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13 November 2014

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credit crunch

You are in: Cambridgeshire > credit crunch > Credit Crunch munch

Tony Robinson as Baldrick (Blackadder)

You are what you eat...?

Credit Crunch munch

Have rising food prices forced you to change your eating habits? We've been hearing from lots of listeners to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire who are now considering eating things they might previously have turned their noses up at...

If your tastes have changed in line with the rising cost of food in your local supermarkets, some of these cheaper options might just be enough to whet your appetite. Scroll down the page for ideas including rabbit, pigeon and turnips!

Rabbit casserole

We're overrun with these furry little creatures which seem to have gone out of fashion in the UK - although rabbit is still incredibly popular throughout Europe. Reporter Jozef Hall was sent out to hunt down a bunny, and came back with this delicious recipe which makes the most of the tender, slightly gamey flavour of the meat:

1 rabbit - cut into quarters - or whatever they're called.
Half an onion, chopped.
1 carrot - peeled and sliced.
2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
1 tin of Italian tomatoes.
Handful of fresh thyme.
125ml of fresh chicken stock or a stock cube.
Good squeeze of tomato puree.
A good glug of red wine. Cheap is good.
Olive oil.

1. Soften the carrots, onion and garlic in the olive oil for 3-4 mins in a heavy bottomed pan. Don't let the garlic or onion brown. Put aside.
2. Brown the rabbit in the olive oil left in the pan (should take 5-6 mins).
3. Put the softened vegetables back in the pan, and put in a GOOD glassful of the wine, and the chopped thyme. Reduce over a medium heat for about 3 mins.
4. Add the tomatoes, the stock and a good cup full of water.
5. Add the tomato puree and salt and pepper.
6. Either leave on the hob with a lid on and turn the heat right down to a light simmer, or preferably, put into the oven for an hour on about 170.
7. Season again if needed, and if finishing on the hob, add a touch more wine.

On the subject of eating rabbit, Ann, a listener to the Andie Harper Show, sent us this message: "Years ago when the children were young I used to get two rabbits from the local butcher. He prepared them for me but the only way the children would eat the stew was by telling them that it was chicken!

"The funny thing was, my first husband said he wouldn't eat rabbit as he didn't like the taste (little did he ever know) - he had been eating it the same as the children for years! He also said he wouldn't eat hearts either; didn't like the taste - but he didn't see it going into the pot! He ate it as beef stewing steak done in the pressure cooker - the same as the rabbit. We had four children - how did he think I was feeding everyone on the one wage!"

Turnips

According to Baldrick, Blackadder's imbecile sidekick, turnips are "the best thing since sliced potatoes". And although it's not easy to find a fan of this cheap root veg, there must be plenty out there as a major supermarket has revealed that sales of turnips are up by 75% on last year. It was a staple food during the war and now, because of the Credit Crunch the turnip appears to be making a comeback.

But is there anything nice you can really do with a turnip? You could throw it in your rabbit casserole for starters... apparently it's great stewed... and one listener has sent us some recipes from a very old book which suggests serving them in a cream sauce or a spicy yogurt sauce. We're still not convinced, but if you can tell us how you're making the humble turnip more palatable, we'd love to hear from you!

Pigeon

Yup - just the common or garden variety - are, once you've got all of those feathers off, apparently very tasty. A local farmer who's diversified into producing oven-ready pigeon dishes for her customers, came into BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to show presenter Jeremy Sallis how to pluck a pigeon.

Jeremy Sallis plucking a pigeon

Jez learns how to pluck properly

Gilly says that it takes about four minutes to do a really good job, then you take out the guts and you're ready to go. She advises cooking pigeon breast in wine or a cooking sauce, or roasting the bird whole. It's very affordable, versatile and nutritious as all game is virtually fat-free, says Gilly.

Puffball mushrooms

Mandy, another listener to Radio Cambridgeshire wrote in to tell us about the delights of puffball mushrooms (free if you can forage for them!): "Cut into slices like a loaf, (must be totally white inside, or too old), dip the slices in beaten egg, press breadcrumbs firmly to the outside, and fry. There is no need to peel them unless they are too dirty to just wash. The slices are even better if left in the breadcrumb crust for an hour or so before cooking.

"I am told you can also scoop out the middle, mix with a filling of you choice, cover with a slice or two of bacon, wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven, so the next time I am lucky enough to find one, I think I will give that a go."

Be thrifty - shop smart

Becky, who's also a listener to Andie Harper's Mid-Morning Show also called in to say that she manages to afford to feed herself, her husband and their four boys by buying food which is about to go past its 'best before' date. She says there's no problem doing that as long as you use it quickly. And she buys in bulk, too, when she can, enabling her to make lots of meals and freeze them. Take a leaf out of Becky's book by listening to her advice - and munch your way through the Credit Crunch...

last updated: 29/09/2008 at 11:38
created: 25/09/2008

Have Your Say

Have you got any thrifty, delicious ideas for beating the Credit Crunch without beating up your tastebuds?

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