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Delia's Frugal Food - Delia Smith

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8 Reviews

Genre: Food & Drink / Dieting / Author: Delia Smith / Hardcover / 256 Pages / Book is published 2008-10-30 by Hodder & Stoughton

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    8 Reviews
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      16.12.2011 16:21
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      4 stars

      in today's climate we are all trying to find ways to save money and make cut backs and cooking on the cheap is one way in which you can do that, but how can you do that if you don't know how to? Delia Smith has created this book which is full of ideas and recipes on how to save money whilst cooking.

      There are plenty of tips inside this book which make sense and we should all be doing but it's easy to forget to such as buying foods when they're in season, making the most of your leftovers and not always using the 'finest' cuts of meat.

      The book is broken down into chapters, there are over 170 recipes in total all in the different sections such as "Cheap chapter" "Eggs r us" "Who needs meat" and other rather quirky named chapters.

      A lot of the recipes are very standard but with a twist such as sausages cooked in cider! Others are a little more bizarre sounding- cauliflowers with eggs?!

      The book has several pictures in it but not enough for my liking. I like to see what a dish will look like at the end as this usually is what tempts me to make it and helps me to make my decision but there are not enough in this book to do that.

      The recipes are interesting and the ingredients are perfectly easy to source. It isn't the best cook book out there but I certainly do enjoy getting this out and getting some ideas from her even if I don't follow her recipes completely.
      The tips provided are actually quite basic but ones which I just haven't thought of myself and so they're quite easy to do, things such as just swapping more expensive ingredients for a cheaper alternative is such an obvious idea!

      All in all this book gets 4 stars because I do think it gives you some good ideas but it isn't anything outstanding.

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      23.01.2010 15:28
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      All in review.

      Delias Frugal food 2008 edition.

      This cookery book was first published in1976 by Hodder and Stroughton, new editions were fetched out in 1987 and 1997 and then this addition was published in 2008 again by Hodder and Stroughton. Nothing has really changed in the new edition except the removal of using lard and dripping and the weight conversions.

      I am well known in my family for my cookery books and being frugal (really really tight they mean) so it came as no suprise on christmas morning to be opening yet another cookery book and this time it was the re-published 2008 edition of delia's frugal food.
      Having been brought up on Delia (she really was my mums kitchen bible) I was already familiar with plenty of the recipes in this book.

      There is 13 chapters of delicious recipies for those of us who like to live frugally......

      Luxury Soups ---- From potato soup with bacon to cauliflower soup, I have tried a few of these and all have been succesfull

      Eggs and us ---- From Curried egg patties to the only one i have made from this section and was lovely egg and bacon pie. Yum.

      Frugal fish ---- Anyone for Kipper quiche, can't really say I was tempted by that but the salmon fishcakes were easy to make and tasted fab.

      Chickens lib ---- Delias chicken pot roast has become a firm family favourite as have a few of the chicken recipes along with spiced chicken pilau and mustard coated chicken.
      .
      Forequarter front ---- My personal favourite in this section is Roast lamb with corriander, but this section also offers you pork and beef recipes aswell

      Offal - but i like you! ---- A skipped chapter by me I'm afraid, I would rather chew my own arm off than eat hearts, kidneys and liver, but for those that do like it the recipes range from braised stufferd hearts, to spiced kidneys in yoghurt. mmmm. No ta.

      Banger are beautiful ---- My sons favourite home made sausages, other recipes are sausages with chilli sauce and sausage stuffed onions. These are the only ones in this section we have tried so far.

      Cook for Victory ---- From broad bean salad to tomato and chilli sauce. I am yet to try any of these.

      Go with the grain ---- a nice selection of flavoured rices from onion to brown rice salad, which I will be sure to try in the summer.

      Who need's meat ---- A choice of pizza, flan and souffle recipes with no meat involved. These are very good as almost all of the recipes involve ingredients that most frugal people keep in a well stocked store cupboard.

