$10 buck dinners!

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Panko Catfish FriedBeer Battered Onion Rings

Oh jeez. I posted without even introducing anything. It’s been a long week. A tough one too. Anyway, here’s a meal that everyone will love. Seriously, who doesn’t love onion rings. I mean even my kiddo that hates onions, loves onion rings. Yeah. Crazy, but true! And you can pretty much fry anything in panko and have crunchy yumminess. haha! Anyway, here you go. Fish, Onion Rings and Brussel Sprouts for good measure. Gotta be somewhat healthy!

Brussel Sprouts:

1 lb (my hubby hates them, so this is really only enough for 3) – $.52 (What a sale! .$49 a lb)
1/4 cup water
salt (to taste) – pantry
1/2 tsp pepper – pantry
1-2 Tbsps butter or olive oil (optional) – for flavor

COST: $.52

Cover and steam in water to desired tenderness. I cut them in half, but you can leave whole. Plan on at least 6-8 minutes for firm. We like ours pretty well cooked, so it’s more like 12 minutes.

Now on to the fun part. Fried Fish and Onion rings!!

Panko Crusted Catfish (pan fried):

4 seasoned catfish filets (manager’s special) – $5.03
2 cups panko crumbs – $1.25
2 cups milk – $.50
2 Tbsp Canola or Olive Oil – pantry
1 tsp salt – pantry
1 tsp pepper – pantry

COST: $6.72

As you all know, my local Sprouts butcher runs specials during the week and this week one of the specials was catfish. They usually season them pretty spicy, so I soak them in milk for the kids and then season in panko crumbs (or corn meal and flour) and fry in a little oil, with a dab of butter. If you don’t have preseasoned catfish, you can season with salt, pepper and paprika or any other seasonings you like. Cook for 5 mins or so, per side, depending on thickness and flip. Key is to only turn once!

Now, here is where the problem happens. It’s pretty tough to fry it all and time it perfect so that everything’s hot. If you have a deep fryer, it might make life easier. If not, do what I do and use a deep sauce pan and fill with a few cups of oil. I started on the onion rings first and then went to fish midway. It worked pretty good. Nothing was left, so I guess everyone enjoyed the meal. 🙂

Beer Battered Onion Rings:

2 cups flour – $.75
1 egg – $.15
1 can beer – I was gonna have one anyway, so I call this a sacrifice
4 tablespoons butter, melted – $.25
2 large white or red onions, sliced into rings (they’re sweeter) – $.79
2-3 cups oil for frying – $.75
Salt – Pantry (I use a little in the batter and then sprinkle with salt after frying)

COST: $2.69

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg well. Add beer, melted butter and salt and mix again. Slowly stir the wet mixture into sifted flour and combine. You should have a thick pancake style batter. Add a little more beer or flour to get the right consistency. Allow the mixture to stand for 30 minutes.

Heat deep fryer to 375 degrees or, like me (I don’t have a deep fryer), heat oil in deep sauce pan on high. If you use a deep fryer, you will need a lot more oil, so make note. I use about 2 cups and it seems to work out fine in my sauce pan.

When oil is hot and ready, dunk 6 or so onion rings into batter and coat well. Place in hot oil (gently), one at a time, then use tongs to make sure they aren’t sticking. Fry till golden brown (turning once or twice) and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with your yummy fish and healthy brussel sprouts. Yum, yum!!

GRAND TOTAL: $9.93


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BuñuelosBuñuelos with sugar and cinnamon

I already know, this post is going to strike a lot of discussion. You see, Buñuelos are one of those foods and terms that seem to vary, not only from culture to culture, but region to region. So, understand now, I am giving you “my” family recipe, which is really just like that of our flour tortillas, just fried. No rocket science, just a few simple ingredients, a little elbow grease and a whole lot of love! Buñuelos are a treat in our house and I hope they become one in yours too.

Buñuelos:

3 cups unbleached flour – $.50
1 1/2 tsp baking powder – pantry
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt (adjust to your taste) – pantry
4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (I prefer lard, but reduce to 3-4 Tbsp) – $.30
about 1 1/4 cups very warm water, almost hot
2 cups oil – $.85
Optional: 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon

COST: $1.65

Mix dry ingredients in a large plastic or metal bowl. Add shortening or lard.  Using your fingers, squeeze or cut in lard. You want the mixture well incorporated.

Next add very warm water, a little at a time, mixing with one hand, until your dough is soft and not sticky. You don’t need steaming hot water, but pretty warm. Not cold or luke warm.

Knead the dough/masa for a few minutes. Do NOT over mix! Masa should be soft and not sticky.Tortilla Ball

Once you have your dough ready, you can heat your oil in a fry pan. Just make sure the oil is about an inch deep, minimum. Temp should be medium high.

Pull off pieces of dough to form small balls. You can pinch them down with your hands a bit to make them flat, then roll out the dough with your rolling pin. You will roll from the center of the ball and up, center and down. When you have a flat, tortilla shape, make a hole in the center and place the flattened, tortilla shaped dough in the hot oil.

After Buñuelo is browned and crisp on one side, lift and turn it over using metal tongs.

While Buñuelo is cooking, continue prepping the next ball of dough. As Buñuelos cook, place on plate covered with paper towels to drain excess oil.

We make 3/4 of the batch regular and save the last 1/4 to do with sugar and cinnamon. The best treat ever!

Simply make your tortilla shape out of the dough and cut the circle in fours. Fry as usual, then coat in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. We use a simple brown lunch bag to shake them in. Just make sure you place Buñuelos in the sugar and cinnamon mixture right after they fry. Be care, they’re hot, but you have to do it this way. The oil will help the sugar mixture stick.

Now, enjoy! Two times!

GRAND TOTAL: $1.65


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