Monday, June 19, 2017

Oyster Mushrooms in Butter - Video Recipe

Simplicity is sometimes best as my latest cheap$kate recipe video will show. Oyster Mushrooms Sauteed in Butter - that's all the ingredients you need. 

I chose oyster mushrooms because they showed up at my local 99c only Stores. I could have added them to a hot soup of 25 cent per package ramen with veggies and topped with a boiled egg; or added them to a medley of button mushrooms for an earthy Mushroom Soup (like I did in this recipe, here.) But they don't show up cheaply very often so I just wanted to enjoy them sauteed in butter.

 Click on any photo to see larger.

I used salted butter so seasoning was reduced to just black pepper - and even that is optional. But do use plenty of butter, I used a fat slice of about a tablespoon to saute 5.5 ounces of mushrooms. You can keep the recipe vegetarian and use favorite tasty vegetable, seed or nut oils like: virgin olive, avocado, coconut, peanut, grapeseed, walnut, etc.

The oyster mushrooms I got came in a sealed package and in one large root segment. I split the mushrooms into smaller segments for easier sauteing. You only need to cook them until soft and tender - just a couple of minutes on each side.

 Most types of mushrooms can be sauteed in butter. I've done it with brown crimini, white button and portabella mushrooms. And they are all on sale at my local
99c only Store and Latin grocery.

These Oyster Mushrooms Sauteed in Butter can be served right out of the frying pan, or add them warm to a fresh green salad. They can also go into your favorite pasta dish.

When you find mushrooms on sale then give them a quick saute in butter for a decadent dish, and you don't have to wait for that special occasion lobster to get out the butter!

Oyster Mushrooms Sauteed in Butter - Video

Play it here. Video runs 43 seconds.

 My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Ingredients (1 to 2 servings)
  • Fresh mushrooms - about 5.5 ounces. I cooked with oyster mushrooms, but okay to use regular button mushrooms or any favorite you find.
  • Butter - about 1 tablespoon. I used salted butter. Okay to add more or less to taste. For vegetarian recipe use any tasty veggie oil you like.
  • Salt and pepper - optional. I did not season this recipe because of the salted butter.

Prepare mushrooms. If there is dirt then brush or scrape it off. Discard dried or old stems from any mushroom.

Slice or break apart mushrooms into bite sizes. You can leave whole, smaller button mushrooms.

Add butter to a medium heated pan. When butter is melted then add mushrooms and stir to coat them.

Depending on size of mushrooms you can saute each side for a couple minutes each, until soft and slightly browned. Saute about 3-5 minutes total.

Saute time will depend on the temperature of the frying pan and thickness of mushrooms. A quick saute is what you want - best not to overcook mushrooms.

Serve warm is best.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mom's Cajun Potato Salad

Mom is back in the Chintzy kitchen with her delish Cajun Potato Salad recipe video - I say mashed potatoes, she says not....hmmm, there could be potato peels flying and a rumble in the scullery because of a few choice words.

This is one delish side dish however you describe it. My Mom recently visited the cheap$kate kitchen in Los Angeles and whipped up a luscious Cajun Potato Salad for your viewing pleasure.

And boy is Mom as feisty as ever. Just watch our repartee as I tease her about the recipe. Will there be trouble brewing? Well, I won't spill the beans here, you'll have to watch the video to see if I get my just deserts!

And my niece, Maranda, makes an appearance half way through the recipe video to mash things up. Maranda is a recent arrival to Los Angeles and is a welcome addition to my cheap$kate cooking staff (plus, she's some delish eye candy, too boot). When Mom is in the kitchen, everyone is welcome to come and taste her recipes - the more the merrier, I say.

Mom & Maranda in the Cheap$kate Ch√Ęteau

So what is a Cajun Potato Salad? Just Google the name (Cajun or Creole Potato Salad) and you will see different versions - most are made using cooked, but chunky, potatoes. My Mom cooks up a "mashed potatoes" version.

Mom uses red potatoes for her recipe, but you can use white or regular russet potatoes, too. Any potato you use is tasty and cheap, so go for it. 

The other ingredients are standard for typical potato salads, mainly: mayo, mustard, pickle relish and some seasonings - for a Cajun Potato Salad you want to add a sprinkle of Creole Seasoning. I bet you have seen these containers in your grocery store spice rack, too. It's okay to use any cheap brand you find.

 I get my condiments for pocket change from my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree.

You can mix in lite or regular mayo - use regular mustard or Dijon. Pickle relish is cheap enough. Adjust any ingredient amount to suit yourself, or your fellow diners taste buds.

Click on any photo to see larger.

This recipe travels well for a picnic, and goes with any of my Cajun family recipes (click on any name,) including:Gumbo, Shrimp & Grits, Muffaletta Sandwich, Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, Blackened Fish, Crawfish Etouffee, Black-eyed Peas, Pecan-crusted Fish & Spinach Salad, and an Alligator Po'Boy.

