Just a quick post to eulogize the wonders of discount-aisle shopping.
On Sundays, the local Tesco’s shuts at 4:30. This poses a problem, because at 4:30 I’ve usually only just finished lunch, and can’t start thinking about supper. But then if I wait for too, long the Tesco’s closes, and then there isn’t any supper at all – that’s even worse.
So, the best thing to do is to make a bee-line for the bargain aisle, and seek inspiration from what’s reduced the most.
Starter: Scallops, bacon and celeriac puree
I started by making the puree from a (45p!) piece of celeriac – a wonderful, knobbly, underrated vegetable that’s packing a whole load of flavours.
Cut the celeriac into 3cm2 chunks, and boil them for about 12 minutes.
When a knife slides in and out of the celeriac chunks easily, then take the pan off the heat and drain. Add some milk and pepper, and then blend until there aren’t any lumps left. It’s exactly how you’d make mashed potato, but the flavours of celeriac have way more impact.
Next, cut two of the (12 rashers for £2) bacon into little slices and fry until crisp. Finally, heat up a big knob of butter in a pan, and fry the (£1.20 for 16) scallops for about 3 minutes on each side.
A delicious starter at just 98p per person.
Main course: Sweet Potato Dauphinois, Pork and Cabbage
We got a (1.3kg) piece of pork shoulder (for £3.63) – sadly we didn’t buy it until 4pm though, so slow cooking was off the cards.
Slice slits into the pork skin, rub oil over it and massage rock salt into it. Put it into a 220°c oven for 20 minutes, and then turn it down to 180°c for another hour and a half.
The Gratin Dauphinois is an Ottolenghi recipe. It’s absolutely delicious, and adds some lovely colour to any plate.
We used three sweet potatoes. Cut them into thin slices and then arrange a layer in the bottom of a greased dish. Scatter 3 crushed garlic cloves on top of the bottom layer, and then put another layer of sweet potatoes on top.
Grate pepper over the top layer, and then pour over 50ml of double cream, so that it drizzles down to the layer below.
The gratin needs cooking for 40 minutes at 180°c, so it can go in with the pork towards the end of its cooking.
While the pork is resting and the gratin is finishing off, boil some water and then add some sliced cabbage. Let it boil for just a couple of minutes – it should change colour, but not go too dark green and limp. Drains, season and serve. Enjoy!