Gastronomy without the Economy!

Penelope_Penguin Posts: 17,288
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
edited 4 May 2010 at 8:23PM in Old style MoneySaving
There are several posters who would like to plan meals around high quality ingredients, without always going for the cheapest options :j

What do you like to cook, when budget isn't top priority?

I bought a beef box from a local farm - their steak is meltingly tender. A treat for us about 3 times a year.

Penny. x

:rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:


  • As this is Old Style, please can posts be mainly about recipes. If you want to find the best prices for ingredients, the Food Shopping board is the place to be ;)
    :rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 25 April 2010 at 1:20PM
    A good example of spending more money on good quality ingredients and getting the most out of them is that of buying a free-range chicken or even an organic one and making sure you get as much as possible from it. I frequently do this.

    I like to roast it on a Sunday and serve it with roast spuds, gravy and veg, or in the summer, baked spuds and salad.

    The next day I take all the meat off the bones and make stock from the carcase, which I freeze to use in future soups.

    I then use the leftover meat to amke another two main meals. Maybe something simple like a chicken salad, or perhaps a pilaff with dried fruit and some nuts, or a pie, hash, pasta bake, curry, risotto, stew, stir-fry.

    Rubber chicken is nothing new on this board;)

    I have always made good quality food a priority for my family and I try to spend a little as possible whilst doing it. I openly admit to being a food fascist :) I have no time for processed rubbish. I have never found my views to be out of place or unusual on the OS board- quite the opposite. I find plenty of like-minded folk. So I am rather perplexed that there is suddenly a feeling that the 'foodie's' views are not catered for on this board. I really don't understand it at all. I have never been made to feel that I am somehow doing OS wrong by refusing to bulk out my mince with oats and lentils, I prefer my oats in the form of porridge with homegrown berries and my lentils made into a tasty dahl served with homemade naan, or a nice salad with some local goat's cheese and some rocket:)
  • wssla00
    wssla00 Posts: 1,875 Forumite
    I made the most amazing organic chicken soup with cheese ciabatta croutons last week- It is so good I'm going to make it at least twice a month :) It was the delicious miss dahl recipe from melancholy and was so amazing. I urge you all to watch this on iplayer :)

    My favourite desert is lemon cream ice cream. So delicious. I will root out the recipe later. You do need double or whipping cream and unwaxed lemons plus some icing sugar but can't remember the quantities. I have a gaggia so it's pretty easy for me to make, but can be made in a pot in the freezer too :)

    I'm a total foodie :) and love cooking with fine ingredients. There is always a place for stodge sometimes too :)
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Let's not forget that good quality ingredients are not only expensive items like meat and fish. As I have said many times before such things as oats, barley, lentils, milk, eggs, onions and carrots are all excellent nutritious and tasty foods. They don't have to be made into grey, tasteless mush.
  • jackieglasgow
    jackieglasgow Posts: 9,436 Forumite
    As a veggie, I would agree. Half my weekly meals have some of these basic ingredients in somewhere.
    mardatha wrote: »
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window :D
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Predictably perhaps, I'm going to recommend a book :D Rose Prince's The New English Kitchen.

    To give an idea of what the book is about let me quote from the introduction.

    When you eat a langoustine, it gives you a present of its shell. Take that shell, toast it in a pan with some others, then boil in water - and you have a broth. That broth becomes one to pour over noodles with spices... You bought something good for a meal and it gave you two things good.

    This simple idea not only enables you to eat well -twice- but is also a solution to the contemporary kitchen dilemma: how to make better-quality food something you can eat every day. This is possible not only through clever recycling -making, say roast chicken leftovers into stock and so bringing to the table a second dish of risotto plus a third of smooth vegetable soup - but also by finding economical ways of buying the best, such as buying direct from farms using home delivery, or scouting vegetable stalls for good deals on seasonally abundant vegetables.

    Rose Prince -The New English Kitchen
  • Addiscomber
    Addiscomber Posts: 1,002
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I haven't posted in, and hardly read, the Old Style board for several months. I had begun to feel uncomfortable and out of place for some time before that, because I couldn't stand the numerous threads that seemed to end up as 'spend the least competitions', where I felt people were being criticised for spending what some deemed to be too much.

    Then, to make matters worse, I changed my way of eating (after a great deal of research :) ) to a low, but not no, carb way. I have lost 2 stone so far (loads more to go :(), but don't feel that I can post in the 'Weight Loss the Old Style Way!' thread, as my way of eating would probably be called a 'fad diet', even though it is based on scientific research, because it goes against what we are told by mainstream medicine and therefore the government, is healthy eating. Funnily enough I feel loads better in other ways that I had no idea could be food related.

    I do hope that this thread gets, and stays, going, as I think it is the one thread that I might feel comfortable in, and I have missed discussing cooking.

    To pick up on Mrs E's comment in this thread
    about it being cheaper to do restaurant quality food at home, at the ripe age of 58 I am teaching myself to cook Chinese food. Luckily we have a huge Chinese supermarket, Wing Yip, fairly close. My eldest son took me in his car when he had a few days off, and we got the biggest wok I had ever seen :D and a range of ingredients that I had listed after careful reading of a couple of books, and a few recipes on this board. I am able to go on the bus for replenishments when necessary. We prefer the home cooked Chinese food to take away as the flavourings are much more subtle and, for keeping to my way of eating, I know exactly what is in the sauces and can account for the carbs. The Chinese supermarket is much cheaper for the specialised ingredients than my usual supermarkets, and the frozen king prawns were about two thirds of the price IIRC, bringing them within our price range. On one visit I saved my bus fare about 10 times over, simply by buying soy sauce in a 2 litre container instead of the 150ml bottles in Sainsburys.
  • Pink.
    Pink. Posts: 17,675
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Hi everyone,

    A number of posts have been moved from this thread and placed on this thread in an attempt to keep this thread on topic. Please see my post here for further explanation.

    Many thanks,

  • hex2
    hex2 Posts: 4,736
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Sounds good to me. I have an excellent butcher near me which we use as a treat, and I also tried recently and rather approve of the beef. I also tried Abel and Cole for the first time this month which I may regret - the veg tastes so much better but this doesn't fit in with my desire to cut my budget.

    Any suggestions for two venison steaks, two ostrich steaks and some cubed venison that are knocking round in the bottom of the freezer?
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • jackieglasgow
    jackieglasgow Posts: 9,436 Forumite
    Well done on the weight loss Addiscomber, I would love to try low carb eating, but the home baking is my problem. Chinese food now there's a thread all of it's own. I have been trying to grow my own beansprouts for stir frys etc. with limited success, the main problems with trying to reduce cost is things like Sesame Oil and other authentic ingredients like that, the wee bottles aren't really cost effective when priced per litre, but as it tends to go off so quickly a big bottle isn't either. I hate throwing ingredients out, and find that having a high quality diet full of good storecupboard "essentials" whilst keeping the purse strings tight and avoiding waste is difficult, I'm hoping to get some good ideas for using these from this thread.
    mardatha wrote: »
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window :D
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
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