Dec 11: Popeye’s Fried Chicken; Prime Rib with Spinach and Blue Smokey Bacon Salad

Lunch

A last minute change of plans had Foodie Philip heading home before lunch, so a stop at Popeye’s on the way seemed like a good idea.

  • For some (good) reason we got 11 pieces of dark meat for the “11 tenders” deal or $1.56 per piece, or$3.12 per serve
  • The red beans and rice are $2.17 per serve with tax.

Lunch today was $5.29 per serve.

Dinner

We decided to reheat the remaining two serves of prime rib in a little beef stock, and serve with a Taylor Farms Spinach and Blue Smokey Bacon Salad.

  • The boneless prime rib was $42.57 and we’ll get five very, very generous serves out of that (about 10 oz each) for $8.51 per serve
  • The salad kit was 99c or 50c per serve.

Reheating the prime rib to 140ºF send it to medium well, which was not as tender as the medium rare of the night before, so it was a little less tender but still good. The salad kit was a little too much. Half the dressing would probably have been better balanced. All up, a good meal for $9.01 per serve.

 

Dec 10: Lemon Salmon with Avocado, Chili & Cheese Toasted Sandwiches; Prime Rib with Garlic Mushroom and Asparagus

Lunch

More toasted sandwich concoctions: one with lemon salmon and avocado, the other with avocado, chili and cheese. It’s hard to halve an avocado!

Both sandwiches were good. The pairings work well.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The avocado  was 4 for $3.49 or 44c per serve
  • The salmon was $2.79 or $1.40 per serve
  • The chili is $2.86 per serve, and we shared about 1/6 or  24c per serve
  • 12 slices of yoghurt cheese are $4.79 and we shared one or 20c per serve.

Lunch today cost $2.60 per serve.

Dinner

It was finally time to celebrate Foodie Philip’s birthday and traditionally we have done prime rib, which is what we did this year.

The prime rib is first cooked slowly to medium rare, and then rested ahead of a quick, hot reheat and sear immediately before serving. This guarantees the right degree of doneness and no gray ring around the outside.

Served with a home made horseradish cream dressing, roasted garlic butter mushrooms and steamed asparagus, this was a great meal. We served three tonight.

  • The boneless prime rib was $42.57 and we’ll get five very, very generous serves out of that (about 10 oz each) for $8.51 per serve
  • Mushrooms were $2.29 and served three or 76c per serve
  • Add 30c per serve for butter
  • The asparagus was $3.99 or $1.34 per serve
  • Add 40c for the horseradish cream.

Tonight’s meal would have cost more than $50 per serve at a steakhouse, but it cost us $11.31 per serve.

Dec 9: Steel Cut Oats with Anchovies, Garlic, Kumato and Marscapone; Bacon and Black Bean Chili

Lunch

A weekend lunch often gets more attention, because there’s more time, so today Foodie Greg decided to modify a Nigella Lawson pasta recipe and apply it to steel cut oats. Pressure cooked with garlic and anchovies, with marscapone and kumatos stirred in after cooking. We served with a fried egg on top for protein.

It was really, really good. Lots of umami from the anchovies, some fresh acidity from the tomatoes. Creaminess from the marscapone, but frankly almost any other dairy would have been better.

  • The steel cut oats are $3.19 for 24oz, and we used 8oz or 53c per serve
  • Anchovies are $1.59 and the whole tin went in, or 80c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used 2, or 70c per serve
  • The marscapone was $2.99 or 25c per serve
  • Shaved parmesan reggiano was $5.49 or 50c per serve
  • A pastured egg is 55c per serve.

Lunch today was really tasty; full of umami and flavor. All round a great lunch for $3.33 per serve.

Dinner

We chose to  return to the bacon and black bean chili  as we still had plenty.

  • The ground beef was $8.95 or $1.49 per serve
  • The beans are $1.00 per can and we used two, or 33c per serve
  • Canned tomatoes were $1.29 or 22c per serve
  • Tomato paste was 79c or 13c per serve
  • Bacon is $6.99 for the pack and we used half, or 39c per serve
  • Add 30c per serve for seasoning
  • The avocado was $1.25 (it was big) or 63c per serve
  • Instead of crème fraîche and cheddar we used more of the marscapone for 25c per serve.

This is a great recipe and we always enjoy it. The chili is $2.86 per serve and the toppings add 88c for a total of $3.74 per serve.

Dec 8: Sardine ‘Salad’ with Cheese; Nachos

Lunch

We decided to experiment with a variation on a tuna salad, by substituting lightly smoked sardines for the tuna. The resulting toasted sandwich with cheese was better than expected, and pretty tasty.

  • Lightly smoked sardines in olive oil are $1.69 per can, or 85c per serve
  • Two slices of bread are 39c
  • Add 40c per serve for mayo, capers and celery.

Lunch today was really tasty for $1.74 per serve.

Dinner

The Foodies were invited to a Christmas party, and had some decent nachos (self constructed), a little wine, and some great company, all covered by our hosts, Alpha Dogs.

Dec 7: Tomato & Mayo; Cauliflower Curry & Cheddar; Bacon and Black Bean Chili

Lunch

We decided the tomato mayo toasted sandwich was worth repeating (and we still had half a tomato to use) but we mixed it up by toasting a cauliflower curry pickle with cheese.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The organic tomato was 74c and we shared half, or 19c per serve
  • 12 slices of yoghurt cheese are $4.79 and we shared one or 20c per serve
  • Add 33c for Wildbrine Madras Curry and Cauliflower Sauerkraut salad
  • Add 30c for mayo and butter.

Lunch today was an enjoyable combination of warm sandwiches, which was perfect on a relatively cold, windy day, for $1.34 per serve.

