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A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

I'm on vacation right now, and as a student and a total foodie, I find easy dishes with high end ingredients both boring and a bit impossible on the budget. Does anyone know some dishes that require a lot of love, patience, and skill, but use super cheap ingredients? I'm looking to turn unpopular meats and ingredients into something spectacular. I've made cheesecake, sourdough, fudge, stews, stir fry, barbecue- throw anything at me. Just remember- cheap, but time consuming and/or labor intensive.

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  1. I make a birria using something close to this recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

    The big difference is that since lamb and goat are expensive and/or hard to find here, I use a beef tongue.

    Here's some instructions on cooking the tongue (and making tacos from it). http://www.macheesmo.com/2010/09/leng...

    This is a recipe that you can play around with in all kinds of ways. If you want something cheap that requires skill and a lot of practice, make your own tortillas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JonParker

      That sounds good, though I'd have to go out and pick up a lot of those spices as well. Its definitely something to consider though, and it'll be good to learn how to cook tongue. Thanks! :D

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Are you referring to the daikon radish? I hear master chefs can shave it as one whole piece and then make decorative masterpieces with it!

            1. re: joonjoon

              Maybe, but I'm not a fan of omelettes much. :) Interesting suggestion though, I don't think I'd ever think of using some of those ingredients in an omelette.

              1. re: SummerBoredom

                Sorry about the late reply. Yes, daikon radish, and yes, some chefs can shave it as a roll. Many labor intensive, difficult and very inexpensive dishes can come from this.

              2. re: joonjoon

                Man, this looks tough. I am very impressed. I love watching these videos. They are so inspiring and also very humbling (for me to realize how unskill I am). This certainly fit the requirement of the original poster:
                intensive, difficult and inexpensive.

                Thanks for sharing.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I know isn't that nuts? I would love to have a bite of that omelette.

                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Not only it seems difficult to make, but it actually looks super tasty -- fluffy. :)

                    Japanese are really great at "turning the simplest ingredients into tasty and artistic foods".

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I suggest a bottle of liquid bandages to go with this challenge.

              1. re: wattacetti

                <I suggest a bottle of liquid bandages>

                I didn't even know there is such thing called liquid bandages. Now, I learned.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Me either! I'm getting some of that to keep on hand. Especially after I shaved off a piece of my thumb last weekend on the mandolin

                  1. re: ChrisKC

                    liquid bandage is great, but only for slice-type cuts- I don't think the kind of tissue removal that a mandolin causes would be candidates to LB. It's essentially superglue.

            3. get an indian cookbook and start learning how to make terrific curries

              4 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal

                And use the absolute cheapest cuts o meat, and cooks'em in a pressure cooker if you want to cut down on the time.

                Also, not just Indian. Also try Sri Lankan, Pakastani, Bangladeshi, and so on. I have lots of experience with Sri Lankan foods and they're incredibly good and flavorful. They rate right up there amongst the best food I've ver had.

                1. re: LMAshton

                  LMAshton - do you have a resource for your Sri Lankan cooking? (Books, online, or otherwise?)

                  1. re: The Oracle

                    I do. The cookbooks I use are out of print, published 45 years ago, so those you can't get. Sorry. There are other Sri Lankan cookbooks that are much more recent, of course, but I haven't used any of them, so I have no idea how good or authentic any of them are.

                    However, I have a food blog where I post Sri Lankan recipes, including those that my mother in law taught to me. I haven't posted all the recipes yet, so if you have any specific requests, please let me know. Also feel free to ask me any questions you have. :)

                    One more thing... there was a nameserver error with the domain which was corrected last night. DNS propogation sometimes takes up to 72 hours, although it's mostly done within 24, so if you have any problems accessing the site, it's temporary, so please try again. :)

                    http://food.lmashton.com

                2. re: westsidegal

                  We use curry spice in my home, but we haven't made a lot of authentic curries yet! I think we've got an Indian cookbook somewhere in the shelves, so I should probably pull it down and read it sometime. :)

                3. I don't know that I could call this cake super-cheap, but assuming you have eggs, butter, vanilla, baking powder, etc. already at your house, the big purchases would be cake flour, coconut, coconut extract, coconut milk, coconut water, and almond extract.

                  http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/04/0...

