Sunday, July 26, 2009
$5 Dinner Challenge
Since more and more of us are staying home for dinner, why not stretch the savings even more with delicious frugal fare. Visit $5 Dinners to see yummy dishes that are light on the wallet.
Here is a dish that's a family favorite: Chicken Broccoli Casserole. Using chicken breast and fresh broccoli is expensive unless bought on sale. I also learned how to make homemade cream of mushroom soup. It's only $4 for 4 servings if you use some staples in your pantry and buy the ingredients on sale this week. You can also price-match at Wal-Mart (click here for price-matches in Pensacola).
3 c cooked white rice (pantry item)
1.5 lb chicken, chopped ($1.50)
half a head of broccoli, chopped small ($0.74)
4 oz white button mushroom, minced ($0.75)
2 cups milk, even dry milk (pantry item)
4 tbsp all purpose flour
5 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
Homemade cream of mushroom soup:
Chop the mushroom as small as possible, mincing them. Heat up a medium saucepan and add 1 tbsp butter. Set on medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms. Keep stirring them around until they "sweat" or get watery and turn brown. Set aside when this happens.
In the same medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour. Work quickly and mix into the melting butter. Add the milk gradually and stir as you pour it in. Keep stirring for a while until the sauce thickens. Then mix in the mushrooms and allow a gentle boil. Do not leave unattended because it doesn't take long for the sauce to boil over the pot!
To assemble the dish for baking:
Use 9'x13' baking pan. Spray with Pam or other cooking oil.
Layer the rice at the bottom. (Do not use rice that just finished cooking. It is better if you are using refrigerated rice.)
Sprinkle the chicken evenly on top.
Pour the cream of mushroom soup you made.
Add the chopped broccoli.
And sprinkle the cheese on top.
I like to add the cracker crumbs on top too (optional)
Bake 350 for 30 minutes or until the cheese mealts.
And there you have a very homemede chickne-brocolli casserole!
Here it is on the right. The left is chicken tetrazzini.