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Quarantine Cooking: Recipes & Techniques to Stretch Your Food Budget (1 Viewer)

RedmondLonghorn

Footballguy
I haven't done this in a long time, since I have become extremely carb conscious, but it is super easy, is inexpensive, and makes a delicious and filling one pot meal:

Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese

You can search the name on Google and come up with dozens of variations on the recipe. I have used more than one and they have always come out quite tasty. I also have a habit of modifying recipes and this one is perfect for that, so just use it as a jumping off point.

The basics:

Brown ground beef in instant pot

Add taco seasoning

Add stuff like diced onions, diced tomatoes, green chiles, diced jalapenos

Add one box of macaroni or other similar pasta

Add liquid (some recipes call for water, some call for milk, I like to use a can of red enchilada sauce)

Cook per recipe instructions

Add shredded cheese at the end and stir, allow excess liquid to steam off if necessary

Serve

Whole thing should take no more than about 45 minutes total, active time is about 15 minutes. Will make enough for a family of four to eat plenty, plus leftovers

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
Wed - prime rib and bacon/brussell sprouts stir fry

Thur - meatloaf (beef, pork, lamb) with lebanese spice mix, truffle oil mashed potatoes (heavy on the cream), long cooked green beans with some bacon grease

Fri - velvet chicken in szeuhan black bean sauce (inc. mushrooms/green onions/water chestnuts)

(doing the velveting this afternoon)

Sat - leftovers

Sun - lasagne (haven't decided on what I'm putting in it yet)

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
Have you made seafood lasagna with a cream sauce?  Bay Scallops, Shrimp, Crab with a garlic sauce.
not lasagne but made shrimp/crab cannelloni with an alfredo sauce back in February - we love it.  I froze a small batch and still have it. 

great suggestion - I think I'm gonna red sauce with either ground lamb or a lamb ragu if I'm feeling antsy.   

 

Drunken knight

Footballguy
not lasagne but made shrimp/crab cannelloni with an alfredo sauce back in February - we love it.  I froze a small batch and still have it. 

great suggestion - I think I'm gonna red sauce with either ground lamb or a lamb ragu if I'm feeling antsy.   
you could go more exotic for your lamb to include Mediterranean or middle eastern flavors. 

 

Tony Jabroni

Footballguy
Due to a unforseen dental emergency, been stuck with soft food for a couple days. Tonight is Brinner. (Breakfast for dinner) Scrambled eggs with diced ham, sausage, hash brows, if I have bacon, you bet, and toast.

 

Drunken knight

Footballguy
Due to a unforseen dental emergency, been stuck with soft food for a couple days. Tonight is Brinner. (Breakfast for dinner) Scrambled eggs with diced ham, sausage, hash brows, if I have bacon, you bet, and toast.
You could go on a soup bender (warm and cold).... make custards, ice cream, mashed potatoes/latkes, stuffing, oatmeal, chili, etc

 

Tony Jabroni

Footballguy
You could go on a soup bender (warm and cold).... make custards, ice cream, mashed potatoes/latkes, stuffing, oatmeal, chili, etc
Had soup last night. I love soups either way. Soup & and sandwich is a staple. Good ideas though. Picked up some Snickers & some Double strawberry ice cream. Tearing that up for the draft.

 

Nigel

Footballguy
Had an Italian night on Sunday, all with stuff we had on hand and the key ingredients homemade. Took raviolis and marinara (wife made them) out of the freezer, and also made pasta carbonara using bacon I'd smoked at home and frozen. Lots of sweat went into the raviolis and bacon weeks ago but dinner for six was under $15, and we can replicate it another bunch of times with what's left in freezer.

 

bostonfred

Footballguy
This is dumb but made me surprisingly happy.  

I wanted to drink some wine last night but knew I'd be all over my snacks if i did.  And i didn't want to have wine and chips for dinner or something.  I wanted some of the pizza I made for my kid. 

So I took the pizza wheel and cut one slice into quarter inch strips, then cut them the other way to about two inches long so i had a couple dozen pizza strips. And it was not saucy because kids so everything stayed together pretty well. 

Totally filled my need for munchies and for pizza but it was just one slice so i could still drink mostly guilt free.  

 

General Malaise

Poop Lord
I tried to replicate China Panda's Orange Chicken and, well, it didn't go so well.  If in fact you were wondering if it was at all possible to make something taste worse than China Panda, look no further than right here.  

<--------------------------------------------

 

General Malaise

Poop Lord
I tried to replicate China Panda's Orange Chicken and, well, it didn't go so well.  If in fact you were wondering if it was at all possible to make something taste worse than China Panda, look no further than right here.  

<--------------------------------------------
errrrrrrrrrrrrr......Panda Express. :bag:

God, I'm worse than Trump.

