Shrimp Boil

DSC02429

I got a steal of a deal at the grocery store and invested in 2 pounds of shrimp. This sparked a genius idea. Why have a shrimp boil with just two people? We should invite friends! So that’s what I did, I called up my people and had a yummy shrimp boil!

So this meal obviously busts the beer budget. HOWEVER for a small dinner party, I think this was very affordable. About $27 and enough food for 6 people. If you get your guests to bring sides, beer, and dessert this is a damn cheap party!

Having company over made taking pictures challenging, but I think I took just enough for you to get the picture.

5-7 quarts of water, this will be dependent upon your pot

1 beer

2 lemons

6 tbs creole seasoning

2 tbs kosher salt

3 cloves of garlic

2-3 lbs red potatoes

4 andouille sausages

4 corn cobs

1-2 lbs raw shell-on shrimp

The key to an delicious shrimp boil is a great stock! The only way you can fail here is by under seasoning, more water = more seasoning.

Add the water, beer, creole seasoning, and salt to a stock pot and get it boiling. While the stock is heating up, cut two lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the pot. Drop the lemons in, too. Pull the skin off of three garlic cloves, mash them with a knife and drop them into the stock.

Cut the red potatoes into large chunks, quarters are usually a good size.

Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes. When the water comes back up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 15 minutes.

Slice up the sausage. You can slice them into large hunks or smaller bite-sized pieces. Bite-sized pieces will take a little less time to cook up, so keep that in mind when adding them to the pot.

DSC02420

After the potatoes have boiled for about 15 minutes, add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes.

DSC02423

Cut the corn into thirds and drop them into the pot. If you have bite-sized sausages, toss them in at the same time as the corn. The corn will only take a couple minutes, but you can let it go for as long as 7 minutes if you need to prep your shrimp.

DSC02422

Rinse your shrimp. Drop them in the pot defrosted with the shells still on. After three minutes, pull the pot off the heat and strain.

You can drizzle melted butter over top before spilling onto the table or set out dip cups. I added a little garlic and parsley to the butter.

DSC02417

Pour the shrimp boil onto a large table. If you want to keep the mess at bay, cover the table in parchment paper OR if you get crafty like me and my friends you can create an aluminum foil blanket for the table. (We crimped the seams and everything to prevent cuts!) I know it looks tacky, but afterwards we just folded up the blanket with shells inside and threw it into the trash. No mess but the stock pot, cutting board, and knife!

DSC02428

Sprinkle with parsley and dig in with your fingers. You may want a fork for the potatoes, they are hot.

DSC02429

If you are lucky like me, your friends will bring dessert and biscuits. 🙂

Advertisements

Philly Cheesesteaks with Red Potatoes

DSC02414

Welp, tonight’s meal was an exercise in craft. I was cooking in a male’s kitchen. You can’t imagine what I had to work with and the space I had to work it in. Challenge one, zero counter space. I prepped in the corner between the sink and the oven. Challenge two, inadequate cooking utensils. I used a deep spoon to sauté my onions and peps. I had one good knife to use for both vegetable and meat. Challenge three, missing ingredients. Used vegetable oil to cook everything rather than the preferable olive oil.. Challenge four, dark pictures due to the dark countertop and yellowish lighting.

All difficulties aside, these are banging Philly cheesesteaks and the potatoes ain’t bad either.

Grab these things:

1-2 white onions

1-2 green peppers

2 garlic cloves

1 top round steak

6-7 slices of provolone

S&P

1/3 cup + 1 tbs olive oil

2 tbs butter

4 medium sized red potatoes

1 pkg Lipton’s onion recipe mix (I will learn to create my own one day…)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

DSC02373

Challenge five, this is a pillow case. There are no dish towels here. Wash and dry your potatoes with whatever clean rag you have laying around.

DSC02375

Chop them up in to large chunks. Then…

DSC02371

Flip the Lipton’s box over to find out what comes next.

DSC02376

Just kidding, not really. Dump them in a bowl and add 1/3 cup of oil. I used vegetable oil.

DSC02380

Add one packet of this yummy stuff and keep the second for another day. Stir up the potatoes, coating all of them in oil and onion seasoning.

DSC02383

Pour them out into a 13 x 9 baking dish, you could coat it with pam or nonstick aluminum foil for super easy clean up.

