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3,364 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sounds odd, but bear with me please. It's the end of the year and as they say "Out With Old and In With The New". I figured now is a good time to "use the resources at hand". What's in the freezer, the pantry even the ice box? "Maybe you have chickens, or know someone who does? Maybe there are some dry goods coming up on their ELO dates. My challenge is to make good meals inexpensively without buying a lot of "special stuff". So please list your ingredients as usual and please include the cost of you dishes.

The usual rules apply - so good luck and happy cooking.

The rules:
The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
You may post multiple entries.
All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
The winner's bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month's challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.

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2,873 Posts
I'm sure I can work with this ;)

I think my meal for today would qualify?
Left over veg & bacon dish from yesterday, flour/yoghurt dough, eggs, cheese in the oven.
Quiche :)

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2,873 Posts
I had eggplant and green peppers that needed finishing.
Found a can of coconut cream and I still had Thai red curry paste (and I (almost) always have garlic, onions and ginger on hand)
Food Ingredient Natural foods Cuisine Cutting board

Chopping, peeling and cutting done, except for eggplant as they turn brown soon after cutting
Food Ingredient Bean Natural foods Plant

Heating some of the coconut cream to break it (getting the oil to come out)
Food Recipe Ingredient Cooking Chemical compound

And frying the curry paste in it
Food Ingredient Recipe Home appliance Asphalt

Time for the onions, garlic & ginger to join
Food Ingredient Staple food Recipe Noodle

Followed by green pepper and the remainder of coconut cream
Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Staple food

And finally the eggplant
Food Ingredient Recipe Frying pan Cuisine

Now it's just a matter of simmering till the eggplant is soft.
I added a bit of extra water, fish sauce and balsemic vinegar
And the result
Food Stew Recipe Fluid Ingredient

And now, instead of emptying the freezer, I got 5 portions to fill it up and one portion to eat just now :)

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2,873 Posts
Come on everyone!
We are a week in already. Surely more people are cooking with whatever they have lying around?
Open your fridge, cupboard and freezer and decide what to eat!
And take pics and post it ;)

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273 Posts
I'm currently in the middle of cookies and truffles. My dinners of late are all heat and eat....almost microwave meals but not quite that bad. Truth is I'm out of counterspace. What I really need is a speed rack in my home. That would help a lot. Soon though....soon.

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2,714 Posts
I threw out my back a week ago, and so I'm just now getting back to the stove. The other problem I've had is that throw-it-together meals are sort of intrinsically not the kind of cooking that I photograph, but I'll try. We're getting into cold weather now, and for me that is prime for this challenge.

· Premium Member
11,765 Posts
Kahlua pork with cabbage.

Sear off the pork shoulder, remove; deglaze with water. Add salt, liquid smoke. Return pork, pressure cook high 90 minutes. Natural release. Remove pork. Remove 1/2 cup of liquid for the pork.

Add head of green cabbage already cut in 1 inch squares. Bring to a simmer, stir occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.

Food Recipe Ingredient Animal product Cuisine

Meanwhile, shred the pork coarsely. Add some of the braising liquid as desired. Add about 2 cups of the pork back to the cabbage, stirring to combine. When tender, check for seasoning.

Serve over rice being sure to get some of the juice to drizzle down into the rice.

Food Tableware Plate Ingredient Recipe

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4,802 Posts
Okay, took a look in the fridge the other day. I had purchased a pound of fresh ground beef, on sale for $4.49 a pound. My intention was to do some meatballs, but never got around to it. Took it out of the fridge, and it was, uh, a little past its prime.

The Players

Food Tableware Ingredient Cuisine Recipe

Not a very appetizing color, is it? But it still smelled just fine, so I went ahead with the plan. Had the potato on the counter for some time, on the verge of sprouting. And who knows how long that half onion has been in there?

The Procedure

First step was to prep the patoot. Give it a good scrub, cut it in half. Cue the mandolin.

Food Tableware Ingredient Wood Cuisine

Once I had the potato slices and was satisfied with the count of my fingers, put the chips into a salted, ice water bath.

Food Ingredient Cuisine Fruit Dish

Which seems strange, as it is an attempt to remove potato starch from the chips before frying. But so many Asian recipes ADD potato starch to help crisp up fried foods. Maybe a later discussion can delve into it.

I like the cold oil start, the drained and dried potatoes are put into a pot of room temp oil. The pot then gets a medium high flame. The chips sit undisturbed for 5 minutes, then are stirred every once in a while to cook them evenly, without sticking.

