Friday, January 16, 2015

Rebozados (Crisp-Fried Shrimp), Roasted Potatoes, and Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions

This past Friday, January 9th, was the birthday of St. Josemaria Escriva. In celebration, this week's international meal is Rebozados from Spain. In Bittman's International book, it's on pg. 92. As one cannot only eat fried shrimp for dinner (though I am happily tempted), I am adding my own roasted potatoes and sautéed mushrooms & onions in the style of Julia Child.

Yazza Roasted Potatoes
Ingredients & Prices

about 3 lbs Russett potatoes - $1.49 (BJs)
1 medium yellow onion - $0.23 (FL)
4 Tbsp Butter - $0.36 (BJs)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil - $0.32 (FL)
Sea Salt  - $0.02
Fresh Ground Pepper - $0.02
about 2 cloves garlic - $0.13

Potatoes: $2.57

 Mushrooms & Onions

1 T Butter - $0.09
2 T Olive Oil - $0.16
8 ounces sliced mushrooms - $1.59 (FL)
1/2 medium yellow onion - $0.12
salt & pepper to taste - $0.03

M&Os: $1.99

MB's Rebozados 

2 eggs - $0.50
1 tsp olive oil - $0.03
1 T minced fresh parsley - $0.10
1/4 tsp crumbled saffron (or more) - $1.50
1/2 tsp baking soda - $0.01
1/4 tsp salt - $0.01
1/4 tsp cayenne - $0.13
3/4 C flour - $0.09
Olive Oil for deep-frying - $1.92
1 lb small shrimp, peeled - $8.99
lemon or lime juice - $0.10
(Mark says fresh wedges, but I don't have any)

Rebozados: $13.38

Total Price for 2 Adults, 3 kids, only leftover potatoes: $17.94

Order of Things

I'm putting the potatoes on over an hour before I want to eat, as they take longer than I think every time. I'm roasting them at 400 degrees. in a glass casserole dish, just all the stuff tossed in there as evenly as I can make it happen. I chop the potatoes to about 1-2" cubes, or what one calls cubes as we lack such things as rectangular potatoes. Also, I put the frozen raw shrimp in a colander under coldish tap water. It's 4:21 now, and I'm starting. Prep Stop time: 4:31. Potatoes are in the oven.

Now I'll peel the shrimp. That also always takes way longer than I expect. 4:34-4:46. Ok, it's 5 on the nose. The shrimp & batter are ready to go, so I'm going to make the mushrooms and start heating the oil. I'll wait for my husband to get home to fry the shrimp. Alright, Julia would probably slap my hand for cooking the mushrooms so closely together. But I'm not Julie. This is Food&Money.
Now I'm just waiting for the boys to get home to fry. The oil's hot.

Next time I make this, I'll use vegetable oil to fry (I don't think it was worth it to use the olive oil, I don't care what Mark says), and I'll put more garlic in the potatoes, cause roasted garlic is amazing.
Y'all should make these shrimps. They look so neat, and they're, well, they're yummy.


                                       ME      HUSBAND    8yo   4yo   2yo        AVG

Health                            7                6                 10     10    10           8.6

Flavor                            7                8                 7       10    3              7

Fun to Eat                     9                9                 7       10    2             7.4  

Presentation                  7                8                1         1     1             3.6

OVERALL                   6                 8                9         9     5             7.4

The rankings are only for the shrimp.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mark Bittman's Hainanese Chicken Rice with Ginger-Chile Sauce

Mark Bittman's Hainanese Chicken Rice with Ginger-Chile Sauce

Hainanese Chicken Rice
Ingredients & Prices
One 3-4 lb Chicken - @ 1.09/lb (BJs) - 4.55
1 t salt-$0.01
3 T roughly chopped garlic - $0.20
5 slices fresh ginger, peeled & smashed - $0.42
1/4 C peanut oil - $0.35 (FL)
3 shallots, roughly chopped - $1.75 (FL)
2 C long-grain rice - $0.38 (BJ's)
salt & black pepper to taste $0.02
2 T dark sesame oil - $0.40 (FL)
Ginger-Chile Sauce (See below)
2 Tomatoes, sliced - $1.66 (BJ's)
2 Cucumbers, peeled & sliced - $1.69 (FoodLion)
1/4 Cup minced scallion - I subbed green onions here - $0.45 (FL)
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish $0.04 (FL)
Not part of the recipe, but we added toasted sesame seeds, too. $0.10 (I don't remember where I got these)

Ginger-Chile Sauce
Ingredients & Prices
6-10 Fresh Chiles - $1.22 (FL)
1 jalapeño, 1 cowhorn, 2 other green peppers
10 garlic cloves, peeled - $0.50
1/4 cup peeled & roughly chopped fresh ginger $0.84
1/4 C lime juice - $0.36
1 T sugar - $0.03
Salt to taste

Total: $14.97


We decided on a ranking system. We're rating Healthiness, Flavour, How fun it was to eat, Overall, and I'm adding a Prettiness rating. 10 is best, 1 is worst.

