Last week we talked about the fashion for peasant food. and how "poor" cuisine became rich. Culinary delights inspired by village food are wonderful, but what about when there are a couple thousand rubles left before the paycheck or when you have to make a purchase in conditions of a very average assortment? In case you want to adequately feed yourself and your loved ones, and your imagination is limited by the harsh reality, we have prepared five recipes for basic budget meals of varying degrees of complexity. They are all nutritious and are made up almost entirely of locally sourced produce. The ingredients are simple, but it will take an hour or two to open up properly. But on the way out, you will get a delicious dinner at minimal cost. All recipes are for 2-3 servings.
Warm salad with seasonal vegetables
Baked pumpkin and beetroot are great for salads and pair perfectly with soft cheese, but we often forget about this, obsessing over pumpkin soups and vinaigrettes. If you have nuts lying around, lightly dry them in a pan and chop them - they will complement the dish.
small pumpkin - ⅓ pcs.
small beets - 3 pcs.
red onion - ½ pc.
pomegranate - 1 pc.
feta cheese - 75 g
greens (rosemary, thyme or fennel) -
wine vinegar - 1 tbsp. l.
olive oil - 3 tbsp l.
mustard beans - ½ tsp.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin, cut it into large oblong slices. Peel the beets and onions and cut into six equal slices. Place vegetables on a baking sheet, sprinkle with herbs and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Grind the coriander seeds with salt and black pepper, season the vegetables with the spice mixture and bake for about 40 minutes. When the vegetables begin to caramelize and a golden crust appears on them, remove them from the oven and remove the herbs.
Place vegetables in a salad bowl and let cool slightly. Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the warm vegetables. Cut the pomegranate in half and peel, remove the kernels and add them to the vegetables. Sprinkle chopped feta over the salad and stir gently.
White fish ear
There are an incredible variety of fish soup varieties - soon we will share recipes for fish soups of different national cuisines. This fish broth is an easy way to consume basic foods effectively. Any fish will do.
white fish (cod, catfish, grass carp) - 400 g
potatoes - 2 pcs.
carrots - 1 pc.
onion - 1 pc.
bay leaf - 1 pc.
Peel vegetables, cut potatoes into large slices, carrots into strips. Peel the fish, gut and cut into transverse pieces. If using fillets, cut into large cubes. Put a whole onion into boiling water, salt to taste, add pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes and carrots and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove the onion from the soup - it has worked its way out, giving the broth its taste and smell. Now put the fish in a saucepan and bring the soup to a boil. Add bay leaves and chopped herbs, season with pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Ratatouille with eggplant
This Provencal dish is in many ways similar to the Hungarian lecho. The name comes from the words "rata" (colloquially speaking) and "touiller" (to stir) and alludes to the peasant origin of the food. Eggplants were not included in the original recipe, but now you can't imagine ratatouille without them. Tomatoes are better to choose fleshy, without a lot of seeds.
eggplant - 1 pc.
zucchini or young zucchini - 1 pc.
tomatoes - 2 pcs.
vinegar - 2 tbsp. l.
ground black pepper
For the sauce:
tomato - 1 pc.
bell peppers - 2 pcs.
garlic - 3 cloves
onions - 1 pc.
bay leaf - 1 pc.
thyme - a couple of twigs
First, prepare the sauce. Chop the onion, peel the peppers and cut into cubes.Remove the skin from the tomato, remove the seeds and chop finely. Fry the onion in olive oil until soft, add chopped garlic. As soon as it smells, toss the pepper and tomato into the pan. Add some thyme and bay leaf, salt and simmer over low heat. When the vegetables are soft, the sauce is ready.
Cut eggplants, courgettes and leftover tomatoes into thin slices. Put some of the sauce on a baking sheet, then put slices of tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini in several layers. Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 200 degrees and bake until the top layer of vegetables is golden brown. Combine olive oil, minced garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dish. Season the ratatouille with finely chopped parsley.
Chicken baked with vegetables
It would seem to be the most boring dish you can imagine. But no: only few can bake the perfect chicken, because there are also life hacks here. Feel free to stuff the bird with any fruit that you find in the kitchen: the goal is to achieve sweet and sour juice and a delicate aroma. Apples, plums, pears, or quince are fine.
chicken - 1 pc.
onions - 2 pcs.
carrots - 2 pcs.
garlic - 1 pc.
lemon - 1 pc.
apples - 2 pcs.
fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary or sage) - 1 bunch
ground black pepper
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator half an hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 240 degrees. You don't need to peel the vegetables - just wash and chop (we can't peel the garlic cloves either, but you can crush them slightly). Place vegetables in a deep baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven. Brush the chicken with olive oil too, and then rub with salt and pepper. Cut the apples into large slices, and make many holes in the lemon with a thin knife or fork. Stuff the chicken with fruits and herbs and place on a baking sheet on top of the vegetables.
Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake the dish for 80 minutes. If the vegetables lose moisture too quickly during cooking, splash some water on them after 40 minutes of baking. Remove the cooked chicken from the oven, cover with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. To divide the bird into portions, remove the fruits and herbs from the bird, make a neat cut between the leg and breast, and separate the legs one by one.
Cheese gnocchi with semolina
Gnocchi are dumplings from Italy. They are oval and round, large and small, from semolina, wheat flour, potatoes or polenta, with or without eggs - in general, there are as many recipes as Italians. We offer in every sense a light, but close to authentic version of ricotta with semolina. These gnocchi are very delicate, fragrant and sweetish in taste.
semolina - 600 g
ricotta - 250 g
basil - a couple of sprigs
grated nutmeg - 1 pinch
zest of ¼ lemon
ground black pepper
Combine lemon zest, basil and ricotta. If you have Parmesan, add that too. Salt the mass, season with pepper and nutmeg. Pour most of the semolina onto a tray so that an even layer about 1 cm wide is formed. Take one spoonful of the cheese mixture. To give the gnocchi the correct shape, you need to transfer each of one dessert spoon to another several times.
Place the gnocchi on the semolina tray as it cooks (without making sure they touch each other). Sprinkle the gnocchi with the rest of the semolina and leave for 2 hours: during this time they will become strong and will not fall apart during cooking. Toss the gnocchi in salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, until they float. The dish can be served with a little butter, sprinkled with parmesan and basil.
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