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Archive for August, 2009

Spaghetti a la Yukiko

With all of this cold, wet weather we’ve had here in Chicago this summer I find less and less motivation to run to the markets as often as I like. With the need for a complete and satisfying dinner the other night and the lack of a market visit my wife told me she’d clean out the fridge and cupboards and cook up something delicious. I have to say, her spaghetti didn’t disappoint.

She found a can of tuna and always does something beautiful with it. So that was the protein. There were some pea pods, orange peppers, onions, mushrooms, and carrots in the fridge. She also found some heavy cream that we hadn’t used yet (she was going to make a quiche a couple of nights before, but cheesed out on it). We always have angel hair pasta on hand, so her dish was written.

She first cooked the tuna in a little oil to give it a little texture on the outside. After removing the tuna she cooked the veggies and then added the tuna back in along with the cream. Not sure if she added any alcohol or not, but whatever she did it worked. Toss it with the noodles and serve with cheesy garlic toast and a cold beer. Oh, and we had two little Juliette Tomatoes that were ripe from our porch garden, so we each ate one.

This dish was made using leftovers so it’s hard to figure what it cost. I would imagine that each plate probably cost us no more than $2.50.

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Here’s a simple grilled fish dish. I got some fantastic fresh Halibut at Isaacson’s for $12.50 a pound. My wife and I each eat about 6oz so that’s about $4.70 per person. I marinated it in soy, mirin, sake, garlic, ginger, and fresh thai basil from my porch. Also a touch of olive oil to keep it nice and moist when it’s grilled.

For veggies we got some mixed organic potatoes that almost taste like plantains when grilled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I also olive oiled, salt, and peppered some fresh organic hericot verts, spanish onions, and carrots. All of the veggies came from the Farmer’s Market and Stanley’s.  In total, we each ate about $2.50 in veggies.

Some white rice with grated nori seaweed (the kind that wraps sushi rolls) and seasame and a glass of white wine completed the meal.

The best part is that there were no dishes to clean up since everything was cooked on the grill.

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Here’s one of my favorites. It’s healthy, delicious, and cheap.

Season boneless, skinless chicken thighs with olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Grill them!

Sautee onions with garlic, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, and a can of chickpeas. Season the veggies with cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper as well. Mix a little soy sauce (about 2-3 tbsp) with some chicken stock (about 1/4 cup) and dump into the veggies to add a little moisture as well as a little more depth to the flavor. If I had some fresh parsley I would have added it once taking the veggies off the heat, but I forgot to pick some up. I did squeeze a little lemon juice in it as well as on top of the chicken once taken off the grill.

Serve with white rice and you’re good to go. If  you want, you can also serve it with a salad. A simple lettuce and tomato salad would do the trick, as would something more Middle Eastern like Tabbouleh.

All in all, this dish costs about $4.50 per person ($4.75 with salad).

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