                         ME             HUSBAND                8yo              4yo               1yo            AVG

Healthiness     10                      10                          9                   9                   10             9.6

Flavour            8                        7                           8                   10                 10             8.6

Fun                   9                       4                           8                    8                   10            7.8

Prettiness         10                                                                                                             10

OVERALL       7                      6                          9                     1                    10            6.6

You'll notice the ranking's a little skewed by the 1 year old, but the craziness of the 4 year old kinda makes up for it. :)

Here's what the overall rankings mean:

1 - The husband will actually tell me please to not make it again.

2 - The husband just might actually say please to not make it again.

3 - The husband might say he doesn't like it in front of the kids.

4 - The husband will be sad if he had to eat it again.

5 - If the husband had to eat it again, he wouldn't object.

6 - The husband would like to eat it again.

7 - The husband may ask for it again.

8 - The husband will definitely ask for it again.

9 - The husband may ask for it again more than once.

10 - The husband will ask to have this regularly.

Notes: The kids didn't eat the chile sauce, I didn't even try, it was rather spicy. This was enough food for 2 adults and 3 kids for dinner, plus I saved the chicken legs and one person's worth for 1 adult, 2 young kids for lunch today. Overall, the price is okay, but this is not a budget meal by any stretch.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Challenge - Weekly International Meals

2015 International Meals Challenge!

The challenge for 2015 (since I haven't done a challenge in a few years!) is to make a new international meal once per week. I've got a great jumping off point with Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World as my cookbook. Today's only the 3rd day of the year, so I've plenty of time left to get my first meal done, and I'm going with something simple and Chinese. I'll be making his Hainanese Chicken Rice. I chose it as the first whole chicken meal that should be served hot from his poultry section, so pretty much totally at random. I'll do my shopping either today or Monday and make the meal Monday or Tuesday. If you're interested in joining me, it's on page 275. The post will be up by the end of next week, and I'll let you know what I'm making next. I'll post the ingredients and prices as usual, though my family is a bit larger and hungrier these days, so I'll be preparing larger portions of everything. My oldest is now 8, and there are now 4 kids! I can't wait to get back on the Food & Money way of life! See y'all soon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits

These are super yummy.  I make them so often, the ingredients are on the sticky note inside my cabinet with the tortilla recipe. They're from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. However, I disobey him. He says not to bother souring milk, but I find the soured milk version to be super fantastic, and so so much better than spending money on buttermilk that I'm not going to use all of it anyway. But anyhow, here's how much it costs. 


2 Cups Flour - $0.26
1 tsp salt - $0.01
3 tsp Baking Powder - $0.12
1 tsp Baking Soda -  $0.03
5 T Butter, cold, chopped into bits - $0.31
(nota bene - Mark says use 2-5, more being better,
 I'm with him. More. Also, BJ's is awesome - 
I got salted butter for $1.95/pound) 
A jot less than 7/8 Cup of Milk (I use whole) - $0.19 (my gal was 3.18)
1 T Lemon Juice - $0.06

First make the buttermilk by pouring the milk into a liquid measuring cup. Eyeball it, so it's about halfway between 3/4 and 7/8 of a cup. Add the lemon juice and stir. Set aside. Don't take too long moving on, here.

Look, you can see it souring. Cool, huh?

Mix together dry ingredients. Toss in butter pieces and rub between your fingers to mix. Speedy like, cause your hands will melt the butter. Then add in the buttermilk and stir nice and juicy like. 
Pour some flour on a countertop. Wipe the batter onto the flour. Add some more flour to the top, and pat down. Give a cute little girl a glass, and let her shape the biscuits.

Place on non-stick cookie sheets, bake in pre-heated oven at 450 for around 7 minutes. Judge your oven for yourself. Mine has some hotspots, a tendency not to be hot enough, and is gas. So that's mine.

Sorry no picture of done-ones. They get eaten too fast. I like to double the recipe and freeze half. If you do this, make sure to defrost your dough or you get uncooked middles.