 Cajun Potato Salad & Seafood Gumbo

Mom's Cajun Potato Salad fits into any backyard BBQ menu. And if you have a pot luck party to attend then bring a chilled bowl of it.

So check out my latest recipe video below. When Mom is in the house, get ready to be well-fed!
Mom's Cajun Potato Salad - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 6 minutes, 28 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • 4-5 red potatoes - peeled and roughly chopped. Okay to use white or russet potatoes.
  • 2 tablespoons mayo - or a substitute. Add more mayo or less to meet your taste.
  • 1 tablespoon mustard - any type, including Dijon. Again adjust amount to your taste.
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish - okay to add a couple chopped slices of pickle.
  • Water to boil potatoes - reserve some liquid for mashing of potatoes - if necessary.
  • Cajun or Creole Seasonings - optional. Just a dash or 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe is similar to regular potato salad, just cook the potatoes until soft enough for mashing. And adjust ingredient amounts to suit your taste. If you like a lot of mayo in your potato salad then add extra. Add more mustard, or even leave it out.

Start by getting a pot of water to boil. Wash potatoes and peel. Roughly chop peeled potatoes.

Click on any photo to see larger.

Add to boiling water. Low boil for about 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Since potatoes are mashed, you can't overcook them.

You can boil unpeeled potatoes whole or just halved, and pull off skin after they are soft and cooled down. There is less potato waste when you peel potatoes after they are boiled.

 Peeling a Boiled Potato

Drain potatoes when done, but be sure to reserve a cup or two of liquid. You can add some of the liquid, a tablespoon at a time, once potatoes are mashed, until desired creaminess is reached.

Next add drained potatoes to a bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add a tablespoon or two of reserved liquid if necessary.

Now mix in all the other ingredients. Mom added 2 heaping tablespoons of mayo, a tablespoon of regular mustard and pickle relish. Add more or less of the wet ingredients to suit your flavor profile.

Season Mom's Cajun Potato Salad with salt, pepper and Cajun (or Creole) Seasoning.

Stir ingredients until smooth. Taste and add any extra ingredient amounts. That's it. Store Mom's Cajun Potato Salad covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.

This recipe travels well for a picnic, and goes with any of my Cajun family recipes (click on any name,) including: Gumbo, Shrimp & Grits, Muffaletta Sandwich, Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, Blackened Fish, Crawfish Etouffee, Black-eyed Peas, Pecan-crusted Fish & Spinach Salad, and an Alligator Po'Boy. If you have a backyard BBQ planned, or a pot luck party to attend, then bring a bowl of Mom's Cajun Potato Salad.

Mom's Cajun Potato Salad is mashed, but you can do a "chunky" version sometime. Just don't boil the potatoes to mush - leave them a little firm by shortening the boiling time. The potato chunks only need to be fork tender - roughly chop potatoes. It's okay to leave some potato skin on.

For "mashed" Potato Salad you should peel the potatoes. And adjust the wet ingredients to suit your, or any guests, tastes. If you don't have Creole Seasoning, then leave it out.

If you want a little crunchy veggie texture, then add a half cup each of fine chopped onion and/or celery.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ultimate Dessert Bar - Deal of the Day

This is quite the sweet tooth satiater. My latest Deal of the Day is just desserts made by Luxe Bakehouse (trademark of Dawn Foods.)

And what a great bargain it is. You get four chewy Salted Caramel Ultimate Dessert Bars that measure two inch square, apiece --now that's a mouthful. I'm not a big dessert eater, and seldom review sweets, but this is a Deal of the Day to divine to pass up.

I picked them up at my local 99c only Store in the frozen deli case. I'm sure they will soon sell out. These Salted Caramel Ultimate Dessert Bars are even worth full price if you find them at your local grocery store. And for 99.99 cents they are well within my price point, as a cheap$kate p√Ętissier.

It is a multi-layer cookie/cake topped with chocolate chips. Working your way down there is a buttery white cream frosting stripped with caramel and more chocolate. You can taste hints of salt in the topping.

Under the frosting is a slab of tan colored cookie dough - slightly soft and crumbly, tasting of brown sugar. And if that isn't enough, the bottom layer is a solid cookie of dark chocolate, similar to an Oreo cookie.

Now that's a lot of flavors to take in, and you have four bars to indulge in!

The ingredient list is a long one, loaded with sugar, flour, caramel, chocolate, sea salt, condensed milk, butter, etc.

Click on any photo to see larger.

So, on a scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best, how does Salted Caramel Ultimate Dessert Bar by Luxe Bakehouse rate? Well I gotta give this Deal of the Day an 8 !

