Monday, 10 August 2009

Salmon and Broccoli Baked Rice

Compared to the Jaffa Cakes mentioned in the previous article, baked rice is unheard of. They have something similar involving pasta, but it tends to have more sauce than baked rice. In any case, it's a nice way of trying to get rid of leftovers. For this article, I've decided to use two items that I've been familiar with since university, and a new one I just happened to chance across and take the opportunity to highlight a common thing that you might encounter while at Sainsbury's.

Notice that the Broccoli Florets have a reduced price. That's because I bought this exactly on its Display Until date, after which the staff are obligated to dispose of it. Note that this is not the Best Before date, and also note that some items would have both a display until date and best before date, while others will only have the latter, or a Use By date. Generally speaking, we've noted that items marked as reduced which are safe to buy are the vegetables and ready meals. My ex-roommate notes that because there are such high standards imposed on chicken it is generally very safe to buy them even if reduced. In addition, the beef also seems okay, but don't buy if completely discoloured (my ex-roommate and I disagree on this point).

This, by the way, is the only reason I bought the Broccoli Florets. I would have originally gotten the Frozen Vegetables, or a fresh broccoli head, but thought this would be a good excuse to write what I have just written.

Alright, on to the main points of interest. Cheese, if you were paying attention during your Health Education lessons in primary school, is a good source of protein and calcium. It's likely that you would be relying on this quite often in any sandwiches you pack for lunch. However, for a country where milk is rather cheap, cheese is actually pretty expensive. Then again, you get what you pay for, and the variety and quality is awesome; the regular cheddar comes in different maturities - the older the stronger tasting. And cheddar will not be the only type of cheese you'll come across at Sainsbury's.

The problem with Basics cheese is that while it is cheaper, up to half the price of regular cheddar, most of them are sold in blocks of about 625g. That will set you back about £3 for the mild cheese to £3.74 in the worst case, for full flavour cheddar. And given that the shelf life of these things are only about 3.5 weeks, it may not be very value for money, because you may not finish it all in time, unless you're a big cheese fan.

The only option of suitable size was the mild cheese, pictured above. But it tastes horribly bland. My two alternatives were: the full flavour cheddar, which, while good, is expensive; see above for pricing, and; the Basics Red Leicester cheese, which goes for around £3.20 for a ~625g block. While it has more flavour than the mild cheese, it's coloured a bright orange. I don't exactly want my cheese toast or my baked rice to look like Chernobyl. Both alternatives are sold only in 625g blocks, which presents problems already mentioned above.

There's more variety with salmon, although why anybody would be eating salmon while on a budget is anybody's guess. You can have either the smoked salmon trimmings, shown below, or the salmon fillets, which are £1.72 for about 215g in two fillets. The fillets were not around until towards the end of my university life, so most of the time my flatmates and I would be using the salmon trimmings for our cream pasta dishes.

Right. This item isn't too difficult to put together. Just fry onion and salmon together, add the garlic and broccoli, fry some more.

I've wanted at this point to wash the rice and add it to the mix, and then either transfer directly to the baking pan, or cook in the rice cooker and transfer. I didn't do either because at that point in time I was in a rush to get this done, so while I was preparing all the other ingredients, I just cooked the rice on its own.

The other thing I forgot to do was to make use of the Sainsbury's Basic chicken stock cubes on the rice. Maybe next time.

Lay the cheese on, toss into oven, and you're on your way.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Smoked Salmon£0.882 (120g)+£3.10 (2x60g)More complete segments of smoked salmon, as opposed to just trimmings
Mild Cheese£1.35 approx (£4.81 / kg)280g approx+£0.55 (+£3.13 / kg)Better tasting cheese. See blog post for further comments. Recommended.

1 comment:

  1. More Cheese! There needs to be more cheese!


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