Total Cost for 12 Biscuits (1 recipe): $0.98

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pasta Challenge - Week 2 - Shanghai Noodles

Week 2 brings us Shanghai Noodles. This recipe is fantastic, and the leftovers are just as good. We had a ton leftover, and all was gone in two days. We're giving it a 5 out of 5 stars. I also will be adding this recipe to my store of staples, as the price is good as well as the flavor.


6 T oil - $0.18
2-4 T sesame oil - $0.40 (I used 4T)
4 C shredded cabbage (I used a head) - $2.29
1 C chopped green onion - $1.99
16 ounces angel hair pasta - $1.29
4-8 T soy sauce (I used 6 and more at table) - $0.64
8 ounces sliced cooked chicken breasts - $2.46
2 cans bean sprouts - $2.49 (I used only 1 can, as I was running out of space in my wok).
 1 yellow onion - $0.45

This meal is really easy, too, but you have to have a huge pan or a wok if you want to make as much as I did all at once, and if you do, still expect a mess. I made quite a mess on the stovetop. 
First, grab a few chicken breasts and steam them in your rice cooker. If you can't steam 'em, you can saute', broil, or boil them. As you wish. I like the rice steamin' idea, though, as they end up moist and delish if you toss in an onion.

ewww, raw stuff
Cook that angel hair pasta, but not too long at all. Boil the water and stir the pasta about for maybe four minutes. Remember it's going to cook again in the wok.

I liked this brand of pasta. yum

boiley, boiley
For the rest of my cooking experience this meal, I was holding my cute lil yum-tastic baby, so I didn't get any more cooking shots.

Would you deny him mama-time? Super cuteness.
Heat the oils in the wok/super big pan. Add the cabbage and chopped green onion and saute for about 10 minutes. Yes, the recipe on says 5, but it's not possible to do so. I'm telling you. There's way too much cabbage to move it all around that fast. Add pasta, soy sauce, chicken, and bean sprouts. (PS - you can totally go sans chicken on a meal-less Friday or just for money saving spectacularness). Stir it about for what feel like you've just done some serious lat-pulling. Then do it some more, so it's all mixed up and even-like. Here's what you get. It'll be sticky and delicious. Sriracha is a fantastic addition if you like spicy. 

oh yes. yum.
Here's what happens if you serve this.

Total Cost for 2 Adults, 2 Children, and 4 leftover lunches and 1 more leftover dinner: $12.19. Imagine no chicken: It moves down to: $9.73.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pasta Challenge! Week 1 - Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus

I have received a challenge from my husband to make a new kind of pasta - one I've never made before - every Sunday. Today I begin with something simple, having had to do the shopping and cooking today. This meal is great to make fast, though it has ingredients you probably don't already have stocked, so you have to go to the store. It's also a little pricy, but pretty tasty. Definitely don't use a pound of asparagus. It cost too much, and it was too much asparagus. Oh, and I shopped at Safeway this time, just so you know where my costs come from. Overall, we give it a 3 out of 5 stars. The recipe I used is from Food & Wine


I didn't mention the chocolate in the ingredients, as I ate that separately.
 1 pound Asparagus - $9.08 (yikes!)
3/4 pound Fettuccine - $1.13
1  Cup Heavy Cream - $1.60
pinch nutmeg - $0.02
3/4 tsp salt - $0.01
1/8 tsp ground black pepper - $0.03
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan + more for serving - $2.33 
(We used about a third of a wedge).
Just now I realize I should have tossed some of my fresh
parsley from my window box on to make it extra pretty.
But I didn't.

Everyone waiting for the yum.

This meal is just about the simplest one to make of all meals ever. No, really. First, put some water on to boil your fettuccine in. Then you tear off the bottoms of the asparagus. If you've never cooked with asparagus, it's really easy, you hold the stalk in one hand and with the other, grab the bottom and just snap it off. It snaps off right where it needs to. Then chop them into 1" pieces. Or so. Whatever you like, really.

Go ahead and chop your butter into bits and grate your cheese and have your milk ready. I usually like to use the big grate on my cheese, but since this cheese is part of a sauce, I went for the thin grate.

Look at that lovely mound of cheese and butter. Mmmhmm.

Cook the pasta for 8 minutes. Then add the asparagus straight into the pasta. Real gentle-like.

Be sure to have Darius Rucker singing "Wagon Wheel" stuck in your head the whole time, too. Good song. Drain. Toss in the rest of the ingredients and serve. Ta-Da. Yum. I served mine with bread and olive oil with salt & pepper upon a lovely navy gingham tablecloth. You can use whatever tablecloth you have available, of course.


Total Cost 2 Adults, 2 kids (2 & 6), one lunch serving left over:  $14.20
If I'd gone with half the asparagus, it would have run at a much more reasonable $9.66.