Ricky Murray

Cooking good food on a budget and full flavours



Spinach, Potato and chorizo tortilla with roasted tomato, basil and feta giant couscous

2oz Spinach, chopped

handful of new potatoes, halved

3 1\2oz cooking chorizo, cut into slices

2tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 sprig of rosemary

1tsp smoked paprika

8 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper

3oz giant couscous

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

handful of fresh basil, chopped

2oz feta cheese

1 garlic clove minced

3tsp olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 170c (gas 3) bit lower if using fan oven.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan with a lid over a low to medium heat, add the potatoes, onion, rosemary, garlic and paprika and gently fry for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently to stop any colouring.

While that’s cooking away, add the couscous to a pan of boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes or until the couscous has gone see through.

Put the tomatoes, garlic and basil into a small oven proof dish then drizzle over the olive oil and into the oven for 15-17 minutes.

Next add the chorizo and fry for a further 6-7 minutes to allow the flavoured oil in the chorizo to mingle and soak into everything else, season then add the spinach and give everything a good mix.

Add the beaten eggs to the frying pan then into the oven for 15 minutes or until just set but still has a little wobble to it, let it rest for 5 minutes.

Drain the couscous, put in a large mixing bowl along with the roasted tomatoes, crumble in the feta and give everything a good mix and serve up.



Spaghetti Carbonara with garlic bread 

Italian food is my favourite and a big yes in my family and this classic Italian will not disappoint you at all! Give this one a try. True carbonara shouldn’t have cream in it, saying that if you like it that way then all is good 😄 

6oz smoked bacon lardons

13oz dried spaghetti 

2tbsp veg oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

3 eggs, beaten

2oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated, you can use the grated stuff you buy in the tubs

Salt and pepper
Put the spaghetti into a large pan of heavily salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked.

While that’s cooking, put the oil and smoked bacon lardons in a large pan over a medium heat and fry for 3-4 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, stir well and cook for a further 3-4 minutes and set aside. 

When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and pour into the pan with the bacon mixture (off the heat), add the eggs and the cheese, stir everything well to coat everything, the heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs enough to give you a glossy sauce that coats the pasta.

Parmesan can be quite salty so I’d just season with pepper and a grating of Parmesan then serve.
The healthy garlic bread is easy and very tasty and you need is a tomato, baguette and a garlic clove.

While all that’s cooking, slice the baguette and toast it each side, slice the tomato and garlic in half and rub the surface with the tomato first and then the garlic.

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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Chicken Quesadillas


Quesadillas come in many variations usually filled with cheese and served with salsa or guacamole but here is my take on them to make them even more filling.

8 tortillas

2tbsp fajita paste

3oz mushrooms, thinly chopped

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 onion, sliced (you can leave this out)

4oz grated cheese of your choice

4tbsp vegetable oil

2 chicken breast

First off place the chicken in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes on 200c (gas 6).

While these are cooking add the oil to a frying pan over a medium heat along with the pepper, onion and mushrooms. Fry for 6-8 minutes until they have really broken down and are really soft. When the chicken has cooked shred it up then add it to the frying pan along with the fajita paste. Give everything a good mix and stir fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium to high heat. When this is done set aside. Now place a tortilla in a different frying pan over a medium heat after a few seconds flip the tortilla then add some of the chicken mix to cover one side of the tortilla sprinkle a little cheese on top then fold over the other side to make a half moon shape and press it down a little. Keep on the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest until you have non left.

*I made my own fajita paste which is easy but to make it even easier and cheaper you can use the shop bought*

Lamb koftas with mint yoghurt dip and homemade tortillas


mint yoghurt:
7oz natural yoghurt
bunch of fresh mint, chopped
1tbsp sugar
1/2tsp salt
14oz self raising flour
1/2tsp salt
1/2 pint warm water
3tbsp oil plus extra for frying
(Make the tortillas first so they can cool)

14oz lamb mince
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp turmeric powder
1tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
pinch of cinnamon powder

Set the oven to 220c (gas 7).
Add the flour and salt to a large bowl, then add the oil and water.
bring together to make a soft dough.
turn out onto a floured working surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, divide into eight equal pieces.
Roll out to the size of a dinner plate and about 2mm thick,
heat 1tbsp of oil in a large frying pan, when hot add the rolled out tortillas and cook for 1-2 minutes on either side.
Repeat until you have cooked them all and set aside to cool.
Next for the mint yoghurt, add all the ingredients to a serving bowl and mix well, put this in the fridge to rest and let the mint flavour the yoghurt.
Now the koftas, toast the seeds in a clean dry pan until they release a lovely aroma, tip into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder or you can use a cup and the end of a rolling pin.
Place all the ingredients and spices in a large mixing bowl and combine everything really well, take some of the lamb mixture (about the size of a golf ball) and roll into a sausage shapes (should make about six).
place on a grill rack, then into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
this serves 2 people, if you want to make more just add more of the spices, to every pack of mince add 1tsp cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric.
this cost £1 mint
£6 for 3x400g pack of mince (look out for deals)
£1 yoghurt
I only used one pack of mince so cost was £4

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