Challenge six, I had only this tiny cookie sheet. There was zero surface area to move my potatoes around AND the cookie sheet bent in the oven from the heat. :/

DSC02384

Place the potatoes in the oven, at 425 degrees, and check on them every 10 minutes. I like them crispy, if you do too leave them in for 45 minutes and stir every 10. If you don’t, they will be soft and delicious after 30 minutes.

DSC02386

Time for cheesesteaks! Chop up your onion(s) in skinny, long strips or fat, short ones. If you like skinny and long, chop the onion in half hotdog style. I prefer stubby pieces, they match the thickness of the bell peppers and I like that consistency. Before you cut up the pepper, heat 1 or 2 tbs of oil and 1 tbs of butter over medium-high heat. If possible, use a nonstick skillet so you can scrape up the bits that get stuck to the pan.

DSC02388

Core out your green bell pepper(s). Cut the pepper into pinkie-width wedges. Like my cutting board? Challenge 7, there’s only one and it’s miniature size. Cut all of your veggies first, giving the board a quick rinse after each one. Then use it to cut your meat.

DSC02389

Check on the potatoes if you haven’t already!

DSC02392

Drop the onions and peppas just before the butter starts to brown, its a golden color and bubbly. Salt and pepper lightly. Tend to this over the next 10 to 20 minutes.

*Not pictures, chop up 2 cloves of garlic. Set to the side.

DSC02393

 The best way to cut your meat is to have the butcher do it. If you slice at home, put the meat in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting. The slightly frozen meat will be much easier to cut.

DSC02394

Slice the steak into very thin pieces, about half of a centimeter or smaller. Do this so the meat will cook quickly and it will be easier to chew. Salt and pepper the steak or you can use a steak seasoning.

DSC02395

This is about 10 minutes after cooking. The onions and peppers are still crisp. This might be where you want to add the garlic and salt and pepper if you like a crunch.

DSC02396

This is after 15 minutes. The vegetables are a little softer. I added the garlic and S&P here. Stir and watch closely for about three minutes, you really don’t want the garlic to burn. Transfer to a bowl or plate and keep in microwave.

DSC02397

Wipe the pan of veggie remains, not oil. If there is any garlic in the pan it will burn while you cook the meat. Drop your meat in the hot pan.

DSC02398

About a minute after dropping the meat, I added 1/2 tbs of butter the the pan. The first minute, the meat develops a nice sear. Soon after the meat will stick to the pan because it’s so thin. The butter not only adds an amazing texture and flavor to the meat, but it keeps the meat strips in tact.

DSC02400

Prep 15-20 inch foil sheets with buns.

DSC02402

The meat will cook up in about 3 minutes and then you can add back in the vegetables. Mix it all together in the pan.

DSC02404

Drop slices of provolone on top. I like a little overlapping, it ensures maximum cheesiness.

DSC02406

When the cheese starts to look like this, especially like the far slice, you can start to mix the goodness together. Pull the pan off the heat, once the cheese hits the pan it will start to cook and you don’t want burning!

DSC02407

I couldn’t snap a pic of the goodness, things started to get a little messy, and I ran out of hands. But scoop the mixture into the ready buns. If you have really bready buns, you may want to scoop out the center a little to make way for the goodness.

DSC02408

Wrap the cheesesteak up tight like a burrito. I place the steak, meat side towards me on the short end. Then a fold the tail over the meat, you want to enclose the meat first in the foil or it will all fall out. Fold in the sides and roll up tightly. The tight roll ensures maximum flavor melding, it’s worth it.

DSC02409

Get the potatoes out of the oven and scoop them into the cutest bowl you can find. I think this bowl is pretty impressive for a man’s kitchen.

Drop the oven temperature down to 250 degrees.

DSC02410

Place rolls into the oven. I didn’t wait for the oven to cool down. In just 10 minutes, these bad boys will be ready to eat!

DSC02411

Look at that cheese..

DSC02412

This sandwich should not fall apart will eating. If it does, you failed at adding cheese. I got super crafty and was able to pull off these stunners, you can too.

Tonight’s total meal cost was $13.25 for 5 philly cheesesteaks. That’s just over $2.60 a sandwich. Not bad?

DSC02413

Eat two. 🙂

Chicken and Zippy Corn & Zucchini Salad

I would call my shopping trip a great success! I spent a little more than intended, but I blame my inability to refrain from a good bargain.

