Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What I Made for Dinner: May 4, 2009

Chicken and corn fried rice over lemon spinach.

NPR has been running this series where celebrity chefs prepare a meal that will serve four for under $10. A cool premise, right? And right up my alley, too.

But so far, most of the dishes haven't been very inspiring. For instance, Pat and Gina Neely (who have a lame cooking show on the lame Food Network) prepared a mac-n-cheese that will serve six to eight for $8.96. First of all, really? Mac-n-cheese is a cheap way to feed many people? Wow, that really opened my eyes to some new possibilities. Second of all, the recipe calls for six tablespoons of butter, five cups of cheese, white pasta, a potato chip topping, and no vegetables at all (not counting, I suppose, the potato chips). On the upside, it includes five pieces of bacon.

I think to fairly calculate the cost of this meal, you have to count the cardiologist's bills. There is absolutely no way I would ever make this for my family.

But Ming Tsai (who got kicked off Food Network several years ago, I guess for being too serious and talented) actually had a great idea. It's here: and he says it costs $9.68 to feed four, although I just made it and it would feed more like six.

It uses leftovers (old rice)! It's really healthy (half brown rice, plus onions, corn, and spinach, and white meat chicken)! It came together in twenty minutes from start to finish! And check it out: Alex and Josh both uttered the phrase: "Can I have more spinach?"

Ming Tsai might be my new favorite chef, if only for that last bit. Time to get the Blue Ginger cookbook, I think.

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