Lentil, bean, tomato & anchovy stew

This is a true Kitty’s Store-Cupboard recipe – quick, easy and cheap.

I have had feedback recently that people miss my £5 a week challenge which I started in January last year. It probably hasn’t come across well in recent posts, but one of the things which I am passionate about is demonstrating how it is possible to cook very delicious and wholesome meals from a well stocked store-cupboard and a small weekly shopping bill.

This dish is one which I made up on the spur of the moment earlier this week… and by ‘spur of the moment’ I mean that I changed the whole direction of the dish half way through my cooking session! It started off as a pasta sauce recipe, but when  I realised that I had run out of pasta it morphed into a lentil and bean based dish.

Note, I was in the mood for something strong tasting when I made this so I used a whole tin of anchovies. You may want to start with half the amount. Also, if you are not a fan of fish then bacon is a good substitute.

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Ingredients

  • two small/ one big red onion, finely chopped
  • a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • half a teaspoon mustard seeds
  • teaspoon mixed herbs / ‘herbs de provence’
  • teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika is good if you have it)
  • tin of anchovies
  • tin of tomatoes
  • packet of pre-cooked lentils and kidney beans (I got mine in Sainsbury’s – see photo below)
  • grated cheese to serve

Method

Heat approximately a tablespoon of oil (I tend to use rapeseed oil) in a medium sized frying pan.   Add the onion, garlic, mustard seeds, herbs and paprika and gently fry until soft.

Next, halve the anchovies and add them to the onion mixture.

Add the pre-cooked lentils & beans and the tinned tomatoes.

Simmer for approximately ten minutes and then serve topped with grated cheese.

Yummy with rice or crusty bread.

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Pear & Sponge Tarts

This is one that I made up this morning at the café. I had some pastry left from making quiche yesterday  (thanks to the wonderful Marie-Helene to whom I delegate quiche making – her pastry is wonderful!). I also had some pears to use. Seeing as I was busy baking sponge I made some extra mixture and topped it with that.

Ingredients 

  • Shortcrust pastry 
  • A pear
  • 2 oz self raising flour
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 2 oz margarine 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

Method 

Roll out the pastry to about 1/4 cm thick. Cut out circles with a large biscuit cutter or a pint glass. Gently push the rounds of pastry into a muffin tin. 

Cut the pear into quarters and take the core out. Slice the pear thinly and then place a few pieces in the bottom of each pie base.

Next, make the sponge mixture. I tend to use Delia’s all-in-one sponge recipe as a base for most of my cakes – it is easy and reliable; ‘just’ whizz it all together until nice and smooth. This morning I made a three egg mixture,  took out what I needed to top the pear tarts, and then stirred some lemon zest into the remaining mixture for my lemon drizzle cake.

The tarts were baked in the oven at about 180oC for 10 – 15 minutes. They are ready when the sponge has risen nicely and is slightly browned on the top.