Saturday, February 10

Date Worthy Budget Meal

Eating cheap doesn't mean you can't eat well. Just the other day I was at the supermarket, picking up some much needed odds and ends, when I spotted these bulk packs of pork chops at a great price. Further inspection revealed it was "best before" day, which explained the fire sale pricing.

So, I picked up a package of nine large juicy chops and immediately rushed them home to my freezer. Individually wrapped and frozen, of course, so that I don't have to cook them all at once! I probably should have bought more, but I chose the best looking chops and really wasn't impressed by the rest of the packages that were still left. Apparently I was late to the party.

Okay, okay, yes, the title hinted, but Frugal Guy is dating.

Anyway, my girlfriend was coming over for dinner, but I wasn't sure exactly when she'd get here, she hadn't eaten all day and she had a "girls night out" thing to go to after dinner. What on Earth should I make? Come on, I'm a single guy who generally cooks a big plate of one thing and calls that dinner. Oh the pressure!

Hey, guess what, it's pork chops to the rescue.

Straight from the freezer to the pan. Once the pork chops are thawed and nearly cooked, simply turn the stove to low or simmer and add a can of cream of chicken soup (and the can of water, as directed). Excellent, these things can simmer for ages, waiting for your dinner date to arrive, without suffering any ill effects.

I'm afraid I cheated on the side dish a bit. Usually I'd cook rice from scratch, because it's one of the "cheapest dishes on Earth" when bought in bulk. However, it takes a long time to cook and, as mentioned, arrival time was a bit up in the air. To the rescue came Uncle Ben's Bistro Delight. Two minutes in the microwave and, bingo, a nice side dish of long grain wild rice, ready when you need it.

Oh, a secret ingredient. About the same time I nuked the rice I added a sprinkle or two of sage on top of each pork chop and cranked the heat for a short period of time. When the rice is done, plop a chop on each plate, being sure to keep some soup and sage on the top, and split the rice down the middle. The extra soup can be used as a sauce or gravy and it's all delicious. Trust me, the sage adds a lot to what might otherwise seem like a plain meal.

Frugality scale... date worthy dinner for two at $5, super. Utility scale... quality meal ready in an instant, literally two minutes, on a variable schedule, awesome. Points scale... getting big time bonus points for being able to cook and work around a tough schedule, priceless.

Frugal Guy said...
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5 comments:

Me said...

Great site. Just wanted to let you know that You have been named "Blog Of Teh Day" for sharing so many great tips.

http://ifioti.blogspot.com/2007/02/blog-of-day_15.html

Corrin said...

You're quite the chef! I love taking advantage of the bulk sales too.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi,

Thank you very much for the great compliments!

Frugal Guy

Michelle Kendall "chinadoll" on t-nation said...

You sure you're not Chinese? You sure do like rice a lot. Not to mention the way you embrace Frugality.

In these parts everyone commonly calls frugal people "Chinese", as in "Wow, Tom has worn the same four shirts for the last ten years even though he's a doctor and earns three hundred thousand a year, he's so Chinese".

Boy, Frugal Guy, you sure are Chinese! j/k

Love this blog. Love this post of yours.

Frugal Guy said...

Michelle, nothing wrong with being Chinese! ;)