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Quick food to suit your budget

Dorothy - 27/04/09

Reading about the increasing popularity of home-cooked meals as a way of economising, I decided to ask three other women for some cooking ideas. Judith Armstrong, Kay Barrett, Wendy Walton and I had all been taught to cook by our mothers who had learned economical cooking during the 1930s Depression. We had a potluck meal, and shared recipes which were money-saving and time-saving.

In this article, you will find recipes for the following:

New Zealand Pie
Serves 8

Mix three tablespoons of oil with one cup of flour, two rounded teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt.

Add your choice of herbs. I use a level teaspoon of mixed herbs.

If you like garlic, squeeze a clove and add it to the mixture.

Make it into a soft dough with three quarters of a cup of milk.

Heat a casserole dish containing cooked mince thickened with flour, or tinned salmon in a small amount of white sauce, or a tin of creamed corn, or a tin of tomatoes, or vegetables in sauce.

Vegetables can be added to the mince, salmon, corn or tomato.

This is a good way of using leftover vegetables.

Extra protein can be added if some tofu cut in pieces is mixed through the mince, salmon, corn, tomato or vegetables.

Put spoonfuls of the pie mixture on the hot food and cook in a conventional oven at 180C for at least half an hour.

Test with a skewer to see if the pie mixture is cooked in the middle.

The pie mixture in the recipe is enough for eight servings.

New Zealand Pie – made with peas, corn, carrot and tofu in white sauce.
New Zealand Pie – made with peas, corn, carrot and tofu in white sauce.
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Green Bean Pasta Lunch Dish
Serves 3

Meal size green beans
1 large onion
2 rashers of bacon (or one large slice)
2 cups spiral pasta
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 generous teaspoon mustard
Grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon

Sauté chopped onions and chopped bacon with a little olive oil.

Cook spirals to desired tenderness.

Cook beans till tender.

Mix sugar, mustard and lemon rind and juice together and add to sautéed onions and bacon.

When pasta is cooked, drain and add onion mixture and beans. Serve after folding through.

Green Bean Pasta Lunch Dish
Green Bean Pasta Lunch Dish
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Winter Salad
Serves 4

Chop: 2 medium apples into small pieces.
Dice: 2 sticks of celery
1 red onion
½ red pepper (capsicum)
½ cup raisins

Toss together with mayonnaise.

Salmon Fritters
Serves 4

1 large tin salmon
3 eggs
½ cup self-raising flour
Juice of 1 lemon

Beat 3 eggs.
Sift in flour and seasoning.
Chop tin of salmon and add to dry ingredients with salmon liquid and perhaps a little milk.
Add lemon juice.
Fry in hot oil, turning once.
Delicious with any salad.

Chicken Drumstick Casserole
Serves 4

Allow 2 drumsticks per person.
Marinate chicken legs with a liberal sprinkling of soy sauce and Watties Apricot Sauce (1/2 bottle).
Cook for one hour in medium oven.
Serve as is with rice or potatoes and steamed greens.

Chicken Drumstick Casserole
Chicken Drumstick Casserole
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Chicken Liver Casserole
Serves 4

1 packet of chicken livers
Toss in flour and seasoning.
Dice: 1 carrot
2 celery sticks
1 large onion
Pour 1 tin of tomatoes over all the ingredients.

Bake in oven at 180º for approximately 1 hour.

I half-cook raw vegetables in the microwave before putting in casserole.

Serve with potatoes, swede and carrots, all mashed together.

Cake pudding with apple and/or jam
Serves 6

Oil 4 tablespoons
Sugar 4 heaped tablespoons – I usually use brown sugar (or 2 ozs)
Egg one
Flour a generous half cup (or 4 ozs)
Baking powder 1 rounded teaspoon
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Milk ¼ cup

Mix oil and sugar.
Add lightly beaten egg.
Add flour, baking powder and salt.
Add milk.
Mix well.

Put layer of jam in a heatproof dish. If it is too stiff to spread, warm it in the microwave.

Add pieces of apple pre-cooked, but not until they have become soft and juicy.

Spread the cake mixture over the jam and/or fruit.

Cook at 180 C for about half an hour.

Test with a skewer.

Cake pudding with apple and/or jam
Cake pudding with apple and/or jam
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For a special treat you could spend a little more time and money and serve Crepes with Apple and Almond.

Crepes with Apple and Almond
Serves 6-8

2 eggs
170 grams flour
½ tsp salt
400 mils milk

Sift flour into large bowl and add salt. Make a well in the centre. Add eggs and whisk into flour, slowly bringing the flour in a little at a time. Start adding the milk a little at a time, bringing in more flour, until all the flour and milk are mixed in, to a consistency of runny cream. (Add more or less as necessary.)

Heat a frying pan with just enough butter or oil to coat it, until it is just smoking. Pour 2-3 tablespoons into pan all at once and tilt pan so it runs around to cover the bottom. Cook on one side until light brown, then turn with a spatula and cook the other side. Pile cooked crepes on a plate. If you want to serve them later, cover with plastic film and allow to cool down. Crepes may be refrigerated or frozen.

Apple and almond filling
3 large Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp sugar (more or less to taste)
3-4 tbsp ground almonds
1 each orange and lemon
Almond essence

Peel, core and slice apples, put in saucepan with zest and juice of orange and lemon, sugar, almonds and essence, and cinnamon.

Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until just cooked. Taste for more sweetening if necessary.

To serve: put tablespoon of filling on second side of crepe and roll into a parcel. Stack in a single layer in a large dish and warm in oven at about 180 ºC (350 º F). Serve with apple syrup and/or custard and cream.

Crepes with Apple and Almond
Crepes with Apple and Almond
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