Cooking for 45 a week after after feeding a large group may be a letdown for some cooks, but I find it especially energizing and liberating. The fridge, freezer and pantry are full, but the pressure is lower.
It presents us with these two opportunities:
- Lots of available ingredients to build the next menu.
- The potential to do it all for very little money, helping to balance the monthly food budget.
After Julie and I finished the weekend cleanup on Sunday, I took stock of what was left. About 15 pounds in unfinished tri-tip steaks from the Valentine’s dinner. How could we make them appealing to four dozen teenagers? Plenty of bacon — which is perhaps, per person, the most expensive side dish we serve. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables — red bell peppers, redskin potatoes, gorgeous grape tomatoes — that can remain fresh for a week. Ground turkey, tortilla chips and salsa? Sounds like the start of Ultimate Nacho Day, doesn’t it, Sac campers?
The result is a menu that would comfortably feed about 60, done for $59.07 in new food costs at Price Chopper — milk, sour cream, a few more bags of tortilla chips, stuff like that.
It’s going to be a great weekend.
T H E M E N U
- Barbecue-style sliced steak
- Macaroni and cheese
- Baked beans
- Honey-glazed carrots
- Mixed greens with cucumbers and grape tomatoes
- Corn muffins with butter and honey
- Peach-ginger crisp
- Chocolate chip pancakes
- Bacon and sausage
- Oven-roasted redskin homefries
- Fresh fruit
- Cold cereal and milk
- Ultimate nachos: Spicy ground turkey over tortilla chips
- Herbed brown rice
- Black beans
- Homemade queso sauce
- Salsa, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Fresh fruit