Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

One ingredient, two tastes, three dollars


Recommended Posts

Over in this topic, I described how I took a one-dollar daikon and broke it down into five different dishes. Two different kinds of pickles, one stew, one stir-fry, and greens. Truly, it is a noble vegetable.

It's easy to make a one-dish pot of chili and soup, and stretch that over the week; but even the most flavourful and well-prepared dish will start to seem a little dull by day three. I'm proposing that we explore the flexibility of cheap ingredients.

Since 2009 is shaping up to be a year of frugality for most, I'd like to issue a challenge:

Can you take one ingredient and turn it into at least two individual dishes? The cost of the ingredient shouldn't be much more than three dollars. You can use the ingredient in concert with others, but it should make up at least half of the dish. The ingredient must make two separate dishes from the whole, for example:

"A can of tomatoes: I used a half a can of tomatoes whizzed up with some chicken stock and fresh ginger for a cup of soup at lunch today, and used the other half stir-fried with a block of tofu for dinner."

Bonus points for making more than two dishes, and extra bonus points for using every bit of it, whatever it may be.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'll go first.

I'm not sure how much a daikon runs wherever you live, but here in Japan they are cheap eats. 70 yen bought me one that weighed about a kilo. I cut off the tops, blanched them, and served them with sesame salad dressing.

gallery_41378_5233_77877.jpg

I scrubbed it well, even though they always look unnaturally clean for a vegetable that has spent a lot of time in the dirt. Then I peeled it, and sliced the peels thinly into strips, and added them to julienned carrot, potato, and broccoli peel. They were pan-fried quickly with sesame oil, mirin, chili powder, garlic, and sesame seeds for kinpira.

gallery_41378_5233_126364.jpg

Two-thirds of it went to towards pickles. One third was cut into thin rounds, dried, salted, and then wrapped around yuzu peel, then drenched in vinegar and sugar. The complete method is over here. The other third was cut into thin rounds, quartered, salted and pressed for ten minutes, then squeezed by hand and mixed with one tablespoon of rice vinegar and one tablespoon of sugar. Any or no seasoning could be added to this - chili flakes are nice if you like it spicy, but I added about a half teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.

gallery_41378_5233_215381.jpg

The last third was chopped into hunks and simmered in dashi, ponzu, and mirin as a part of a pork nabe for dinner last night. Lots of it was left over, so I pulled them out of the broth, and we'll have them as a side dish tonight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am guessing my Free turkey from Thanksgiving time doesnt count but I have so far had a turkey dinner, 2 sandwiches were made, 1 turkey salad plate, and a family sized turkey potpie....there is still a breast and thigh in the freezer and a pot of stock

but 3 dollars worth of chicken legs would go pretty far too

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my kinda topic, thanks for the initiative Nakji.

Hmmm . . . I bought a sack of 8 brilliant red bell peppers for 75 cents on Saturday. One went raw into a spinach salad, two were stuffed with goat cheese and the rest were roasted black, cooled in a paper bag outside (didn't take long) then peeled and pureed. This stuff is red gold -- we're into the sour cream dips and pasta sauces now.

On Wednesdays, I pass by the best fish markets around. Tomorrow, I'm taking a loonie and a twoonie and we'll see how far I get.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm always pleased when I see big old eggplants in the reduced bin. Usually 2 or 3 for 99 cents.

One or two get thrown in the oven or microwave until they are totally pooped - then the pulp goes in the food processor with some lemon juice, garlic, tahina, cumin and bit of yogurt to make baba ganouch.

2 or 3 eggplants get peeled and sliced, floured, egg washed and breaded, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and into the oven, flipping once or twice until they are nicely browned. Then layered in a casserole with bechamel, sauted onions and mushrooms, and some nice sharp cheese. Bake until bubbly - a delicious dinner - meaty with no meat.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm always pleased when I see big old eggplants in the reduced bin.

