Category

Money Saving Recipes

Category

Join chefs Jo Barrett and Matt Stone this Saturday for a crafternoon making Neufchâtel cheese, LIVE from Oakridge Winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Jo will teach you how to make this delicious soft cow’s cheese at home using just four ingredients. Jo and Matt will reveal their favourite ways to enjoy Neufchatel cheese with recommended wine pairings while sharing their wealth of knowledge on the best things to do in the Yarra Valley for a weekend away,…

While a half side of premium fish might sound a touch luxurious or expensive during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s surprising just how much volume cured fish is produced and how long it will last in your refrigerator, potentially making some decent cost savings. If you can’t access a while side of fish, slices of fresh salmon from your supermarket will also work nicely, as long as the pickled beetroot and seasoning well covers the fish…

It has to be said, if you’re buying store-bought pickles you’re simply missing out. Often commercially packaged pickled vegetables are made with minimum, simple ingredients – water, vinegar, salt, sugar – and given the lack of complexity, the contents inside the jar often taste bland; or worse, too vinegary or too sweet. Experimenting with your own pickling liquid and making your own range of pickled vegetables is highly rewarding, but what choices might one have…

Learning how to avoid the mistakes when pickling is a critical step. Some may have experienced ferments exploding or turning fizzy, or jarred pickles turning mouldy. There’s certainly an art to putting fruits and vegetables into jars and the key to success is hygiene. Unfortunately the one step that’s the most important is often overlooked – sterilisation. Here’s how it’s done: Jars and lids to be used firstly need to be checked for good condition.…

The Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) today has issued a plea for all Australians to support the industry through the coronavirus crisis. Simply put, they’re asking Aussies to buy and eat Australian seafood – certainly a fair and suitable request, given the fact we’re a nation of seafood lovers. While prime fish selections can be rather expensive choices, other more creative dishes can be created from lower cost fresh seafood. This crispy white bait recipe by…

These decadent looking chocolate tarts may look expensive, however they’re made with relatively low cost raw ingredients. While we’ve dressed up our tarts with small garnishes of edible gold leaf, this visual element can be exchanged for toppings of baby herb leaves, for example mint or basil. The muscat syrup can be made with some older wine stock, and keeps well in a refrigerator. It’s also makes for a great adults only ice cream topping.…

Crêpes are not as complex to make as one might think. These very thin and delicate French variations of the humble pancake can be  quickly and easily poured, flipped and served. This recipe using kefir (fermented milk, high in probiotics, now available in most supermarkets) makes preparing the crêpes batter a cinch. Gluten free flour as an alternative also works well with this recipe. Makes 16-20 crêpes 400ml Kefir (we preferKefir  from Blue Bay dairy)…

Over the coming weeks and months, Essentials aims to continue with clever food strategies, supportive ideas to share with your family. This Venison Goulash with Homemade Sour Cream recipe can also be made with beef or lamb, ideally saving money by use of cheap meat cuts or leftover meat that might be stored in the back of your freezer. Preparation is relatively simple yet the result is highly desirable with  fragrant aromas that fill the…

Kholodets is a jellied meat dish traditional in Russian cuisine. Its name is derived from the Russian word ‘kholod’, meaning ‘cold’ and is a popular dish of the winter new year’s festive season. It’s usually served with fresh Russian borodinsky bread, fresh horseradish, pickled vegetables, vodka and/or cognac. Kholodets is made from fresh butcher’s meat and makes wonderful use of the cheap cuts including: pork trotter and shins. When served, it resembles a rectangle of…

Beechworth Honey has long been at the forefront of championing Australian honey and Australian varietal honeys. The business was created 25 years ago by husband and wife team Steven and Jodie Goldsworthy in Beechworth in North East Victoria. Australian varietal honeys are made by the bees collecting the nectar of native trees in flower – mainly eucalypts but also other species, such as banksia and macadamia. Beechworth Honey has more than 500 hives in bushland…

