Monday, February 18, 2013

To Sum up:

So with the addition of the $2.50 for the baguette, the total cost was $97.07.

The meat yielded 4 sandwiches.  The stock yielded 8 servings of French Onion Soup.  And I have a consomme for the rest of the week.  We'll just do the addition of the sandwiches and soup - 12 servings under $100.00.  Or $97.07 divided by 12, $8.09.  

So who says good food is too expensive to make?  That would be "stretching" it - pun intended.  :) 

French Onion Soup

So I heated up the onions (see previous post - after reducing, they make about 2 cups) in a clean stock pot and added the beef broth, a bouquet garni of fresh thyme and heated through.  Then I added about 1/4 cup of cream sherry, and 1/4 cup of cognac and the demi glace.  Tasted and adjusted the salt.  Heat through to cook out the alcohol.  

For the croutons, I bought a french baquette ($2.50), sliced and grilled on a panini press with olive oil.  Then I grated the Gruyere cheese and ladelled the soup into a ceramic oven proof soup bowl and placed 2 croutons on top, then piled with the grated cheese and a sprinkling of Pecorino cheese.  Under the broiler for about five minutes.  And voila!  Soup is served!

Porterhouse for under $10???

I want to encourage people to eat better  - cuts of meat, that is.  Don't gasp at the next line - I purchased 3 porterhouse steaks yesterday for $60.00.  Now, if I was going to just serve it as steak, you will admit that $20 each is quite expensive.  If you ordered a porterhouse steak in a restaurant, you might pay $60 each.  But I like to stretch food and I have managed to reduce the price per portion to under $10 - and still going.

First, I cooked the steaks with salt and pepper and some olive oil until brown on both sides, and browned the sides with the fat.  Then I placed them covered in a low oven that I preheated to 220 degrees and turned off and let them rest for about 10 minutes.  Next, I placed them on a carving board and kept the juices in the pan.  Then I put the pan on low heat uncovered and added a couple of sprigs of thyme.  I slowly reduced it and added a little water from time to time to make a demi glace.  After the meat rested, I cut off the fat and put that to one side, then thinly sliced the steaks after I removed the bones and used it to make a Philly Cheesesteak panini.

In a large stock pot, I simmered 1 sweet onion and 5 brown onions sliced, in olive oil.  I placed a lid on top and slowly cooked, stirring occasionally until they were sweated down and caramelized.  This took several hours for the deep caramelizing. Half way through the cooking process, I used some of the onions in the Philly Cheesesteak panini. 

In a separate stock pot, I sauteed a brown onion, peeled and quartered, 4 large carrots, peeled and cut in large pieces, and 5 celery stocks peeled and cut in large pieces.  To this, I added the bones from the steaks and the fat.  Then I covered with water and simmered for about 4 hours. 

Out of the sliced meat, I made 4 panini sandwiches. 

In an effort at full disclosure, here is the cost of all the ingredients:

3 Porterhouse steaks:  $60.09

6 brown onions: $5.46
1 sweet onion $2.19
1 bunch celery $1.99
4 large carrots $1.58
1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese $9.71
4 Onion Ciabatta rolls $3.49
1/2 pound cheddar cheese $7.00
Fresh thyme $3.00
Total:  $94.37

Optional:  1/4 cup Sherry or 1/4 cup Cognac

This morning, I'm going to make the French Onion Soup with the stock and onions and Gruyere cheese.  I will also purchase an additional baguette to grill for the soup.  I will have to see how many servings the soup will yield.

After I strained the stock, I noticed that the bones still had meat on them and the vegetables didn't look totally worn out, so I added more fresh water and simmered for several hours to make a nice thin consomme that I can drink this week for nourishment as I need to go on a liquid diet for a few days for a health issue.

If the soup yields 6 servings, add the 4 paninis to make 10 servings, then the price of each serving is less than $10.00.  And you can't get that at a restaurant.  So why not upgrade your meat to a better cut and stretch it for savings?  I didn't even include the consomme in the above addition.  And the paninis are large enough to share.  Just saying.  :)