Ricky Murray

Cooking good food on a budget and full flavours


August 2016

Beef stroganoff or stroganov

Beef stroganov is a Russian dish so it’s perfect for a cold winters day….. Yeah yeah I know it’s still summer but why not!

18oz beef cut of your choice, I used tenderloin, cut into 1/2cm strips
7oz mushrooms, halved
1 1/2 onions, sliced
2oz unsalted butter
1tbsp oil
2tsp smoked paprika
300ml sour cream
Salt and pepper

First off melt the butter in a large frying pan along with the paprika and onion and cook slowly whilst stirring until the onion is soft, but not browned. Add the mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes while stirring. Set aside. In the pan you cooked the onion and mushrooms in, heat the oil until very hot.
Add half the beef and fry quickly, seasoning both sides for about a minute. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the steak.
Return the onions and mushrooms to the pan and pour in the soured cream, season with salt and pepper and stir, bring to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened.
Add the steak to the pan and heat gently as you don’t want to cook the steak any more in my opinion.

My partner wanted pasta with hers but I fancied new potatoes from the garden.

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Cheats crispy seaweed

If you like crispy seaweed with your Chinese from the takeaways then you are going to love this!! And in most cases when you get seaweed from the takeaway its cabbage anyway. Very quick and very easy.

3oz shredded cabbage leaves (more or less depending on how much you want)

Pre-heat deep fat frier to 180c.
Wash and dry the cabbage thoroughly. When the oil is up to heat, place a small handful into the basket and drop it into the oil, be very careful as the cabbage is full of water so it can spit quite a bit so stand back. Fry for 2-3 minutes until crispy, remove onto kitchen paper to drain. Repeat the process with the rest of the cabbage and season generously with salt as seaweed is naturally salty but cabbage isn’t.


Ham and pea arancini with a tomato, basil and garlic sauce

Arancini is a Sicilian dish dating back years to when it was under Arab rule when it was eaten in the 13th of December. It literally translates to a little “little orange” due to its shape and colour when cooked. There’s many varieties with different fillings.

About a month ago me and Laura went out with my brother and his partner and my mom and dad for a meal and they had arancini. I like it but fried squid was on the menu so i had to have that but thought I’d have to make some again…. It’s been a while so here we go.

2tbsp oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
8oz arborio rice
750ml chicken stock, made from cubes
2oz ham, chopped
2oz fresh peas (can use frozen)
1 1/2oz Parmesan, grated fine
7 1cm cubes of mozzarella
1 egg beaten
4oz bread crumbs
2oz plain flour
Salt and pepper

For tomato and basil sauce
2tbsp oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Handful fresh basil, chopped
1 small onion
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt and pepper

You want the risotto to cool down so get that on straight away. Add the oil, onions and garlic in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry until the onions are soft but not browned, add the rice and stir well to coat all the rice with the oil. Add a ladle of the chicken stock to the pan, stirring constantly until the liquid has gone and then add another ladle of stock and so on until you have no stock left, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan, ham and peas the stir extremely well to combine and leave to cool slightly for 2 minutes and then stir in the beaten egg. Set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile add the oil, onion and garlic to a frying pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes, add the tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 7-8 minutes to reduce a little and set aside. Divide the risotto into 7 equal balls, shove a piece of mozzarella into the middle then seal it in with the rice and repeat with the other 6. Turn the deep fat fryer on at 180c. In 3 separate little plates have one with flour, one with bread crumbs and the last with the 2 beaten eggs. Take a arancini ball, dust with flour then into the egg and lastly coat well with bread crumbs and then into the fryer, repeat with the other 6. Fry for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. While they’re cooking heat up the tomato sauce, add the basil and season. Serve the arancini on top of the tomato sauce with a nice salad. I used beetroot leaves from the garden mixed with spinach from the shops.

Don’t have to use mozzarella you can fill with what you like, I just had the cheese in.

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Homegrown pickled beets

I’ve always loved growing a few veg in the garden so with moving to a house with a big garden was perfect. Big veg patch and a decent size left for a lawn. There’s something so satisfying about going out in the morning and picking the veg for tea, plus having enough to share around the family now is perfect but you don’t need loads of space to grown some of your own veg in the garden or a patio or even a window box. Picked a few of the beets today as we are visiting my partners family so everyone gets a jar.

19floz malt vinegar
1tsp whole peppercorns
1tsp coriander seeds
2 cloves
1oz sugar

Wash the beets, being careful not to pierce the skin or the will loose the colour. In a high sided pan add boiling water to just cover the beets. Measure the water so you know the ratio of vinegar to use. Boil for 30 minutes or until tender, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Add the vinegar along with the rest of the ingredients to the pan, continue to boil for 10 minutes then let it go cold. When the beets are cool enough to handle the skin will just peel off easy with your hands. Chop up as of wish. Add to air tight jars and fill up with the pickling liquid. Leave for a couple of days and enjoy.

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