Time traveller from the year 1983. Snarky and often angry dispenser of free education of various topics. Real life member of the working class, complete with generational poverty. (If you want to be awesome regarding that, note the presence of the donate button)
Member of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe. Writer. Foodie. Gamer. Crafter. Steampunk. Geek.
Last night, we had a big art party called the “Cuenca Art Project.” A bunch of our friends hung up their work, others sang and played music, there was improv, and lastly, I made food for 45 people. Everyone paid $3, which was probably too little, but I didn’t want to ask for much on our tiny teacher salaries. Because of the financial limits, planning the menu was pretty difficult and required a lot of creativity. I was looking for recipes that were cheap but delicious, and most importantly, were unlike the traditional food we eat here that we are all somewhat sick of after 8 months. So I came up with these potatoes, which cost less than $2. All you need is a pound of potatoes and whatever yummy fresh herbs you have around.
1 lb. of small potatoes (the smaller the better, you want them to be bite size)
2 tablespoons of EVOO
1 tablespoon of salt
Handful of minced herbs of your choosing
Preheat oven to 400°F
In a large bowl, mix potatoes and rest of ingredients so that all sides of the potatoes are coated with mixture.
Place on baking sheet and cook until golden brown, around 30 minutes or more.
Add more salt if needed. Serve with your favorite dip. I used blue cheese dressing.
Ingredients 2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped 1/4 cup honey 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped 1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped 1/2 cut pitted dates, finely chopped powdered sugar for rolling coating the balls edible glitter (any color you like but I like to use purple for this recipe)
Directions: Mix all ingredients except the sugar and glitter together in a large bowl. Place the whole mixture in the food processor and process for a few seconds. Form the mixture into teaspoon-sized balls. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and then roll in glitter.
Ingredients 3 cups granulated sugar 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter 2/3 cup (5 oz. can) Evaporated Milk 2 cups (12oz. pkg.) White Chocolate Chips 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème 1/2 cup finely crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (I like to use the holiday oreos) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup crumbled cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
Directions: Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with foil. Combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in white chocolate chips, marshmallow crème, finely crushed cookies and vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumbled cookies on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Ingredients 2 cups pecans ½ cup granulated sugar 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp allspice ¼ tsp ground cloves ¼ tsp nutmeg ½ cup butter 1 tsp maple extract 2 tbsp water 2 tbsp brown sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside. In a shallow bowl sift together granulated sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together maple extract, brown sugar and water. Over medium heat, melt butter in a skillet. slowly whisk in brown sugar mixture and bring to a boil. Add pecans and stir to coat. Simmer for about 1-2 minutes until well coated.
With a slotted spoon, transfer pecans to the reserved sugar and spice bowl. Coat pecans with sugar.
Place pecans evenly on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir pecans and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.
Ingredients 1 stick butter 6 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder 1 can sweetened condensed milk a few Tbsp. milk, if needed to thin out sauce
Directions: Heat a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the butter and let butter melt and start to bubble. Turn off the heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk well to remove any lumps. Add the sweetened condensed milk and continue whisking. If sauce is too thick, add a little regular milk.
Creamy Spinach Soup Put 1 chopped onion, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 3 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add 10 ounces chopped spinach and 1/2 cup parsley leaves; cook until the spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup Greek-style yogurt and purée. Garnish: A spoonful of Greek-style yogurt and chopped parsley.
Squash-and-Ginger Soup Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic and 4 cups chopped butternut squash for the spinach (it will take longer to soften). Skip the parsley and substitute half-and-half or cream for the yogurt. Garnish: A spoonful of cream.
Curried Cauliflower Soup Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic, 2 cups cauliflower florets for the spinach (they will take longer to soften), 1 tablespoon curry powder for the parsley and coconut milk for the yogurt. Garnish: Chopped cilantro.
