Frugal Food Friday: Bacon and Leek Risotto with Sauteed Potatoes
A nice and tasty meal, which also happens to be very filling. It may not score so great on the healthiness front (recommended pudding: an apple) but it’s sure better than a processed microwave meal and it comes in packing a low priced punch of £0.90 per serving. The quantaties given makes a pretty generous portion for 2 people, or 3 portions for some not so hungry people, but you can adjust accordingly. I also decided to put the cost of each item next to the ingredients list to save writing it out at the end this time, efficiency being my middle name and all that. Anyway, enough waffle (excuse the food pun) and on with the recipe 🙂
Bacon and Leek Risotto with Sauteed Potatoes
Prep time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 35 mins
100 grams brown rice (£0.20)*
1 medium leek (£0.30)
2 rashers of bacon (£0.40)
100 grams cheddar cheese (£0.50)
4 small/medium sized potatoes (£0.40)
Salt and pepper to taste, plus some dried mixed herbs.
Total cost: £1.80 ~ per serving = £0.90
1. Boil the kettle, put the brown rice into a pan (you can use white or arborio if you prefer, adjust cooking time according to what it say on packet) and pour some water so it looks roughly double the amount of the rice. It doesn’t matter so much if you under or over fill brown rice, that is one reason why I like it. It will pretty much never go mushy, and if you under fill it then you can just top up as it cooks. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
2. Wash and chop all the potatoes into small cubes, when the timer from step 1 goes off, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and get those bad boys in there. Set the timer again for 15 minutes. Use a medium flame but turn down to low if they look like they are cooking too fast. Make sure to toss / turn them about every so often so they are cooked evenly on all side. Salt and pepper to taste and put a pinch of dried herbs (or fresh if you have them!) on as well for an extra bit of yumminess.
3. While the rice and the potatoes are cooking, chop up the bacon into small stripes or squares, and grate some cheese. You can probably chill out for a bit now. Maybe read an article on your favourite personal finance blog?
4. When the timer goes off from step 2, chuck half the bacon and leeks into the potatoes, and half into a new saucepan with some olive oil. Put the timer on again for 5 minutes and then stir the contents of both pans to make sure they are well and evenly cooked. You can turn up the heat (if you can stand it!) a bit at this point.
5. When the timer goes off again**, sprinkle about one third of the cheese over the potatoes in the frying pan and stick them under the grill. Put the rice and any remaining water (unless its totally submerged!) into the pan with the leeks and bacon. Bung the rest of the cheese in and salt and pepper to taste. Some dried mixed herbs wouldn’t go amiss here either to stir it up a bit. The cheese should thicken up the mixture and sort of soak up any remaining water, and if there is any more left then just stir gently on a low heat for a couple of minutes until the desired consistency is obtained. I like mine a bit wet and stodgy but that’s just me :). Once the cheese has melted nicely on the potatoes under the grill (should be 3-4 minutes) then remove both pans from respective heat sources and plonk them on a plate.
Hopefully you will find this as tasty as I do. It’s a great idea for an after the weekend “usey-uppy stuff you have in the fridge” type dinner, and you can subsitute any kinds of veg or meat in you want really. Chorizo works as well as bacon as it is also quite strong tasting and you can just use a few slices to really flavour the whole meal. Veg wise you can obviously use Onions instead of leeks if you don’t have them, and in the risotto especially you can pretty much just chuck in whatever you have left over in the fridge.
Felicitous Feasting my Fellow Firestarters!
*All the prices are from Lidl if they sell the item and if not I will check the tesco website, I haven’t checked the exact price of every single item, but I have a pretty good grasp of what everything costs and if I am unsure I always overestimate. Back ↑
**By the way, I realise there is a lot of timer setting going on here, and I could have just said “Cook rice for 30 minutes, cook potatoes for 15 minutes, then bla bla” etc. I like using multiple timers as it makes the whole timing process easier, and this way you don’t have to work out the “split” for each timer yourself. Any feedback on what method of intructions is preferable for future recipes will be gladly taken on board though. Back ↑