Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archives for Sandwiches

8/22/06 | Ghetto McMuffins

[ Currently Eating: Some Kind Of Cereal ]

Egg Mcmuffins at HomeAfter the immensely popular Ghetto Pizza post, I decided to take another trip down ghetto memory lane. Again, I don’t mean ghetto in any derogatory way… like, if you live in or near a sketchy neighborhood I’m not saying this is the only type of food you would eat. In fact, you probably eat much better than me…

Anyhow, welcome to Ghetto McMuffins 101. The idea is to mimic all of those breakfast sandwiches that cost an arm and a leg. Hey, there’s no reason to make your wallet feel so sad in the morning! Make one at home. It takes about 5-10 minutes.

I mentioned latch-key kid food before, and this could also fall into that category. However, it’s a bit more “advanced” since I find it difficult to make egg scrambles in the microwave or toaster (it can be done, however). You’ve gotta use the stove; but it’s still pretty fast:

Ghetto McMuffins

1 english muffin — $0.25
1-2 eggs — $0.15
1/2 – 1 hotdog — $0.12
1 slice cheese, optional — $0.10
pepper, optional

Total: $0.62

Cut the english muffin in half and put it in the toaster set for extra crispy. Meanwhile, beat the egg(s) lightly in a small bowl. Throw in pepper if you like. Cut up the hotdog into chunks. Get a medium fire under a small (8-9 inch is fine) non stick omelette pan going. At some point you might want to put a bit of oil in the pan but I find I can avoid it for non-stick.

Cook the hot dogs until slightly browned. Distribute them across the bottom of the pan and pour in the egg(s). Lower the fire. Stir a bit with a spatula. Let it set up a bit, a few minutes. You can cover it to speed it along.

When the top is nearly cooked, get a rubber spatula and cut the scramble down the middle. Here, you can insert a slice of cheese or whatever you want on each semi-circle. Fold the egg semi-circle over so it’s a quarter-circle.

Put each quarter-circle on a toasted english muffin half. This makes 2 open face McMuffins, or close it up for a gigantic McMuffin.

Continue reading “Ghetto McMuffins” …

3/13/06 | Ghetto Pizza

[ Currently Eating: Plain Bagel ]

Pizza made out of white bread

Warning – extremely Cheap Eats up ahead. You may want to look away if you’re adverse to main meal recipes with only three ingredients.

If you were ever a hungry latch-key kid coming home from school, chances are you’ve made an afternoon snack like this before. I call it Ghetto Pizza, although maybe it should be called “Starving College Kid Pizza”. I happen to think this is quite good for lunchtime meals as well (as long as you eat other stuff with it, veggies would be nice!).

I actually wasn’t a latch-key kid until high school, but I still found occasion to make these every so often. The recipe is stupidly simple, has endless modifications, generally tastes “good” and can be fairly cheap as long as you don’t go putting any gourmet toppings on top.

We haven’t had a recipe on Cheap Eats in awhile, and I know that this doesn’t really count, but hey it’s cheap isn’t it? Here are the basics:

Ghetto Pizza

2 tbsp spaghetti sauce from a 26 oz. $2 jar — $0.07
1 slice of white bread — $0.10
1 slice cheese (mozzarella, swiss, etc.) — $0.15

optional pepper, dried oregano — negligible

Total: $0.32

If you can’t figure out how to make this, then I don’t know what to say. Put the sauce on the bread and cover with the cheese. Optional dried oregano and pepper on top. Put it in the toaster oven and toast it until the cheese is bubbly. That’s it.

You probably want to make a couple of these to fill you up. You couch potato guys, I’m talking to you…

Continue reading “Ghetto Pizza” …

7/12/05 | Quick French Toast

[ Currently Eating: Much Needed Coffee ]

Quick French ToastThe other day I had a hankering for some French Toast which is a bit unusual for me because I’m not so much a “sweets” type of person. I’ve had good and bad french toast outside in restaurants, it’s pretty much been a tossup. So making it at home seems a good bet especially for those times you get a craving for it.

