I saw this on Yahoo! the other day. There is a part of me that takes a perverse pleasure in being able to accomplish an objective on the cheap. Someday, I'm going to fix a whole week's dinners for my Sweet Lady Wife and I using just two roasted chickens.
A lot of the recipes in here can't be classified as gourmet but some may surprise you. I found a recipe on Page 82 for Salmon souffle that is strikingly similar to the souffle I made last week. Reading the recipe, I noticed that they used canned salmon instead of the smoked salmon I used, and compensated with a little Worcestershire sauce.
The curious thing is that it calls for making the roux with pancake mix instead of flour. "I wonder why?", I thought. Well, later when I visited the 99 cent Only Store, I figured it out: no flour. If it does not come in a can, box, or jar with a price of 99 cents or less you won't find it there.
The souffle was interesting but since I made one last week, I wanted to find something different. There is a little Homer Simpson in all of us, and when mine spied the recipe for Corned Beef Casserole, mine went, "OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH, COOOOOORRRRNNNNNED BEEEEEEEEEF! YUUUUUUUMMMMMM!". Sometimes you gotta satisfy your inner Homer.
To stay in he spirit of this, I actully did go to the nearest 99 Cent Only Store to buy the ingredients:
1 Tablespoon dried chopped onions (.99 / jar)
1/4 cup dried chives (.99 / jar)
1 cup macaroni (.99 for a 29 oz bag!)
Two 7 oz cans Corned Beef (.99 each, the recipe calls for one 12oz can but it was a victime of inflation, I guess)
One 15 oz can cream style corn (2 for .99)
Total Price: $5.45
Preheat the oven to 350F, Soak the dried onions in hot water for 5-10 minutes, drain. Cook macaroni until al dente. In a mixing bowl, break up the corned beef. Add the onions, corn, and chives. Add the cooked pasta. Place in a greased casserole dish and cook for 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbly.
Was it good? yes. Would I eat it again? yes. Maybe I would add something to make it a little saucier.
Was it cheap? Yup. about $1.36 per serving.