Gin and dinner go together but perhaps not directly in the food, a cheeky G & T with an easy and delicious bit of grub sounds great but if you think about adding it into the food, hhmmmmmm. But I am here to tell you folks, it works, weirdly.
You can get your mitts on gin at so many different price points and levels of quality of course but with Aldi and Lidl doing award-winning gins for a tenner and under, there is no reason why you can’t turn your everyday dinner, into something a little more exciting.
I have to set some boundaries and criteria right? Okay so, the overall price of the dinner has to be less than a tenner for let’s say you are your partner, much less if possible, and the gin has to be cooked into the food, I mean after all it is a school night so let’s not go mad!
I have come up with 5 easy, cheap and delicious weekday dinners that use gin to spice things up a bit. So let’s dive right in.
What You Need:
– Garlic to taste
– Whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge
– Bit of chicken or whatever is left over from Sunday dinner (this recipe would be great for a Monday)
– chicken stock or stock cubes
– Saffron powder
– splash of gin
– Rice (Paella or Risotto rice)
– bit of fresh lemon to finish
This dish is easy peasy, at the title suggests it literally is a one-pot wonder, think of it as a cheap and cheerful version on Paella. Chop an onion and as much or as little garlic as you like and pop it in a saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic in some oil until soft. Add in the rice and coat in the oil, onion and garlic. Add in whatever chop veggies you have knocking around I.E aubergine, courgette, but whatever will do. Then add in enough chicken stock and water to coat everything plus an extra inch. Stir every now and again and as you see the rice having nearly absorbed all the liquid, add in a good splash of gin to deglaze the plan and bind everything. Add in whatever leftover meat you have from Sunday dinner along with a pinch of saffron powder (if you have it, not a deal breaker) and season to taste.
Serve up about 2 or 3 mins later and squeeze some fresh lemon on the top and enjoy.
2) Gin Glazed Steak
What You Need:
– Whatever cut of steak you have in the freezer
Prep whatever veggies you like to have with your steak and some tatties and get them all in the oven. About 10 minutes before they are done, you can get to work on the steak.
When fully defrosted, get the steak out onto a chopping board and season well. Melt some butter in a pan with a splash of oil to stop the butter burning. Then when the pan is nice an hot get the steak in. Cook until its the right colour for you, but as its near done, tilt the pan a little towards the flame and add in a shot of gin. The pan will flame but don’t worry it will die down but as it does, add in a few sprigs of rosemary, a chopped garlic clove and some more butter then continually baste the steak in the mixture for 2 mins. Then serve up and drizzle a little of the gin-buttery-garlicky-deliciousness over the steak and veggies!
What You Need:
– dried or fresh pasta
Chop an onion and as much or as little garlic as you like and pop it in a saucepan with some oil and butter. Wait until the onions have caramelised then add the chopped onions. Reduce everything down until its nice and soft then get the pasta on. While the pasta is cooking down and once the mushrooms and got nice and soft and nutty, season well. Then add in a good splash of gin and a good old glug of fresh cream or creme fresh and combine. I like to add some frozen peas too and let them cook for a bit together. Then add the pasta to the sauce (make sure your pan is big enough) but this is the real Italian way, never sauce to pasta, always pasta to the sauce! combine together then add an offensive amount of parmesan and enjoy.
What You Need:
– A few sprigs of thyme
– 1 garlic clove, chopped
– 1 tbsp runny honey
Essy peasy- Preheat the oven to 180c.Cut the top layer of wax off the Camembert and bury a little garlic and thyme into the cheese. This will infuse and give flavour. In a separate dish, squeeze your honey and stir in the gin. Take the gin and honey mixture and pour into the camembert. Place the lid back on then add a little more gin and honey, a few time leaves and some crushed pepper. Pop the cheese into the oven until deliciously gooey and soft. Serve it with a bit of grilled chicken and veggies.
What You Need:
– Oddles of cheap and cheerful gouda or cheddar, pre-grated if you like or whatever is on offer at the supermarket, you are cooking it down so it’s all good!
– Bread (you can even use bread as its gone a bit dry
– Boiled potatoes
– Whatever veggies you fancy
This is bonkers easy but looks proper flash, ita a good Friday night tea or something to impress your loved one. Prep the veggies, get em washed and into bite sizes pieces and arrange in a pretty manner on a serving tray. Boil some potatoes as well, skin on is fine. If you have some fresh bread that’s a little dry, its perfect of fondue too!
Then in a pan on a really low heat add a little hot water, just a tiny bit like 5 tablespoons, then add in all the cheese, slowly melt the cheese while adding a nob of butter to add creaminess. As the cheese is nearly fully melted, add in a shot of gin and a few sprigs of rosemary and a clove of garlic and incorporate the gin. Once the gin is fully combined, remove the garlic and the rosemary sprig as they were just for a little flavour. Then serve up, it’s literally as easy as that!
CONCLUSION So there you have it, 5 easy as all heck recipes, great weekday dinners on a budget. I hope you enjoy these recipes, be experimental and let me know how you get on!
This blog was written with our friends at Ilovegin.com sign up to their subscription for you (or as a Christmas present) and enjoy new and artisan gin & tonics sent to your house every month! You get 2 different gins and tonics, its honestly a good stocking filler or a cheeky gift for yourself!
Happiest in the kitchen feeding the 3 children who are constantly hungry. Lucky enough to have worked in a Pro kitchen on a voluntary basis to learn the tricks of the trade.. Buckinghams The restaurant with one Table. With Chef Nick Buckingham.(RIP)