BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Cauliflower Rice

  • Prep Time 2 minutes
  • Cook Time 8 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $3.50
  • 1 Comment

If you are into eating gluten-free, paleo, primal, low-carb, or just lots of vegetables, this "rice" is a miracle. A tasty, tasty miracle.

At just five grams of net carbs per serving (that's carbohydrates grams minus fiber grams), and the fluffy, grain-like deliciousness of a cooked grain, plus the powerhouse nutrition that is cauliflower, it's pretty hard to beat. Also, unlike regular rice, which usually takes at least 20 minutes to cook, this is ready in about 10. And if you have a food processor? Couldn't be easier. 

It starts out like this.

That's right. It's cauliflower. Don't be scared, please. Stay with me.

Once the leaves have been removed, it gets chopped up. All of it. Even the tough inner core, which we normally remove.

Next, it goes for a spin in the food processor. 

Until it looks like this.

Next, it goes into a pan with a little olive oil and garlic (optional).

A shower of freshly chopped herbs and some salt and pepper is all it needs to be plate-ready.

I am so, so excited about this one. I can't wait to stir in some ricotta and Parmesan to make a lightened-up risotto, or to cook it with peas, carrots, scrambled eggs, ginger, and soy sauce or tamari, for a healthy fried rice. 

Have you made cauliflower rice before? Any tips or flavor combination suggestions? Let me know! 

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower $3.50
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Pantry
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped optional
  • 1 handful cilantro or parsley, chopped optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper (or more to taste) Pantry

Recipe Serves 4

Directions

  1. Remove the cauliflower's outer leaves and chop it into chunks (no need to remove the inner core--just cut it up along with the florets).
  2. Place the chunks in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles a fine grain. You may need to work in batches if your food processor is on the small side.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
  6. Add the cauliflower rice and stir well to distribute the garlic.
  7. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until the cauliflower rice is lightly browned in patches.
  8. Stir in the chopped cilantro or parsley as well as the salt and pepper. 
  9. Serve hot.

Salted Matzo Crack

  • Prep Time 0:15
  • Cook Time 0:10
  • Estimated Cost $8
  • 5 Comments

I guess matzo kind of stops being the bread of affliction after you drizzle it with gooey caramel, melted chocolate and flaky salt and serve it for dessert, but that is a risk I am willing to take.

Just melt semisweet or dark chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler.

Make a quick caramel with butter and brown sugar (margarine, if you're cooking pareve)

 

Then drizzle away.

When the matzos are completely covered, top with coarse salt. I like the pink kind.

Passover dessert or Jackson Pollock piece? You decide.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter $3
  • 1 cup brown sugar Pantry
  • 1 tsp vanilla optional
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips $2.50 for 12 oz.
  • 6 sheets plain matzo, broken into 3" pieces $2.50 for a 16-oz. box
  • coarse salt for sprinkling Pantry

Recipe Serves 8-10

Directions

  1. Combine the butter and and brown sugar (and vanilla, if using) in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Let it boil for 3 minutes, stirring the entire time. It will begin to thicken at this point. Turn the heat off, but leave the caramel on the stove.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Remove from heat.
  3. Line a baking sheet or a couple of large plates with wax or parchment paper. Arrange the matzo pieces on top of the paper, very close together (it's fine for them to touch--just make sure they are not stacked on top of each other).
  4. Dip a teaspoon (one you would use to stir tea--not a measuring spoon) in the chocolate and move it back and forth over the matzo pieces to scatter the chocolate over them. Continue dipping the spoon into the chocolate and scattering it over the matzo, until each piece is nicely drizzled with chocolate. Now repeat the same process with the caramel. This will get messy--just accept that you will be wiping chocolate and caramel up later. I promise it will be worth it.
  5. Once all the matzo has been nicely scattered with chocolate and caramel, sprinkle generously with the salt.
  6. Let the matzo crack harden in the fridge for 20-30 minutes (or 10-15 in the freezer), then let come to room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
  7. Store the uneaten matzo crack in an airtight container for up to a week.

Truffled Grilled Cheese

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 4 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $10
  • 0 Comments

Grilled cheese has played a bigger role in my life in the past year than it ever did before. 

I've always been a fan, but it wasn't until the production of the first episode of Young & Hungry, wherein Gabi Diamond scores her dream job by cooking her would-be employer, Josh Kaminski a killer grilled cheese that I began to see what a magical sandwich it really is. In an instant, that grilled cheese changed both of their lives, kind of like how the show has changed mine. Now halfway through filming season two, I am in disbelief that things made it this far. And so, so happy.

Tonight, I'm excited to tell you, the premiere of season two airs on ABC Family at 8/7 Central

To honor the humble comfort food, and celebrate this exciting night, I'm making grilled cheese.

But of course, I can't make just any grilled cheese. This one is fancy.

Behold: Trader Joe's Italian Truffle Cheese.

 When you want black truffle flavor for as little money as possible, don't reach for truffle oil (which rarely contains actual truffles). Instead, go for this delicious cheese, studded with real black truffle pieces.

Since the cheese is so sublime, my goal with this sandwich was to celebrate it and not try to add any other flavors that might overdominate it. Just good bread and butter.

