Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Frugal Recipes

Frugal Bean vegetable soup, Crockpot recipe, all from canned/dried goods
Makes 2 gallons
2 cups of dried beans of whatever type - the mixed kind works good
water enough to do the job
1 can tomatoes (I used the kind with the Italian seasoning)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can plain corn (not creamed)
1 1/2 cups dried barley (or rice or noodles, or you could make dumplings, whatever)
add seasoning to taste
I suppose you could also add a can of something green too.
Soak the beans overnight or for 8 hrs or so in some water
Add water if necessary, leave room in the pot for the cans of stuff
Cook the beans for 6 to 8 hrs. on high in the crock pot by themselves till soft
Add the other stuff and other seasonings and cook for another 2 hours on low
You can of course alter this recipe to include meat if you wish. If you do that, cook the meat separately by frying it in oil or butter and add it after the beans are done. If you put onions, fry them up first then put them in the soup, they'll taste better that way.
Voila! Lots of soup! Freeze some, or feed a massive crowd.

Simple cheese from old milk
This is a good way to use up milk that is just starting to turn.
Take your milk and put it in a saucepan. Heat it up just to under scalding. If you scald it it's ok.
Add vinegar or lemon juice. This will make your milk curdle.
With cow milk it will be obvious when this happens.
If you are using canned goat milk, it will not appear to actually curdle. The curds will be very small.
Get a handkerchief or a bandanna, or a piece of old T-shirt will do. Or cheesecloth. Put it in a colander or coffee funnel from a coffee machine.
Carefully pour the curdled stuff into your cloth as slowly as necessary. You can collect the whey, that is, the clear part, and use it in a soup or something else, but of course you are mostly concerned about the curds which will be left in your cloth.
Gather the corners of the cloth and tie them. Hang this above your kitchen sink or above a bowl. Squeeze the ball of cheese gently to get the liquid out if it's clogging the cloth too much. Let it rest there for around half an hour while you do other stuff.
Get the cheese down and turn it out of the cloth into a bowl or a plastic container.
You can flavor your cheese either when you are cooking it or now. Just smoosh some herbs into it. If you flavor it after it's made you'll want to let it sit in the fridge for a while to pick up the flavor.
Because this cheese has vinegar or lemon juice in it, it keeps pretty well. It's pretty good on crackers or bread, or mixed in with scrambled eggs.

Cabbage - N - Eggs
Ingredients: Cabbage, Eggs, some oil
Fry up some (green) cabbage in oil or butter. When it starts to get transparent and soft, move it to the edges of the frying pan and crack a couple of eggs in the middle. Scramble the eggs and when they start getting firm mix it all together. This is good with red pepper and sesame oil.

Fried Flatbread
Ingredients: Flour, water, some oil
You can do this 2 ways: You can mix it like dough and roll or pat it out flat, or you can mix it like batter in which case you get something more like pancakes. If you do it like dough, you can also put cooked and seasoned potatoes or lentils or chickpeas in it and fold it over, then squish it.
Fry it in a pretty hot pan, if it's dough, in a medium pan if it's batter.

Hummus (this is a bean dip made with chickpeas)
Ingredients: can of chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, either tahini or olive oil, maybe some water
You need a good blender or food processor for this.
Blend the chickpeas up with the water from the can. Add a little (maybe 2 Tbsps) tahini or olive oil. Add the other things to taste. If it seems too thin add water. Eat it with vegies or the fried flatbread above.
I have found that if I cook dried chickpeas it takes for bloomin' ever and they never quit being crunchy. I think you need a pressure cooker to make them get soft. So use the canned, it's less trouble.

Chicken leftover soup
Take the carcass of the chicken you ate and boil the heck out of it.
Cool the water. Keep any flesh you can from the bird. Throw out the bones.
Add soy sauce, herbs, carrots and celery and maybe some noodles, or make dumplings or matzoh balls. Yum!
If you have some other meat like beef you can do the same thing. But when you cool the broth, cool it in the fridge and get the layer of fat off the top and save it for making your own soap or to use as suet to feed birds.
It's no use saving chicken fat for soap making but you can use it to make matzoh balls.