Makes two cups
No cooking required

1 400ml can of chickpeas
1 1/2 tbsp tahini – but we use peanut butter
3+ tbsp lemon juice – to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2+ tbsp olive oil
up to 1/4 cup water

And for serving

Turkish flat bread or some long-life wraps.

Recipe

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then combine the all the ingredients in a food processor, with a stick blender (we use a basic one like this – Kenwood Stick Blender, or you can manually mash them if you’re desperate!

Add extra lemon juice, water or olive oil to taste, and if it dries out just add a little more oil.

That’s it – easy, quick, and delicious.

Serves 4 hungry people
25 minutes from start to table
Uses only one pan and cooks on the stovetop

Basic Recipe

1-2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tins of beans (whatever you have – kidney, cannelini – even baked beans!)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small tin tomato puree
1-2 cups of stock/wine
100g chorizo (I have some that stores for 4 months)

½tsp dried mixed herbs (or 2 tsp fresh)

And for serving

french bread, or good think slices of our everyday wholemeal bread.

Variations

Exchange the chorizo for any other pork: bacon (smoked preferably), chunks of pork belly, sausages etc.
It’s very easy to hide veg in this recipe so the kids eat it without knowing! Try grating in a carrot or courgette – they’ll never spot it.

Heat the oil in a large pan (we use a non-stick wok). Add the onion, garlic, chorizo and cook gently for 5 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Then add the tomatoes, puree, beans, herbs and enough stock to make sure it’s not too thick.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the beans are just soft. Then serve with the bread on the side to clean the bowls!

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This recipe comes from our new Resilient Recipes project, which was inspired by Sharon Astyk‘s book “Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation“. It aims to lay out a range of easy, delicious meals that can be made from pantry ingredients in combination with home-grown veg.

The best of these recipes will need little or no cooking, should appeal to all the family, and can be easy everyday meals made from ingredients that can be stored for up to a year. In the event of any form of disruption to the food supply a well prepared family will be able to feed themselves happily from the Resilient Recipes guide.

We’ll start filling it with our favourite resilient recipes, feel free to contact us with yours and we’ll try them out and add them too!

Easy Risotto Recipe

Serves 4 hungry people
45 min from start to table – 25 mins unattended cooking
Only uses one pan & cooks on the stovetop

Basic Recipe

3tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
300g risotto rice (Arborio)
600ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
150ml white wine (or red! or stock if none available)
300ml passata (or a tin of tomatoes, pureed)
½tsp dried oregano / mixed herbs (or 2 tsp fresh)

and for serving

2 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
50g black olives, sliced
50g parmesan, shredded

Additions
Mix and match – add one or more of these.
Reduce the quantities if you add more than one.

250g mushrooms, sliced
10g dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated
100g chorizo, diced
350g chicken, cubed

Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid (we use a non-stick wok with a lid). Add the onion, garlic and any extras you want, other than the porcini mushrooms. Fry, stirring, for about 5 minutes.

Add the rice, stock, wine, passata, herbs and porcini mushrooms and bring to the boil.

Cover, and cook gently for 25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender.

Remove from the heat, stir in the olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and serve sprinkled with the parmesan.

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In my quest for perfect bread, I’m starting to understand a little more about the science of bread making, spurred on by some disastrous loaves from my previously reliable bread recipe. The first main earning point is that all yeast is not equal. Originally we were using Sainsbury’s own brand yeast, but a move onto Allinson yeast proved a bit of a disaster I haven’t quite worked out what went wrong yet, but even after a lot of tweaking, the Allinson yeast is not giving us such reliable results. In playing with the recipe a little I realised that the extra yeast I was adding needed more sugar to reach its true potential!

So my new reliable bread recipe is this:

  • 310 ml of lukewarm semi-skimmed milk
  • 450 ml of strong flour (I use half white, half wholemeal)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar (I use golden caster sugar)
  • 25 g butter
  • Two 7g sachets of dried yeast

And here are the results:

It’s about another inch taller than my previous efforts, and is perfectly light and delicious – so maybe I can tick something else off my Aims and Achievements list.

Never happy to settle for good-enough, I’ve been tweaking our easy, reliable bread recipe to respond to a little family criticism that it could be lighter. So here’s the new result:

IMG_0391[1]

It’s about an inch taller than the previous recipe but it is not as reliably pretty:
Home-Made bread

But I’ve used the new recipe three times so far and had no failures – just great, delicious wholemeal bread. It’s significantly lighter, and now there are not even the slightest complaints! It even seems easier to slice.

Here’s the revised recipe:

  • 310 ml of lukewarm semi-skimmed milk
  • 450 ml of strong flour (I use half white, half wholemeal)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar (I use golden caster sugar)
  • 25 g butter
  • TWO 7g sachets of dried yeast

Put the milk into the breadmaker, followed by the flour. Add the salt, sugar and butter into each corner, then make a well in the center of the flour (not all the way through to the milk) and pur in the yeast.

Run it on the breadmaker’s express cycle. In our case that takes an hour, and only 0.24kWh.

Anyway, that’s enough talking about it, I’m off to slice it up for breakfast – the smell is divine.

OK, I’ll be up front, this is a little bit of a joke post, but I just bought the Victory Cookbook and there are lots of interesting food snippets in it to share. It’s a compilation of three of Marguerite Patten’s during and post-war cookbooks, and so is great for frugal, ration-based cooking. One of the items that caught my eye was called “Save that Fat”:

Collect all the oddments of fat that you can from frying pans, baking tins and stews. Melt and strain them all into a big bowl and wash them by pouring on some boiling water (you will need about a pint of water for 2 oz of fat). When the liquid solidifies, lift off the solid fat and scrape the sediment off the bottom; it is now quite suitable for frying or roasting. Wise housewives will take this a step further. They will heat the at up again until it stops bubbling. This means that it is quite free from moisture and will keep literally indefinitely. It can be saved for anything, even cake making.

Not sure about you, but that was new to me! Now I can’t cook a pan of sausages without feeling I shouldn’t be throwing the fat away – surely this is some of the ultimate recycling.  Maybe one of these days I’ll become a “Wise Eco-Housewife” and try it. I might leave a note explaining to the Paramedics what I’ve done though.

With two of my recent themes being Hazelnuts from edible hedges and growing our own mushrooms, imagine how delighted I was to find this recipe over at Fungi Perfecti:

Shiitake Hazelnut Vegetarian Pate

4 oz Shiitake Mushrooms
1/8 tbsp thyme
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
2 tsp dry sherry
3 oz Neufchatel cheese
1 tsp fresh parsley

Trim and discard woody ends from mushrooms. In a food processor, finely chop mushroom caps and stems. Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute for at least 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, pepper and salt. Chop parsley in food processor. Add hazelnuts and process. Add Neufchatel cheese and process until smooth. Add sherry and mushroom mixture, and process until well-mixed. Spread or mold in serving dish. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with crackers. Yields 1 cup. Other mushrooms can be substituted for or combined with Shiitake.

Isn’t that just the perfect use for all my nice garden produce? (not sure how to grow a Sherry tree yet though 🙂 ) It’s a recipe from Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets – which is definitely on my to-buy list.