Thrifty Chicken Noodle Soup

I think almost everyone is being thrifty with everything they do in life now, perhaps more so with food than anything else.  So when it comes to Sunday dinner we generally look for seasonal veg the day before that have been ‘woopsied’ and cheap as chips (forgive the pun).chicken-stock-3-method-4.jpg


We do however go to the local butcher for our meat.  I can hear people saying “the butchers are well expensive!” and I do agree, however I am a firm believer of keeping local shops busy and open.  The other reason we use our very local butcher (100 metres away from Casa De Hyde) is the quality is loads better.  Take a chicken for example, we strip the bird down to the very bare bone, making use of everything, giblets included.  The amount of meat we get off a butcher bought chicken nearly doubles the meat from a supermarket, I promise.  The meat does us about 3 or 4 different meals with a few bits that I use for the following meal.20140929-chicken-stock-vicky-wasik-13.jpg

After the chicken is stripped down, the carcass goes straight into a pan of boiling water and left to simmer for about an hour.  Sieve the contents of the pan and you can freeze the stock for another day or use straight away.

I whacked the stock into a large pan and added boiling water.  A half-used bag of egg noodles took the plunge at this point and some red pepper and spring onion from the freezer was added.  I stole some of the prepped veg from the planned Sunday dinner and put in the pan.  We picked some early wild garlic the day before so I chopped that up and threw that in too.  A frozen green chili was chopped up into very small pieces and went in too.  My other half is not partial to chicken leg meat (I know she’s a bit weird) so seeing as this pot is for me only, shredded everything but breast meat went in with seasoning to taste.  Boiled until the noodles were cooked and the jobs a good ‘un!



As you see by the pictures I got 4 takeaway sized portions from this pot which I use for my baits at work.  While most of my work mates are forking our £3-£4 a meal from the local eatery, I’ve spent about 70 pence on the noodles, plus the leftovers probably costing about 50 pence a tub.  Plus, you know exactly where all the food is from as its been cooked from scratch.


Smoked Trout and Horseradish Pate

A month or so ago a close friend gave me a nice Rainbow Trout he’d bagged in Lunedale in the season, I had it in the freezer until we got some decent weather to smoke it. I looked at the weather and saw it was going to be relatively dry but a tad windy. I left the trout to defrost overnight and got stuck in today.

I put together my curing mix, using salt and brown sugar, roughly equal parts then cracked some pepper into the mix and a dash of Paprika. The mix was rubbed into the cleaned trout making sure to cover every inch and put it into a Tupperware box and in the fridge to cure while we took Alfie (Springer Spaniel) out for a nice breezy walk and a quick food shop.

I’m still a curing novice but I’m fine tuning my technique as I don’t want the fish to be too salty, so after about 4 hours curing I washed the mix off the trout off and dried it off.

The smoker was set away which proved bloody hard in the wind but I managed to get a log burning away and left it to break down and smoulder. After a short while the log was starting to lose its flame and the smoker was getting nice and hot, ready for me to sprinkle some Oak wood chippings over and pop the trout in on the grid above. I closed the inlet grill and the chimney and watched the smoker do its job. The smell is gorgeous and I just stand there and inhale the smoke that is quite powerful, it’s like walking through a small village full of old houses with real fires.

25 minutes later a quick peek reveals a nicely smoked fish which was brought in and it was my job to pick the lovely smoky creamy flakes off the bone. It is a bit time consuming but worth it.

With the fish stripped down, Alfie did manage to get a few bits that fell in the ‘drop zone’, the next step is all down to taste. On this occasion, I used soured cream (I’ve used cream cheese before which works well) a jar of creamy horse radish and a squeeze of lemon. Whacked in a food processor adding a little of the cream and horse radish, a crack of pepper and sea salt and the jobs a good ‘un.20170225_150530.jpg

My tip is sometimes recipes say cure overnight, however when I did, the fish came out too salty, but it’s all down to taste.

New look Blog…

After a long think and a good look at my Blog, I’ve decided to give it a good kick up the backside that it needs.  I’ve decided to continue with the write ups for our walks and adventures in the hills and on the footpaths of this glorious Isle, however, I’m now going to do write ups on food.  Home cooked food made at our lovely little house  in east Durham, plus when we eat out I’m thinking of doing a little write up for that too.  I’m also going to blog about our life outdoors and the little things that make us happy.  We are also thinking of buying a camper van in the future so that may bring other adventures that may be put into words.