Here’s what I ended up buying from the store:

  • yellow onion (2 for $1.75)
  • white onion (2 for $3)
  • grape tomatoes ($3)
  • garlic clove ($0.50)
  • corn (6 ears for $2)
  • scallions ($1)
  • bell pepper (2 green for $1.85)
  • lemon (2 for $2)
  • red potatoes (5 lbs for $5)
  • shrimp (2 lbs for $15)
  • andouille sausage ($6)
  • chicken breasts ($4.30)
  • top round steak ($3.60)
  • provolone cheese ($3.50)
  • hoagie rolls ($2)
  • creole seasoning ($1.80)

For a grand total of $54.30! Pretty close, eh?

As I was picking up 1 lb of shrimp for $11, I noticed a bigger, much better deal – 2 lbs for $15! I don’t need 2 lbs of shrimp, but I couldn’t resist the savings! This slight upcharge cost me andouille sausage for my one pot pasta, but with the extra pound of shrimp I can make shrimp with pasta instead.

Tonight’s meal was a familiar one, zippy corn and zucchini salad with pan fried chicken breasts. I forgot to swipe the lettuce from my mom’s fridge so we skipped the greens.

To pan fry the chicken, I sliced one breast in half and then cut the tenderloins off (down the fat lines). This makes about three or four chicken pieces. Wash and pat each dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper each side and dredge through flour. I like to be lazy and save a plate by sprinkling flour on top of the chicken and shaking the chicken to spread it. Heat about 1 tbs of oil and 1 tbs of butter over medium high heat. Once the butter starts to bubble, drop the chickies and flip after 4 minutes. Shouldn’t take longer than 7, check the under side for burning. If you want to be uber cautious, you can check the temp by turning the breast on its side and inserting a thermometer. You’re looking for 160 degrees.

I used the same pan for the chicken and the corn, made sense. I put the chicken on a plate and set it in the microwave while I made the salad. Don’t bother adding more oil to the pan if 1 tbs or more remains from the chicken.

I have scallions, corn, a zucchini, a chicken breast, tomatoes and lemon left over for other dinners. Which is amazing.

The total for this meal was.. $5.30! If you had to buy a zucchini, add $1 more.

food

A great deal on a fancy meal! 🙂

Beer Budget Grocery List

I’m baaackk!

A lot has happened since my last post, I’ve been on the move – here, there, and everywhere. I still haven’t found my way back to Richmond, but soon I’ll be home and in my new apartment (with a much needed, oven upgrade! So long Enterprise, it was not fun.).

Today I am going grocery shopping. I have been eating out all summer and I need a change. I also need to save some money… and thus the Beer Budget Grocery List and Menu were created!

I have googled and found many grocery lists and menus to accompany them, but I have yet to find a whole entire menu appetizing. So I thought I’d try my hand at making my own, using my $10 beer/wine budget. We’ll see how it goes!

For the menu, I want each meal to incorporate some ingredient of another. This way I don’t waste any food in my last week in Arlington and I save money on ingredients. Throughout this week I’ll post the recipes to each of these:

Chicken and Zippy Corn & Zucchini Salad

Creole Shrimp Boil

Andouille Sausage One Pot

Chicken Kabobs

Philly Cheesesteaks

I chose these meals because I love the versatility in the ingredients and because they sound delicious! The andouille is in the shrimp boil as well as the one pot, three of the recipes include yellow onion, two add peppers, the chicken will be used twice, and the leftover potatoes from the shrimp boil can be made as a side for the cheesesteaks!

So here’s the beer budget grocery list:

  • yellow onion (3)
  • grape tomatoes
  • garlic clove
  • corn (4-5 ears)
  • scallions
  • bell pepper (1 red, 1 green, or any 2  favorites)
  • lemon
  • red potatoes (3 lbs)
  • shrimp (1 lbs)
  • andouille sausage
  • chicken breasts
  • top round steak
  • provolone cheese
  • hoagie rolls
  • creole seasoning

Here are some things I have that you might need (which may surpass your beer budget :/)

  • Herbs (basil, parsley)
  • Zucchini (2)
  • Rice
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pasta
  • Olive oil
  • S&P
  • Lettuce
  • Butter

I’m aiming for a $50 bill, or $10 a dinner. Which is insane! I can’t go anywhere, except fast food, and buy dinner for 2 for less than $20.

 I’ll report back on how my shopping trip goes in my dinner posting! 🙂