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Single mother Jack Monroe’s 9p meals win book deal thanks to her ‘austerity recipes’ blog about feeding her family on £10 a week | Mail Online

Single mother Jack Monroe’s 9p meals win book deal thanks to her ‘austerity recipes’ blog about feeding her family on £10 a week | Mail Online.

Pineapple Chicken

Also called Hawaiian chicken, this is an easy, delicious change from the normal baked chicken.

Pineapple Chicken
Serves 6
Baked chicken with pineapple.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 chicken, cut into parts
  2. 1 can of pineapple slices or chunks with light syrup
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  7. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  9. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  10. 1 tablespoon cider or white wine vinegar or whiskey
  11. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to about 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and baking parchment.
  3. Arrange the chicken in one layer in the pan.
  4. Pour the pineapple syrup into a bowl without the pineapple.
  5. Mix the oil, pepper, salt, ginger, soy sauce, and whiskey with the pineapple syrup.
  6. Pour half of this mixture over the chicken, and massage it in until it is fully coated.
  7. Arrange the pineapple, onion, and bell pepper over the chicken as evenly as possible.
  8. Pour the remaining liquid mixture over the chicken.
  9. Cover with another sheet of baking parchment.
  10. Bake at 175 Celsius for an hour and a half. Start to check it after about an hour and 15 minutes though. You don't want it to burn.
  11. It will make quite a bit of liquid, so if you prefer, you can pour out the excess and make some sauce for rice.
Notes
  1. If you want to make this spicy, I recommend a green chile sauce.
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Turkey Wings and Rice

Turkey wings are an inexpensive but nutritious bit of meat.  In some places, you can get them for $2 per kilo.  Some don’t like them because they are very fatty, but this is exactly what is needed when you are trying to get as much nutrition and calories as you can on a budget without resorting to overly processed foods.  That fat also comes in handy.  With this recipe, much of the excess is boiled off so by the time you bake the turkey wings, they come out nice and crispy.  This recipe is for about 12 servings, but you can halve it if you are only feeding one or two or don’t want to have leftovers.

You will need:

  • 6 turkey wings
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped or smashed, or a teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt (preferably gray/Celtic salt) or 2 tablespoons clear chicken soup powder or “vegetable condiment” (Vegeta or Mivina) or 4 Maggi or other stock cubes
  • 1/2 to teaspoon black pepper (depending how you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet or hot depending on your taste)
  • 2 cups whatever vegetables you have around, chopped to small cubes
  • olive oil, butter, or animal fat
  • 1 and 3/4 liters of water
  • 1 kg. short grain rice

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the turkey wings, and rub it in a a little.
  2. In a large pot, heat about a tablespoon and a half of oil, and brown the turkey wings a bit.  Don’t overcrowd the pot.  You may need to do two wings at a time, and transfer them to a bowl to do the rest, and then put them all back in when you’re done.
  3. Sweat the onions in the same oil you browned the wings in.
  4. When the onions are just about clear, add the garlic, and stir around for just a few seconds.  Then put the wings, vegetables, and water in the pot.
  5. Now add the rest of the salt, pepper, paprika, soup mix, and/or whatever other seasonings you like.  Some like to add a seasoned salt, chicken grill spices, parsley, celery seed and such.  Do it to your taste.
  6. Cover and bring to a good boil.  Then turn the heat down to just above low.  You want it boiling but slowly.
  7. Let this cook for about an hour and a half, and then return to preheat your oven to about 200° Celsius or 400° Farenheit.
  8. While your oven is heating up, line a pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Some like to use both.
  9. Take the wings out with a straining spoon or thongs, shake off the excess water, and arrange them on the pan.  Then drizzle them with a little oil.
  10. Bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes to half an hour.
  11. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat about a tablespoon and a half to two tablespoons of oil, and then add the rice.  Sauté the rice, stirring gently until at least a third of the grains are opaque white.  The idea is to parch the rice to make it less sticky and more digestible.  You can presoak the rice, but make sure to get it as dry as possible before this step.
  12. When the rice is parched enough, stir in the water/soup you just boiled the wings in.
  13. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.  Then reduce the heat to low or medium-low, cover, and allow to cook.  Resist the temptation to touch it for at least 20 minutes before checking for done-ness.
  14. When the rice is done, remove it from the heat, and then fluff it a little.
  15. Your wings should be done roasting by now, so take them out of the oven.

Serve each person a wing section and a nice pile of rice.  If you have leftovers, it’s nice to take the meat off the wings, chop it, and mix it with the rice for a quick lunch or dinner the next day.

Getting Ready For Winter in Middle to Late Summer

Winter is a hard time for many who are poor or on a fixed income.  The middle of summer may seem like a strange time to start preparing, but it’s the best time.  Certain things that you know you’re going to need in winter are cheaper now, or in season and fresh.

If you dry, can, or have a deep freezer, this is the time to start buying fruits, vegetables, and herbs for storage.  You can get information on canning and other food preservation methods at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Buy dried beans, pasta, rice, and other dry foods when they’re on sale.  Stock up when you can afford to.  Remember to keep them in the freezer for a week at first to kill any grain bugs or moths that may be in them, then store them in an air tight container.  To keep bugs out, I usually put the food in a bag, and put the bag in a container sprinkled with a good dose of rock salt and cracked black pepper.  If anything gets in there, the pepper will irritate them, and the salt will dry them out.