      Quickening Pulses ---- From chick pea salad to lentil and split pea loaf, which I have to say turned out very well and was very flavoursum.

      Back to baking ---- My favourite chapter, the fool proof recipes delia is known for of strawberry jam sponge to butterfly cakes. Delish.....

      Paupers Puddings ----- Spotted dick (never really appealed to me) Bread pudding, Rhubarb and orange flan and lots more to try.

      There is so many recipes in this book, it makes it hard to choose what to cook up next!!


      The list of ingredients and the recipes are clear and easy to follow and so far so good I have had no problems and nobody has been disappointed with what was dished up.


      The only thing that really disappointed me about this recipe book is there are no photographs of any of the made recipes, which sounds like a minor issue but I love nothing more than browsing my vast collection of cookery books on a lazy sunday afternoon, while meal planning for the week ahead, and half of the temptation of wanting to cook up the recipe is seeing how nice it looks when done, also it helps to give you a bit of a guide as to what you are aiming for, ie is the cauliflower soup supposed to look like dirty dishwater, I have to say at this point that it didn't taste like it but iw would have been nice to see what delia's looked like.

      Delia does show us in this book that being frugal and shopping on a budget does not mean going without tasty, good quality, nutritionally balanced food. So that can only be a good thing.

      I will be recommending this book to friends, its well worth having just for the good ole favourites.

      As I didn't buy this I have just had a look on the internet and it is selling at the moment for about £10.00

      Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

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        21.01.2010 11:38
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        lots of cheap recipes, wholesome food, excellent book

        With prices of all sorts of things rising and the prospect of cutting hours at work etc I have had to look for ways to make savings on whatever I can!

        I purchased Delia's Frugal Food book about a year ago and there certainly are some delicious and cheap recipes in it to save money.

        The book was first published in the 70's and was reprinted in 2008 with a few updates by Delia herself. You might be interested to know (or you might not) that any royalties Delia earns from the sale of this are going to the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development.

        This book obviously aims to save us money and also takes us right back to the roots of our cooking and making our meals from scratch.

        Back in the 70's there was different ingredients available, some of them are not so easy to get hold of now due to healthier diets as a whole and like many things food also becomes fashionable and what is popular at tone time may not be popular as another. A good example here is drippping, suet and 'top of the milk'. The book refers to some of these 'dated' ingredients but Delia has provided you with an alternative to some of them at the begining of the book. This is slightly annoying as you have to refer back to it from your recipe page. The book itself is slightly larger than an A5 kind of size which is nice as it still leaves me some room on the worktop to actually do my cooking and is hardcover although a wipe clean cover would have been nice as my recipe books seem to get filthy!

        Ther book is divided into chapters:

        Chapter 1 - the cheap charter
        This gives you general rules on saving money in the kitchen, for example you will need to spend time making stuff from scratch as you will use cheaper cuts of meat etc. Buy in season as it's cheaper. Use leftovers! You get the idea, it's all common sense but there is a good explantion of each reason why we should be doing it. There is also a handy list of conversion tables here.

        Chapter 2 - Luxury Soups
        This begins by telling you how to make a basic stock - obviously not only useful in soups but also casseroles, etc. The recipes here do seem quite dated but thats not to say they aren't nice. Personally I haven't made any of the soups as I'm not really a big soup lover! Some of the recipes here include goulash soup with dumplings, German soup with frankfurters, cream of celery soup and potato soup with bacon. They make the most of seasonal vegetables and don't use lots of fancy ingredients that you are never likely to have! What puts me off apart from not liking soup though is that they take about 40 minutes to an hour to cook. I think this is too long just for a bit of soup!