French Toast, or Pain Perdu (Lost Bread), was originally meant to be a way to fix up bread that had gotten old. This pretty much qualifies as Cheap Eats because you’re using stuff that otherwise might get thrown away.

The basic recipe is beat up an egg, dip toast in it, and fry that. Most add some sort of milk and sugar to the mix. The key is that you want it to be sort of crispy on the outside but buttery and velvet smooth on the inside. Pretty tough.

I think a lot of it has to do in the type of bread you choose. I hadn’t made french toast in awhile so I decided to go off a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. They did all sorts of testing and came up with the bread of choice being something called “Challah”(I believe this is Jewish?) They said to stay away from supermarket Italian or French breads beacuse it comes apart. White Sandwich bread seems to be acceptable though. I used bakery sandwich bread because it’s thicker and crisps better, but you can probably use Wonder as well.

Here’s the recipe as modified by me:

Quick French Toast

6 slices day old sandwich bread — $0.30
2 tbsp melted butter — $0.10
1 egg — $0.05
3/4 cup milk — $0.15
1.5 tbsp sugar — $0.05
1/3 cup flour — $0.05
2 tsp vanilla extract — $0.20
1 tbsp oil or equiv “Pam” spray — $0.05
1/4 tsp salt — negligible

Total: $0.95

Heat up a skillet till it’s really hot, 3-5 minutes. I like to use a really flat pan (like for pancakes), and if you’ve got it use a Cast Iron pan. In the meantime, beat up the egg in a shallow plate, whisk in melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, sugar, flour and salt, in that order.

Soak each slice of bread for about 30 seconds a side in the batter mixture. Take it out and shake it to remove excess. Put some oil in the pan and swirl with a paper towel. Alternatively, you can use those “Pam” sprays. Fry the bread until golden brown. It’ll be about 2 minutes for first side and then 1 minute on the second. You made need to experiment based on temperature of pan. Serve while hot, hopefully with maple syrup!

Continue reading “Quick French Toast” …

6/20/05 | Tuna Sandwich

[ Currently Eating: Ice Cream ]

Tuna SandwichAh.. the tuna sandwich. When it comes to sandwiches, tuna is a pretty popular way to go for picnics, bag lunches, and marketing meetings (the in-house catering service for where I used to work seemed to have nothing but tuna and egg salad). It’s a pretty popular sandwich, but is it Cheap Eats?

In many cases, the answer is no because of the price of tuna. There are many different brands to pick from like Chicken of the Sea, Bumblebee, and Starkist, but the price seems to be pretty static for them. They also have Generic tuna, but this is one food where I think I might pay the extra 25 cents per can.

I make sandwiches from tuna pretty frequently, sometimes as a standard sandwich and other times as a Tuna Melt, which I’ll save for another time. One thing I like to do is to change up the consistency of the tuna by putting something “crunchy” in it. If you don’t like the crunch, in this case provided by celery, you can easily substitute it or omit it completely. I think it makes it less boring, though. I also put in tomato and/or lettuce usually:

Simple Tuna Sandwich

1 can Chunk Light tuna — $0.79
1/2 tomato, sliced — $0.25
2 slices white bread — $0.10
1 rib celery, minced — $0.10
1 green onion, minced fine — $0.05
2-4 tbsp mayo — $0.10
Salt / pepper — negligible

Total: $1.39

I don’t need to tell you how to make a tuna sandwich do I? Oh, all right. Mince the green onion really fine, this is kind of important so you don’t bit into onion chunks. Chop it super fine and it will add flavor without being annoying. Mince the celery too, but leave some chunkiness for texture.

Pop the bread in the toaster and toast away to your liking. Drain the tuna and empty into large bowl. Break it up with a fork and then add the celery, onion, mayo and salt and pepper to taste. Mix up well. Spread the mixture on bread, top with tomato slices, and cover with other slice. Yay, tuna sammich is done.

