We’re back. Rindy of Kitchen Klique and I have teamed up for another Cheap Chick adventure. This time our rendezvous in Wegmans not only allowed us a splendid lunch before our quest but offered many options for our meal. Rindy came equipped with her giant purse of recipes and coupons even! I had a Jackson an a vague idea of my meal. I had perused a few food blogs before leaving the house but I failed to print out any recipes so my list was, shall we say, a bit defunct.
I don’t know if you remember the rules from last time but the gist of it is to create a nice meal that is good enough for company, it should serve at least four, all items purchased from stated grocery store, some pantry/staple items allowed, all for under 20 smackers. So here we go…
Wegmans is a beautiful grocery store with a fresh Market Place consisting of a butcher, fishmonger, freshly made entrée case, sushi bar, pizza and subs, bakery, etc., etc. It is a dream store that even has a nursery for the little ones which was a bonus back in my baby days. We started our journey in the produce department and I decided I would forgo the truffles as even a sniff of the things would blow my budget.
Here is my cart full of the items I needed to make my meal. I chose to purchase the eggs and flour since these were the main ingredients to some of the items I would be making. Since I did not have enough money to purchase items for my dessert I told Rindy that I would have to get clever and use the flour and eggs to make up something. Do you know what Rindy said? “Your family is going to eat 5 pounds of flour in one meal!” Oh, she may be right on that one.
And did I make it? Was my bill below $20?
You bettcha! $19.73. Did Rindy stay below $20? Look!
I had been food blog hopping prior to our challenge and came across the kitchn’s post on Gnudi. I was instantly intrigued. A type of meatless meatball, an inside out ravioli without the pasta, this I had to try as I love spinach. Their post links you to who else?
Giada. She is always good for a delicious recipe. I made the Gnudi according to her recipe except I added one minced clove of garlic and another 2 tablespoons of flour to the gnudi mixture. These came out lighter than a dumpling and so very good. I boiled them for 4 minutes in a large pot and removed them using a slotted spoon letting the water continue to boil for my pasta noodles. These were very flavorful and quite filling. The recipe makes 12 Gnudi or serves 6.
After forming my Gnudi, I made some homemade Papperadelle noodles. Though you may think pasta making is a daunting task, the whole process took about 15 minutes plus about another 5 minutes to boil the noodles to a perfect al dente. I used my KitchenAid mixer with dough hook attachment to make the dough. I kneaded it a little on a floured countertop, covered with plastic wrap to rest, then cut off handball sized chucks to roll and cut. I will give you the recipe and procedure later in the week. I served the Papperadelle topped with Organic Tomato and Basil Sauce by Muir Glen and the Spinach Gnudi.
SAUTÉED PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ENDIVE
Now for the Prosciutto Wrapped Endive. This dish was inspired by Sara of Sara’s Kitchen. Sara had made a delicious looking Braised Endive With Prosciutto that I had seen just prior to going to Wegmans but I did not write down exactly what I needed so I had to make mine a little differently than she did. I did not buy enough endive nor the chicken broth. So here is how I did mine.
Sautéed Prosciutto Wrapped Endive in White Wine Reduction
2 heads of endive root end cut off and each head quartered
8 thin slices prosciutto, about 6 ounces
1 T. olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup white wine
Season each endive quarter with pepper. Wrap each quarter of endive in a slice of prosciutto. In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil until hot and sauté the endive until each side is browned and crispy. Remove to a small casserole dish. Pour wine in skillet and scrape up brown bits. Let simmer a few minutes until reduced to half. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Pour over endive and place in warm oven until ready to serve. Serves 4.
This dish is absolutey devine. Just the right amount of meat and such spectacular flavor and texture; mine were tender-crisp. The presentation is very impressive. Thank you Sara for the inspiration, next time I will make it your way although my botch job turned out great.
DESSERT: ILE FLOTTANTE
Or Floating Island to be exact. What is a girl to do? I had no money for fruit or chocolate so my dessert depended on what I had left plus a few allowed staples. I had four eggs left and knew I could make a Crème Anglaise (crehm ahn-glays’) but what would I do with the egg whites? So after a little detective work I found Ile Flottante (Eel Flow-tawnt’) a beautiful French dessert consisting of a cloud of poached meringue afloat a rich puddle of Crème Anglaise. A masterpiece using what I had left, my eggs, plus sugar, milk, and extracts from my pantry. This dessert is probably one of the most heavenly. The extracts I used were so good that this final dish rounded out the entire meal perfectly. I think you would like it so much that I will share the recipe with you…
Tomorrow. Mean? I know.
Thoughts? Another success! With $20, from scratch cooking, a little ingenuity, great recipes, and a well stocked pantry, anyone can make a lovely gourmet meal for four for 20 buckeroos. Just have you guest bring the wine. Wink.
Tomorrow in BRK- You guessed it. Ile Flottante, the most decadent of all decadents. See you then.