Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for December, 2006

[ Currently Eating: Life Savers Candy Cane ]

So it appears I’ve been “Digg”-ed. I didn’t really check stats until this morning (too busy opening Xmas presents at Cheap Eats HQ). If you’re coming here from Digg, thanks for stopping by. I have no idea how or why the site gets Digg-ed, but it happens every so often.

farmer john breakfast sausage cheap eatsAnyhow, I meant to take a week off before posting again, but since there’s peoples around – here’s some pics of the free Farmer John Breakfast Pork Link Sausage I got the other day.

It turns out that my local supermarket did a “re-launch” (they must think they’re a website or something) and to promote it they had coupons for bunches of free items, providing you spent $10. Hell, I always spend at least $10 on the weekly trip to the market. So I went down there and got me some free sausage.

Interestingly, it looks like they left room in the package for the links to roll around. Either that or the Sausage Bandit struck while I was in line at the market.

I guess that’s a tip for Cheap Eats: check your local mailer for these type of coupons which are only good for specific markets. They also had coupons for free bread, free eggs, etc. But I couldn’t resist getting the sausage, even though it was probably worth the least.

farmer john breakfast sausage cheap eats

I rarely buy breakfast sausage. I think I haven’t bought any in 5 years or more. That’s not to say I don’t like them. I often enjoy idly rolling around these fatty brown logs on the plate at IHOP too. I guess it’s probably a good idea that I don’t eat them too often, since there are some serious chunks of fat and other un-identifiable meat-ities to be seen in them when raw. Yup – close your eyes, cover and cook.

I was actually surprised that the sausage links themselves were pretty cheap even when not on sale: 8 of them for a buck. I kind of expected it to be more pricey. I usually buy the larger Italian or Bratwurst raw sausages in bulk pack and freeze it. Later, I defrost them and crumble them up for spaghetti or other pasta dishes. Or sometimes it’s Bangers and Mash time.

Continue reading “Farmer John Sausage Links” …

[ Currently Eating: Hot Dog Omelette ]

Cheap Eats Hunt's Spaghetti SauceWhen I get around to writing that Cheap Eats Manifesto, one of the tenets is definitely going to be “Try Everything Even If You Think It Will Suck”. Here’s an example: I totally thought that this canned spaghetti sauce from Hunt’s was going to be a washout. Although I dig their canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, I didn’t think that spaghetti sauce in a can would fly.

This is a 26 ounce can of their “Classic Italian” Four Cheese Spaghetti Sauce. Checking the ingredient list, the 4 cheese in question are Romano, Parmesan, Ricotta and Mozzarella. The sauce itself isn’t extremely chunky and doesn’t contain any true added veggies (although it does contain dehydrated onions and “carrot fiber”). I was going to put a ton of stuff into the sauce to “fix” it as I normally do, but in the end I only threw in a 1/2 cup or so of sauteed onions before letting it sit on the stove.

Meanwhile, I cooked up some Barilla pasta… this is the first time I’ve used these interesting shaped “Mezza Rigatoni”. They look sort of like normal Rigatoni lopped in half. Then I just dumped the warmed sauce on top.

Cheap Eats Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce

Continue reading “Hunt’s 4 Cheese Spaghetti Sauce” …

12/12/06 | Fried Okra

[ Currently Eating: Danish Pastry ]

fried okra cheap eats

I have to admit that I only recently made a batch of Fried Okra because I had seen a snippet of Paula Deen making some on TV. By the way, I can’t stand Paula Deen… I’ve no idea why she got her own live show recently. But I do like some of the Southern recipes she talks about. And she’s somewhat more tolerable that Wolfgang Shmuck…

Sometimes people who read Cheap Eats think that I’m some sort of food or cooking expert. My god, nothing could be farther from the truth. This is the first time I’ve ever tried making Fried Okra, or for that matter anything with okra in it. It came out pretty decent, but I’m not sure how often I would make it.

I know that okra is often used to thicken stews and gumbo, and my mom used to make some sort of goulash type of dish that had okra in it. I have to say that I was never very fond of the mega-glutinous qualities that okra posesses. It’s like they have built in corn starch factories inside of them. Ok, I’m trying not to turn people off them by saying that the inside has the consistency of Slimy Boogers – but it can be extremely off-putting if you haven’t had it before. Although, if you’ve had Natto before, okra slime is a walk in the park…

Continue reading “Fried Okra” …

[ Currently Eating: Leftover Hong Kong Chicken Steak ]

Cheap Eats Clam Spaghetti

It’s been an awful long time since we had a recipe on Cheap Eats. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking – just that it takes awhile to figure out or even remember exactly what I put in dishes.

This one is from a few months ago, but I think it’s semi-accurate. It’s Clam Spaghetti, one of my favorite things to make for a quick lunch if I happen to have the clams on hand. You’ll note that the popular pasta to use for a dish like this is actually linguini – I actually like the thinner noodles and I’ll often use the even thinner spaghettini.

Cheap Eats Clam SpaghettiThe title of this post is “Chicken of the Sea Clams” instead of Clam Spaghetti, and that’s because it was originally meant as a review of the Chicken of the Sea Whole Baby Clams in the foil pouches. You’ve probably seen the tuna, clams and possibly oysters in these foil pouches. They do tend to taste a little better to me than the canned variety, but are definitely more pricey.

The other day I happened to see the clams on sale for a buck each so I picked up a few pouches to make spaghetti. These pouches are pretty small – only 100 grams worth of clams – so you need 2 pouches to actually make enough clam spaghetti for two people.

Before I get into the quality of the clams – here’s the approximate recipe for those who are too impatient:

Clam Spaghetti

2 3.5 oz pouches of baby clams — $2.00
2 tbsp e.v. olive oil — $0.10
3-4 cloves minced garlic — $0.07
1/2 lb dry spaghetti / spaghettini — $0.50
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley — $0.05
1/2 cup chicken stock — $0.15
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese – $0.10
red pepper flakes — optional
salt, pepper, water – negligible

Total: $2.97

Get a pot of water for the spaghetti going on high. Mince up the parsley and set aside. Mince the garlic and set that aside. Open the pouches and drain the clams, reserving the liquids.

Wait until water boils, then add the dry spaghetti. Start melting the butter in the olive oil in a skillet on medium. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the reserved clam liquid and chicken stock and simmer for 3-5 minutes. (Keep and eye on the spaghetti so it doesn’t get overcooked!) Some people also put in a few tablespoons of Chardonnay or other white wine as well. If you do so, add that first and make sure to cook it out before adding the chicken stock and clam juice.

Add the clams to the skillet (do NOT cook this for too long – ). When the spaghetti is al dente, I like to take it out with tongs and put it directly into the pan. Then whack the parsley in there along with the parm cheese and salt/pepper to taste. If it’s too dry, add a bit of the pasta cooking water. Toss it a bit and serve.

Continue reading “Chicken of the Sea Clams” …



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