Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Living Below The Line - Day Two - Dinner

I'm a bit concerned. I seem to be doing ok at this which makes me feel that I'm not getting the most out of it. Aside from my really poor breakfasts, I'm enjoying most of the food and I'm not feeling hungry (peckish, yes, hungry, no). Of course there are things that I'm missing dearly (yes, I know we're only on day two, but some things are very dear to me). I would love to pop out for a quick pint, snaffle down a chunk of cheese or gorge on some bread smothered in butter, but I know that my time will come. And, with that in mind, I think I'll get through the week.

I'm quite surprised at how many people reckon that taking on this challenge means that you have to go veggie for a week and, as a meat lover, there was no way I was gonna let that happen to me! In fact, when I first thought about taking this on I immediately thought of offal. I had ham hock risottos, pork cheek stews (with the jowl being used for home made bacon) and beef cheek curries in mind. Sadly these meats do take an age to cook and I had to settle on chicken livers. 

At 90p a pound at Castle Market chicken livers are perfect for this challenge as I managed to get about 300g for 49p. Using them in a casserole meant that I could put a load of veg, and potatoes, in there making for a filling one pot meal. Once again I was reminded of how lucky I am as I didn't have to worry about my costings in terms of electricity and gas and I used both the hob and the oven to make this dish.

Here's what I did for two portions....

  • I heated up a large casserole dish on the hob and warmed up some of the oil I had drained from the sild (God bless that sild). 
  • I then cooked a sliced onion, a diced carrot and three sliced sticks of celery until soft.
  • In the meantime I started browning the 300g of trimmed chicken livers in a non stick frying pan.
  • Next in was a handful of wild garlic which I stirred into the mix and cooked until it had wilted.
  • Then I added a couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary and I poured in my home made veg stock (made from all the trimmings of all the veg I'd bought this week). In went the browned chicken livers too.
  • Last, but not least, I tipped in a tin of potatoes (I never thought I'd see the day that these things would enter my kitchen), brought everything to a boil and shoved it in the oven for 40 minutes or so (at 160C).

I managed to get a decent bowlful for my dinner and I know there's plenty enough left for another day. It was pretty good too, nothing mind blowing (obviously), but it was filling and satisfying. I probably couldn't go as far as calling it tasty, but it did what it said on the tin and that was all I needed. 

In future pearl barley and bacon would be good additions. In fact, just a sprinkling of salt would have been nice...


Day Two - Round up - 93.47p - on target
Breakfast - Pitta (6.66p) and Lemon curd (1.6p) 8.26p
Lunch - one portion of pasta (6p) with sild (24.5p), 2 tomatoes (9.08p) and thyme (free) 39.58p
Dinner - portion of Chicken Liver Casserole with chicken livers (24.5), 1.5 sticks of celery (4.99p), half carrot (4.65p), veg stock (free), tinned potatoes (7.5p), half onion (4p), wild garlic (free), thyme (free) and rosemary (free) 45.63p

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