I don't think anyone would argue the fact that it is becoming more difficult as each day passes to make our food budgets stretch as far as we would like them to. I know for myself, I have had to make quite a few adjustments in order to make ends meet. It's hard, but it's not impossible to do. It just means eating a bit differently, and relying more on store cupboard essentials . . .
One thing we are doing here is stocking up on tinned fish and the like when it is on special. We don't mind tinned salmon or tuna . . . and we don't mind tinned corned beef either. Truth is they are often on offer and you can make some very tasty and nutritious meals for your family by using them. No, you would not want to eat them every day of the week, but one or two meals a week made using these staples can cut down one's budget quite sustantially.
One thing which I like to do with tinned salmon is to make this Crustless Salmon Pie. It's a pretty delicious way to stretch a tall tin of salmon, or two smaller ones (they are usually on special offer more than the tall ones) to into a substantial meal large enough to feed four to six people!
You don't need any fancy ingredients to make it . . . just tinned salmon, milk, soft bread crumbs, an onion, eggs and some dill, salt and pepper. Nothing outrageous there! I often make a delicious Lemon Butter Sauce to spoon over top of it, but in truth my children used to like ketchup on theirs. (There is NO accounting for taste!)
To round out the meal I serve it quite simply with some cooked baby peas and pan fried new potatoes. (Also from a tin. They are quite a lot cheaper than the fresh ones and come in really handy to have in the cupboard for something like this.) Delicious!
*Crustless Salmon Pie*
Serves 4 to 6
Delicious, quick and economical!
1 tall tin of red or pink salmon (439g or 15 1/2 ounces)
60g of soft fresh bread crumbs (1 cup)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill leaves
the juice and finely grated zest of one un-waxed lemon
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
2 TBS butter
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Taking a glass pie dish, put the butter into it and place it in the oven to melt. Swirl to coat the interior of pie dish and set aside.
Drain the juice from the salmon into a measuring beaker. Add milk to make up 250ml (1 cup).
Pick out any skin and bone from the salmon. Mash well with a fork and then stir in the remainder of the ingredients. Mix well together to combine. Spoon into the butter coated pie dish and press down to smooth over the top.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve. I like to serve this with baby peas and pan fried potatoes. I also make a delicious lemon butter sauce which I spoon over top of each serving.
*Lemon Butter Sauce*
Makes 1 cup
Beautiful when served with Fish and vegetables. It's not too tart, but if you find it is you can add a bit more sugar to balance it out. Tartness depends on the size and strength of your lemons.
the juice of one large lemon
125ml of cold water
2 ounces of butter (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 TBS plain flour
1 TBS sugar
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together the lemon juice and water. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and sugar. Cook, stirring for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the water/lemon mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture boiled and thickens. Season with some salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Serve warm.
For sure, I wish that I could eat fresh salmon and other fishes or meat or poultry every day of the week, but we just can't afford to do that anymore now that we are retired and living on a fixed income, and I know familys are also feeling the pinch.Using things like this for meals two or three times a week makes Cent$ and is a lot better for you than stuffing yourself with cheap sausage rolls and meat pies.