Shrimp ravioli with green curry sauce

Shrimp ravioli with green curry sauce

I had some leftover wonton wrappers from making potstickers last week. Kind of sick of making traditional ravioli with a cheese or butternut squash filling, I found this recipe that gave an Asian twist on a ravioli dish. Man, the green curry sauce that serves as a sauce over the ravioli, is SPICY. I might have thrown in a Thai chili pepper in there that I had leftover, but still, it was hot. So if you’re not up for that, I’d go for less rather than more jalapeno as listed in the recipe. This also becomes more affordable because I found shrimp on sale for $8/pound at Harris Teeter.

This is a nice spring dish, that is spicy and light. I served it with a dryer California Riesling, which worked well. I think a nice Belgian white beer would work as well.

Budget: $16 for 4, $4 a serving.

Recipe details after the jump.

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

(more…)

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

With Madri Gras coming up, I turn to one of my favorite New Orleans dishes, jambalaya.  It might not quite be “gourmet,” but it sure is good eats. Filling, spicy, and easily adaptable to whatever you may happen to have in the fridge, it’s a great winter dish that you can fix up to fit your fancy. The recipe I use for a jumping off point is from Emeril Lagasse, that cajun/creole celebrity chef (even though, you know, he grew up in my home state of Massachusetts). Now, I’m not particularly fond of Emeril’s Food Network shows, but I’ve always found that when I make his recipes, they’re good.

I’ve adapted his recipe for jambalaya a bit, by using andouille and ham as my proteins of choice. I’ve also made this recipe with andoiulle and shrimp as well as andoiulle, shrimp, and chicken. You can do a combination of all or some and be fine, just keep the andoiulle, it adds a lot of flavor to the dish.

Budget: $1o for 6 servings, that’s $1.67 a serving. Obviously if you used shrimp, a more expensive ingredient, or more meats, the price would go up.

Recipe details after the jump.

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

(more…)

Finally, Uncle Brutha's!

Finally, Uncle Brutha's!

I had noticed that Ben’s Next Door served my favorite hot sauce, by Uncle Brutha’s, which immediately earned the restaurant credibility in my book. However, when I recently ran out of my supply, I beleaguered the fact that I couldn’t find another hot sauce that stood up to it, and was having trouble locating the stuff since their store closed at Eastern Market. Then I saw PoP’s post on Uncle Brutha’s, saying they’d opened a temporary store in Adams Morgan. Great! However, I walked over there and it turns out the temporary store has closed. Sizing up my options and considering buying on the Internet, I saw that Uncle Brutha’s website had been updated to tell me that Next Door not only serves their hot sauce, they sell it as well.

Score!

I went in after work today, to stock up on my Uncle Brutha’s. I don’t think anyone else had come in to buy it, but they were helpful and courteous as they got the sauce and wrung me up. So hot sauce fiends, here’s a tip: buy your Uncle Brutha’s at Next Door.

Chicken with fig sauce

Chicken with fig sauce

I found this recipe from Mark Bittman’s blog a few weeks ago and thought, hmm this would taste good, and it sounds like it’d be pretty cheap too. Ah: gourmet on a budget.

This chicken tasted better than I thought it would, I was afraid the sweet would overwhelm the dish, but it doesn’t. It was exotic, complex, spicy, smoky, different, and interesting. The sweet hits your palate when you first take a bite, and then the spicy from the cayenne hits you at the finish. This recipe is totally a keeper. Plus, it takes 20-30 minutes to make, so not only is it cheap and good, it’s fast to make.

Budget: $10, serves approximately 4, so $2 a serving.

Recipe details after the jump.

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

(more…)