I decided to use sliced sourdough, since it get so gorgeously crispy when buttered and heated.

It's always good to get your ingredients together before you begin assembly. Make sure your butter is at room temperature so it spreads easily (just leave it on the counter for 20 minutes or so).

Also, it's so important to shred your cheese. This ensures that it will melt evenly and quickly.

 Assemble the sandwiches.

And don't be afraid to be generous with the butter. If you put enough on the sandwiches themselves, you don't need any for the pan.

A quick pan-fry on both sides yields a beautifully golden-brown and crisp exterior.

Then slice, eat, an seriously contemplate making another one.

 

Ingredients

  • 8 slices sandwich bread, preferably sourdough $2.50 for a loaf
  • 6 ounces Italian Truffle Cheese, or another creamy cheese with truffles, shredded $6.50 for 8 ounces
  • salted butter, brought to room temperature $1 for a stick

Recipe Serves 4

Directions

  1. Heat a nonstick frying pan or a cast iron griddle over medium heat.
  2. While the pan gets hot, divide the shredded cheese between the slices of bread, making sure to distribute evenly.
  3. Top each slice of bread with a second slice of bread, to make four sandwiches.
  4. Butter the top and bottom of each sandwich generously.
  5. Cook the sandwiches, one or two at a time if neccessary, on the hot pan for 1-2 minutes per side, until the cheese melts and the bottoms become golden-brown and crisp.
  6. Flip and cook for another minute or two, until the second side is browned and crisp.
  7. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
  8. Slice in half if desired, and serve immediately.

Sardine Pâté with Lemon and Parsley

  • Prep Time 2 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $6.50
  • 1 Comment

I've been wanting to get into sardines for awhile, but I must admit, I've been a little scared. 

I'm not the biggest fan of canned tuna (though I do like the kind that comes packed in oil), and intense fishiness tends to be off-putting to me. But I've been reading about how heart-healthy sardines are, thanks to their rich Omega-3 content, which helps lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, curb joint stiffness and promote overall heart health. So when Season Sardines offered to send me a few sardines varieties to try, I decided to take them up on it.

I was immediately inspired to make something akin to my smoked tuna salad--something I could eat on crackers or with salad greens for a healthy lunch. Sardines have so much natural flavor that they need only need a few brightening elements to highlight them.

I went with lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, and flat leaf parsley. Classic fish pairings.

The resulting pâté was delicious on crackers and celery, but it would also be good on toast, as the filling of a sandwich (it's like tuna salad but much creamier and smoother), or as the protein component of an entree salad.

I'm excited to try making this again with different herbs. Cilantro and chilies would be tasty, as would tarragon and minced shallots, for a more classic French flavor profile. But meanwhile, I'm pretty darn pleased with this super-quick appetizer/snack. And I'm happy to report, I'm no longer afraid of sardines. Delicious things are never scary.

Note:  I was compensated by Season Sardines for this post and for developing the recipe. However all opinions are completely my own.

Ingredients

  • 2 4.25 tins of sardines (water-packed or oil-packed) $5
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (use 1 tablespoon, if using oil-packed sardines) Pantry
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt Pantry
  • black pepper to taste Pantry
  • 1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped roughly $1 for a bunch
  • small squeeze lemon juice $0.50 for 1 lemon

Recipe Serves 4

Directions

  1. If you are using sardines packed in water, drain them. Oil-packed sardines don't need to be drained.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve with crackers, toast, celery sticks, or atop a mound of greens.

3-Ingredient Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

  • Prep Time 2 minutes, plus 2 hours to freeze
  • Estimated Cost $5
  • 0 Comments

I worry.

I worry about the physical and emotional health of the people I love.

I worry about the future, both near and far, mine and yours.

I worry that the city I love so much is becoming probibitively expensive to just about everyone.

I worry that it's really not supposed to be this warm in early March in San Francisco. 

I worry that the path I have chosen is flawed.

I worry that, actually, it is perfect, that it is I who is flawed.

I worry about those flaws.

And worry, and worry.

Sometimes, we need a break from the worry.

A sweet, tangy, cold, creamy break. 

This is my break.

It couldn't be easier to make, so that's good. 

You just need frozen strawberries (though frozen raspberries, plums, mango, or peaches would be tasty, too).

Some thick yogurt.

And a touch of honey (though you could skip it, for a lower-sugar result--I worry about sugar sometimes, too).

Just blend it up in a food processor.

Pour it into an airtight container with a fitted lid. 

And freeze, until it firms up (usually about two hours).

Then scoop a bowl of worry-free bliss.

For a few moments, your only worry will be locating a spoon. 

 

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces frozen strawberry (a 1-pound bag) $2.50
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (any fat percentage is fine) $2.50 for 8 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon honey Pantry

Recipe Serves 4

Directions

  1. Combine the strawberries, yogurt, and honey in a food processor.
  2. Puree until the mixture resembles a thick smoothie.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl or plastic container with a fitted lid. 
  4. Cover tightly and place in the freezer until firm, about 2 hours. 
  5. Scoop into bowls and serve immediately.