Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sausage Curry

When I was a student, me and my housemates would take it in turns to cook dinner. The budget was £5 for 4 people, and we'd stick to that limit religiously (admittedly food was a bit cheaper back then). But it was actually possible to cook a meal for around half that amount - therefore leaving enough budget for some cheap lager, or a Sarah Lee dessert.

So what could you make for £2.50 back in the 90s? Well, everybody likes curry, but the cost of chicken or lamb would have broke the budget instantly. But luckily Tesco sold a pack of 8 sausages for 50p. Throw in some onions, tinned tomatoes, and a load of spices and you have yourself a meal... and it actually tasted pretty good!

I must admit it's not something I've revisited often, especially since I can now afford the luxury of real meat (and more importantly, Indian takeaways). But my wife was out of the country (she'd never agree to eat this), so it felt like a good time to indulge in some nostalgia. I stuck on a Pearl Jam CD, cracked open a bottle of Diamond White, and got to work.

Fry the sausages. You won't need any extra oil.

Then in the sausage fat, fry onions. Add garlic, chillies, ginger, then other spices. Cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric... you could just use curry powder, or a curry paste. The beauty of making curry is that it's different every time. Keep frying for a bit. Put the chopped sauages back in, and fry for a bit longer.

Add tinned tomatoes and a dash of water. You could optionally add some veg... green peppers work well. Simmer for a while. You can finish it by stirring in some yogurt and chopped coriander, if you have any lying around.

Eat with rice, or slices of bread.

In all honesty, I was expecting to say that it wasn't very nice, or not as good as I remember. But no - it tasted really good, and was very cheap. And make no mistake, this is dirty, nasty food - greasy, spicy, and just wrong in so many ways.



Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Fish Finger Sandwich

I did some research on the internet before writing this, my first post. There are quite a few blog posts out there on the subject of the fish finger sandwich, but frankly I was disgusted with what I read. Home-made fish fingers made from snapper/tilapia/monkfish, sourdough bread (or worse, 'artisan'), home-made tartare sauce, rocket... it's just not right.

If there's ever a dish where your Nigel Slater aspirations are inappropriate, it is the fish finger sandwich. And don't even think about prefixing it with the word "posh". Anyway, without further delay, here is my version.

Fry the fish fingers. I used Birdseye. Meanwhile, spread one slice of bread with ketchup and add a sliced gherkin.

When the fingers are almost cooked, add a slice of cheese and cook until melted. Then remove from the heat and quickly fry an egg.

Spread the top slice of bread with tartare sauce. Place the cheesey fish fingers on top of the gherkins, add the fried egg, and finish with the top slice of bread. Squish down until the yolk, tartare cause, and melted cheese all run into each other.

THAT, my friends, is a fish finger sandwich.