Monday, April 4, 2011

Tonight's $5 Dinner Delight

Today's meme is part of the blog-ring for $5 Dinners and since we have some weird combo weather, a mix of snow and sleet and regular rain, I am cooking up something warm, yummy, and budget friendly tonight!

$5 Tamale Pie
  • 1 London Broil or flank steak, about 1 1/2 pounds. Looking for 'dollars off' coupons or price slashes on the meat is the tip for getting this meal in under budget; I got a lovely 2 pound LB at my local IGA this morning for $2.00! 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes ($.69) drained
  • 1 package corn bread mix (I use Jiffy which usually costs $.29 to $.49 a box
  • 1 can creamed corn ($.59 - $.69)
    • The rest of these ingredients are staple items that are usually found in every house and don't count toward the cost:
      • 4 cups water
      • 3 Tablespoons red or green taco sauce/salsa verde
      • 1 clove minced garlic (about a teaspoon if pre-chopped)
      • 1/8 tsp salt
      • 2 teaspoons lime juice
      • 1 small onion, sliced
      • 1 Tablespoon EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) 
      • 1 teaspoon EACH cumin, garlic salt, and chili powder
      • 1/4 cup milk (for cornbread mix)
      • 1 egg (for cornbread mix)
Chop the steak into bite-sized cubes. While you're doing that bring the 4 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the steak, the taco sauce, garlic, salt and lime juice. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until meat is tender.  Drain the meat.
Heat the 1 Tbsp oil over med heat just until it shimmers. Add the sliced onion and saute for about 4 minutes, just til it softens and turns fragrant.  Remove from the heat and combine in the larger pot with the meat. Dump in the can of tomatoes, the cumin, garlic salt and chili powder and stir to combine. Pour the meat mixture into  a lightly greased 8"x8" square casserole dish or a 9" pie pan. Preheat the oven to the temp specified by your cornbread mix (for my Jiffy this is 350*). Combine the cornbread mix, the creamed corn, the milk and egg and stir to make a batter. Spoon this gently over the meat and spread carefully to the edges of the pan. Bake at the specified temp and for the time (mine takes 20 minutes). Test for doneness with a toothpick, skewer or cake tester. The pick should come out of the cornbread clean with maybe a couple clinging crumbs.
Let cool for 10 minutes and slice into wedges (pie pan) or squares (casserole) and dish up.
Inexpensive side dish: a package of Knorr or Lipton Spanish Rice/Taco rice ($.79 to $.99).
Condiments: sour cream & more taco sauce, shredded cheese (Mexican four cheese blend, straight cheddar)

The breakdown:
     Tomatoes...........  $.69
     Cornbread mix.....$.49
     Creamed corn......$.59
     Lipton Taco Rice.$.99

Happy eating!! Share YOUR $5 dinner winners!!

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