Low cost winter recipes and a right Royal treat

The winter chill has descended upon the country so we thought it time to dig into the oily rag archives to find more reader tips for low-cost warm-winter meals - but first we too are going to join the masses and celebrate the Royal baby with a special right royal recipe: the Prince's bubble & squeak!

All you need for this great English tradition is equal amounts of cold meat, cooked potato, and cooked cabbage, along with some butter, pepper and salt. Chop potatoes into large chunks and fry in a little butter. Add cabbage, and salt and pepper to taste. Fry slices of meat, to heat through, then place meat into a hot dish with alternate layers of vegetables. A hearty meal for hungry lads and fair maidens!

Onelady7 from Hamilton has a sausage pie recipe for others to try. "Use two of the tubes of sausage meat for a family size pie, a packet of puff pastry, some herbs of your choice - fresh or dried - and some chopped and sautéed onions. Use a dish that can go in the oven and put pastry on the bottom and sides. Add a layer of sausage meat, cover with herbs & onions, then add the rest of the meat. Put pastry on top and bake until the pastry is cooked. Delicious! A family favourite when we were growing up."

JayFKay from Manurewa also works wonders with simple sausages. "Cook cubed potatoes. Fry sausages and sliced onions. Drain off fat and cut sausages into 3. Make up a packet of Maggi Oxtail soup with 1 1/2 cups of water, add to pan with sausages, onions, potatoes and mixed frozen veges. Heat until frozen veges are cooked. I love this recipe."

Linda from Te Puke says, "We empty a tube of sausage meat and a finely chopped onion into a glass dish, squish together, then microwave until cooked. Add a tin of baked beans and spread over, then cover with mashed potato and a sprinkle of grated cheese. Grill until brown."

Cate from Hamilton knows what it like being a student living off the smell of an oily rag. "When we were both studying with a young family we discovered that adding a good heap of rolled oats to the mince mixture was a fantastic healthy 'stretcher' to bulk up the patties. Even better is to then add grated carrot or zucchini, which puts moisture back into the patties and is unrecognisable to those fussy vegetable averse people!" Great tip Cate! 

M.E. from Auckland has a favourite way with chicken. "Buy a fresh or frozen whole chicken on special and cut it up yourself.  It is so easy, and you get 2 full chicken breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks and a carcass for chicken stew and dumplings. Cooking for one, a chicken can last me up to two weeks. I also get 3 servings out of each breast by cubing and using in gravy and steamed rice dishes like butter chicken, Thai curries or teriyaki chicken. Think about when you get a takeaway butter chicken - you really only get about a breast worth in a container and that covers 2-4."

M.E. also has a favourite recipe for rice, which must be one of the cheapest ingredients to use - which is why it is one of the world's most popular foods! "One of my favourite cheap yummy meals that mum makes is eggs and rice. Cut onions into thick slices and cook till translucent, and add scramble egg mix, then salt to taste.  Cook on medium so it doesn't burn and barely stir so you have a nice big fluffy scramble.  Take off the heat 30 secs to a minute before you think it's cooked because egg keeps cooking.  Serve on fresh steamed rice."

Do you have a favourite winter recipes to share with readers? If so, please send it to us at www.oilyrag.co.nz or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.