 

caustic

Footballguy
I tried to replicate China Panda's Orange Chicken and, well, it didn't go so well.  If in fact you were wondering if it was at all possible to make something taste worse than China Panda, look no further than right here.  

<--------------------------------------------
Along those same lines, I tried recreating PF Chang's lettuce wraps last night and it wasn't exactly a smashing success either. Tasted pretty decent but the texture was a little too dog food-esque for my liking.

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
did electric hot chicken 2-3 nights ago - velveted the chicken the day prior

had onions, green onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms 

electric sauce was a big wad of gojuchang paste, chili oil, sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lemongrass

nice pot of white rice

whole family loved it - finished it up last night

sweat your ### off good 

ETA:  some chinese cooking wine in the sauce as well 

 
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General Malaise

Poop Lord
Along those same lines, I tried recreating PF Chang's lettuce wraps last night and it wasn't exactly a smashing success either. Tasted pretty decent but the texture was a little too dog food-esque for my liking.
Lolz....I'm sure I'd boink that up too.  

I'm with you; the flavor and taste are there but my texture and plating was a disaster.  Same with the crab pad Thai...delicious but looked like Alpo.

 

E-Z Glider

Footballguy
I've been a burgers-on-the-grill-guy my whole life, but finally tried the smashburgers last night. Everyone went nuts over them. Good news is I don't need to fire up the grill anymore when doing burgers. Bad news is that I need to get the exhaust fan fixed above my stove because this sets off all the smoke alarms.  :lmao:

In case you aren't familiar with the smashburger concept

 

Redwes25

Footballguy
I've been a burgers-on-the-grill-guy my whole life, but finally tried the smashburgers last night. Everyone went nuts over them. Good news is I don't need to fire up the grill anymore when doing burgers. Bad news is that I need to get the exhaust fan fixed above my stove because this sets off all the smoke alarms.  :lmao:

In case you aren't familiar with the smashburger concept
I have been using the Kenji Lopez method for years.  Honestly, the best way to cook burgers at home unless you have the ability to grind your own meat and can cook it to a lower temperature to something like medium rare.  Personally I wouldn't eat a burger eating commercial beef unless you cook to 160.  With smash method you don't need to worry about that aspect as it just comes out awesome.  

Not sure if others follow his stuff on Serious Eats but he has some great stuff.  

 

Nigel

Footballguy
I've been a burgers-on-the-grill-guy my whole life, but finally tried the smashburgers last night. Everyone went nuts over them. Good news is I don't need to fire up the grill anymore when doing burgers. Bad news is that I need to get the exhaust fan fixed above my stove because this sets off all the smoke alarms.  :lmao:

In case you aren't familiar with the smashburger concept
I made the switch a year ago, never going back.

 

Summerofgeorge

Footballguy
Had a couple of lbs of cod in my freezer and did not want to deep fry it

Looking for recipes I found Poor Mans Lobster made with cod.

To be honest I was not expecting much but was quite surprised.   I would not say it was lobster but it did have the lobster texture and the taste was a combo of lobster and fish.   Better than just plain cod for sure.  My wife loved it.  I would make it again.
Made this a few nights ago with cod I had in freezer. 

Something different. Wife and i enjoyed it and will make again, thanks 

 

General Malaise

Poop Lord
Nigel said:
I made the switch a year ago, never going back.
Are you guys using a flat top/griddle for this or cast iron skillets?  I've got a flat cast iron that I could use for this.  I tried it once but didn't do it right (a shocker to none)....but having seen the video, I can tell where I went wrong and can correct those errors.  

Side note:  that Smashburger owner comes across as a giant, arrogant dildo. 

 

E-Z Glider

Footballguy
Are you guys using a flat top/griddle for this or cast iron skillets?  I've got a flat cast iron that I could use for this.  I tried it once but didn't do it right (a shocker to none)....but having seen the video, I can tell where I went wrong and can correct those errors.  

Side note:  that Smashburger owner comes across as a giant, arrogant dildo. 
Either will work. Just need to have it searing hot.

:lmao:  he’s the worst. Good burger though!

 

munga30

Checkin' my email
Bought a dirt cheap picnic ham.  Cheaper than shoulder, if you can believe it.  carved off all teh skin, rubbed it, and smoked it like shoulder.  came out great!  

roasted up some veggies and then made pulled pork and roasted brussell sprouts quesadillas.  soooooo good. 

GM, a griddle is probably better if you're cooking more than one because you want the burger crust to go with the burger and that requires a thin spatula held flat.  Hard(er) to get flat in a skillet.  

 

Redwes25

Footballguy
Are you guys using a flat top/griddle for this or cast iron skillets?  I've got a flat cast iron that I could use for this.  I tried it once but didn't do it right (a shocker to none)....but having seen the video, I can tell where I went wrong and can correct those errors.  