        Chapter 3 - Eggs and us.
        Myself (and Delia) are big egg lovers! Not only are they a great source of protein they also provide a quick, easy and cheap meal. Recipes from this chapter include curried egg patties, egg and bacon pie, potato and cheese baked eggs and Spanish tortilla. I have tried the majority of egg recipes in this chapter and they are all lovely. Again they make use of common ingredients - afterall who doesn't have eggs, potatoes, butter and cheese lying around!?! Obviously these are relatively cheap and keeping in with the frugal theme of the book! Eggs don't take long to cook either so these recipes take around 30 minutes max.

        Chapter 4 - Frugal Fish.
        Fish is often thought as being expensive. Yes it is depending on what type of fish you are buying. Cod and Haddock and fish from the deep sea are but often our home caught herring and mackerel have much more flavour and are very tasty. So you won't find a lot of recipes here for the likes of cod but lots using cheaper fish such as whiting, herrings and mackerel. The recipes here include baked fish with potatos and anchovies, mackerel with rhubarb sauce and kipper quiche. My favourite recipe though has to be the salmon fishcakes - while salmon is quite expensive, this recipe uses tinned salmon hence it is much cheaper. None of the recipes in this chapter really take over an hour from preparing the ingredients to when it has finished cooking so they are nice and quick.

        Chapter 4 -Chickens Lib
        Obviously this is where you will find your chicken recipes. Not being a lover of chicken (apart from the breast meat) this chapter has really opened my eyes. It encourages you to use the whole of a chicken for a lot of the recipes and portion it yourself although there are no instructions on how to do this. I found these in some other book. But anyway it has got me eating the whole chicken rather than just breast meat and I have discovered that it is actually quite tasty. Recipes here include chicken pot roast -just add a few veg - cheap and easy or what (ok so it takes 90 mins) but it is delicious. There is also southern fried chicken - use joints or legs and make your own coating - this is lovely - it says to serve with fried bananas - I was dubious to say the least but yum yum!! There is also a spiced chicken pilau and spiced chicken with lentils. These recipes do take a little longer than the others so far but if you have time it is so worth it.

        Chapter 5 - Forequarter Front
        Ok so this is your meat chapter. Here you will find recipes for all types of meat. I really recommend braised pork with prunes and it works out quite cheap to feed a family of 4 - your basic ingredients being belly of pork, prunes, potatoes and an apple! This does take a long time to cook though -about 2 hours so one to save for when you have a bit of time to kill! Mutton pot pie is also included here. This is delicious and also uses very cheap ingredients - mutton, a few veg and a bit of herb is all you need. You do need some suet to make the pastry which can be difficult to get hold of now -something to do with some EU regulations or something but use vegetable suet instead - you will hardly notice the difference. Other favorites here include brown beef stew and dumplings, Steak and onions in Guinness and fidget pie -using a gammon hock and a few veg again its easy to create a lovely simple pie. All of these recipes take quite a while to cook though as they are meat and cheaper cuts at that so they need longer and slower cooking temperatures and times.

        Chapter 6 - Offal, but I like you!
        Love it or hate it, this chapter is all about offal. I know that many people will probably turn their nose up at the thought of eating an animals insides but it is incredibly cheap and cooked right tastes lovely! Fear not, there are no recipes here for baked stuffed intestines or pigs tail ragout! There are a couple of recipes which use hearts - I've never tried these, not that I wouldn't but I have never seen them in the supermarket. If you have a local butcher you are probably in luck though!Recipes here include spiced kidneys in yoghurt -sounds disgusting but is really quite nice, Liver and bacon kebabs with stuffing, liver and onion Yorkshire pud, and faggots and peas. These recipes are all relatively quick to cook although do require some preparation.

        Chapter 7 -Bangers are beautiful
        As you can guess this is about sausages! Sausages are a relatively cheap basis for any meal but Delia advises going for the best you can afford not necessarily the cheapest as they have less rubbish in and more meat. There are reall classic recipes here suchas toad in the hole and there is even one on how to make your own sausages.

