Not so long ago I headed down to my local Waitrose with £30 in my wallet. Optimistically I was looking to cook a homemade supper for 6. With this budget I honestly thought I was going to end up serving crisps and dips for starters, microwaving ready meals for mains and serving bland unhealthy choc ices for dessert. But, after some research on the internet, perusing the Waitrose website and flicking through my compilation of cookery books I was positive that I had found the deal and recipes for a delicious dinner.
Feeling a bit fancy and showy-offy I was very much taken with a goat’s cheese soufflé recipe, I also decided that because it was around St. Patrick’s Day I should swap the goat’s cheese with an Irish Cashel Blue: a salty but delicious offering from the Emerald Isle. Heading a bit further South into Europe I discovered a Spanish offering of chorizo and butterbean stew, a great dish to share with friends over a bottle of plonk. I also wanted something I could use a freshly baked baguette from Waitrose to mop up the juices with. Pudding I felt was going to make me go over budget, but upon arrival at the dessert aisle I found an epic deal for Waitrose’s own brand fruit fools – the kitchen gods must have been smiling on me.
Having a keen eye for bargains and being a bit Yorkshire (North Yorkshire – the nice part) I was more than pleased to see the cost came to a credit crunch busting £29.83. Therefore I not only managed to stretch my pennies and stay under budget, but I also served up a great meal for equally great friends.
Blue Cheese Soufflé
You will need:
50g plain flour
150g blue cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of white pepper
6 free range eggs (separated)
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease eight ramekins. Melt butter in a small saucepan, stir in flour and cook for a dew seconds.
- Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, return to heat and cook. Stir constantly until thickened
- Crumble cheese into sauce, stir until cheese has melted. Season with cayenne pepper and white pepper (you will not need salt as the cheese will have enough already). Remove from heat and beat in egg yolks one at a time
- Whisk egg whites until standing in soft peaks. Whisks one or two spoonfuls into the sauce. Once mixed, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites (make sure you do this the moment before the next step, not before, or they will not rise)
- Spoon into ramekins and bake for 20 – 25 mins till risen and golden. Serve immediately.
Chorizo and butter bean stew with garlic and thyme
You will need:
700g of dried butter beans
450g of chorizo
90ml of olive oil
10 garlic cloves (roughly sliced)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
350ml of red wine
800g chopped tomatoes
2tbsp thyme leaves
4tbsp flat leaf parsley
Chunks of butter
- Simmer butter beans for 1 ½ hours. Drain and set aside
- Cut chorizo into thin slices. Put olive oil and garlic into a large pan and heat on a medium-high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the chorizos and cook until slightly browned on both sides. Add onion and cook until softened
- Add red wine, cook to reduce until almost nothing. Add tomatoes, thyme, butter beans and ½ teaspoon of salt
- Simmer for 15 mins
- Spoon into large bowls, scatter over some parsley. Serve with bread and butter.
Waitrose Apricot, Raspberry and Rhubarb fools
You will need:
- Go to the a Waitrose supermarket
- Buy two of each flavour from the dessert aisle
- Serve after dinner with some spoons