Tuesday, March 6, 2012

greenhorn gourmande is on a budget- episode 4

This post is part of my week (and a half) long series on how I manage to feed myself and my boyfriend for about $60 a week in New York city.  See the previous posts <<here>>,<<here>>, and <<here>>.

Alright boys and girls, this is going to be my last post in my "budget" series.  I'm sorry that I've been such a lay about in finishing this up, but I had quite a bit of excitement last week:

I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!


So I've been pretty busy partying with my cats and kittens (i.e. mr. greenhorn gourmande).

Alas, one cannot celebrate forever, and the budget must eventually be rejoined.  In my previous 
posts I talked about the importance of planning, meal selection, and multi-purpose ingredients. 
Today I'm going to talk about the rather thorny subject of getting off your ass and making it   

Spinach, Cheddar, and Bacon Drop Biscuits

These days people are too f*cking busy to make things from 'scratch', so they buy ready made 'convenience' foods to make their lives easy.

I'm going to be completely upfront here- I don't believe in 'convenience' foods.  They are generally over processed, over priced, and insubstantial.  They also usually require the one major piece of kitchen equipment that I do not own- the microwave oven.

Originally my reasoning to not get a microwave was simply one of practicality- I don't have the counter space, and I already have a toaster oven.  Now that I've lived without one for about nine months or so, I can't really ever see myself getting one.  They take up space, aren't all that much faster at re-heating food than the stove or oven, and I now find that food just doesn't taste as good when cooked or heated in a microwave.

Anyway, I digress- back to making things from scratch.  I'm talking about sauces, dressings, baked goods, and the like.  I've found that they are a hell of a lot cheaper, and usually far tastier than anything I could buy at the grocery store.  Take for example these biscuits:

If I had bought something comprable from my grocery store, they would have run me about a buck a piece.  Not a bad price to pay if you're hungry and need a snack, but when you consider that it only cost me about $4.15 to make an entire dozen, you can see how exspensive the store boughtversion is.

Spinach, Cheddar, and Bacon Drop Biscuits

5 ounces frozen spinach- $0.75
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper- $0.05
1/2 tsp garlic powder- $0.05
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated-$0.75
4 strips of bacon, cooked and finely chopped-$1.00
2.5 cups all-purpose flour-$0.50
1 tbsp baking powder-$0.05
1 tsp kosher salt-$0.05
1 stick of very cold butter, cubed-$0.75
1 cup 2% milk- $0.20
Total cost: $4.15, or $0.35 a biscuit


1.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  In a large non-stick pan cook the spinach with about a 1/2 tsp salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste.  Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated, and then set aside and let cool.
2.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp of salt.  Add the cold cubed butter and quickly break into pea size pieces with your finger tips.  Add the bacon and cheese and stir until evenly mixed.  Next add the spinach and mix until spread throughout the entire mix.  You may need to use your fingers to break apart the clumps of spinach.
3.  Next stir in the cup of milk until you have a homogenous mixture.  On a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, drop the dough into 12 biscuits using your hands or two spoons.
4.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are starting to brown.  Serve warm with butter or dijon mustard.

1 comment:

  1. Here is something I can't wait to try.In the spirit of using what you've already got, I'm going to use up some gruyere I found in my fridge. Thanks for a yummy suggestion. PS congrats on the job Jatmom


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