Thursday, 28 January 2010

Bacon Cheese Toasties

Difficulties at work have made me reconsider publishing on a regular basis. There might even be the possibility that I give this up altogether. Since I still have a number of Basics items in my kitchen however, I thought it would be irresponsible if I were to consume them all without blogging about them.

An unexpected lull in work has allowed me to prepare lunch at home. I've been meaning to do this for quite a while, since I realised that I've never really gotten the chance to make grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.

Take Sainsbury's Basics Cooking Bacon, and strip off all fat.

Grill in oven until mostly cooked.

So the new item for today is English muffins. The more astute among you might be able to point out that I am effectively reconstructing a Bacon McMuffin, itself a derivative of the Egg McMuffin, which attempted to mimic Eggs Benedict, one of Ray Kroc's favourite breakfast items. I have frozen these muffins because I wasn't certain when I would get round to doing this, if at all. They do keep very well though.

Once the bacon is cooked, slice the muffins into halves. Layer on the bacon, and then top with Basics cheese singles. Return to grill.

Take care not to leave in the oven for too long though, or the muffins will dry up.

You cannot really go wrong with cheese and bacon. That said, it might have helped if I were to include something that would make a more fluid topping. Melting the cheese slightly and adding a little Basics mustard and herb mix might have helped achieve the desired effect. Using real cheese would have been another possibility. Maybe next time.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
English Muffins£0.596g+£0.08 for 4Not known

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Beef Pasta Stew

I was slow in getting round to resuming this blog because I have been short of ideas, due to various distractions in life. However, my flatmate's fiancee does a really good tomato-based beef stew, and I have been seeking to try to replicate it using just Basics ingredients. I have been procrastinating about it however, until today, when the work cafeteria was serving a chunky beef bolognese pasta bake, which in many respects was similar to my flatmate's fiancee's beef stew.

I have covered many of the Basics ingredients already, so trying to come up with something that highlights a new ingredient can be quite challenging, as some of you whom I know personally may be able to attest to. I thus apologise that this time round I'm taking the easy route and just getting fresh Basics tomatoes to do this recipe. As I've already mentioned in several other posts previously that Basics vegetables and fruits are all good, save for their odd shapes and sizes, I have nothing further to say. Haha.

So let's proceed. Chop up some garlic and 4-5 of the ripest tomatoes that you can find in your basket.
Once that is done, heat up a few of the fattiest bacon rashers you can find in your packet of Basics cooking bacon.
Add the garlic once some of the fat is rendered from the bacon.

Borrow a technique learnt from an earlier recipe, coating some Basics diced beef in flour. Add to the pan.
Season with Basics herb mix, pepper and a touch of Basics vinegar, and then pour in water.

Now the next step is optional. I pondered the thought of adding Basics penne to the saucepan, and went ahead with it. The way I saw it, the flour from the pasta that usually clouds the water could serve to thicken the stew, while the pasta can absorb the goodness of the stew.

Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer, while you go about your other chores.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Tomatoes£0.82450g+£0.67 for 500g
More regularly sized tomatoes, better suited for salads etc.
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