Am I wrong to ignore those big old eggplants? I regard them like I do zucchinis -- if the girth is bigger than a hockey puck then it's going to be all seeds, voids and bland bitterness. I like the little globes or the slender "Chinese" varieties because they never let me down -- no scoring and salting required. And that cool purple skin is never to far away.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm always pleased when I see big old eggplants in the reduced bin.

Am I wrong to ignore those big old eggplants? I regard them like I do zucchinis -- if the girth is bigger than a hockey puck then it's going to be all seeds, voids and bland bitterness. I like the little globes or the slender "Chinese" varieties because they never let me down -- no scoring and salting required. And that cool purple skin is never to far away.

The big suckers seem to work well in these recipes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been working with pinto beans, 39 cents per pound last time I bought them in bulk. Basic beans, 1 cup of washed pintos to 4 cups water, 2 smashed cloves of garlic, a jalapeno pepper, a slice of bacon or any other pork product. Put it all in a crock pot set to low for 5 to 6 hours. The beans can be used to stretch chili. Doing a little research last month I found a recipe that calls for cooking the beans till just done, then you add rice and cook until the rice is done. Then you brown ground meat with onion & garlic salt & pepper. You mix the beans, meat & a can of tomato sauce put in a cassarole dish, cover that with bacon and put it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes or until the bacon is browned. Honestly though, I prefer pintos just simply prepared, add rice and it's even better for you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been working with pinto beans, 39 cents per pound last time I bought them in bulk.  Basic beans, 1 cup of washed pintos to 4 cups water, 2 smashed cloves of garlic, a jalapeno pepper, a slice of bacon or any other pork product.  Put it all in a crock pot set to low for 5 to 6 hours.  The beans can be used to stretch chili.  Doing a little research last month I found a recipe that calls for cooking the beans till just done, then you add rice and cook until the rice is done.  Then you brown ground meat with onion & garlic salt & pepper.  You mix the beans, meat & a can of tomato sauce put in a cassarole dish, cover that with bacon and put it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes or until the bacon is browned.  Honestly though, I prefer pintos just simply prepared, add rice and it's even better for you.

I can expound on this, a little, by using either of those dishes for two kinds of leftovers. As a side dish to migas, or huevos rancheros, for a nice weekend breakfast. A good lunch, would be either of these things, as burrito filling.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pork Hock or trotters can be found cheaply, certainly less than $3 and you can maybe get three meals for two from it:

a. Braised chinese style (soy, sherry,spring onion, ginger), rice, veg

b. Bao (remains of the meat, with leeks, some cornflour in a bread dough and then steamed)

c. The wonderful juice and bones enrich a bean stew, or even a can of beans.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can take some dried black beans and make refried beans one night as a side. The leftovers can be reinvented the next night into a black bean soup with a little stock and some seasoning. It can also be mixed with potatoes and veg leftovers or trimmings for some Mexican style bubble and squeak. Finally, it can also be incorporated the next morning into a nice huevos rancheros breakfast.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I make spaghetti sauce I make a huge batch. Half goes directly to the freezer, 1/4 is dinner that night, and later in the week the remaining 1/4 gets dosed with cumin and beans are added to turn it into chili. (The miracle stretchy ingredient is tomatoes.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Whenever I make spaghetti sauce I make a huge batch.  Half goes directly to the freezer, 1/4 is dinner that night, and later in the week the remaining 1/4 gets dosed with cumin and beans are added to turn it into chili.  (The miracle stretchy ingredient is tomatoes.)

Try adding onions and a touch of sweetness (sugar, maple syrup, molasses, etc) and doing it as sloppy joes. Yummy!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I took my three bucks to the fish markets, but I was underwhelmed. The mood was dour since lobster prices have gone back to normal. For $3 you can get a 1.5 lb whole haddock (smaller than the one in my current avatar) or a half dozen red hakes or a ton of smelt. I passed and went to the grocery store for salmon trimmings. These are the odd-shaped bits that come about when the whole fish is converted to filets.