Side note:  that Smashburger owner comes across as a giant, arrogant dildo. 
Use a cast iron pan.  Follow Kenji's directions, also long article on Seriouseats by him if you are interested.  

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
Summerofgeorge said:
Had a couple of lbs of cod in my freezer and did not want to deep fry it

Looking for recipes I found Poor Mans Lobster made with cod.

To be honest I was not expecting much but was quite surprised.   I would not say it was lobster but it did have the lobster texture and the taste was a combo of lobster and fish.   Better than just plain cod for sure.  My wife loved it.  I would make it again.
Made this a few nights ago with cod I had in freezer. 

Something different. Wife and i enjoyed it and will make again, thanks 
I did this a while back and it was super meh.  

I was really excited about it and had the family pumped as well.  We ate it just like you would lobster - nice twice baked potato and salad with these butter-laden bite-sized chunks of white cod.  

Texture was off and did not taste remotely similar.  

Just fair warning - YMMV.  

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
We have pretty good about low carbing it but have fallen off the wagon pretty good lately.

I have some brioche in the freezer and decided I'm going to do a vanilla-cinnamon cream cheese stuffed brioche french toast tomorrow.  May get some strawberries.  And I have some maple sausage links to go with it.  ####### giant carb bomb.

Will report back.

Follow Up:  giant hit ...although I couldn't finish mine.  2 thick slices of brioche and a double load of egg custard ...soaked it all up (almost 1" slices) ...added some local sliced strawberries for a little acidity.

Family loved it.  I did too - but just too much for my dainty stomach.  :)

 
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Da Guru

Fair & Balanced
I did this a while back and it was super meh.  

I was really excited about it and had the family pumped as well.  We ate it just like you would lobster - nice twice baked potato and salad with these butter-laden bite-sized chunks of white cod.  

Texture was off and did not taste remotely similar.  

Just fair warning - YMMV.  
You can`t go in expecting lobster or you will be disappointed. When I buy fake crab legs at the store I know going in it is not real crab.

Expect a slightly lobster tasting cod

I doubled the lemon juice and sugar.   Texture was almost like lobster, taste was almost like lobster. 

Not saying it was lobster but cod is pretty meh on it`s own anyway if not deep fried. It was much better than baked cod. My wife loved it and she is picky.

 

Nigel

Footballguy
Made some chicken tinga yesterday, it's cheap and goes a long way. I use a recipe similar to THIS and usually use thigh/leg quarters. Once made, you can make tacos, nachos, wraps, etc.

Tinga almost done

Finished taco (topped with refried beans, guacamole, onion, tomato, black olives, jalapeno, cilantro, and queso fresca)
I made your tinga recipe last night using a shredded rotisserie chicken - easy and really good. Less than 30 min start to finish. 

 

Hawks64

Footballguy
I've been a burgers-on-the-grill-guy my whole life, but finally tried the smashburgers last night. Everyone went nuts over them. Good news is I don't need to fire up the grill anymore when doing burgers. Bad news is that I need to get the exhaust fan fixed above my stove because this sets off all the smoke alarms.  :lmao:

In case you aren't familiar with the smashburger concept
I have been using the Kenji Lopez method for years.  Honestly, the best way to cook burgers at home unless you have the ability to grind your own meat and can cook it to a lower temperature to something like medium rare.  Personally I wouldn't eat a burger eating commercial beef unless you cook to 160.  With smash method you don't need to worry about that aspect as it just comes out awesome.  

Not sure if others follow his stuff on Serious Eats but he has some great stuff.  
Use your grill and put your cast iron on it, I have a nice cast iron grill pan I got from Costco specifically for this. It's completely flat, will be doing smash burgers this weekend I think.

 

RedmondLonghorn

Footballguy
I have been using the Kenji Lopez method for years.  Honestly, the best way to cook burgers at home unless you have the ability to grind your own meat and can cook it to a lower temperature to something like medium rare.  Personally I wouldn't eat a burger eating commercial beef unless you cook to 160.  With smash method you don't need to worry about that aspect as it just comes out awesome.  

Not sure if others follow his stuff on Serious Eats but he has some great stuff.  
I just followed his methodology for doing sous vide duck breast last night. His recipes and technique explainers are top notch, even if he did block me on Twitter. :lmao:

 

Redwes25

Footballguy

General Malaise

Poop Lord
Found a little hidden gem of a natural grocer and I'm already in love.  Yesterday, I bought 2 bags of chicken bones/carcass for next to nothing and made stock last night in my Dutch Oven.  Unlike past stock experiences, I baked this one.  Turned out sooooooooooooooo tasty!  

Also bought Ham Hocks and Pork Trotters.  Thinking I can put both the hock and trotter in the Dutch Oven and make broth out of them.  Any other suggestions?

