Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cheap and Quick Dinner

If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm something of a foodie. I love cooking. I love making new things for my family to try. I enjoy watching cooking shows and chefs (especially Anthony Bourdain - if you haven't read Kitchen Confidential, give it a whirl).

Sometimes this means I try throwing things together and it doesn't work, but most of the time I manage to come up with some truly yummy meals. Last night was one of the latter.

Yesterday I forgot to defrost anything for dinner, and I really did not want hotdogs. So, I grabbed what we had around the house and threw the following together. It was inexpensive, but tasted expensive (which is perfect for budget-gal me).

Portobello Salmon Pasta

1/2 cup margarine (or butter, if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups diced baby portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried diced onion
1 packet boneless skinless pink salmon
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (unseasoned)
1 12 oz pkg angelhair pasta
Parmesan and mozzarella to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat butter until it starts to sizzle. Add mushrooms. Saute 1-2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to lose their raw look. Add basil and onion. Saute another 1-2 minutes until onion softens. Add in salmon - breaking it apart until it incorporates with the other ingredients. Saute another 1-2 minutes. Add in tomatoes. Allow entire mixture to simmer uncovered while you make your pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain pasta and either place it back in the pan (if you're like me and don't want to wash extra things) or in a large bowl. Dump the salmon mixture over the pasta, and toss together. Garnish with parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese. Serve with garlic toast.

The entire meal cost me about $5, and it made enough for probably 5 or 6 people (considering there are three of us, we all had seconds, and we still have leftovers enough for lunch). It probably helped that the 'bellos were on sale this week. I picked up 2 pints for $3, and only used a half pint to make this. You can probably use more expensive salmon than what comes in those packets, but if you're trying to stick to a budget, why bother? (Unless it's on sale, of course.)

I'm all about the sales. I get positively giddy when I can scoop up a bargain. (Don't even get me started on the really cute shoes I picked up for $3.50.)

Anyway, if you try the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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