$10 buck dinners!

Well balanced meals for a family of 4. $10 or less!

Jul-15-2014

Baked Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas

Posted by Renae

Chicken, Bean and Green Chile Empanadas

Do you love Mexican food, but hate the fact that all the good stuff is fried? Well, try these baked Empanadas!  I’m not saying they don’t pack some calories, but they’re definitely better than eating fast food or restaurant Mex. And obviously better on your budget.

For less than $7 bucks, you’re whole family can enjoy a feast!  Roberto’s don’t stand a chance!

Empanada Dough:

3 cups flour – $.75
1 1/2 teaspoons salt – pantry
1 tsp baking powder – pantry
1/4 cup lard or shortening – $1.00
1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water
1 egg yolk (use the white to brush the empanada before baking) – $.33

COST: $2.08

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Using your hands, cut in shortening (or lard) until well blended. Add egg yolk and 1/2 cup warm water and begin mixing with fingers.  Add more warm water as necessary, but do it a little at a time until dough comes together smoothly, not sticky. Dough should be soft and smooth, and not elastic!

Now! You’re ready to roll. If you need to flour your surface, go ahead. You shouldn’t need to, but this takes practice, so don’t be afraid. In the end, it’s all good. I promise!

Baked Chicken, Bean & Cheese Empanadas:

* Empanada dough (see recipe above)
1 to 1 1/2 lb chicken breast or thighs (~2 cups shredded cooked chicken) – $2.20
1 cup shredded cheese (I like colby jack) – $1.00
1 can refried beans – $.70
1 bay leaf – pantry
1 large onion, chopped – $.35
2 Tbsp chicken bouillon – pantry
1 Tbsp canola oil – pantry
1/2 tsp cumin – pantry
1 tsp red chili powder – pantry
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper – pantry
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional) – $.25

COST: $4.50

Place the chicken breasts in a pot with bouillon and bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Let cool and shred chicken into small pieces while keeping meat moistened with 2-3 tablespoons of the broth and set aside.

Heat oil in a saute pan and add chopped onions, cumin, chile powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add your shredded chicken. Continue cooking mixture for 2-3 more minutes and add refried beans. Mix well and set aside.

Separate empanada dough into golf ball size pieces and roll into a circle. Think small tortilla! About 8 inches in diameter.

Oops! Don’t forget to preheat oven to 425 degrees.

While oven is heating, continue preparing empanadas.  Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the middle of the dough circle and then sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Fold the top half of the circle of dough over the filling to form a semicircle, and press edges together firmly to seal. Pinch edges shut, like you would for an apple pie.

Beat egg white and brush each empanada nicely. Place empanadas on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and slightly puffed. Serve with salsa, guacamole or sour cream. You can’t go wrong!

GRAND TOTAL: $6.58



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Mar-20-2014

Creamy Cajun Rigatoni with Shrimp & Andouille

Posted by Renae

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Andouille Pasta

Apparently veggie prices are going to sky rocket for a few months. I’m told it’s because of flooding and frost. It was quite shocking to see lettuce AND celery at $2 a bunch. But, luckily, Sprouts seemed to counteract the high veggie prices with some great meat and seafood deals. Sounds good to me. Shrimp and Andouille? Hmmm. Screams cajun pasta to me! How about you? Oh, and if you like it super spicy (like me and my hubby), top with a dash of cayenne. Yummo!

Creamy Cajun Rigatoni:

1/2 to 3/4 bag of rigatoni pasta (or your preferred pasta) cooked as directed – $.75
1/2 lb Shrimp (41-50 count) – $2.49 (on sale this week for $4.99/lb)
1 or two andouille (sliced on bias) – $.99 (on sale this week. I used one, should have used 2)
1 green pepper, diced – $.77
1/2 onion, diced – $.25
1 large Roma Tomato, diced – $.35
2 cups half and half – $1.75
1 small can of drained, mushrooms – $.79
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated – $.50
1 cup milk – fridge
3 Tbsps butter (olive oil for more heart healthy) – $.40
2 Tbsp flour – pantry
3 Tbsps Cajun or Soul Seasoning – pantry
1/2 tsp salt – pantry
1 tsp minced garlic – pantry
1/2 pepper – pantry

COST: $9.04

Place shrimp in bowl and season with 1 tablespoon Soul Seasoning. Toss till coated and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté andouille in butter or olive oil until cooked, then add shrimp. Cook a few mins on each side (till pink), then remove shrimp and andouille. Shell shrimp while continuing to cook cream sauce.

In the same pan, sauté onion, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 mins, then add diced tomato and sprinkle remainder of soul or cajun seasoning over veggies. Mix and continue cooking on medium heat. Add flour and stir. Whisk in milk and stir till thick and mixture comes to simmer. Add parmesan cheese and stir. Add half and half, as well as sausage and shrimp to milk/roux mixture. Bring back up to simmer and immediately turn off.

Pour sauce over cooked and well drained rigatoni or linguine and toss. Top with more Parmesan cheese and serve with salad or garlic bread.

We served with some fresh cut french bread. The loaf price at our local fresh market is $1.29, but we only used half, so add I added .$.65 cents.

GRAND TOTAL: $9.69 (Pasta and French bread)



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