        Chapter 8 - Cook for Victory
        Here is your vegetable side dish bit - the 2nd most vegetarian bit in the book as they majority of other recipes if they don't use meat they use some meat associated product like lard (some of them here do stilluse meat though!) There are lots of recipes here like white cabbage with garlic and corriander, baked aubergines and parsnip puree as well as old fashioned bubble and squeak. THe majority of the recipes here take under 40 mins to cook.

        Chapter 9 -Go with the Grain
        Pasta and rice are all here. Most recipes are well known such as spag bol and macoroni carbonara. Onion rice and meatballs with buttered noodles is are lovely too. As I'm sure you are aware these are very cheap to make as the ingredients are all cheap and readily available.

        Chapter 10 - Who needs meat?
        The only true vegetarian bit!! No meat here just lots of vegetable dishes which include pizzas and flans aswell as leek carrot and potato pie, soured onion tart and curried eggs with cauliflower. I'll leave it there as I've never cooked any of these - they just don't appeal!

        Chapter 11 - Quickening pulses
        Yep, thats right you guessd it! In 1976 a report was issued saying that anyone in the country could live on £2 a week and the nation was educated in the value, and nutritional value of pulses. They are very common now in the diet though and more widely used in the western world. To be honest I'm not a big fan of chickpeas, lentils and the such so haven't really sampled much from this chapter apart from the Boston baked beans! Theya re lovely and much nicer than opening your tinned beans in tomato sauce! Obviously it takes a bit more effort but the addition of treacle in there goes really well!

        Chapter 12 - Back to Baking
        As Delia points out here baking your own rather than buying shop bought cakes and things can work out up to 50% cheaper when you work it out and is also much more delicious the majority of the time. Real classic recipes here like strawberry jam sponge, sticky tea bread, good old butterfly cakes and oat crunch biscuits. I can honestly say I have made all of these and they are all extremely tasty and come out like I think they should!

        Chapter 13 -Paupers puddings
        Desserts a plenty here, making the most of seasonal fruit makes these very cheap to do. There is a lovely bread and butter pudding as well as a spotted dick in there as well. THe old fashioned honeycomb mould in there is divine as well. I will admit these take a long time to cook for a lot of some - eg the spotted dick takes 2 1/2 hours but its worth it in the end. Again these work out incrediby cheap if you have the time.

        Overall - a fascinating collection of recipes from one of the countries orginal and top TV cooks. The recipes are all very easy to follow and ingredients are set out clearly. It would have been better if the method was bullet pointed or numbered as its written as one paragraph and personally I find it difficult to follow as I loose my place! All of the recipes clearly give a portion guide but some of them are odd - there are not many recipes that are written to serve 3 people. It's usually 2 or 4. Another point to make is that there are no photos of what the finished product should look like. Not always a bad thing at least you have no expectaions to meet!

        The RRP is £17.99 but it is currently available on Amazon for £9.25 which I think is great value. ISBN no is 978340918562

        I really like the recipes in here as they are very tasty and easy to make. They use mostly cheap and common ingredients that you can easyily go and buy although I appreciate that offal and things containing lots of lard etc are not every bodys cup of tea. They are not things that can be cooked in 20 mins so not suitable for everyday use if you work long hours etc or are never at home. Luckily I am mostly at home so I have the time to stand and make them. My husband turned his nose up at a lot of the recipes initially but I made them and he actually enjoyed them. My 3 year old would turn her nose up if she understoof what was in some of them I'm sure but she happily eats her way through the book too. 4 Dooyoo stars from me - I recommend it to anyone wanting to make nutritious and cheap food.

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          06.12.2009 10:56

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          A good cookbook for a novice cook wanting cheap dishes.

          As a novice cook this book has some really good simple, and cheap recipes. It does what it says on the tin! Although the recipes are all from the 70s, I still think they are relevent today, and not dated. However it is not 'dinner party' food; it is food for family meals.

          However it also includes lots of recipes that I would never cook; for example there is a large section of dishes made with offel. It may well be cheap but I will not use it in cooking because of the yuk factor. I think though all cookbooks have these types of sections in them; sections that you would not use.

