Thursday, March 11, 2010
Girl Talk Thursday: $10 Dinner Challenge
This week's Girl Talk Thursday's topic is one that is near and dear to my heart: food. And more specifically, food on a budget. I have made some serious attempts at making a dent in my family's grocery budget this year, not an easy feat for someone who loves to whip up expensive gourmet concoctions in my kitchen. But made even more difficult by my desire to use as many organic ingredients as possible, but still making the budget work for my family. Needless to say, it is a huge challenge. But I've discovered a few ways to penny-pinch while still making healthful and delicious meals. So here we go:
First off, I ALWAYS buy organic and/or hormone and antibiotic free eggs, milk, poultry, and meat. Yes, they are sometimes double the price, but the fear of my girls getting their periods at like, age 5 is enough to make this worth it for me. In order to accomplish this, I shop sales on all of these items. I most recently bought 3 organic chickens at my Super Target that were $6 a piece and that day happened to be 50% off. I walked out of the store with 3 whole organic chickens for under $10!
I then make recipes according to what sale protein I have accumulated in my freezer, instead of finding a recipe and then shopping for the ingredients. This way of feeding my family has saved more money than I can count.
I also make a batch of pizza dough at home nearly every week. With my KitchenAid mixer, it's a cinch to put together, and it's amazing how many things you can make out of an inexpensive pizza dough.
Lastly, this of my favorite inexpensive meals that I can make for under $10 and I can even whip up with ingredients I always have on hand. I hope you enjoy and Buen Appetito!
Adapted from Rachael Ray's Bacon & Egg Coal Miner Pasta
1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 pkg pancetta from deli counter
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine, vermouth, or stock
2 lg egg yolks
3 TBSP Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta in boiling salted water. While pasta is cooking, add 2 TBSP olive oil to large skillet, add pancetta until it begins to brown, then add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Deglaze pan with wine/vermouth/stock and let reduce for 2 mins or so.
In separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and add cheese and 1 ladleful of pasta water, while whisking so you don't cook the eggs. Add parsley and pepper and set aside.
Drain pasta. Add pasta to pan with sauce. Toss pasta with pancetta, then add egg mixture and toss 1 minute, then remove from heat. Continue to toss until sauce is absorbed by and thickly coating the pasta. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with extra cheese.