Vegetable Broth With Toast Put 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped onions, 1 small chopped potato, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 garlic cloves, 10 sliced mushrooms, 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine), 10 parsley sprigs, 1/2 ounce dried porcini, 8 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft, 30 minutes or longer. Strain and serve over toasted good bread. Garnish: Chopped celery leaves.
Egg Drop Soup Beat 4 eggs. Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add the eggs in a steady stream, stirring constantly until they’re cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Skip the bread. Garnish: Chopped scallions.
Rice-and-Pea Soup Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add 3/4 cup white rice. Cook until tender, then add 2 cups fresh or frozen peas; cook for a minute or two. Skip the bread. Garnish: Grated Parmesan
Bean Soup Put 1 1/2 cup dried beans, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and 6 cups water in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are soft, at least 1 hour, adding more water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish: A drizzle of olive oil.
Chickpea-and-Pasta Soup Substitute chickpeas for the beans and rosemary for the thyme and add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine). When the chickpeas are almost tender, add 1/2 cup small pasta. Cook until the pasta and chickpeas are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: A few chopped rosemary leaves.
Spicy Black-Bean Soup Use black beans and substitute fresh oregano for the thyme. When the beans are done, add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 dried or canned chipotle and the juice of a lime. Garnish: Cilantro and sour cream.
Minestrone Sauté 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery rib and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups cubed potatoes and salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine) and 5 cups water. Boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped green beans; simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish: Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.
Mushroom Soup Substitute 1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms (preferably an assortment) for the potatoes; sauté until they brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Substitute ½ cup white wine for the tomatoes, skip the green beans and add a fresh thyme sprig with the water. Garnish: A few thyme leaves.
Tomato-and-Garlic Soup Use 2 tablespoons minced garlic and substitute 2 tablespoons tomato paste for the celery. Skip the potatoes and green beans; use 3 cups tomatoes and 3 cups water. Cook the tomatoes for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: Lots of chopped or torn basil
All of these recipes serve four, and you’ll want about a 2.5-to-4-quart (medium or large) pot. Most can be cooked for a while — but not so long that the freshness is gone. Most will taste as good or better the next day, so consider making a double batch and refrigerating (or freezing) the leftovers. But never boil a soup after you’ve added dairy to it; instead, reheat gently.
If you want a supersmooth soup (and just about any of these soups can be puréed if you like), use a standing blender — let the soup cool a bit first — which creates a finer purée than an immersion blender does; you might even strain the soup after puréeing it.
Garnishes are all optional, though herbs add a dimension that will be lacking otherwise. If you taste as you’re cooking, you’ll be fine, because there is really nothing to go wrong here.
Directions: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the cubed potatoes into a baking dish. (The cubes of potatoes should be about 3/4 of an inch on all sides) You can spray the baking dish with a baking spray too to eliminate anything possibly sticking
Pile on the olive oil, garlic salt, salt, paprika, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Using your fingers, or a spoon if you feel inclined, get in to the potatoes and carefully mix everything around until the seasonings coat each potato.
Transfer the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the potatoes with a pair of tongs. Put the baking dish back into the oven and bake for about 15 – 25 minutes more until they are golden and crispy. Season with an little dusting of sea salt if desired and serve.
Ingredients: 2/3 cup whole blanched almonds 2 red bell peppers 1/8 teaspoon smoked hot paprika 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar 1 small garlic clove Coarse salt 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound mixed baby red and Yukon gold potatoes
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet until lightly golden and fragrant, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Meanwhile, roast red peppers directly over a gas burner flame until blistered and charred, turning with tongs as each section blackens. (Alternatively, broil peppers on a baking sheet.) Transfer peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap; let steam about 15 minutes. Using paper towels, peel off blackened skins; remove and discard stems and seeds. Lower oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse almonds, roasted red peppers, pimenton, mint, vinegar, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a coarse paste, about 1 minute. With machine running, add 1 tablespoon oil in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast in oven (without moving potatoes on the pan) until skins are slightly crisp and potatoes are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve potatoes warm or at room temperature, with sauce on the side.