Welcome to the second installment of Frugal Fridays, the weekly event where food bloggers andfood lovers alike strive to make a wonderful meal that will feed four for $10.00 or under. (Or has been pointed out by a reader in Bolivia, for $4.00 US, since Ten dollars equals roughly seventy in local currency!)
I Dropped the ball this week and am forced to post this entry a day late. This is partially due to family pressures, but mostly due to the fact that the dish I was originally planning simply could not be made for under $10.00 this week due to price fluctuations. (Trust me, three hours in the market trying to get it under $10.00!) In any event, as we usually do when our muses have left us hanging, I turned to the familiar and comforting for this edition of the event.
If you need to cook on a budget, southern comfort foods nearly always fit the bill very nicely. The very nature of most comfort foods are that they stemmed from frugality and the meal I prepared is no exception. Most if not all of the ingredients should be available at your local market, save the frozen collard greens. If you can’t find those, feel free to run over to the produce section and substitute any type of chard, kale or other leafy green, the result will still be fabulous.
There’s no need to post recipes for this dish here, since each component is something I have already written about with only a few minor adjustments.
For the dressing I used my standby recipe for Southern Cornbread Stuffing and simply cooked it off in a cast iron skillet with a bit of oregano added because it plays well with the pork. The cornbread was made from two batches of Betty Crocker Cornbread Mix, which is quite honestly nearly as good as the stuff I make from scratch, and something I always have in my pantry for those times I want some cornbread in a hurry. The only difference in prep for me is that I never use the butter called for on the package. I substitute vegetable oil for that part of the recipe.
The greens were a riff on this recipe, with four slices of bacon and a bit of onion added in for extra flavor. I also splashed a bit of chicken stock in while cooking just to soften the greens a bit more due to a high concentration of stems in the bag.
(Note on Greens: Taste them before serving! This particular bag of greens was very bitter and could have been much better had I tasted them before serving. That way I would have known to add a tablespoon of sugar!)
The pork chops were as simple as simple gets. I seasoned them with a bit of seasoned salt and broiled them for about 3 minutes per side. Simple, delicious and satisfying. The perfect match to both the greens and the dressing, and just about as down home as it gets.
How much did it cost? Here’s the breakdown:
- Cornbread mix: $0.62
- Greens: $1.06
- Pork Chops: $2.14
- One Yellow onion: $0.14
- One Clove Garlic: $0.22
- Store surcharge $0.29
- Store Total: $4.47
As for the add-ins from home,
- Two eggs :$0.12
- Four strips of bacon (that was bought on sale for a dollar per pound): $0.08,
- A few dinner rolls that were sitting in the freezer: $0.50
- A second onion: $0.25
Which brings the grand total for four servings of chops and greens with plenty of leftover dressing to…
Drum Roll Please……
$5.42. Yep, Five Dollars and Fourty-Two Cents.
As my grandmother used to say, “You can’t beat that with a stick!”
Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I promiste I’ll post on time next week.