          My girlfriend's current favorite recipe of all time is the baked aubergine dish; which is easy to make. It is also down to this book that I learnt how to quarter a chicken to make the chicken and chickpea dish.

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          16.09.2009 22:21
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          Fine for those who enjoy offal, have time on their hands and can find the ingredients suggested

          I agree with the other reviews that this book could not have been released at a more appropriate time. However, my opinion of the book differs greatly from this point on.
          I found the recipes incredibly dated and to be honest a bit "naff". They smacked very much of a 1970s dinner party (which is when the book was first released) and I felt most of the recipes were not for people short on time who would struggle to find the cheaper alternatives of fish if their local supermarket didn't stock them. While some of the recipes (and a whole chapter devoted to offal!) simply turned my stomach
          I did find the introduction to each chapter interesting, but more as an insight into the dietary habits of the 70s than with any reference to food.
          I was also very disappointed with the lack of pictures as mentioned in other reviews. Perhaps it screams I am a child of the 90s but I sort of like to see what my food is supposed to look like. Particularly as Delia is trying to promote less fashionable cuts of meat or fish you may not have come across before.

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            14.02.2009 11:59
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            It will help reduce your shopping bill.

            In the current financial climate, making the most of our hard earned cash is top of most peoples agendas. Whilst food shopping is an area most people target as one they can cut back on, there is only so long you can survive on value noodles.
            This book is ideal for those situations. It has been in publication for 30+ years but the recipes are classics that are not dated.
            The recipes, all 160+ of them, show you how to use seasonal vegetables, cheaper cuts of meat and offal and make simple, quick and delicious meals that the whole family can enjoy.
            The range of recipes will also cater for most tastes. The meals include curries, chillis, soups, vegetarian, fish, French, German, Italian and lots of cakes and puddings.
            We have not managed to try out all the recipes yet, and as with most cookery books, there are a few that just don't interest us. Our personal favourites include:

            Liver & Bacon Kebabs with stuffing - 10mins to prep and 10mins to cook. Liver is very cheap.

            Goulash soup with dumplings - very filling meal. Easy to make in large quantities to last a few days.

            Haricot & lentil Chilli - very cheap ingredients and very tasty. Great served with value tortilla chips (which are better than the expensive ones in my opinion)

            One of the big problems with this book is the lack of pictures of the recipes. Books by Jamie, Gordon or Nigella all have wonderful colour photos of what the meal is supposed to end up looking like. Whilst the book is all about frugal food, it does not have to be frugal with the pictures, especially with a cover price of £17.99

            However it is currently on Amazon at £9.99

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              08.02.2009 01:04
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              A nostalgic cookbook with beautiful photography and traditional recipes.

              Originally published in 1976, Delia's Frugal Food has never been out of print; however, a new edition has been published, thanks to the current 'credit crunch.' With a colourful new hardcover and beautiful new photographs, Frugal Food is a feast for the eyes, but what of the recipes?

              The recipes are divided into chapters:

              Luxury Soups
              Eggs and Us
              Frugal Fish
              Chickens' Lib
              Forequarter Front
              Offal - But I Like You!
              Bangers Are Beautiful
              Cook For Victory
              Go With The Grain
              Who Needs Meat?!
              Quickening Pulses
              Back To Baking
              Pauper's Puddings

              Initially, the recipes don't look especially frugal; salmon fishcakes, cheese souffle and courgettes a la grecque are just some of the recipes that will raise an eyebrow as the casual observer flicks idly through this book. However, on closer inspection, there appears to be a theme emerging; bacon, eggs, cabbage, anchovies, potatoes and sausages are just a few of the commonly-occurring ingredients, which tend to be indigenous to the UK, not especially seasonal, and also fairly slow to perish - excellent for those trying to cut down on their kitchen waste. In this book, Delia encourages the use of less popular cuts of meat, such as middle neck of lamb, and dedicates a whole chapter to the cooking of offal - something I'm not personally keen on, but which is a quintessential part of British cooking.

