Recipes – Seven Simple Easy Basic starter recipes and wines to pair with them
This is a new recipe series specially conceived for Dad Feely (John, Sean’s pops). For anyone who finds themselves having to start from zero at any age – whether you are a student who has left home where Mum did all the cooking, a person who has lost a loved one who did all the cooking or someone who has been relying on ready-meals/ fast food and wants to take ownership of your food (to reduce waste and increase the quality without increasing the cost) – these are for you… And any else looking for simple fast healthy and delicious food solutions.
If you have read books by Caro Feely Grape Expectations, Saving our Skins and Glass Half Full you will know that I am not a natural cook (Sean’s says I say ‘this is fantastic’ – no matter what it tastes like so long as I didn’t have to make it). I had to learn ground up – to decrease costs, increase quality and feed our family a balanced diet. Eating only organic on a tight budget is possible if you eat seasonally and cook simply from scratch.
For decades cooking has focused on recipes and what’s fashionable or what we feel like eating but in the past what we cooked and ate was based on what was available, economic, local, and seasonal. Getting back into this style of eating is good for your pocket and for your health.
If you are cooking for one each of these can be divided and frozen so you don’t have to eat the same thing for four days.
- Slow cook stew (vegetable or meat based) (in this post)
- A very simple Quiche style ‘pain perdu’ with white wine like Luminosite
- Easy tarka dhal lentil and rice – with an orange wine or an organic white wine (ideally low or no sulphite added and semillon based like Generosite or Mille Fleurs)
- A simple stir fry with white or red wine
- Onion, cabbage and apple (with potato or polenta and sausage for meat eaters) with white wine
- Simple tomato pasta sauce – can stretch to a basic lasagne with red wine
- Easy Roast chicken with white wine or roast lamb with red wine
Slow cook stew with white or red wine
Sweat chopped onion in pure organic butter (or olive oil). Add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic then add root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, turnips and perhaps some leeks- whatever you have and that is in season) and cover with stock (chicken stock made from your Sunday roast chicken carcass or ready to use stock cube), herbs you enjoy and have to hand (thyme if chicken, sage if pork, rosemary if lamb and whatever you like if veggie only) and a dash of wine (ideally the one you will drink with the dinner). If you don’t have meat but want to bring a little richness add a few bits of bacon or chorizo at the start when you fry your onions to bring a touch of meaty flavour.
Slow cook on a low heat for about one hour (you can speed this up by chopping the veg – in winter I put it in whole and leave it for hours on the wood burning stove but in summer I chop fine to avoid using fuel and adding more heat to the already hot environment), season and serve with couscous or noodles. (If you want to include meat then brown the meat first then slow cook with the veg. If it is a veg only or veg and chicken I usually do white wine but if it is beef I usually use red wine). Serve and enjoy with a glass of the wine you used in the stew.
Come and learn more about wine and food pairing with a half day tour at Chateau Feely Half day wine course with pairing lunch Bergerac Or try it at home and see for yourself – to get your hands on the ingredients you need try your local organic shop and for the wines you can order at Order Feely wines online to ship in the EU. Learn more about wine with one of our wine courses Wine Courses in France or a gourmet wine tour. Read more about food pairing in our pairing series starting with part 1
You can also learn more about wine with Caro’s book Wine The Essential Guide and read about the story of our organic farm the series includes three books Grape Expectations; Saving our Skins and Glass Half Full by Caro Feely.
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