Continue reading “Tuna Sandwich” …

[ Currently Eating: Coffee ]

Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

Every time I walk around downtown L.A. there’s bound to be some guy pushing one of those hotcarts and selling either hotdogs or sausage and onion sandwiches out of it. I never tried one of those but I hear they can be really delicious if a bit sketchy on preparation and cleanliness.

They also have ‘em at chains like Jody Maroni… yeah I know comparatively weak next to all those great mom and pop sausage sandwich places. I’ve been to a few and have been wowed and disappointed variously. I think there are a lot better ones on the East coast…

I had some frozen Italian sausages in the fridge so I decided to try cook up my own Sausage Sandwich with Peppers. I was actually hoping it’d turn out better than the Sausage and Pepper Pasta that I attemped awhile back.

Sausage Sandwich with Peppers

2 Italian Sausages from large Costco pack — $1.00
French Bread (1/2 small loaf) — $0.12
Provolone Cheese (1 slice from Costco pack) — $0.10
Mayo (1-2 tbsp of $2.00 jar) — $0.08
1/4 brown onion, sliced — $0.15
1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced — $0.12
Corn Oil (1 tbsp from $2.00 bottle) — $0.03
Salt / pepper / water — negligible

Total: $1.60

(If sausages are frozen, defrost them in 1 minute increments until thawed, turning them around after each interval)

Heat about 1/4-1/3 cup of water in a small nonstick pan. When bubbles form, place the sausages in there and cover with a lid and steam-cook them on medium heat until most of the water has nearly evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to check them every so often. If the water evaporates too fast you may need to add more.

Meanwhile slice up the onion and pepper. When water is almost gone, remove the lid and cook until the water is gone. Flip sausages once and cook for a few minutes more. Flip several times more, until desired doneness is achieved (I like it when the outer surface is browned but not charred)

Remove to a plate to cool. When cool, cut the sausage into chunks (you can also keep them whole if you are using bread that is meant for sausages, like hot dog rolls). Toast bread if desired.

Add oil to pan on medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper and cook until parts are slightly charred. Add the sausage and stirfry a minute or so. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and mix a bit. Push the mixture toward the center of the pan and place a slice of provolone on top. Cook it until the cheese melts. Mayo up the bread if desired. Take a large rubber spatula and scoop the entire mixture onto the bread. There’s your sandwich.

Continue reading “Sausage and Pepper Sandwich” …

4/6/05 | Oyster Poorboy

[ Currently Eating: Leftovers ]

Oyster PoorboyI hesitate to call this a true Oyster Poorboy because the oysters aren’t deep fried or rolled in cornmeal or any of that other stuff. Plus I make it using oysters from a can. It’s more like an oyster sandwich. I find that it tastes really good though, and I can do with the flour-only coating. Depending on where you live, you are probably able to get oysters that are better tasting, fresher, and cheaper, but for me the can is the only easy way to go. I think they may come in jar too. By the way, oysters are a pretty much self-sustainable, non-polluting form of aqua-culture. I believe it’s one of the few like that. So you can eat your oyster sandwich and feel good about the environment… well, maybe.

Homemade Oyster Poorboy

Can of Oysters (1 small can) — $2.50
French Bread (1 small loaf) — $0.25
Mayo (1-2 tbsp of $2.00 jar) — $0.08
Parsley (1/4 cup chopped from $0.69 bunch) — $0.06
Flour (1/4 cup from $1.50 bag) — $0.03
Corn Oil (2 tbsp from $2.00 bottle) — $0.05
Salt / pepper — negligible

Total: $2.97

Chop parsley fine. Mix in small bowl with mayonnaise, add a bit of salt if you like. Drain the oysters from the can (save the oyster liqueur if you want). In a ziploc bag put in the flour, salt, pepper. Dump the oysters in there, seal and shake a bit. Heat oil in a nonstick pan. In meantime, put cut a pocket in the french bread and toast it if you like. When oil is hot, fry oysters until golden brown. Dry them on paper towel lined plate. Spread some mayo mixture on bread and shove as many oysters as you can in there. Sandwich is done.

Continue reading “Oyster Poorboy” …



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