              The techniques for the recipes are all fairly simple, and stewing, frying and roasting feature a lot. As with anything written by culinary doyenne Delia, the recipes are easy to follow and descriptive enough to make them foolproof for even the most naive novice of the kitchen.

              While the book itself has been updated for the new millenium, the recipes themselves have not. Therefore, near-extinct ingredients, such as lard, dripping, cream and curry powder, are suggested with alarming regualarity. Thankfully, St Delia has taken this into consideration, and added a note at the front of the book with suitable alternatives. For example, half-fat creme fraiche is suggested instead of 'top of the milk,' whilst groundnut oil is a replacement for lard.

              Having grown up in the instant-gratification decade that was the 90's, for me, this book is less 'nostalgia' and more 'history;' however, as an impoverished student, I can say that most of these recipes are genuinely fairly frugal, as well as being as tasty as you would expect, considering the author, though I confess I balked at the chapter on offal, while the desserts left me under-whelmed. Definately a book that I have found useful.

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                27.01.2009 21:34
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                A superb manual for a new frugal way of life (or to teach you other half how to cook)

                It couldn't have been released at a more appropriate time. With news headlines telling of a coming depression, the fear of recession is somewhat receding. In fact, some would say that the current conditions hark back to the seventies, the birth decade of the first ever issue of Delia's Frugal Food.

                Cynics might claim that Delia is cashing in the current climate. After all, when everyone is trying to cut back on superfluous spending, and food being a big factor in that, what better time to release such a guaranteed winner? To the cynics, I say it looks like this was already considered, and the opening note from Delia carries a small paragraph stating that the authors royalties go to charity.

                So, the book... First published 32 years ago, the book has never actually been out of print, but has made a sudden comeback this year with a return of the desire to be frugal. The original prints were always paper back; however, the new edition is a full colour (green and purple),full of photographs. In place of the mug of Delia splashed across the front, you have a most appetising pic of a Savoy Cabbage!

                The recipe book contains 170 recipes in total. At first glance through, they look a bit extravagant. Look a little closer and you will see that all of the ingredients are available everywhere, often fresh and very cheap. The introductory pages also include lots of first hand advice from Delia herself on living frugally, particularly in the Cheap Charter.

                The book is split into sections of:

                Luxury Soups
                Eggs and Us
                Frugal Fish
                Chickens' Lib
                Forequarter front
                Offal, but I like you
                Bangers are beautiful
                Cook for Victory
                Go with the grain
                Who needs meat?!
                Quickening pulses
                Back to baking
                Pauper's puddings


                Each section has a wealth of traditional recipes, takes on traditional recipes and some outright inventions (with traditional ingredients). Nearly all of the ingredients are indigenous foods, making them cheaper, more accessible and more likely to still be around if we struggle to import foodstuffs in the coming years.

                This book takes good, old style British cooking back to its frugal roots, with recipes for basic stocks, liver and onion, homemade pies and omelettes. Some of the more continental sounding recipes are as plain as could be. Take, for example, the exotic sounding Potage Paysanne. That's veggie soup to you and I, with a different selection of veg than your usual Carrot, Leek and Potato. But nothing that you can't find down the good old local market.

                Initially I bought this book for my partner, who was desperate to learn to cook but was terrified of normal recipe books, finding them too complicated, with strange ingredients and even stranger methods. He's got off to a flying start with this tome and I think it's his new best friend. So simple and easy to follow, with delicious food at the end.

                We've tried quite a few of the recipes thus far in our new moneysaving drive, and we are not disappointed. Anyone can cook cheap, but this book allows you to cook cheap, varied and delicious. It was well worth the £9 spent, although at an RRP of £17.99, make sure you do the frugal thing and shop around. It's hardly money saving paying full price!

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