Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A flexible, fall-back...

...frugal meal.

 About twenty years ago I bought a cook book from Kwik Save supermarket. Kwik Save doesn't exist anymore, but there are a few recipes in the book which I still use. One of them is Tuna Mornay. Now, the actually recipe calls for a layer of rice, a layer of tinned tuna, and a layer of curry sauce. I really don't like the idea of the curry sauce, but the recipe was the inspiration for a dish that we eat quite often.

 First, I cook some rice in my electric rice cooker. I love my rice cooker, I really do. Without it, I'm rubbish at cooking rice. I don't often weigh the rice, but I guess between 60-100g of dried rice per person is about right.
 The cooked rice is layered in the bottom of an oven proof dish, mixed with some sweet corn, or some peas, or some mushrooms, or nothing at all, depending on what I have to hand. I prefer to mix plenty of veg in, but sometimes I don't have any available. In that case, I will try to serve salad on the side, or have fruit for dessert.
 On top of the rice goes a layer of fish. Usually, this is a drained tin of tuna or two, but it might be some tinned salmon, or some cooked, flaked white fish. On top of that goes a layer of white sauce, made with butter/spread, flour and milk. Actually, I've found that if I'm short of milk, I can replace up to half of it with chicken stock (or chicken stock cube and hot water!) and it will still taste good. On top of the white sauce goes some grated cheese, or some breadcrumbs, or both, or neither.
 The whole thing can either be chilled quickly and then thoroughly reheated (you cannot be too careful with rice), or put straight into the oven to warm through and make the topping golden.

 My family all enjoy this, and it is so flexible that it enables me to use whatever I have to hand. It's also something that I can prepare in advance, which I find really useful.

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