Making the most of the meal-deal – part 3…
Like all good plays and movies, the story of this meal deal is in 3 acts. This is the final one; The resolution where all the answers are contained, and we leave feeling inspired and secure that all is right with the world.
OK, so I know I’m somewhat aggrandising my achievement but I have to confess that I am quietly pleases that a £20 Waitrose meal deal can, with a modicum of a store cupboard, turn into 10 quite satisfactory suppers. And that doesn’t pay heed to the box of chocolates and a bottle of Prosecco that have respectively been inhaled and kept in the fridge.
I also had the 2 Gu puds which I did consider morphing into hot banana trifles but to be honest, I rather like them as they are, so didn’t bother.
The last two recipes use the remaining duck joint and its stuffing, and the small portion of out of season broccoli. (I’d have preferred sprouting broccoli but the good buyers of Waitrose I assume felt there was more romance in asparagus than a brassica). I’ve supplemented the asparagus dish with 6 frozen King Prawns which I had in my freezer. Totally optional and I estimate they added about 30p to the cost. In total I think my additional spend to make these 10 suppers has been about £4.70. Not bad I think…but I lay down the gauntlet. Love to know if anyone is up for another meal deal challenge. Might need to come up with some rules…!
ASPARAGUS MIE GORENG (FRIED EGG NOODLES)
Makes 2 portions
- 12 small asparagus spears
- 120g dried egg noodles
- 6 king prawns (defrosted)
- 1 tsp peanut oil
- 1/4 onion, sliced quite thickly
- 1/2 tsp tom yum paste (or any curry paste you have)
- 2 tsp honey
- 4 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 small green chill (optional)
- 1 egg
- Set a pan of water to boil and add the egg noodles and asparagus, cut into 3cm pieces
- Meanwhile, heat a wok and add the oil. Fry off the curry paste for a minute.
- Add the onions and chili if using, and soften for a minute.
- Add the honey and soy.
- Drain the egg noodles and asparagus and toss in the wok. Add the prawns to heat through.
- When the noodles start to caramelise, remove to a warm plate.
- Fry the egg in the hot wok and serve on top of the noodles.
- Garnish with coriander, another dash of soy and more of Andre Dang’s Achar if you’re that lucky! I also fried off some Emping which are Indonisian crackers made from melinjo. Love them but prawn crackers would be great too.
For this final recipe, I used my pressure cooker and cooked everything in the one pan, but I’ve included timings for using conventional pans. That said, if you’re a solo eater, I can’t recommend a pressure cooker enough. And if you get one, you must invest in Catherine Phipps superb book to accompany it. Your pressure cooker will never go back in the cupboard. I promise.
DUCK COTTAGE PIE
Makes 2-3 portions
- Half the duck and all the stuffing from Waitrose Duck breast joint
- a knob of butter
- 1 Portobello mushroom, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 50ml marsala, madeira or red wine
- 100ml water
- 1 tsp cornflour made into a paste with a little water
- 2 medium potatoes (Maris Piper or Desiree)
- Some breadcrumbs – I had leftovers from the mussels gratin and used those.
- Preheat oven to 180c
- Melt the butter in a pan or your pressure cooker
- Saute off the onion, mushroom and carrot for a minute.
- Add the marsala or wine and simmer until reduced.
- Sliced the duck and sausage stuffing and add to pan.
- Cover with the water and season with salt and pepper.
- Peel the potato and place a trivet in the pressure cooker and add the steamer basket.
- Place the potatoes whole in the basket and cook on full pressure for 10 minutes.
- Release the pressure and remove the potatoes. Set aside.
- Simmer the duck stew and thicken with the cornflour.
- Place the duck stew in a shallow oven proof dish.
- Top with sliced potato and sprinkle on bread crumbs if using.
- Place in oven for 20 minutes
- Eat and marvel at your new found status as Mr or Mrs McConomy.
(For conventional pan cooking, make the stew the same way and simmer for 20-25 minutes before thickening with the cornflour. Cut the potatoes into chunks and boil as you would normally. Cool and slice.)