Scandinavian design has long held the world in thrall with its clean, considered simplicity. And the cookbook Nordic Light by Australian-born, Stockholm-based chef, food stylist and photographer Simon Bajada reflects this to luminous effect. ‘A great way to introduce more grain into your diet is through porridges. Porridges are to Scandinavians what fry-ups are to Englishmen. There are an endless number of toppings and flavour combinations that can be used to vary your porridge. This…

If you’re growing tomatoes at home, you’ll know it’s been an unusual season in Australia. A late summer to autumn harvest for many in the southern states is progressing; and for some green tomatoes sit on the vine without ripening as the weather cools. If you’re a little dissatisfied with your green crop then we highly suggest this sweet, sour and highly aromatic melon caprese salad recipe. It makes a wonderfully light and nutritious evening…

There can be no simpler meal – mushrooms on toast. For many, during autumn, you’ll know where to find some fresh pine or field mushrooms. But if you’re city bound, choosing a selection of flavoursome mushrooms at your local supermarket or farmer’s market can prove a cost effective way to score some premium ingredients to enable this delightful, super fast, yet underrated meal. The Spanish know of the joys of mushrooms and annually celebrate their…

It’s garlic, but not as you know it. Rich, dark and delicious, black garlic is an ingredient for the everyday cook to make dishes more interesting, more fun and even tastier. Black garlic is garlic that has been naturally transformed to change not just its colour and texture but also its flavour. Gone is the pungent tang, replaced with a sweet mellow flavour that is reminiscent of molasses and caramel. The sharpness of raw garlic…

So what makes a batch of hot cross buns extra special and are they difficult to bake? The simple answer, we feel, is loads of added flavour and a little care. But no, not a lot of skill is required to bake a batch of these perfectly glazed gourmet Easter treats. As Essentials’ home base is situated close to the wine growing region of Rutherglen in North East Victoria, Australia, we’re particularly passionate about cooking with…

There’s nothing as good as the flavour of freshly BBQ corn on the cob, but did you know the same result can be achieved on regular gas stove top? Paired with the sweet mellow flavour of black garlic, this easy recipe is a guaranteed way to turn a few fresh simple ingredients into a family favourite. Stove Top Charred Corn Cobs 1. Shuck the corn (peel back the husks) and remove the silks. 2. Light…

Autumn has arrived and so too has the cooler weather. It’s early morning: Essentials chef Megan Chalmers begins exploring the pine forests of her native Beechworth region in High Country Victoria. After a few hours of foraging she brings home fungal gold: fresh saffron milk caps – perfect ingredients for crafting fabulous recipes and pickling. Pickled Wild Pine Mushrooms (saffron milk caps) 400g freshly picked forest pine mushrooms (or any mushrooms you desire) 100ml white…

This no-bake cheesecake is one of the most simple and delightful offerings we’ve presented. While it does include some sweetened baked strawberries, this will only take a few minutes in a preheated oven. The recipe is great for making with children and is also a fantastic way for beginners to surprise their loved ones. Sesame Ricotta Cheesecake Tart with baked strawberries and sweet balsamic dressing 1 x Cheesecake Biscuit Crumb Base (see recipe at essentialsmagazine.com.au)…

Few desserts entertain better than a decadent cheesecake bursting with colour and natural fragrances. They may look tricky but we’ll let you in on a secret… they’re a cinch! The key to a cheesecake is a simple biscuit crumb base, from here depending on your desired recipe, cream or ricotta cheese, (sometimes) more cream, sugar, eggs,  plus other flavourings are be combined to make cheesecake fillings. Below is our instant cheesecake biscuit crumb base recipe…

Master stocks are typically a mix of Asian ingredients beginning with water, soy sauce, rock sugar and Shaoxing or rice wine. Other commonly added spices and flavourings include: spring onion, star anise, dried citrus peel, cassia bark OR cinnamon, pepper, garlic, ginger and dried mushrooms. A master stock can be repeatedly reused to poach a wide range of braise meats including: whole duck and chicken (or segments), beef brisket, lamb neck or pork shoulder. We’ve…

