Feb 11: Bahn Mi;Japanese Ratatouille with Black Rice

Lunch

In theory, Pho Saigon 1’s bhan mi should be a miss as there’s cilantro in the sandwich and the meat has been marinated in star anise, neither of which we particularly like. Yet, in this sandwich, they fit perfectly. A true culinary miracle. Who wouldn’t like a sandwich where paté is spread on both sides of the sandwich!

Great food for $8.50 per serve.

Dinner

We repeated the hame and  Japanese Ratatouille we had left over, and serve with some black rice.

The ratatouille was even better a day later.

  • The ratatouille is $1.61 per serve
  • Add 4c per serve for ham
  • Add 44c per serve for black rice.

Dinner tonight was a very satisfactory do-over for $2.09 per serve.

 

Feb 10: Ham & Cheese Quesadilla; Ham, Kabocha Squash and Cheddar Quiche

Lunch

Instead of toasted sandwiches, we decided to create a ham and cheese quesadilla – or at least our variation on it using a flatbread instead of tortilla. Thin sliced ham worked well.

  • The flatbreads add 50c per serve
  • Half a can of refried beans, shared across two halves: 26c
  • 2 oz of cheddar split between two is 50c per serve
  • Ham adds 8c per serve.

Lunch today was pretty good for $1.34 per serve.

Dinner

Still looking for ways to use our remaining baked ham, we decided on a ‘quiche’ that not only used some of our ham, but also the other half of the kabocha squash. We decided to use the caramelized onion cheddar for added flavor but it got lost in the quiche.

We baked the squash first to intensify its flavor, and fried off the cubed ham to provide a little Maillard reaction

We made four serves, which tasted great but lacked a little structural integrity due to the many ingredients added into it.

  • Eggs are 55c each and we used three or or 41c per serve
  • The kabocha squash was $1.74 but we used the remaining half, or 22c per serve
  • Ham adds 8c per serve
  • The caramelized onion cheddar is $4.58 and we used about 1/3 or 38c per serve.

Dinner tonight was tasty and filling. Roasting the kabocha squash really amped up the flavor. All in all a satisfying dish for $1.11 per serve.

Feb 9: Ham, Brie & Watercress; Tom Ka Gai

Lunch

With ham in the refrigerator, we were reminded of a sandwich we enjoyed back in Australia: ham, brie and snow pies. Our version used spreadable brie and watercress, which we think was better than the original.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Ham is 4c and ounce, and we probably had an ounce each
  • Watercress was 79c for the bunch and we used 1/4 or 10c per serve
  • The brie was $6.49 and used 1/3 or $1.08 per serve.

Today’s sandwich was better than the historic version for $1.54 per serve.

Dinner

We still had two serves of the Tom Ka Gai left, so they became dinner tonight.

  • The chicken is $6.99 and we used the dark meat or 88c per serve
  • A can of coconut milk is $1.49 or 40c per serve
  • Parasol mushrooms were $3.99 x 2 or $2.00 per serve
  • Chicken stock is $1.99 or 50c per serve
  • Lemon grass was 15c or 4c per serve
  • Add 33c for brown rice
  • Add  49c for lime juice
  • Add 45c for seasonings.

This soup is a great way to use cooked chicken, which adds to the meatiness of the mushrooms – the two kind of blend. A good meal for $5.09 per serve.

Feb 8: Kumato, Cheddar and Mayo, Ham & Gouda; Top Sirloin with Black Rice, Satay Sauce and Thai Salad

Lunch

Although the weather is warm, we still toasted the sandwiches: kumato and mayo with cheddar, and ham, gouda and tomato. Both were pretty good.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used one, or 35c per serve
  • 12 slices of yoghurt cheese are $4.79 and we shared one or 20c per serve
  • Gouda slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve
  • Ham is 4c and ounce, and we probably had an ounce each.
  • Add 20c for mayo

Lunch today cost $1.28 per serve.

Dinner

We both really like the peanut sauce we’ve been having, and really enjoying it on top sirloin with black rice, so we had it again! We paired it with a Thai Salad.

  • The top sirloin was $11.99 or $6.00 per serve
  • The peanut butter was $3.99 and we used about 1/8,  or 25c a serve
  • Other seasonings in the satay sauce add 35c per serve
  • The lettuce works out to 30c per serve
  • Carrot adds 30c per serve
  • Salad seasonings add 20c
  • Mint came from our garden
  • Black rice adds 40c per serve.

We enjoyed the steak, satay sauce and black rice as much as always but felt that the Thai Salad recipe we had was a little heavy on the fish and soy sauces so ended up a little salty. But overall a good meal for $7.80 per serve.

Feb 7: Thai; Japanese Ratatouille with Ham and Brown Rice

Lunch

Foodie Philip was in Burbank doing some recording and enjoyed Pad Thai with a friend, who paid for the meal.

Dinner

We decided to cube up a little ham and mix it into the Japanese Ratatouille we had left over, and serve with some brown rice.

The ratatouille was even better a day later.

  • The ratatouille is $1.61 per serve
  • Add 4c per serve for ham
  • Add 33c per serve for brown rice.

Dinner tonight was a very satisfactory do-over for $1.98 per serve.

Feb 6: Tomato & Mayo; Pastrami, Sauerkraut & Cheese; Baked Ham with Japanese Ratatouille

Lunch

A revisit to a couple of toasted sandwiches: Kumato & Mayo – a favorite if the tomato is good, and a Pastrami, Sauerkraut & Cheddar.

  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used one, or 35c per serve
  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Add 20c for mayo
  • 12 slices of yoghurt cheese are $4.79 and we shared one or 20c per serve
  • The pastrami was $6.96 for 16 oz and we used three, or 65c per serve
  • The Bubbies (natural) Sauerkraut is expensive at $6.99 or 22c per serve, but it is a very superior sauerkraut without the bad odor of most sauerkraut.