If you, like me, eat a lot of bean soup in the winter, then this is a good time to stock up on full logs of salami for hanging.  The summer heat and dryness gives them time to get nice and hard without as much risk of the bad kind of molds or infestation.  You can later chop the salami into cubes and use them to flavor your soups.

Space heaters, blankets, and winter clothes are cheaper this time of year.  Check your things to see if they need replacing now, so you won’t be in a rush and have to pay more during the winter.  This is also a good time to stock up on candles, and make sure your reading lights are all in working order.  It’s nice to be ready in case of power outages, and to offset some of the cost of heating by not using the main house lights so often.

One thing many people neglect to prepare for in the winter is the effect wearing clothes all the time has on one’s skin.  Get foot fungus treatments as well as extra strength (actually extra greasy) lotions and creams when they’re on sale, to stock up for winter.  Shea butter is one of the best all around protective emollients.  It gets very hard in winter though.  So take some time to mix about a pound of shea butter with a liter of olive oil in your blender or food processor.  Put it in bottles, and you have some of the best lotion on Earth.

If you tend to have nipple pain in cold weather stock up on scraps of silk to insert into your bra or sew together into a body wrap.  If you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to make lots of them.

For spot treatment of chafing due to clothes rubbing against your skin, set aside 5 ounces of your shea butter and olive oil mixture, and blend in a tablespoon of aloe vera gel, and a teaspoon of oblipicha (sea buckthorn) oil.  It is very soothing, and the oblipicha helps to heal it faster.

Feel free to add your winter preparation tips in the comments. :-)

Homemade Tortillas With An Electric Tortilla Maker

TortillaRecently, I purchased one of the best small kitchen appliances I ever got: an electric tortilla maker.  Making tortillas at home used to be an hours long operation, and this was especially tough in the summer.  Now, I can churn out 20 tortillas in less than an hour.

If you eat tortillas often, then it’s definitely worth it to get a tortilla maker.  If you live in Europe, Africa, or Asia, it may be called a roti or chapati maker.  It’s basically a press grill with a handle opposing the angle of the grill, that you can  push to make sure your tortillas are thin without having to push the top down directly.

Choosing A Tortilla Maker

There are a couple of kinds of tortilla makers on the market for kitchen use.  There are large ones that restaurants that make their own tortillas use, and the small ones that make tortillas between 6″ and 8″.  You definitely want to get one that has an anodized aluminum coating or cast iron plates.

How to Use Your Tortilla Maker

If you get one with cast iron plates, they may take some time to season.  Before you use it, wipe it down with a bit of oil, and let it heat until the oil burns.  Then do it again a few times.  Don’t ever clean it with soap.  If something gets stuck to it, wipe it down with a damp cloth, and heat it until all of the water is completely evaporated.

The directions say to just put a ball of dough in the center of the bottom, put the top down and press, but it’s actually not that simple.  If you do it that way it’s harder to control.  So pat down the balls a bit so that you have a kind of a disk shape.  Place them a bit off center, about 1-2″ away from the back edge, and then press.  You may have to look to see how flat you’re pressing it, until you get the hang of it.  If you press them too thin, the tortilla will basically “explode” outward, or come out with holes.

If it doesn’t have a thickness control, which most small ones don’t, then you’ll have to take care about that.  They will be thinner on one side than the other, but this isn’t something to worry over.  Even on the thick side, they’ll be quite thin enough to do the job.

Tortilla Recipe

The recipes that normally come with tortilla makers often have oil in them.  This ends up making tortillas that are too flaky to hold anything.  So here’s my recipe for taco worthy flour tortillas.

  • 3 cups white flour (You can use whole wheat, oat, barley, rye, or millet flour for up to half of the flour.) 
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt (preferably crushed gray salt)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid or cream of tartar  (you can also use baking powder instead of the soda and acid combination)
  • about 1.5 cups water
  • extra flour for kneading
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Slowly add water while stirring with your fingers or a spoon until you have a somewhat soggy dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  4. Knead the dough until it is fully combined, and then for another 5 minutes or so.  You may need to add a little more flour at a time until you have a firm but elastic dough.
  5. Put the ball of dough into a plastic bag, or in a covered bowl, and let it set for half an hour to two hours.  I recommend at least an hour because this gives the organic acids time to break down the gluten in the flour and make it more digestible.
  6. Heat up your tortilla maker.
  7. Pull off some chunks of dough, and roll them into approximately 1.5″ balls.  Then flatten them a bit.  Have them waiting on a floured surface.
  8. One at a time, brush off the flour, and then place them into your tortilla maker, and press until you hear the “screaming”.  Then release the pressure.
  9. When each one is done, place it in a covered but not air tight dish, lined with a few paper towels at the bottom.  It’s important to keep them like this so that they get soft and flexible but not soggy.

These tortillas will stand up to beans, meat, or whatever else you like to put in them or use them to dip.

To make crispy chips out of them, brush them with a little butter and seasonings and bake them for about 15 minutes in the oven.