SideView’stheme for this weekend is “Unexpected”. Since this is mainly a food blog I have decided to blog about feeding unexpected guests, which I have done many times over the past years.
With three children who have loads of friends, I have learned to make supper or lunch with things that I have in my grocery cupboard and fridge.
I have also “stretched” food, like you will see with this hot prawn salad that I have blogged about, here!
The secret to feeding unexpected guests is having some essential groceries in your grocery cupboard and fridge.
I always have the following ingredients in my pantry:
Tins of tomato,
Tins of tuna,
In my fridge:
and then bread, of course! Teenagers and men love bread!
You can feed quite a large amount of people with a packet or two of pasta. Cook the pasta and toss with some basil pesto. Basil pesto is easy to make and if you replace the pine nuts with almonds it is also not so expensive! Chef Caro has an excellent recipe for Pesto – go here for the recipe! You can serve the pesto pasta as is, or add any of the following: chopped fried bacon, sliced chorizo or salami or ham or cooked chicken, fresh chopped tomatoes, cubed cheddar cheese or feta.
Another great sauce to make for pasta is with tinned tomatoes – you can find the recipe here! You can serve the pasta topped with the tomato sauce only or add other ingredients, such as feta and/or olives and/or basil pesto. You can also add any sliced cooked meat to this.
With a tin or two of tuna you can also feed unexpected guests with tuna pasta. Big Joe posted a very delicious tuna pasta recipe a while back. Leave out the anchovies and olives to make it more cost effective! You can find the recipe here! You can also make delicious tuna fish cakes and serve it with homemade fries. Sue Chef posted a recipe for easy tuna fish cakes and you can find the recipe here!
Baked spuds are always a winner! Bake potatoes until cooked. Cut of the top, scoop out some of the flesh, mix with some grated cheddar and fresh or dry parsley, spoon back into shells and bake for another 10 minutes. You can also mix the potato flesh with a tin of tomatoes or a tin of tuna or some baked beans, return to the shell, sprinkle with some grated cheddar and bake for another 10 minutes. Another great idea is to make a potato soup – you can go here to find a delicious potato soup recipe. You can always make some chips! Simply peel potatoes and slice into thick 1cm slices. Heat oil and fry the chips in batches until cooked. Place on kitchen paper to drain the oil and serve with salt and tomato sauce! If you have already started cooking a stew, for example, you can always add potatoes to stretch the dish to feed more people!
You can make a simple pasta by roasting cubed butternut with some thyme in the oven. Toss through some cooked pasta and serve with some grated cheddar cheese (or parmesan). Butternut soup is simply delicious and can feed a crowd! Go here for a budget butternut soup recipe, posted by Simply delicious! For a simple salad roast loads of cubed butternut, toss with mixed lettuce and cubes of feta. Drizzle some cubed bread with olive oil and bake in the oven to make croutons. Top the salad with the croutons and serve as is or with some sliced left over meat such as roast chicken, steak, leg of lamb or biltong!
Grease some muffin trays, mould bread into trays. Brush with some melted butter and bake for 10 minutes – fill with anything that you have available – go here for a delicious recipe! Simply make some cheddar cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches or tuna mayonnaise sandwiches. Baked beans heated and cooked with fried onion and garlic on toasted bread, topped with a baked or poached egg, is very filling. One of the nicest open sandwiches that I have ever tasted is bread topped with tinned tuna, mixed with sliced banana and mayonnaise and then topped with grated cheddar cheese and baked in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes!
Eggs are also very versatile! Make a frittata. Mix 8 eggs with 125ml cream and 30 ml chopped fresh parsley. Pour into a frying pan. Fry an onion and two cubed potatoes together in a little bit of oil until the potato is cooked. Add some diced tomatoes and pour over the egg mixture. Add some grated cheddar cheese or crumbed feta and cook over low heat until cooked. You can also add a tin of drained tuna, cooked butternut or any cooked left-over meat. You can also make a couple of omelets, plain or filled, served with a side salad. Scrambled eggs on toast are always a winner!
You can always make some pizzas! It takes some time, but you can add anything that is in your fridge and/or grocery cupboard as a topping!
I hope you will be able to accommodate unexpected guests to lunch or supper after this!