Dinner

A return to a favorite:bacon and black bean chili with all the “fixin’s”: crème fraîche, cheddar and avocado. The recipe makes six serves.

  • The ground beef was $8.95 or $1.49 per serve
  • The beans are $1.00 per can and we used two, or 33c per serve
  • Canned tomatoes were $1.29 or 22c per serve
  • Tomato paste was 79c or 13c per serve
  • Bacon is $6.99 for the pack and we used half, or 39c per serve
  • Add 30c per serve for seasoning
  • The avocado was $1.25 (it was big) or 63c per serve
  • Instead of crème fraîche and cheddar we used labné, a yoghurt cheese that adds about 25c per serve.

This is a great recipe and we always enjoy it. The chili is $2.86 per serve and the toppings add 88c for a total of $3.74 per serve.

Dec 6: Chicken Salad, Tomato & Mayo Toasted Sandwiches; Vinegar Braised Pork Shoulder with Sweet Potato and Wilted Greens

Lunch

Back home after the power outage, we did toasted sandwiches for lunch on our new panini press. Today we did one sandwich with the Wine Country Chicken Salad from Trader Joe’s, which worked really well warm; and a tomato and mayo, which was also good warm. We had been dubious.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The chicken salad was $3.99 and we shared one third, or 67c per serve
  • The organic tomato was 74c and we shared half, or 19c per serve
  • Add 30c for mayo and butter.

Lunch today was an enjoyable combination of warm sandwiches, which was perfect on a relatively cold, windy day, for $1.46 per serve.

Dinner

We planned on revisiting the Vinegar Braised Pork Shoulder, which is an oven bake, and do roast sweet potato in the same oven, until we realized that the recent power outage, and restore, had caused the range to not respond to the controls. No cooktop or oven!

Fortunately we have an induction cooktop and did the braise there, with the sweet potato being steamed instead of baked. It all worked well and the pork shoulder chops were exceptionally tender and unctuous because the fat had rendered down perfectly. The steamed sweet potato was good, but baked is better!

  • The pork shoulder is an inexpensive cut at $7.90 for .85 pound, but is very tasty when cooked appropriately, and only $3.95 per serve
  • The yam/sweet potato was $1.54 or 77c per serve
  • The greens were $3.29 or $1.65 per serve.

All round a good meal, with the shoulder chops being outstandingly good, for a total of $6.27 per serve.

Dec 5: The Country Deli; Trader Joe’s Take Out

Lunch

Due to a wind blown tree coming down overnight we were without power today and decided that The Country Deli would be perfect for lunch.

Lunch at the Country Deli was slightly less (due to Foodie Greg only having a half sandwich) at $20.50 average per serve.

Dinner

Still displaced, and staying in a motel overnight, we dropped by Trader Joe’s and picked up some chicken salad and an egg white salad. The two salads average $3.00 per serve. The Wine Country Chicken Salad is pretty good if you’re near a Trader Joe’s.

Dec 3: Burrata, Prosciutto & Cherry Tomatoes; Frogmore Stew

Lunch

For lunch today we went a little overboard with a delicious platter of burrata cheese, with prosciutto on a bed of watercress drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Every bit of the meal was good, and it’s so much more photogenic than Frogmore Stew, it’s featured.

  • The Burrata was $4.99 or $2.50 per serve
  • The Black Forest Ham (prosciutto style) was $3.99 or $2.00 per serve
  • We used about half the 74c tomatoes, or 19c per serve
  • Add 10c for watercress.

Today’s lunch wasn’t the cheapest at $4.79 per serve, but it was good. The salty ham is a perfect foil for the fresh cheese burrata, while the tomatoes add an acidic freshness to the plate.

Dinner

A return to a favorite that we haven’t had since last March: Frogmore Stew. Think southern boil with potatoes, shrimp, corn, etc, but where the stewing liquid is turned into a sauce.

The recipe serves four (at least). We keep the shrimp out of the soupy mix until each meal, cooking only enough for that meal to prevent the shrimp over-cooking when reheating.

  • Leaks cost $2.99 or 75c per serve
  • The can of diced tomatoes cost $1.49 or 38c per serve
  • The fish stock was $3.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • A cup of white wine is about 80c or 20c per serve
  • Potatoes add 30c per serve
  • The corn cost $3.49 or 88c per serve
  • Chicken andouille sausage cost $3.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • Shrimp cost $3.00 per very, very generous serve
  • Other ingredients add another 25c per serve.
Frogmore Stew

Dinner tonight cost us $7.76 per serve, and was as good as it always is.

 

Dec 2: Afghan Pita Pockets; Split Pea Soup

Lunch

Today’s lunch was some delicious Afghan pita pockets from Skewers Halal, who’s servings are huge for $9.80 per serve, including tax. We swapped half way through a chicken and a beef pita.

Dinner

Home made pea soup built on the stock remaining from our ham bone is a joy and tonight was no exception.

We defrosted our Easter ham bone and pressure cooked it with some aromatics and water, including a bay leaf because it’s easy to find in the clear stock.

The soup is prepared by adding split peas to the stock and pressure cooking again. Our innovation is to blend in one pound of fresh (frozen) peas at the end. It lifts the texture and provides a bright note to the flavor.

The addition of liquid smoke creates the illusion of ham even though there was no meat in this dish (other than via the meat stock, of course).

The soup recipe makes four serves.

  • The stock has no real cost
  • The pack of split peas was $1.59 or 27c per serve
  • The frozen peas is 99c a pack, or 16c per serve
  • We added a garnish of the last of our ham or about 5c per serve.

For dinner tonight the soup cost 48c. We chose not to do a roll or bread with the soup as it is very filling on its own.