You don't want to hoover these bars every day, so I'm glad to not run across them very often. But if you find any, I recommend having your own taste test.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

National Hamburger Day - Recipes

Bow down to the mighty Hamburger, for today is National Hamburger Day, and this cheap$kate has a platter of tasty ground protein between buns to share with you. Click on any recipe name below to see the complete recipe details.

First up is a Roasted Green Chile Pepper Burger. If you are from New Mexico then grilled chiles are a normal topping for burgers. Just throw a few chiles on the BBQ grill when you slap on a burger patty. When chiles are charred they are ready to eat. All you need to do is choose a chile your taste buds can handle because some are spicy and some are barely not.  

Vegetarians will line up at the grill for my Portabella Mushroom & Bell Pepper Cheeseburger. Cover all the bases with a thick meaty portabella mushroom grilling on one side of your BBQ grill, and a beef or bison ground patty on the other side. Make sure to use different grilling utensils and plates so your vegan friends won't get grossed out, right? You know the rules. And use a cheese substitute (or just forget the cheese) to make my burger totally vegan.

Forget about doing a time consuming veggie mix - might as well go the simplest route with a bun-size grilled portabella mushroom.

While we are on the subject, my sister Denise has a go-to veggie burger she makes with eggplant. Denise visited me in the cheap$kate cocina and showed me how she does it. I even got her to go shopping with me at my local 99c only Store for all the ingredients. Do check out Denise's Eggplant Veggie Burger video below.

Is a Sloppy Joe considered a burger? Well, it is ground meat reshaped into a meaty pasta-like sauce, that goes between 2 hamburger buns - so I vote it in. For my cheap$kate version I use ground poultry, but you can go with traditional ground beef. My video version is right here:

I always see 5 ounce cans of salmon at my local 99c only Store. With one can you can make a couple of Salmon Burgers - now that is a great deal. You can make this seafood burger your own by mixing in any grilled and chopped veggies you like. I use an egg to bind and hold it all together. And for extra credit I throw in a Ginger Mayo Aioli to top the Salmon Burger.

A Patty Melt is as close to a cheeseburger as you can get, without calling it one. What sets it apart is the addition of caramelized onions and using slices of bread, instead of hamburger buns. Melty American cheese and caramelized onion belong together. Watch how it all comes together in my video below.

We all have burgers on the brain during the summer months and I am happy to gift you some delish recipes to get your synapses of flavor firing.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Deal of the Day - Greens Smoothie Kit

My latest Deal of the Day provided breakfast and lunch. Frozen fruit and greens, sweet and earthy flavors, were blended with soy milk, providing a nutritious start to my day. This frozen deli case packaged Greens Smoothie Kit from Applause Food is a deliciously cheap$kate find - you just need to add fruit juice, milk, or a substitute like almond or soy milk.

I'm a late arrival for veggies in smoothies, even after living in health food conscious Los Angeles for decades now. I sometimes make fruit smoothies for breakfast - but next time I'll add a few sprigs of fresh spinach.

As the package name indicates, the ingredients lean towards the greens scale, mainly kale, spinach and celery, with a few chunks of pineapple and sliced apple. It's more liquefied salad or cold soup than fruit drink. After blended with soy milk, the first taste was jolting, but I quickly got into the veggie/fruit mix of flavors.

The greens taste like they were steamed tender, so there is a slight mushy bite to veggie stems pieces. Keep on blending to completely break it down into a smooth gazpacho.

 It is an earthy taste with all the leafy greens. By the time I got to the bottom of the drinking glass, I was a fan of this frozen Greens Smoothie Kit. You can read all about the makers, Applause Foods, by clicking here.

  Click on any photo to see larger.

Applause Foods carry other smoothie kits that feature fruit, and immune, protein, plus super food blends. I suspect this veggie blend was the slowest to move, so it ended up at my local 99c only Store and I'm happy it did.

Greens Smoothie ingredients with soy milk.

The ingredients list is all natural fruit and veggies. And you can get 2 to 3 servings from this 8 ounce package, depending how much liquid you add - so you definitely get your money worth, as long as you have a 99c only Store nearby that stocks it. Hey, I would even put in another dollar or so for this Deal of the Day if I found it in any regular grocery store frozen deli case.

As I this package mentions "What you see is what you get", this frozen smoothie mix is very green.

Feel free to sweeten it up with any fresh fruit you have on hand, like grapes, banana, blueberries or strawberries. I would add some yogurt next time too. This package had large slices of mild flavored apple, with very little tart and sweet pineapple. I would have reversed it, adding more pineapple, as it might have contrasted deliciously with green leafy flavors.

But for a midday veggie smoothie or pick-me-up drink, just blend it with veggie or fruit juice, soy or almond milk.

So how does the latest Deal of the Day find, Greens Smoothie Kit from Applause Food, rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best? Well it ranks high with a healthy 7 ! 

I could learn to start my day with a veggie smoothie, as long as these kits are kept stocked at my local dollar stores.

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