Scallops with ginger, lime buerre blanc sauce

When I saw this recipe, I knew I needed to make it, as soon as possible. And man, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a bit more expensive than the usual gourmet on a budget features I write about, but spending the extra money is worth it. I found scallops on sale (which happens fairly often) so I feel confident using that price, making it more affordable.

So this recipe fuses Asian flavors with French techniques: with the cilantro, lime, and ginger and a classic French sauce (that sounds oh so intimidating, but isn’t) – beurre blanc. A friend who isn’t terribly into cooking pretty much made the buerre blanc while I was searing the scallops, so yes, reader, you can do it too. There’s even some Italian in there with a gremolata.

Budget: $18, serves 4, $4.50 a person.

Recipe details after the jump.

A regular feature in which I cook cheap, gourmet meals. (more…)

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Ming Tsai's pork chops with ginger apple sauce

Ming Tsai's pork chops with ginger apple sauce

I love Ming Tsai, I  have probably mentioned this before. Though he’s a celebrity chef, has his own cooking show, has been on Iron Chef (and won, beating Bobby Flay), and has guest judged on Top Chef; he only owns one restaurant, which I find pretty admirable. He cooks there every day, unlike many celebrity chefs that own 10 restaurants and don’t really cook at any of them. And, Ming’s restaurant happens to be in my hometown (yes we’re on a first name basis in my head). I love his French-Asian fusion, even though it might seem overdone, he was one of the first to do it. And I love how his cookbooks are set up: one master sauce with 3-4 different recipes to make with it.

For gourmet on a budget I present his pork chops with ginger-fuji apple sauce. You can make extra chutney and use it for other recipes, like I did for this, which I brought to a Superbowl party (huge hit, by the way). The recipe includes maple sweet potatoes, but I’m not a huge fan of sweet presentations of squashes so I didn’t make it. This can be served with a simple side salad, which might add a dollar to the cost. The key to the recipe is cooking the pork chops so they don’t dry out. I have the secret to do it, but you gotta read the recipe details to find out.

Budget: $12, serves approximately 4, so $3 a serving.

Recipe details after the jump.

A regular feature in which I cook cheap, gourmet dishes.

(more…)