Half the salmon trimmings went into a dry cure with salt, brown sugar, maple and a bit of KNO3.

The rest was cooked untreated in a non-stick skillet, served with basmati and broccoli, and seasoned with salt, pepper and toasted pistachio:

gallery_42214_6390_64382.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to post
Share on other sites

well hey... if you think about it, Taco Bell has turned about 5 ingredients into hundreds of dishes :)

**********************************************

I may be in the gutter, but I am still staring at the stars.

**********************************************

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been working with pinto beans, 39 cents per pound last time I bought them in bulk.

Lucky you! I can't find them for less than 200 yen for 100g here! Insane. I don't why they're so expensive.

The rest was cooked untreated in a non-stick skillet, served with basmati and broccoli, and seasoned with salt, pepper and toasted pistachio:

Oooh, very nice. Please let us see the dry cure when it's ready! You could use a little bit of that flaked in the middle of some onigiri for lunch - that would really stretch it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Over in this topic, I described how I took a one-dollar daikon and broke it down into five different dishes. Two different kinds of pickles, one stew, one stir-fry, and greens. Truly, it is a noble vegetable.

Can you take one ingredient and turn it into at least two individual dishes? The cost of the ingredient shouldn't be much more than three dollars. You can use the ingredient in concert with others, but it should make up at least half of the dish. The ingredient must make two separate dishes from the whole, for example:

Bonus points for making more than two dishes, and extra bonus points for using every bit of it, whatever it may be.

When we ate chicken we used to make Jacques Pepin's "Chicken Danny Kay."

One whole chicken, no larger than 3.5 pounds, (used to be .69 cents a pound) placed in a pot, poached gently for 10 minutes, removed from heat and left alone covered for 40 minutes. (JP's directions/discussion of this technique can be found in some of his older books and in "The Apprentice," p259.

1. Drumsticks and thighs are eaten when ready with whatever vegetable/carbohydrate we have on hand. We are not big eaters and sometimes, depending on what else we had, we just shared a leg, but, to be honest, to me poached chicken without further treatment does not taste that great after it gets cold.

2. Breasts - sandwiches for the next two days.

3. Chicken meat clinging to the bones - chicken salad.

4. Broth is divided between 2 - 3 containers and frozen, it makes excellent chicken soup, especially if I save a little bit of chicken breast meat. Because they have not been boiled to death the carrots and celery from the broth are quite tasty.

5. The liver is either saved separately for liver pate or chopped with a tiny bit of butter and a bit of shallots or onion of any kind, spread generously on a slice of toast, cut into bite size pieces and broiled. Perfect amuse bouche.

6. The gizzards and neck are saved for chicken stock.

(In JP's The Art of Cooking, V2 p84 has a very amusing presentation of this poached chicken, it is arranged on the plate to looks like a rooster: a slice of HB becomes a head, beak is made out of mushroom, cockscomb is made of red pepper, and so on...)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oooh, very nice. Please let us see the dry cure when it's ready!

The cured salmon was consumed last night as an appetizer. I rinsed the pieces in cold water, chopped them into small bits, and served on toothpicks in a shot glass with maple syrup.

gallery_42214_6390_40513.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can expound on this, a little, by using either of those dishes for two kinds of leftovers.  As a side dish to migas, or huevos rancheros, for a nice weekend breakfast.  A good lunch, would be either of these things, as burrito filling.

Yes and then you can go the other way with rice, it's very versatile. Hell, I lived on nothing but rice when money was tight.

Link to post
Share on other sites
One ingredient, two tastes, three dollars, Cheap shouldn't mean boring.

Nobody has mentioned eggs. Twelve for $2.50. What could possibly be more versatile and affordable than a chicken's egg?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beets are a great two-for-one item. For about the same price, I can get a bunch of beets or a bunch of other greens. With the beets, I have the root for one use (I love them roasted then tossed with feta cheese), and the greens that I use as I would chard (wilted or sauteed if young, braised or shredded and tossed into a soup if older).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...