Friday, March 4, 2011

Creatively Cooking

Cooking on a budget has led to some interesting and creative meals that ordinarily we'd not even attempt, as thinking out of the box would not have even be required like this evening.  I threw some chicken portions (these frozen packets of chicken portions are the cheapest to buy) into the oven, when cooked removed the meat from the bones - the result a juicy and tasty chicken.  Now when the budget is not so tight, one would resort to those beautiful deboned chicken portions, chop them up raw and add them to the fried onions, green peppers and mushrooms, (that’s if you are making chicken ala king)and possibly throw in a special 'chicken ala king packet mix'. The result in this case is generally a dry, non juicy chicken!!  This evening, to make the meal go further, (possibly to put half away in the freezer for a chicken pie another night) I added frozen peas, scratched around in my fridge and found the leftover coleslaw mix, (no mayonnaise in yet) added that and wow, what an amazing chicken ala king.  Now let me add that when you use the wonderful deboned, skinned portions, there is no left over brine from cooking the chicken as with the chicken portions.  This brine is the crème de la crème of this meal, the finger licking good end result!  Now please don't take me wrong, if you prefer to use the deboned, skinned portions, don't feel guilty, I too used these nifty, quick to throw together meal deals! So go ahead use whatever you like, it's just when the budget is limited, creativity need not be!

I have another interesting story I would like to share with you too, it’s my ‘end of the month pilchard special’!
As I have previously mentioned, creativity need not be lacking (well at least with me where cooking is concerned as this has always been a passion for me anyway, so relax if you can’t conjure up the same excitement as me on this) when the budget is tight or let me rather say limited.  Last week, the day before pay day, my freezer was bare, but in my cupboard I had one last tin of pilchards staring at me.  Now one would think ok, fish cakes, uh no – No potatoes to add, no eggs to bind!  So creativity out of the hat I really had to pull to feed my family.  So what else did I have, I had pasta – no rice, I had half a cabbage in the fridge and some carrots.  So I stir fried the cabbage and carrots and finally added the pilchards, (the ones in a tomato sauce) a couple of herbs and spices and served this on the pasta. 
It was so enjoyable that this ‘end of the month pilchard special’ will definitely be on our menu during the month as well!

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