Near Gourmet Meal For Four... The "Under Ten Dollars" Challenge...

@peaceful (3301)
United States
June 27, 2007 10:10am CST
As a contest cook, I have entered many a contest where the budget was limited to $10.00 or less... the first thing that I would advise anyone to do is use a recipe calculator: http://www.cookingbynumbers.com This will assist you with shopping and stocking your pantry plus it will give you recipes for what you already have on hand... The next thing to do, is to locate Dollar Stores in your area, and online (Buy wholesale foods for pennies) as well as fresh fruit and vegetable sellers... some will give you good prices on items that are perishable at he end of the day, or even give them to you outright... if you are "cool"! :) Here's my recipe for a meal that serves four for under $10.00: Shopping: Dollar store items: Frozen chicken thighs 1 lb, $1.19, 1 pk, Frozen seafood medley $1.00. 2 paks of dry Fettucini pasta, $1.00, 3Liters Ginger Ale, $1.25, 1 pkg. frozen strawberries $1.00. Shopping: Fruit And Vegetable Seller: 1 pkg green bell peppers, $1.00, 1 pkg red bell peppers, (1) 2lb bag of onions, $1.00, 1 lb. greenbeans $1.00 Total: $9.44 ( My favorite Porsche's number! LOL) Method and prep: Thaw chicken thighs in salted cold water. Thaw Seafood Medley in it's own package, let it sit in cold water in a bowl. Let frozen strawberries stay frozen in your freezer... they are for dessert. Prepare boiling water for pasta by starting with cold, salted water and slowly bring it up to a rolling boil, open both packages of pasta and place them in the hot water, fanning the strands, so they don't stick together... be sure to keep the water boiling. Chicken: After thawing pat pieces dry with some paper towels... salt and pepper, these and add a little basil and some onion, paprika and garlic powders... prepare a skillet for sauteeing by coating it with some olive oil or shortening... get the pan hot ( you know, a little soft music, some wine...LOL!), but not smoking... place the chicken pieces im the hot oil, but keep them moving... turn after 3 minutes and cook for 3 minutes more... remove and place in warm dish and cover... remove pan from heat... but keep pan oil inside... Prepare veggies: Chop green bell pepper into smallish cubes, slice red bell pepper into long strands, chop onions into small cubes, and slice greenbeans on angle into small pieces... Place chopped onion into sautee pan and coat with the oil... after about one minute over heat... place in the greenbeans (keep everything moving), after about 2 minutes, put the red and green bell pepper into the pan, and stir for another 2 minutes... Seafood Medley ( shrimps, clams, squid, codfish) goes onto this vegetable mix and gets cooked for minute only... Pasta ( Drained) gets dropped into the sauteeing mix by the handful and gets mixed really well... dish is ready to be served... Place Pasta/Seafood/Veggie mix on dinner plates, and place a piece of chicken in the center of the plate and on top of the pasta... make it beautiful by sprinkling with some parsley flakes or even some onion flakes,if you have them... Dessert: Frozen Strawberries go into a blender, add some honey or white table syrup and a little bit of ginger ale... if you've got some cold whipped cream, you can blend it into this for a very refreshing treat! :) Hope this helps you! great wish and good going! :) PS: This recipe could serve eight if you choose to split the chicken pieces in half!
3 responses
@KATRINKA (1659)
• United States
28 Jun 07
This is making my mouth water! Thanks again! For those of us who are allergic to strawberries, might I suggest chocolate stout cake topped with Guinness ice cream?
@peaceful (3301)
• United States
28 Jun 07
Now, you've done it! :) I am not a baker, but I am a big fan of Guinness and I belong to the 1759 Society and so can you! :) Join me, it's free- and we throw some of the best parties on the Planet, they are free, too! :) http://www.guinness.com
@KATRINKA (1659)
• United States
29 Jun 07
Thanks for the link! Of course I'll join. A party isn't a party without Guiness.
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
27 Jun 07
My boyfriend and I sometimes do this. We call it "The $10 challange" where we challange eachother to come up with meals for under $100. In my area food is very pricey so this really can be a challange. I think you are right about shopping produce dealers rather than just your local grocery store. In fact I plan to visit "haymarket" this weekend, where I know I can get some really good deals on produce...though you sometimes have to watch they they don't give you the rotted ones. Buying wholesale also sounds like an intersting option. My local grocery store often has "10 for $10" deals on certain items. While I might not need 10 of the thing, it's nice to get some stuff for $1 a piece.
@peaceful (3301)
• United States
27 Jun 07
That's a great way to buy foodstuffs and that $10.00 challenge is a wonderfully creative thing for you and your boyfrirnd to do! :)
@cmsk2005 (1770)
• United States
27 Jun 07
Hi peaceful it sily grand recipe nd I would love to cook it! I will try this weekend for sure no matter how much work i already have. This is just a muthwtering food and I love chken and seafood so I cant think i an offer somebody else for the first time, i will eat them all. fantastic tip, keep helping us enjoying foods! Hahaha