All posts filed under: Budget Meals

All Stuck Up – Chicken Paella, on a Stick

I know at times, it seems that I’m all in for making simple food look impossibly difficult – 76.4% of my recipes should attest to that. But, let’s clear the air here. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not that I want to frighten the bejeezus out of you so you’ll Never want to try them. It’s that:  * I believe in being thorough. There’s nothing… Nothing.. I hate more than a recipe that leaves things off the list… it really cranks my rice krispies. * I believe you should have everything you could possibly need spelled out. Because, let’s face it. Left to your own devices, some of you wont read the entire recipe, or will make  * your own substitutions, or just get the general gist of the instructions and “Damn the torpedoes – Full speed ahead!” – – -and then complain because it didn’t turn out right. * I believe, that given exhaustive instructions, anyone can cook what I give you. And really, that’s the beginning of trying anything new. Read …

Weeknight Meals – Salisbury Steak

Although the creation of Salisbury Steak is attributed to Dr. J.H. Salisbury  as a means of creating a lower calorie diet in the same odd turn-of-the-century healthcare craze that gave us Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, the “true” Salisbury Steak bares little resemblance to what we make today.  In his book, “The Relation of Alimentation and Disease”, he describes it as  lean, center-cut round – chopped with all the sinew, fat and tendon removed – broiled….. and served with a little Worcestershire Sauce. I know… sounds dreadful. Thank God we turned it into meatloaf patties… because, you know… meatloaf IS so much better for you. ________________________________________________________________ Here’s the thing with the modern Salisbury Steak. While is it’s still a kind of a meat loaf thing, there are a few differences: It’s meat – of course There is some sort of extender – be it grated potatoes, rice, bread crumbs (although thoughts differ on that part of it. Me? I like a little bread) There are vegetables – usually onions and / or celery Seasoning – Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper, …

Egg Smash, and Linguine Carbonara

  Since we’re still coping with the effects of the egg accident, we still have 3 or so eggs worth of liquid in the container… and I was jonzing for some pasta… and cheese… and porky goodness –   So tonight it’s Linguine Carbonara. Yeah, yeah… I know “raw eggs in pasta just doesn’t rattle your Rhubarb”, but it does mine. So if you have aversions to… or want to rant about the unsanitariness of eating raw eggs… or just want to sell your own particular brand of crazy here…. go away. I can’t be bothered. Here’s the thing – the eggs aren’t raw. Adding the egg mixture to freshly drained pasta cooks it very gently – creating an almost creamy, custard coating for the linguine. It should completely coat the strands and not puddle in the bottom of the bowl. If, for some freakish reason, it has… then you did it wrong. Traditional carbonara consists of: Some Cured Pork Product – I’ve used a combination of super fatty bacon and Capicola because I prefer …

Egg Smash, and the Tater Tot Frittata

  Usually, I’m pretty conscientious when I go shopping… I bring my own bags, I load my cart with fragile things tucked under or in the little flippy basket, I arrange things on the conveyor checkout thingy so bruisy – easily damaged things don’t end up under the laundry detergent, and I don’t let them bag my crap in 10,000 flimsy plastic bags. I hate those things. Loading them into the trunk and hauling 60 bags into the house with 2 things in it just makes me crazy. But I was distracted. … and I forgot my bags … and before I could go all insane old man on them, they had bagged my entire haul into 22 little plastic bags. So I wheeled my cart full of windsocks out to the car and barreled home in a fury. I was still irritated when I got home, and I began snatching handfuls of lightly filled bags – not really paying attention to what I was doing… and slung the  bag with 2 lemons and a dozen …

Cookbook Sunday, and a little tail

I have no illusions that this post will resonate with a vast majority of readers. Just as well as I know that 80% of you probably wouldn’t  make this dish even as a last resort. These revelations come to me due in a very large part to the fact that I picked up 6 (that’s six) 2 pound packages of Ox Tail ( at an amazing $2.95 a package) from the market this week because they were in the burn-out bin – meaning… no one wanted to buy them. In a way, I get it. It isn’t a particularly attractive cut of meat. It can be an extremely tough cut to do something with, it’s mostly bone, and you can’t throw it on a grill. It takes time, effort and more that a squoosh of love to coax the delectable flavors out of the oxen’s swishing business end. But invest the time and effort and you have something truly worth eating. This week’s cookbook of choice is (drum-roll, please) Beef and Veal from the The Good Cook Series Time / Life Books, …

All that, and a can of fish…

Some people have never bought (or admitted you’ve bought) a can of salmon. Really, I get it. It’s fish… cooked in a can. That there’s skin and little bits of bone in there with the fish… doesn’t really make it all that appetizing either…. … as far as tinned fish goes. As an “entitled” friend of mine once put it –  “No, I don’t eat that crap…. it’s poor people food.” We haven’t spoken much since I fed him smoked salmon dip. Truth be told, I love me some salmon in a can. One of my favorite meals as a kid was salmon patties, cream gravy and biscuits. There’s just something about that crispy browned outside – the creamy, rich, salmon-y inside with those oddly crunchy bits of bone, smothered in a quart of peppery cream gravy – just makes me all warm and gooey inside. The thing is (with fish in a can) is you have to put your food snobbery and gastronomic horror aside, look past what it is… and envision what it can be. …

Some days…

… it’s about the food. Some days, it’s all about the technique and process. Some days… well, it’s just about me… and what makes me feel good. Today is one of those days. Cheese makes me happy… lots of cheese. Thank the lord that lactose intolerant gene thingy passed me by All dressed up Spreading a little mayo on the outside of the bread before grilling keeps the grilled cheese from burning and makes for some sexy browned goodness about 3 min per side over medium heat should do it Tomato Soup makes me happy, too… That’s one can of tomato soup, one can of milk and a half a can of tomato juice. The “new and improved” Campbell’s Soup is markedly too sweet. Like lambs to the slaughter A suitably large bowl is a necessity Guaranteed to put the stops to any bad day Or, if that doesn’t do it… chunk the sammich up and douse it with soup.