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We want your cheap recipes!

May 06, 2009

The Herald-Mail would like to publish penny-pinching, tasty recipes by thrifty cooks in the Tri-State area on the Food page every week.

Contact staff writer Julie Greene at 301-733-5131 or 800-626-6397, ext. 2320, or julieg@herald-mail.com. Include a daytime phone number.

Also include how many servings the recipe makes. We'll check supermarket prices and determine the cost per serving.

When we determine the cost of ingredients, we'll assume cooks don't have any of the ingredients already on hand. So if you need a cup of margarine, we'll price it as a package of margarine because you cannot buy just 1 cup of margarine. We'll use the cheapest brand we find at the store. But we won't use sale prices because they change frequently.

So the cost per serving for you might actually be cheaper than what we list, taking into account sales, using vegetables from your garden and having leftovers or staple ingredients on hand.

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Tuna chip casserole



Serves 4 at a cost per serving of $1.16 to $1.41. Prices checked at Martin's Food Market except for two 6-ounce bags of potato chips from Dollar Tree on Garland Groh Boulevard.

10.75 ounces condensed cream of chicken, cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup (see cook's note)
6 ounces chunk light tuna in water (see cook's note)
About 8 ounces of potato chips
Scant 1/4 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the soup into a bowl. Drain the water from the tuna into the soup and stir. Stir in as much milk as needed to make soup reach consistency of pancake batter.

Add the tuna to the soup mixture.

Crumble 1/3 of the potato chips. Spread the crumbled chips in a 1 1/2-quart Pyrex baking dish. Add about half the tuna mixture, spreading it out in the dish.

To continue the layered effect, spread another third of the chips, crushed into the pan atop the tuna mixture. Then add the remaining tuna mixture.

Top the tuna with the remaining potato chips, left whole.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Serves 2 to 4 people

Cook's note: The can doesn't have to be exactly 10.75 ounces; we found a cheaper can that's 10.5 ounces that would work. Also, tuna cans were recently downsized from 6 ounces to 5 ounces. So the cook needs to decide whether to use 5 ounces to create a watered-down version or buy a 12-ounce can and use the other six ounces for something else.

-- Courtesy of Dave Minnis of Adamstown, Md. The recipe came from his mother, the late Jean Minnis.

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