Budget Bites: 7 recipes that break every rule in the book

Can chips be mixed in a soup? Surely everything would work in a waffle maker? And who says you can’t use garlic bread in bread and butter pudding?

Learning the rules of cooking is one thing, but “rules are meant to be broken…especially in food,” says Ben Ebbrell, chef and co-founder of Sorted Food. “In fact, those who make the rules often break them first.”

Take Auguste Escoffier, for example, the chef often considered the father of modern gastronomy. “Centuries of dense, meat-and-two-vegetable food have been abandoned in favor of its unique brand of French-influenced fine dining — much to the shock of the restaurant elite,” Ebbrell tells me.

Sorted’s new and third cookbook, the aptly named Cannot be plagued with rules, is to question our way of cooking. Eight chapters of dishes full of tricks – from using “cheat” ingredients to ingenious ways to use your kitchen gadgets – save you time, effort and money, while offering maximum of flavor.

The inventive range includes instant ramen e pepe, leek and kettle chip soup, naanzanella and chive and waffle blinis with smoked salmon – because waffle irons are not just for waffles.

Whether your rotation needs an overhaul or you’re just CBA at cooking (it happens to the best of us), say goodbye to boring dinner parties with our favorite dishes from the new book.


Serves: 2


For the naanzanella:

2 naan breads, torn into pieces (250g)

2 tablespoons olive oil

300 g mixed ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon of salt

For dressing:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cm minced ginger

2 green chillies, thinly sliced

10 curry leaves, fresh

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

1 teaspoon of sugar

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped


For the naanzanella

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the torn naan on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and mix with the salt. Let sit while you continue with the dressing.

For dressing

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer and loosen, add the seeds, garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves with a big pinch of salt and fry for 2 minutes until thickened. garlic turns golden. Add shallots, tamarind paste, sugar and remove from heat. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

To serve

Add the naan pieces, dressing and cilantro to the bowl of tomatoes and mix well. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before sharing and enjoying.

Blue Musk Cheese Orzo


Serves: 4


½ butternut squash, peeled and finely diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ small bunch sage, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

4 tablespoons crispy shallots

200g orzo

1 vegetable stock cube

100g blue cheese


Toss the butternut squash into a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Add oil, sage, garlic and shallots. Stir well then cover with cling film and microwave on high power for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir everything, collect and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Fill the kettle and put it to boil.

Pour in the orzo, crumble the stock cube and pour in 600ml boiling water from the kettle – it should just cover the mixture. Season with a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Microwave uncovered on full power in 3 minute bursts until the orzo is tender but still has a slight bite and the liquid has reduced to a loose risotto-like consistency. Top up with a little more hot water if the orzo dries out before it softens.

Once the orzo is ready, stir in ¾ of the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning and the distribution between your bowls. Crumble the rest of the cheese, a few sage leaves, drizzle with a little olive oil and enjoy!

Instant Ramen e Pepe


Serves: 2


2 packets of instant ramen, chicken or pork flavor (200 g total)

50g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons of black pepper

50g Pecorino Romano

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds


Fill a medium saucepan with water and add the ramen stock powder packets. Place the pan over high heat.

While the water is boiling, pour the butter into a large skillet and place it over low heat.

Grind the pepper into the butter and toast for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant, then remove the pan from the heat.

Once the water has come to a boil, add the noodles and boil for 2-3 minutes, until tender but slightly crisp.

Once the noodles are ready, use tongs to transfer them to the pan with the butter and pepper.

Return the pan to medium heat and mix everything together. Add a little of the noodle cooking water to make a loose emulsion that coats them.

Remove the pan from the heat and grate more than ¾ of the Pecorino. Mix everything together, then season to taste with salt.

Divide the noodles into bowls, grate the remaining Pecorino, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Instant Vegan Chocolate Pudding


Serves: 4


For the pudding:

125 g dairy-free chocolate

300g silken tofu, drained

30g stalk ginger

1 orange, zest

To serve:

1 orange

1 tablespoon cocoa nibs


Melt the chocolate in a large glass bowl in the microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring after each burst to make sure the chocolate melts evenly.

Blend the tofu with the ginger, 50ml of its syrup and the orange zest in a food processor until silky smooth. Slowly stir in chocolate, mixture should resemble loose whipped cream.

Divide into bowls, finely grate the zest of 1 orange and sprinkle with cocoa nibs.

Leek soup and kettle fries


Serves: 4


For the soup:

100g unsalted butter

2 large leeks, thinly sliced

500ml vegetable stock

75g salted crisps

½ small bunch of parsley

½ small bunch of dill

100g fresh cream

200ml water

To serve:

Chili oil, for drizzling

Crispy bread


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, discard the leeks, cover with a lid, and sweat for 8-10 minutes, until softened.

Pour the broth, crisps and a large grind of pepper into the saucepan, increase the heat to high and boil until they have reduced by ⅓.

Add the herbs to the saucepan with the crème fraîche and water and blend until smooth, adjusting the consistency with a little water as you go. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide between bowls and top with chilli oil. Serve with crusty bread.

Baked Eggs with Garlic Butter Pot Mushrooms


Serves: 2


75g of butter

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated

1½ tablespoon of pot

5 Portobello mushrooms, cut into chunks

4 large eggs

To serve:

2 tablespoons sour cream

¼ bunch finely chopped parsley

Sourdough bread, toasted


Preheat the oven to 200C.

Place a large skillet over medium heat, then add the butter, garlic and pot. Let the butter melt then sauté the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour ¼ of the mixture into a small bowl ready to serve later.

Increase the heat to high, add the mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until golden, sticky and glazed.

Create 4 divots in the golden mushrooms and break an egg into each. Fry without disturbing for 1-2 minutes, then bake for 7-8 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still jiggly.

Once the eggs are ready, drizzle them with the remaining butter mixture. Drizzle with sour cream, sprinkle with parsley and serve with sourdough toast.

Chive waffle blinis with smoked salmon


Serves: 4


For the chive blinis:

2 large eggs

300ml milk

60g melted butter

1 small bunch of chives

130g self-rising flour

100g plain flour

1 teaspoon fast acting dry yeast

1 tablespoon caster sugar

Vegetable oil, for greasing

To serve:

6 tablespoons fresh cream

200g smoked salmon

4 tablespoons of capers

½ red onion, thinly sliced

¼ bunch dill


Blend the eggs, milk, butter and chives in a blender until smooth. Stir in the flours, baking powder, sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Let sit for 40 minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble and foam.

Preheat the waffle maker to medium-high and preheat the oven to 150°C – this is to keep your waffle blinis warm later.

Once the dough is ready, lightly grease the waffle maker and pour in ¼ of the mixture. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until fully browned, then transfer to a tray and keep warm in the oven, repeating with the rest of the blinis waffle batter.

Once the waffles are ready, serve with the fresh cream, smoked salmon, capers, onion and dill leaves.

‘Can’t Be Arsed With Rules’ recipes by Sorted Food chefs, available for purchase here (£30 or buy as a bundle here for £65 to get an annual subscription).

In response to the rising cost of living, we’ve teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month. Learn more about Sorted and their nifty meal planning app Sidekick at sortedfood.com/sidekick.

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