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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Using up some food items to save a bit of cash. Peanut butter chicken and sardine stew.

Well it must be January again as I find myself once again in frugal mode and using up food items in the kitchen cupboards and fridge and freezer. I've even got into the habit of leaving something out to defrost before I leave for work in the morning and feeling terribly righteous as I cook the item in the evening. This righteousness is tempered financially by the fact that very often I have bought something like fresh veg in the daytime to go with the defrosted whatever. Oh well. At least I am attempting to use up a freezer chock a block with fish and meat I have purchased throughout 2015 and meals in aluminium trays where I have cooked too much and have been loathe to chuck the remaining scraps in the bin.

Here are a few examples of my frugality and invention. Firstly I found a jar of organic peanut butter I bought on a whim last year and, as of late,was still in my fridge. The contents were nearly solid as the fridge isn't very well at the moment. Keeps freezing up. Rather than throw it out I left it out on the side for a day so the peanut butter was a bit less permafrostic (not a real word but it sounds good) and then I chopped up two chicken breasts and marinated the breasts in peanut butter overnight. I also added a sachet of satay sauce that was at the back of my store cupboard for a moister effect.

The next day I scraped off the majority of the crunchy peanut butter from the raw chicken and stir fried the chicken and ate it with some chopped tomatoes and a mix of delicious baby salad leaves. Interestingly the salad leaves, purchased from the local greengrocer in a plastic tub, have kept much better than a bag of wet salad leaves from a supermarket. The tub was 100g and five days later it still appears fresh and crisp.

I also made use of a special offer at work where fresh sardines are only £1.50 per kg. I made a simple stew with four tins of cheap chopped tomatoes banged into a casserole dish, some tinned beans for texture and half a dozen filleted and fried sardines for extra fishy and salty flavour.

I cleaned and filleted the sardines and shallow fried them after coating the fillets in plain flour to stop them sticking to the frying pan. The finished fish them got added to the ingredients in the casserole and the warmed through sardine stew (45 mins on gas mark 6 - 160 electric) was served with some penne pasta. No picture of the finished dish as it came out a bit too blurred. I blame the white wine I imbibed whilst cooking!

Clearly these super fresh sardines don't come from a tin!

filets with the breast bones

trimmed filets of sardines

sardines filets dusted in plain flour and a shake of ground black pepper

I also found some shallot onions in a vase that last saw the light of day around Christmas so I de-skinned them and shallow fried them and added them to the sardine, tomato and bean stew. Fab!

1 comment:

Peter said...

Hi Phil

Long time no speak. When I first read the blog title i thought you had lost the plot - chicken, peanut butter and sardine stew! Thankfully, they weren't all in the same pot.

And, when is a stew a casserole?