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Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

My father is law is the master at gumbo, so I’m in no way trying to compete. But my kiddo asked for gumbo over jambalaya the other day and I figured, why not? Chicken and Andouille gumbo has got to taste delicious, even if it’s not the authentic version. And boy was I right! Great flavor, pretty healthy and perfect for the crockpot or dutch oven meal that no one has to watch. That’s exactly what I did. Prepared it and left. A few hours later, we came back to a house smelling oh so yummy. Perfect!

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo:

1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (they’ve been on sale lately) – $3.97
1/2 to 1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces – $1.59 (Mgrs special. Make sure and check for those)
2-3 Tbsp lard or Olive oil (your preference) – pantry
1 medium onion, diced – $.35
1 cup largely diced zucchini (or substitute with Okra. You could even add both!) – $.60
2-3 stalks celery, diced – $.40
1/4 cup chopped green onions – $.30
1 can diced tomato (14oz) – $.69
1 small can tomato sauce (8oz) – $.29
1/4 cup flour – pantry
4 cups chicken stock (I add chicken bouillon to water, it’s cheaper) – pantry
2 tsp Salt – pantry
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper – pantry
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce – pantry
2 tsp crushed garlic – pantry
2 bay leaves – pantry
1/2 tsp fresh thyme – pantry
1 tsp cayenne and a few dashes of Louisiana Hot sause (hot sauce optional)- pantry
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice – $.30

COST: $8.19

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown Andouille over medium heat. Once cooked, remove the sausage, but leave the fat. Add additional lard or oil to the fat. My butcher makes their own sausage and I buy them on Manager special. They are very lean. If I use packaged, I notice it renders a lot more fat. So, for lean meat, I add 3 Tbsps oil and for fattier meats, only 2 Tbsps additional oil.

Next, heat the fat and oil up to medium/medium high heat and add flour, stirring constantly and until flour becomes brown in color. Once brown, turn heat down to low and add zucchini, onion, garlic, celery and okra.

Give a quick stir and slowly pour in chicken stock. Once stock is in the pot, give a nice, good stir to make sure the roux is incorporated with the liquid. Now add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, green onions, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, Cayenne, black and hot sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Cut chicken into large chunks and add to boiling mixture. Give a good stir, then add back the browned Andouille and reduce gumbo to slow simmer. Cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours.

After cooking is complete, you can remove chicken from gumbo and shred, then return to pot or just use the back of your ladle to break apart the chicken while it’s in the gumbo. Continue simmering while you prepare your rice and don’t forget to adjust the seasoning if necessary.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PAN STEAMED RICE:

Pour rice into pot. Make sure your pot has a good lid. Add water to pot until it’s above the rice, precisely to your first finger tip knuckle line. Cover and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to slow simmer. Cook 20 mins and leave covered. DO NOT LIFT LID BEFORE 20 MINS!

GRAND TOTAL: $8.19 (I also made some quick corn bread muffins to accompany the meal. You could add a salad or french bread. It’s your choice! Add $1.53 if you do corn bread.


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Pork Won Ton Soup

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids love soup. But it does get old. I mean, how much ramen or chicken noodle can one kid take? So when I saw the won ton wrappers while shopping, I thought about this tasty soup I had once at dim sum and decided, shoot, why not!?

This simple recipe turned out great. The one mistake I did do though was cook my won tons a little too much and some started to fall apart. I adjusted my recipe to allow for proper preparation and cook time, so I’m sure you’ll be pleased. By the way, did you see the cost on this? A whole meal for less than one take out entree! That’s amazing!

Won Ton Soup:

18 – 24 won ton wrappers – $1.99 per package (but only use 1/2 – $.99)
Filling:
1/2 pound boneless lean pork, chopped ground – $1.37
1 green onion, finely minced – $.15
1 Tbsp soy sauce – pantry
1 Tbsp oyster sauce – pantry
a few drops sesame oil – pantry
pepper to taste – pantry

COST: $2.51

Combine filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Lay one won ton wrapper in front of you. Cover the remaining won tons with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Also keep prepared won tons covered to also keep from drying out.

OK, now to fill them: Moisten edges of won ton wrapper with water. Place a rounded teaspoon of pork filling in the center and fold the won ton wrapper in half, lengthwise. Make sure all the ends meet and press down firmly to seal. You can fold the won ton wrapper over one more time, if you like, by pushing the corners up and bringing the two ends together. Wet again and press to seal. The finished won ton would look like a nurse’s cap. If this process is too difficult, just stop at the first press and you’ll be fine. Fill remaining won tons and set aside till ready to boil.

When you’re ready to cook your won tons, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the won tons, making sure there is enough room for them to move about freely. Let won tons boil for 6 minutes or until they rise to the top. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

To prepare your soup base, bring chicken stock to a boil (4-5 cups). I use water and 2-3 cubes bouillon or 3 Tbsps powdered bouillon. You can do it to your taste. I some times add a little chili paste or maybe just some soy as well, but it’s your choice.

Once soup stock is to a boil, add the won tons back in and turn off. Serve immediately and top with chile flakes or just a little diced green onion and a dash of sesame oil (optional).

We served with simple fried riced. So easy to do and so yummy.

Fried Rice
Fried Rice:

1 1/2 cups COOKED rice – $.60
2 eggs – $.35
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce – $.45
1 large Carrot – $.20
2 celery stalks – $.45
1 bunch green onion – $.50
2 handfuls bean sprouts – $.75
1 tsp garlic powder – pantry
1 tsp pepper – pantry
2 Tbsp Canola Oil – pantry

COST: $3.30

Slice and dice carrot, celery and green onion. How fine or chunky is your preference. Rinse bean sprouts and set all veggies aside in separate bowl.

Next, beat eggs with fork and scramble in separate pan.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Now! The fun begins. Get your wok hot!  Very good, but cheap woks can be found at IKEA. Add oil. Immediately toss in carrots and cook for a minute, then add celery and cook another minute or two. Continue frying fast, then add final Tbsp of oil and COOKED rice, as well as soy sauce and some pepper to your taste.

After tossing and frying for a few minutes, add in bean sprouts and green onion. Mix again. Lastly, add cooked egg, toss and serve!

GRAND TOTAL: $5.81


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