£1 Store cupboard Meals to Inspire You – Chef Miguel Barclay is, quite justifiably, famous for his series of books with recipes for £1 meals. His latest book is perfectly timed for our ‘Tier 4 life’ and offers a chance to use up some of those things cluttering up your kitchen store cupboard. It’s heralded as a ‘handbook for a new era of cooking’ and for many of us, with constraints on our finances caused by Covid-19, the idea of a tasty meal that can be prepared for just one pound per head is a Godsend. Store cupboard One Pound Meals includes over 80 of Miguel’s favourite store cupboard recipes, plus some batch cooking ideas and tips. And with recipes now serving four, instead of just one, this book is perfect for families on a budget. And, of course, you can always halve the ingredients for couples.
Miguel has also identified his ‘store cupboard heroes’ – ingredients that will last for yonks, and if you’re anything like me, you probably already have most of them in your kitchen!
At £16.99 (Headline Home 2020) for a paperback with great colour photos by Dan Jones, this book is the perfect treat for a cold, miserable January.
Here are a couple of recipes from the book that are ideal for this time of year.
Red Onion Tarte Tatin
This one is really easy but looks like you’ve spent ages making something posh. It would definitely be impressive if you made your own pastry, but there’s nothing wrong with a shortcut. So, grab some premade puff from the freezer and you’ll see that it’s no effort at all.
To make 4 portions:
8 red onions, cut into wedges
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
Squeeze of balsamic glaze
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked, and stalks discarded
(or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Set out a circular ovenproof dish about 15cm in diameter (or 4 small dishes).
Chuck the red onion wedges into the baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for about 25 minutes until softened and cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, lay out your sheet of puff pastry and cut out a circle 30cm in diameter. If you want to make 4 individual portions, cut out 4 smaller circles that will line the dishes with a 5cm overhang.
Add a squeeze of balsamic glaze to the onions, along with some thyme, then place the pastry on top and tuck in the sides. Brush with beaten egg if you want a professional finish and then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
To serve, invert the tart onto a plate or serving board.
Thai Prawn Envelopes
Rice noodles cook really quickly, so I always have them to hand for emergencies. Here I have created a fun way to cook them with frozen prawns to create a lovely Thai-inspired noodle dish.
Add a sheet of noodles to each, then divide the carrot, leek and prawns evenly between them.
Add a teaspoon of curry paste to each parcel and a big splash of water, then scrunch up the sides of the greaseproof paper to make secure parcels (making sure the joins are at the top, so no liquid leaks out).
Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven,
give them a stir to mix the noodles and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, adding more water if needed.
Once cooked, serve each with a wedge of lime.
Make it vegan
To make this dish vegan, swap the prawns for some fried tofu and use vegan curry paste.