Thursday, August 11, 2011

Winner, Winner, Cheap and Easy Chicken Dinner

For my first real foray back into the kitchen since, oh, June, I opted to keep it simple (as in no turning the oven on, and taking under 45 minutes) and cheap. Gentle reader, although I emerged unscathed from the recent stock market dive (after freelancing for 10 years, I didn’t have any retirement investments in the first place—jealous?!), months of lunching on overpriced so-called “paninis” in midtown have taken their toll on my wallet.

So, I went to Met Foods and bought a package of 5 chicken legs (thigh + drumstick) on sale for $1.49/lb., a yam on sale for 99¢/lb., and a handful of green beans…I forget their cost per pound, but the total came to $3.13. Plus, I knew I would have enough chicken left over for a sandwich for lunch, so I stopped at Brooklyn Victory Garden to buy a small baguette—half off, at 75¢, since it was after 8:30pm—and have a cheese sample as an amuse bouche. Kitty keeping it classy!

This whole meal took like 45 minutes from start to finish—of which only the first 10, the last 5, and a couple in between involved prep work. It is kind of a light August spin on hearty autumn-ish fare, but since the chicken cooks in the toaster oven and the yam on the stove, it doesn’t heat up your apartment. (You could of course do it in the oven as well.) Plus, it was a low-maintenance but wholly satisfying and balanced dinner for one that didn’t entail buying excess.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Grandma's DIY Rice Pilaf

Gentle reader, my grandmother makes the best rice pilaf there is, and that is a fact.

Although Alyce and I have taken sides in the battle of sides, with her being Team Rice and me Team Potatoes, I still have to represent for my grandmother’s rice pilaf recipe. Unlike those expensive boxes containing packets of dried, preservative-laden God-knows-what powder, this is something you can make easily out of regular rice and vermicelli for far less cost per serving, while knowing what’s in it. She has written out the recipe for me, and I am sharing it here.