Sweet and tangy classic lemon tarts with buttery sweet pastry are low cost, easy and delicious treats. Adding to  their presentation, we’ve added sweet lemon zest and the floral fragrant garnish of salade de fleurs – a beautiful mix of French marigolds, cornflower and rose petals; available from The Essential Ingredient in Australia and Mill and Mortar in the UK. Classic Lemon Tart with Sweet Lemon Zest 500g sweet pastry (see recipe below) Sweet lemon…

From its origins in mid-19th-century Russia, Beef Stroganoff has become one of the most popular Russian dishes around the world. Our recipe has its origins in Siberia where the beef is cut ultra fine and the sauce’s flavour and thickness is extended by the use of Borodinsky (or dark rye) bread. For our money, it’s one of the best Stroganoffs going! Making use of less popular orecchiette pasta – recently seen in Australia as some…

If you’re lucky enough to be sipping some elegant white wines at home during the COVID-19 lockdown, then this simple recipe makes a good pairing. It can also extend your food dollar further while pleasing the whole family. Roquefort (Blue Cheese) and Leek Quiche shortcrust pastry (see recipe at essentialsmagazine.com.au) 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 2 stick of celery, washed…

Shortcrust pastry is often used for the base of a tart, quiche or pie. It can be used to make both sweet and savoury pies such as apple pie, quiche, lemon meringue or chicken pie. Shortcrust Pastry Makes 500g 300g plain flour, sifted 1 tsp salt 150g cold butter, diced 1 egg yolk 60ml water Method 1. Using a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter and pulse to fine sandy consistency. 2. Add…

Have you ever considered the volume of food ingredient-to-price ratio when buying vegetables? Often pumpkins come out on top and more importantly, they’re loaded with a variety of nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In terms of extending your dollar further we think they’re a ingredient that should be high on your grocery list. Pumpkins are great for roasting or adding to soups, curries and braises. Another fab money saving idea is to make…

These simple and delicious soups offer an energy and emotional lift. Incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables with garden pickled herbs and the added protein of seeds, they’re a great way to balance your diet. Creative and simple to put together, why not make them for a loved on, this weekend! Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho with watermelon, mint and pepitas 4 cups quality vegetable stock 1 ripe avocado 2 continental cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped ¼ bunch…

Borodinsky Bread is one of the most favourite varieties of bread in Russia. This traditional dark-brown sourdough loaf is made of rye and wheat flour, with a pinch of sweet molasses or honey and spicy coriander. For Aussies, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s great with butter and Vegemite; however to truly appreciate the Russian style, we suggest you pair this some pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, tomatoes (fresh or pickled) and slices of sausage and…

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of harvesting ripe and fragrant red or black currants, then you’ll know of the rich and spicy-sweet floral aromatics that cover your hands when picking and elevate from your picking bucket when full. This Red Currant and Onion Relish is a simple recipe that’s designed to pair with Essentials’ Panko-crumbed Mackerel Fishcakes . It is a versatile recipe that can is well suited to fish and lighter meal dishes.…

Over the coming weeks and months, Essentials will to continue to support its readers during the COVID-19 crisis with clever food strategies, supportive ideas to share. We’ve now opened up our website and iOS app Essentials Magazine Australia allowing FREE subscription. To install the iOS app, visit the App Store today! Panko-crumbed Mackerel Fishcakes with Sweet and Sour Cucumbers, Red Currant and Onion Relish Serves 4 Mackerel Fish Cakes 700g potatoes, peeled and cut into…

Broth, brodo, bouillon – call it what you will; if you think it’s simply for peasants, then I’m here to inform you that you’re wrong, and are missing out on one of life’s great treasures. Made simply by simmering bones, meat and vegetables; or simply vegetables alone in water, it forms a base to a many great recipes – soups, gravies, and sauces. When made with care, it alone can make a thoroughly enjoyable and…