While the chips are cooking, the onion gets the mandolin treatment. Leaving the skin and root end on provides a nice handle for this sort of thing.

Food Wood Ingredient Romano cheese Tableware

And you can get a better idea of how long this onion has been stashed in the fridge from the face of it.

Okay, onions sliced. And someday I hope to pronounce "onion" just like Justin Wilson!

No picture, but I took about a 4 ounce blob of the gray meat and formed a ball. Got my cast iron nice and hot. Dropped the ball onto the pan, liberal dash of salt, covered with the onions.

Food Ingredient Noodle Staple food Cuisine

Yes, there really is a beef patty under those onions!

Gave it a smash, got it nice and flat. Left unmolested for a few minutes. Flipped it over, added a slice of American cheese, let the bun ride.

Food Ingredient Bun Sandwich Staple food

The chips had finished a bit earlier, salted when hot. Ready to plate.

The Product

Oh baby, nothing like a fried onion burger! The roll is not a Martin's, so burger scholar George Motz might not approve, but it was tasty!

Food Tableware Ingredient Staple food Recipe

One of my favorites! The chips were a great side!

How much did this cost me? Well, as I said the ground beef was $4.50 a pound, so about a dollar's worth. Maybe 50 cents worth of onion, and I'll say 50 cents worth of old potato as well. Probably 30 cents for the bun, maybe the same for the slice of cheese. So all told under 6 bucks for a delicious meal. And WAY better than 5 bucks spent on a quarter pounder with cheese!


ps: Had another one the following day. It didn't taste quite the same. Tossed the rest of the beef into the bin.

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2,873 Posts
Totally totally forgot
I'll give it a belated attempt
Green peppers & eggplant about 1 U$ per bag, but didn't use everything, maybe half, so lets say 1 U$
Onions came from my garden
Coconut cream was about 2 U$ a can last time I checked
Ginger, garlic, vinegar, chili paste? I don:t know. Given the quantity I used, less than 1 U$
So that's around 5 U$ for 6 portions. You do the maths :)
Just add rice

Costing of the home brew.... I really got no idea

· Premium Member
11,765 Posts
Hmm, cost.

Pork was half of a whole shoulder I've had in the freezer for a while. The other half will become birria is the current plan. So somewhere around $6.50 for those 3 pounds.
The bottle of liquid smoke is way old. I'm gonna chalk that one up as virtually free. I've spent more storing it than it would have cost.

Cabbage was about $3.00 for the head.

Rice, that's a 25 pound bag of Japanese short grain, $1.25 estimate for what I cooked. It will feed 5 of us at leasttwice. I'll need to make more rice and cabbage to use up all the pork.

$10.75 total.

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4,601 Posts
I was scratching my head about costing… and then I re-read the instructions. Belatedly, costing for G&T entry:

Gin - zero, zip, nada, nil (my brother left the bottle)
Lime - 10 cents
Tonic - $1.25
Ice - basically free
TOTAL: $1.35… but truly invaluable as it made the evening very enjoyable!

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2,714 Posts
Okay, first entry. Everything was on hand, and as you’ll see a fair bit was leftovers.

Food Ingredient Cuisine Recipe Dish
Yellow Amber Font Electric blue Rectangle

¼ box spaghetti, floppy celery, 1 onion, 1 fat carrot from a month ago but still good, year-old matzoh meal, half a poached chicken breast (in the little ziploc bag), and about 2 quarts of chicken stock I made from old bones and trimmings frozen for a while. Plus 2 eggs, the only thing really fresh here.

Food Fluid Ingredient Recipe Cookware and bakeware
Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Baked goods

Matzoh meal, eggs, a little stock, a little neutral oil, beaten up and left to sit until reconstituted, formed into little balls, poaching in the rest of the stock.

Food Ingredient Wood Cuisine Dish

Meanwhile, dice the veggies and shred the chicken. Note the baggie of vegetable trimmings in the back: this is how I keep making stock all the time.

Food Ingredient Recipe Cuisine Dish
Food Ingredient Recipe Fluid Stew

Veggies saute/steam for a while, then add the stock and a make-your-own teabag with dry dill from about 2 years ago (works fine so long as you use lots and don’t let it just float around loose).

Food Computer keyboard Ingredient Recipe Fluid

Add matzoh balls, chicken, and broken-up spaghetti, and cook another 10-15 minutes.

Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Plate

Matzoh ball soup for pennies.
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