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Family Favourites - as published in The Fisherman

March heralds the start of spring and, of course, Mother’s Day. This year it’s Sunday 14th March (so no excuses!). Easter is just around the corner on Sunday 4th April so there’s two good reasons to get your cook on! March also brings us the joys of Budget Day which made us consider how it’s possible to feed your family well without breaking the bank. Some family favourites can be relatively inexpensive, balanced and always popular.

Batter mix comes into its own at this time of year. No sooner have we put away the ingredients from pancake day but we can reach again for them for warming, comforting, feel-good food.

Toad in the hole is so easy to make – just brown some sausages of your choice for 15 minutes, whisk up a smooth batter mix and then add the sausages to a roasting dish, cover with the batter and bake for 20-30 minutes until the batter is risen and golden. At its most basic level toad in the hole uses 5 ingredients (sausages, sunflower oil, flour, eggs, milk). To create a twist you could add a tsp of wholegrain mustard and some mixed herbs to your batter mix. We recommend serving with some caramelised onions, peas, mash potato and a hearty gravy.

If you can’t resist a good old Yorkshire pudding, then why not experiment with creating large ones and filling them with roast dinner ingredients such as chicken slices, stuffing balls, chipolatas, and mash covered in gravy for a lovely, easy midweek dish? It makes a great alternative to a Sunday roast as well.

A more Mediterranean twist on keeping it low cost and using up pancake batter is to create a stack of pancakes and fill each layer with a tasty mince mixture, top with cheese and bake in the oven until you have a delicious pancake lasagne! You can also fill half a pancake with a creamy, spinach and chicken mixture, fold over, seal around the edges, top with parmesan and bake.

At Paul Shum Family Butcher we have always made it our ethos to provide the very best, locally sourced meat and accompaniments but we always keep everything accessible and affordable. This extends across our deli as well. We really enjoy sourcing new things - cheeses, cold cuts, olives and creating home-made pies - but we like to keep everything sensibly priced. Quality is the key to all good food of course.

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