The inevitable has happened; months of having to survive on statutory maternity pay (an absolute pittance), combined with some horrendously timed bills and going on a pretty expensive holiday means I officially have no money. Very sad. But I still have hungry mouths to feed, and I need it to be healthy as I want to lose another stone before my wedding in Feb. And so, this mini series entitled Skint Suppers was born. I want to cook food that is tasty, low calorie and as cheap as possible and hopefully tell you about it, so it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the lamb wellingtons and the chilli coriander duck breasts of this world and hello to the trusty slow cooker, batch cooking and economical cuts of meat and fish.
On the first day of this new, sad regime I was faced with a pretty bare cupboard and fridge. It was a Monday and if possible I like to do Meat Free Monday, so this limited my resources even further. I eventually settled on some uninspiring cans of salmon and tuna that had been there for all eternity and tried to get creative. Obviously I could have gone down the easy pasta route, but we're really trying to limit our carbs at the moment so I eventually went for fishcakes. I was foxed by what to use to accompany them as I usually think of fishcakes as more of a starter and just put some dressed leaves or something with them. Even by my standards that wasn't going to be enough for dinner, so I went for a little green veg medley and 'fauxtatoes'. Yes, its yet another way to use cauliflower and pretend you're eating something better. I read a few recipes for this and then amalgamated them to make mine. It was really nice and Rich couldn't guess what it was other than mash. You'd think he'd have learnt by now. Here's the recipe:
Fishcakes and Fauxtatoes
Under £2 per head using food cupboard staples and herbs from garden
For the fishcakes:
Regular sized can of salmon
Handful of chives
For the fauxtatoes:
1/2 small cauliflower
Good pinch of fresh dill
Clove of garlic
About 250ml chicken stock
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
Boil the potato until soft and then mash together in a mixing bowl with tin of salmon. Finely chop the spring onion and chivesand chuck that all in too, then bind together with the egg. Divide into about six equal patties and roll in polenta grains. Set aside.
Chop the cauli into florets and boil until soft, then drain. Use your blender to combine the rest of the fauxtato ingredients but add the stock gradually to prevent it becoming too wet.
Cook the fishcakes in a pan over a very low heat as you need the egg etc to cook through without having the heat high enough to burn the outside, like I did (see pic). They take about 5 mins each side I think. Serve with some green veg. I also poached some eggs to give a little bit of a sauce. Normally I'd do a lemony hollandaise or watercress cream sauce but delicious things like that are off limits to me.