Wednesday, December 17, 2008

december 17, 2008: the frugal fete

Photo by Ken Williams of The Concord Monitor

Curried Eggs:
These are so retro, so easy and so delicious, so make a bunch. A frugal classic, and the whole batch costs just $2.25.

1 dozen jumbo eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons hot madras curry powder or (other curry powder, to taste)
1 scallion trimmed and minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Additional minced scallion or ground paprika, as garnish (optional)

Place the eggs in a single layer in a large stock pot. Cover by 2 inches with cool water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. When water starts to boil, set the timer for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for about 15 minutes. Drain the pan and cool the eggs. When the eggs are cool, peel them and slice in half lengthwise. Pop out the yolks into a small bowl and set the whites aside on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap if not using immediately. Mash the egg yolks with a fork until no large hunks remain. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mash out the lumps until you have a fairly smooth paste the consistency of frosting. If the mixture is too thick, add additional mayo by the tablespoon until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the mixture into a zip lock bag. Seal the bag. When ready to serve, snip the corner of the bag and squeeze the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with the scallion and or paprika if using. If you don’t have a special plate for filled eggs, use a bed of parsley to keep the eggs from rolling around.

Spicy Sausage Bites
Our version of a Southern Living Magazine staple with a total cost of $10.84 for about 16 servings.
1 28 ounce jar barbeque sauce (we like the hot ones)
1 18 ounce jar cherry or other preserves (the chunky kind, store brand is fine)
3 canned chipotle peppers, minced fine
1 Tablespoon sauce from the same can, or more or less to taste
½ cup water stirred together with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds cocktail sized smoked sausages
2 scallions, sliced thinly as garnish (optional)

Whisk together the first five ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the sausages and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Put in a chafing dish over a small candle and serve with toothpicks.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

A secret recipe that tastes like way more work than it is.
8 ½ cup servings @ $4.00 for the batch
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread available in all Concord grocery stores, usually next to the peanut butter)
Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate shavings or chopped hazelnuts as garnish (optional)

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the Nutella with a spatula and slowly combine the two, stirring softly until completely combined. This will take several minutes but is well worth the effort. Spoon into decorative glasses or teacups, garnish if you like and chill until serving.

Dry, delicious and refreshing. The fruit juice both extends and dilutes the wine, making it perfect for an afternoon event. We made three batches and there was not a drop left!
For one batch @ $5.00
1 bottle dry red wine (we like the Five Oaks brand Cabernet)
1 cup of orange juice (we like the extra pulpy kind)
Juice from one fresh lemon
2 limes thinly sliced
2 navel oranges thinly sliced
1 cup club soda
The night before the party, combine the first five ingredients in a large pitcher and stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving time. Pour into a pretty pitcher and add the club soda. Serve in wine glasses, making sure each portion gets some of the marinated fruit.

Slushy Punch
One batch makes about 20 servings, at about $5.00 (without alcohol)
From Quirky and delicious, with rum or without!

2 ½ cups sugar
6 cups water
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O
1 46 ounce can pineapple juice
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice from 3 lemons
1 quart orange juice
2 2-liter bottles lemon-lime soda
4 cups white rum (optional)
On the night before you plan to serve the punch, combine the sugar, water and Jell-O in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the next three ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into two lidded plastic containers and freeze for at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, put one container of frozen punch in a bowl. Pour one bottle of soda over and 2 cups rum if using. Stir together until punch is slushy. Serve in small glasses. When the bowl is empty, repeat.
If you forget ordon’t have time to freeze the punch, it is still delicious served over ice

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