Monday, March 16, 2009

My low budget way to cook gourmet!

Everyone is always looking for new recipes that are affordable. Last week I wanted to see how many dinners I could make using 1 recipe. I wanted them to different enough from each other so that my family would eat it all week long. I was also prepared to put Saturday aside to make all the dinners at once so that my week would be free of dinner worry. These were inspired by our low budget which in turn gave me less time to spend at stores and more time to think about things like this.

*On Saturday I prepared the raviolis because they took some time to make but also I cut and shaped out the pasta. I froze all of them by placing them on floured surfaces and once they hardened I put them in containers for next weeks use. Then I made the "deep-fried love" which were put on floured wax paper and refrigerated until the next day. The patties I made last because the meat mixture was altered but after I did that I placed them each between wax paper and froze them as well.

Meat mixture:
2 lbs Ground Beef
2 lbs Ground Pork
4 each Onions, diced finely
Salt and Pepper to taste
* Divide into 4

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together. To check if the meat is salty enough I usually lick it to check for the amount of salt in it. If you are still unsure or perhaps uncomfortable licking raw meat, fry a piece of the meat on a skillet and check it that way. If might take a few times but I would make sure its exactly how you like it so that you won't be disappointed with all of your meals.


*Each recipe requires this dough so I make it 4 times as I am preparing other things.

1 cup water
2 each eggs
1 tbsp salt
4 cups unbleached flour
x4 (times four) *

Combine all the ingredients in a mixer bowl that is equipped with a dough hook or a bread machine set on the dough setting. You could also mix this by hand but why if you have one of the other options! Mix until combined. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes covered.

Monday: Classic Russian Ravioli with a Spicy Sourcream Sauce

2 parts meat mixture*
2 parts of the dough*
1 stick salted butter
1/2 cup sourcream
1 tbsp favorite hot sauce

To make:
1. First divide the dough into 6 equal sections. Roll each part out until it is 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 1 1/2 inch circle cookie cutter cut out the circles. Keep the scrapes, add it to the rest of dough while not using it. It needs to always be covered or it will dry up.
2. In the middle of each circle place a teaspoon of meat and fold in half. Pinch the edges together and then pinch the two ends (It will look like a large tortellini).
3. Place each one on a floured cutting board but do not let them touch eachother, when the cutting board is full put it in the freezer. When they are frozen you can place them in a bag and use for upto 3 months.

To cook:
1. Fill large pot with water about 3/4 of the way. Salt it and wait for it to come to a boil. Place the amount desired and wait for the water to come to a boil.
2. Once boil returns, cook for 5 minutes. They will float to the top.
3. Strain very gently and place in a bowl. Put in the salted butter and toss to combine.

To serve:
1. Make your favorite salad.
2. Mix the sourcream and hot sauce together.
3. Place on plates and serve.
4. If there are any left overs I love to fry them the next day!

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