 

Summerofgeorge

Footballguy
Found a little hidden gem of a natural grocer and I'm already in love.  Yesterday, I bought 2 bags of chicken bones/carcass for next to nothing and made stock last night in my Dutch Oven.  Unlike past stock experiences, I baked this one.  Turned out sooooooooooooooo tasty!  

Also bought Ham Hocks and Pork Trotters.  Thinking I can put both the hock and trotter in the Dutch Oven and make broth out of them.  Any other suggestions?
Wth is a pork trotter ?

eta: do you have an instant pot ?

 
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heckmanm

Footballguy
General Malaise said:
Found a little hidden gem of a natural grocer and I'm already in love.  Yesterday, I bought 2 bags of chicken bones/carcass for next to nothing and made stock last night in my Dutch Oven.  Unlike past stock experiences, I baked this one.  Turned out sooooooooooooooo tasty!  

Also bought Ham Hocks and Pork Trotters.  Thinking I can put both the hock and trotter in the Dutch Oven and make broth out of them.  Any other suggestions?
I like to throw a hock into a big pot of collard greens.  Basically making a pork stock and cooking the greens in it on the fly.

 

Deepster

Footballguy
General Malaise said:
Found a little hidden gem of a natural grocer and I'm already in love.  Yesterday, I bought 2 bags of chicken bones/carcass for next to nothing and made stock last night in my Dutch Oven.  Unlike past stock experiences, I baked this one.  Turned out sooooooooooooooo tasty!  

Also bought Ham Hocks and Pork Trotters.  Thinking I can put both the hock and trotter in the Dutch Oven and make broth out of them.  Any other suggestions?
You can use that broth with pork bits and onion with stewed green beans.  Or a stewed white/cannelini bean.

 

RedmondLonghorn

Footballguy
I feel like I need more explanation here.
Ha. It's really dumb.

A couple years ago he posted on Twitter about his collection of vegan recipes and included a link to the Serious Eats repository for them. The image that popped up in the body of the Tweet that accompanied the Serious Eats link was a cross section of a beautiful rare steak.

As one might imagine, the vegans were very upset by that little technology glitch. He was embarrassed and frustrated and was very apologetic to his vegan readers.

I Tweeted something like "LOL. I accidentally clicked on the link because of the picture only to find out it was a collection of vegan recipes."

That didn't go over well. He got really upset and when I told him it was just meant to be a harmless joke, he blocked me.

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
So I've got an awesome Cuban Pork recipe I've been doing.  Pork Shoulder seems to be readily available.  It's cheap, and leftovers are awesome. It's been pretty fool-proof.  Made it 2x now, and gotten several meals from it.

1 Pork Shoulder/Butt - I've been using bone-in.  Did a 5.5 lb, then a 7.5 lb...the 5.5 turned out more flavorful, but both are good.

Prep the Shoulder - remove it from the bag, dry it off, and score the fat cap all over.  Cut down to the meat in a grid pattern, roughly 1" grid.

Marinade - I blend up the below 5 ingredients in a bullet blender until they're a paste.  

4 Garlic BULBS/HEADS (not cloves - yes - it's a TON of garlic)

1 yellow onion (diced)

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

2 tablespoons dried oregano

Next, rub this paste ALL over the shoulder, get it down in the cracks of the scored fat cap, etc.  Put it in a freezer bag or marinade bag.

Add 1/3 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 1/3 cup orange juice to the bag.  Do your best not to wash off the garlic paste, but some of it will come off.  Remove as much of the air from the bag as you can, and let it marinade at least overnight.  The larger the cut of meat, the longer you marinade it.

Cooking -  - other closed cooking methods may work, but I use a dutch over.  Remove the shoulder, place in the dutch oven, fat cap side up, and skim off some of the garlic paste that washed off.  I re-apply that to the fat cap.  I then pour A LITTLE (1/3 cup or so) of the remaining marinade/juice in the bottom of the dutch oven.  Close it, put it in the oven at 350 for 3-4 hours.  Maybe 2/3 of the way through, I use a meat injector to suck up some of the juice in the bottom of the oven and reinject into the shoulder.  3-4 hours in, remove the lid, and continue to roast for 1-2 hours more to brown up the fat and top of the roast.  Let it get crispy.  Baste it with the juice from time to time.  It won't dry the whole thing out.  It just gives it some texture.  

Remove, drain some of the juice/fat from the dutch oven and set aside.  Shred the shoulder like you do any pulled pork.  Pour some of the drained juice/fat mixture back in as you mix it.  

Serve with Black Beans, Yellow Rice, and my favorite touch, some LIGHTLY cooked shaved yellow onion.  You can add some mojo sauce or any other sauce too.  It sounds like a lot of work, but for something that lasts several days and reheats as good as it was out of the oven, it's pretty easy and efficient.

 

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