planning to do my freezer challenge, which means, using up whatever is in the freezer.

Now, when I was digging around the freezer yesterday I found a big gammon steak, but only enough for 1 person really. Now, normally I love gammon steaks with pineapple, but just for me, I couldn’t really be bothered to do that, especially as it would mean I would have to make 2 different dishes for me and husband (Toddler “Blip” would just have the same as me).

On the other hand, I love pulled pork and so does the husband, so I decided to do a cheats pulled pork in the slow cooker, it turned out lovely. Also, was nice that it was just enough for the two of us, normally, I make a huge portion, but then we need to freeze it again. I definitely would do this again. I had it in a burger bun (from the freezer), but forgot to take a picture – sorry being pregnant make me impatient at times. The husband had it in a low carb bun.


Toddler “Blip” tried it, but it was a bit on the spicy side for him.

Cheats “Pulled pork”

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 large Gammon Steak
1 Medium Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
Small bunch Coriander, incl. stalks
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp, Hot Chilli Sauce
1 tbsp, Tomato Ketchup
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
50 ml Water

Method:

Put the gammon steak in the slow cooker, with enough water to cover it, cook for around 1 hour on high. Then take out the gammon steak, throw out the water and replace with new water, cook for another hour, but on medium.

Now, throw out the water again, check the gammon, it should be soft so you can easily shred it with two forks.

In another pan, add the oil, together with a thinly sliced onion, finely chopped coriander stalk and the finely chopped garlic until nice and soft, now add the chilli sauce, ketchup, water, cumin and smoked paprika, and cook it down to a sticky consistency.

Add the pulled gammon to the bbq sauce, and mix it well together, and add the remaining coriander to the mixture. Give the mixture a taste and add salt and pepper if needed, I like to add this at the end as gammon is very salty in itself.

The mixture is brilliant either in a burger bun, or in a big salad leaf…

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Gammon steak £1.00
Onion 10p
Garlic cloves 6p
Coriander 20p
Vegetable oil 1p
Hot Chilli Sauce 8p
Tomato Ketchup 2p
Cumin 10p
Smoked Paprika 10p
Total price: £1.67  (per portion 84p)