So, no-one fancied linking up to my Frugal Food idea last week but I LOVED reading your tips in the comments section so I'm carrying on regardless, sharing my frugal food ideas.
Did you ever read that children's book about the magic porridge pot that kept producing more and more porridge until it flooded the entire village? Each time I make risotto, that story pops into my mind because no matter how little rice I seem to put into the pot - it grows to ridiculously large proportions making enough to feed an army!
Risotto is a wonderful way to eat like a king on a small budget and it doesn't have to be babied in the pretentious manner that it's often shown on the telly.
You can make it meaty, make it cheesy (a great way to use up those bits of cheese in the fridge that look a bit dry and undesirable), make it vegelicious (using fresh, cooked or frozen vegetables). You can throw in beans, lentils, leftovers. You can go crazy with herbs and flavourings, you can add wine, cream, butter and fresh herbs when you're a bit more flush, you can make it savoury or sweet (think rice-pudding with extras).
You can cook it on the hob, in the oven, in the slow cooker - it's so versatile but at the same time it is filling, comforting and delicious.
Although you do get better results with arborio rice, risotto can be made with pretty much any kind of rice and a cupful will expand to generously feed four people making it super frugal.
Leftover risotto is often tasty cold for lunch the next day or can be made into little patties to stretch it into another meal (be sure to heat it through properly as re-heating rice incorrectly can make you ill).
My favourite at the moment is red onion, garlic, butternut squash and sage, made with chicken stock and sprinkled with lots of black pepper. It's becoming a lunchtime staple on these cold days.
What's your favourite kind of risotto?