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Newsletter: Fantastic Fusion Cuisine + Cooking well on a budget

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 Cooking on a budget with no compromise on flavour

While we all want to cook delicious healthy food for ourselves and our families, how to do so on a budget is a real issue. We have many books on ckbk that focus on good cooking for less, take a look at our bookshelf for the Frugal cook.
Jack Monroe is an outspoken advocate of good, nourishing, affordable food for all, and writes sensibly and approachably on the topic of vegan food and diets in her book Vegan(ish). Based on inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients, her recipes nonetheless have enough creative flair to enthuse and entice. Try The Jack Reuben for a fresh, take on lunch, and this veggie-packed Crispy Chow Mein would make a satisfying supper.

In The Thrifty Veggie, author Nicola Graimes has made it her mission to seek out the best value vegetarian meals. Her approach is based on combining seasonal produce – for the best value and flavor – with store-cupboard staples and good use of leftovers. Try this lightly spiced Vietnamese Pho with Kale Chips, or feed the family with this oven-baked Cheese and Pepper Strata.

Classic Students’ Cookbook, published in 1993, sees Sophie Grigson put her considerable expertise at the service of those who need good advice and food-on-a-budget most.

Her recipes for Lentil Salad, Keema Pilau, and Vegetable Couscous have taught many a fledgling cook to feed themselves, and do so affordably and well.

The name Jason Atherton may not immediately suggest budget suppers, but his credit crunch-era cookbook, Gourmet Food for a Fiver, newly added to ckbk, includes a wealth of ideas that bring restaurant-quality food to your home kitchen without breaking the bank.

The cost per head may have increased a little since 2010, but the book remains a treasure trove of ideas for dishes that feel exciting and luxurious, for a tiny fraction of the cost of a high-end restaurant meal. Try Butternut Squash with Ricotta and Lemon Honey – there is a bonus idea for a soup made from the squash trimmings in the introduction to the recipe. Or how about this indulgent Coconut Bread Pudding.

For even more wallet-friendly ideas we have put together a collection for Cooking on a Budget, including recipes such as The Ultimate Moussaka; both delicious and good for your pocket!
Find all 96 recipes from Jason Atherton’s Gourmet Food for a Fiver
Pictured above: Roasted Panzanella from The Thrifty Veggie by Nicola Graimes

The best of fusion cuisine

Fusion cooking, in the right hands, means cherry-picking the most exciting ingredients and techniques from across different cuisines and cultures, and melding them into something new, that nonetheless makes perfect culinary sense. Take a look at our Fusion bookshelf to explore recipes and ideas that innovate and tempt from across the globe.
Chinese-ish, Not Quite Authentic, 100% Delicious by Joanna Hu and Rosheen Kaul, published in 2022, celebrates the delicious results of Chinese influence on cuisines across South East Asia, with recipes such as this Sichuan Sausage Sangas.

This book is up for a James Beard award for its stunning design, with the result announced on June 3 in Chicago.
We have also recently added Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges to the fusion bookshelf – a book that showcases the exceptional way in which celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten combines pan-Asian ingredients with fine French technique.

Try Cod with Malaysian Chili Sauce, followed by Ovaltine Kulfi with Caramelised Banana and Spiced Milk Chocolate Sauce.

Ingredient spotlight: Baby Potatoes

Baby potatoes, specialty potatoes much smaller and more delicate and in flavor and texture than your average potato, come in a great variety of shapes and colours. In the UK the arrival of Jersey Royals is an annual event, with these small creamy-fleshed jewels savored only for a short season – as in this recipe for Scandi Hot-Smoked Trout with Dill-Buttered Jersey Royal Potatoes and Quick-Pickled Cucumber.
Baby potatoes don’t store well, unlike larger varieties, and are best cooked promptly and simply. Steam or boil them, they need little adornment, maybe just a knob of melting butter and a sprinkle of salt. If you want to make the most of them in your cooking, take a look at our collection of 12 Ways with Baby Potatoes. Try them in a Salt Beef, Red Onion & Potato Salad with Anchovies & Capers, or thinly slice them onto a Pizza with Rosemary Potatoes.

6 of the best ways to cook with cider

World Cider Day is on June 3, and in honor of the fact that cider is not only good to drink but a terrific ingredient, we bring you six cider-y recipes.

Mussels with Cider & Curly Kale

from On the Menu by James Mackenzie

Stuffed Cider Donuts

from Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky

Pork Chops with Cider

from The Weeknight Cook by Brigit Binns

Apple and Cider Seeded Bread

from The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Jennie Shapter

Rabbit & Cider Casserole

from Let’s Eat by Tom Parker Bowles

Normandy Cider Syllabub with Roast Apples

from Lucy’s Food by Lucy Cufflin
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