The sandwiches were satisfactory for $1.94 per serve.

Dinner

As it was our 28th Anniversary together we decided to bake the ham that’s been in the refrigerator all year. We wanted to find a fresh side than the “baked seasonal vegetables” that we have gone with in the past. Foodie Greg found this Japanese Ratatouille Recipe and we cooked that.

Making four sides, this was exceptionally good. The dry baking of the vegetables intensified their flavor, while the dressing added another layer of flavor. Definitely will cook this again, and probably do a vegetarian meal with this ratatouille and brown rice.

The ham – purchased as a Christmas loss leader – is ridiculously cheap. It probably does not come from great providence for farmer or animal.

It turns out we got six meals from the Japanese Ratatouille.

  • The ham was $5.72 at 57c per pound (about 4c per ounce) or 40c per serve
  • The Kaboc squash was $2.21 but we only used half for the six serves, or 18c per serve
  • Two Chinese eggplants went into the dish costing $1.18 or 20c per serve
  • The bell pepper was $1.49 or 25c per serve
  • Grape tomatoes were $2.99 or 50c per serve
  • An onion adds 5c per serve
  • Miso Easy is $5.99 for the bottle that we used about 1/8 of in this dish, or 13c per serve.
  • Add 30c for ginger and oil
  • Add 20c per serve for the remaining ingredients.

A very good celebratory meal for $2.o1 per serve, leaving us more for the champagne to celebrate!

Feb 5: In and Out Burger; Smokey Chicken Tostadas

Lunch

Burbank Monday had Philip at In and Out Burger for a Double Double Animal Style for $4.27. Foodie Greg had the final serve of Côte d’Azur soup for $2.48.

Dinner

Being the first Monday of the month we were at Gordon Biersch to meet up with some fellow developers.

We both had the Smoked Chicken Tostadas, which were excellent. They’re on the “lighter side” menu, but they’re my new favorite choice at Gordon Biersch.

The Tostadas were $12.99 per serve, but with tax and tip $17.07 each.

Feb 4: Avocado & Bacon, Avocado and Lemon Pepper Salmon; Tom Ka Gai

Lunch

The avocados we’ve been buying come in packs of five, so we have bursts of avocado centric dishes. Since one avocado makes two sandwiches, we had to find some variety in the other ingredients: bacon fried off in the panini press on one, and Lemon Pepper Salmon (pouch) on the other.

Both were great, but the bacon got the nod.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The avocado was $2.99 for a bag of five or 30c per serve
  • Two slices of bacon are $1.37 or 69c per serve
  • The salmon was $2.79 or $1.40 per serve
  • Add 10c for butter.

Two good sandwiches for $2.81 per serve.

Dinner

Although we’ve enjoyed it out several times, we’ve never cooked Tom Ka Gai ourselves. We’ve done Tom Ka Moo – the pork version – but not with chicken.

  • The chicken is $6.99 and we used the dark meat or 88c per serve
  • A can of coconut milk is $1.49 or 40c per serve
  • Parasol mushrooms were $3.99 x 2 or $2.00 per serve
  • Chicken stock is $1.99 or 50c per serve
  • Lemon grass was 15c or 4c per serve
  • Add 33c for brown rice
  • Add  49c for lime juice
  • Add 45c for seasonings.

This soup is a great way to use cooked chicken, which adds to the meatiness of the mushrooms – the two kind of blend. A good meal for $5.09 per serve.

Feb 3: Chicken & Tomato Toasted Sandwich; NY Strip with “Refrigerator” Salad

Lunch

We used the second chicken breast to make two chicken, tomato and mayo toasted sandwiches.

  • The chicken is $6.99 and we shared a breast or 88c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used 2, or 70c per serve
  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Add 20c for mayo.

Lunch today was good for $2.10 per serve

Dinner

Tonight we had a simple steak and salad. NY Strip steak from our Prather Ranch meat delivery, and a salad of ingredients already in the refrigerator.

  • The NY Strip steak was $20.24 or $10.12 per serve
  • Spinach is $1.99and we used 1/4 or 25c per serve
  • The avocado was $2.99 for a bag of five or 30c per serve
  • The feta is $6.49 and we used half, or $1.63 per serve
  • Organic beets were $2.45 or 62c per serve
  • Add 20c for dressing ingredients.

A perfectly cooked and tender steak along with a great salad? What’s not to like for $13.12 per serve.

Feb 2: Chicken, Tomato & Mayo on a Baguette; Côte d’Azur (Cure-All Soup)

Lunch

The best supermarket BBQ chicken comes from Jon’s Market. Unfortunately the most convenient one closed, so our visits are less frequent, but today was the day. Jon’s also have great baguette’s!

  • The chicken is $6.99 and we shared a breast or 88c per serve
  • Five kumato were $3.49 and we used 2, or 70c per serve
  • The baguette is $2.79 and we shared half for lunch, or 70c
  • Add 20c for mayo.

Lunch today was one of our favorites, and costs $2.48 per serve.

Dinner

Foodie Philip seems to be suffering from a low grade infection, so Foodie Greg thought the  Côte d’Azur or Cure-All Soup would be appropriate. Garlic and chicken stock thickened with egg yolks it tastes a lot more interesting than the picture above.

The recipe made three serves.

  • Six pastured brown eggs are $3.30 or $1.00 per serve
  • A whole head of garlic went into the soup: 50c  or 18c per serve
  • Organic chicken stock was $1.99 or 67c per serve
  • Parmesan cost $5.49 and we used it all, or $1.80 per serve.
  • Add 40c for herbs, oil  and seasonings.

Although we forgot the oil for serving, this was amazingly delicious for just $4.05 per serve.