I am definitely on a mission to save money, more so than ever. In the past when there has been craziness within the economy, I've always tried to do my part. Actually, I have become pretty thrifty, I don't waste and I search hard for the best price. But I really try harder when its everywhere on the news, and all I hear is loom and doom.
I have been using herbs, and veggies for some years now to better my cooking. I really do try to use less protien, and use more veggies. Interestingly enough, the market where I shop is diligently pricing their meats that are within a day or so of the expire date way down.
Lucky me, I get in there and first place I head is the meat and deli/cheese counters. I have purchased a great deal of meats, ranging from bacon and sausage to a rib roast originally priced at over $50 that I picked up for $20. Let me tell you, I am kicking myself for having the butcher cut that thing into 1 inch ribeyes that I delivered to my 20 something son and his roommates. They were thrilled. Oh well what are moms for?
Anyway, my latest all time great meal I prepared last night. I found a shoulder steak for $2/ about an inch and half thick with a lot of meat. I remember looking at it and thinking ok, I'll freeze it then worry about it when I can. If nothing else I can make a soup with it. No way!
I took the meat out of the freezer, marinated it in a combination of Asian spices-like, star anise, Chinese 5 spice, then made a marinade with sherry, soy, hoisin and oyster sauce. It needed herbs, so I chopped shallots ( you know these are really cheap and add some great flavor), garlic, fresh ginger, and scallions. I cooked this on my grill ( a cast iron stove top thing with ne side that's flat, and the other with ridges for grilling) choosing the flat side. (hey I know what it's like to clean, so I was tired ok?) Enter the two year old, no on second thought, don't.
I cooked fragrant jasmie rice, sauteed a huge zuchinni (free a gift from my hubby's co-worker) with white onions, red and green peppers, and carrots, garlic, ginger and scallions, in a simple stir fry sauce.
Then I sliced the medium rare steak, scooped the rice into a large flat bowl, topped it with the veggies, and layed plenty of steak around. Topped it all with fresh scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds.I served three, I have a huge portion of everything left-so make that a 4 portion meal. Ok, I know nothing is exoctic, nothing fancy I'm sure with a little more time, I could of done better with this modest piece of meat... The challenge is on, what would you of made with your pantry...keep it cheap now!
I think the meal cost me about, I'm going to pad this and say I made that meal for about 1.75 - 2.00 per person. YIPPPPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!