                  It's really freaking amazing and plenty time-consuming!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Njchicaa

                    Coconut is sort of a fan favorite with me :) That looks delicious, and to be honest, I find the moistest cakes to be the most appetizing (though usually the heaviest in the stomach XD)

                    1. re: SummerBoredom

                      I promise if you make it you will be thrilled with it. I was as were all of my coworkers when I brought it in for them to try. One woman offered me $100 to make it for her next party (ingredients are probably $20-25).

                      1. re: Njchicaa

                        I've always wondered that if I got to make food that people want, if I could get them to pay me to make it for them! Heh, but I've still got a ways to go. All these recipes everyone's been telling me about ought to help me challenge myself though!

                      2. re: SummerBoredom

                        You could try a tres-leche cake with coconut milk as one of the milks... like this.

                        Not heavy, delicious, but actually not that hard so perhaps not making your criteria - but it would be awesomely good!

                        http://www.pepperplate.com/recipes/vi...

                    2. Marcella Hazan's Bolognese Sauce. Takes pretty much all day since I do a 4x or 5x recipe.

                      http://seattletimes.com/html/foodwine...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: c oliver

                        This recipe really is amazing. Looks simple but the flavors are so much more than the sum of their parts.

                        1. re: girlwonder88

                          I'm headed towards making another big batch. Got family coming in a few weeks and I'm seeing her green lasagna :)

                      2. Are you near a body of water? One of the most useful skills I learned was fishing. Where to find the fish you desire, how to bait, lure and catch the fish you desire, and how to clean (how to filet really well) and cook that fish took me two week's under my dad's wing one summer...and that was just for mackerel!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pinehurst

                          We're near a river and about an hour away from Galveston- I'd have to get a license and gear to catch and learn, but this definitely qualifies as labor intensive! XD maybe another summer.

                        2. The momofuku bo ssam recipe is fairly cheap and time consuming though not labour intensive... The result is very impressive. You could make your own kimchi to up the ante.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: kaymbee

                            I've heard that is amazing but haven't fixed it...YET.

                            1. re: kaymbee

                              Kimchi probably wouldn't be a good idea for me, I'm a science major so I know the importance of keeping fermenting products uncontaminated, and I'd have to get some equipment for that. Theres a grocery store with some delicious kimchi that'd be much cheaper though, so getting that wouldn't a problem. :) Thanks!

                              1. re: kaymbee

                                Also ditto this; I think it's one of the best things I've ever made. I use a variation for a boneless pork roast.

                              2. I have always wanted to try making an involved vegetable terrine (like this one http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...), but have never gotten around to it.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: cresyd

                                  That sounds interesting, I think my parents and grandparents would really like something like this!

                                  1. re: SummerBoredom

                                    I have always watched the different Masterchef Australia terrine challenges and one day I will have the time, equipment, ingredients to really go out it! Definitely on my cooking bucket list.

                                    Another idea would be to find different country pate recipes that use lesser cuts of meat. Perhaps not as time consuming, but definitely a different way to deal with cheap meat beyond slow cooked stews.

                                    1. re: cresyd

                                      Well, that still sounds good. The more flavorful ways to use cheap meat, the better. In a lot of ways, its more impressive to take cheap meat and make it wonderful than it is to simply prepare something already delicious like steak, y'know? Since I'm only a student, I'm really keen on getting more skilled in cooking. That way I'll be able to feed myself with decent meals and try to stay healthy. (Although so many fun dishes are farrr from healthy X) )

                                      1. re: SummerBoredom

                                        In the past few years I've really developed a taste for chicken liver pate - I think growing up the texture put me off, but now I really enjoy it.

                                        1. re: cresyd

                                          I heard that seems to bug a lot of people, I like chicken liver just fine. Its a bit rich though, so I don't eat too much of it at once.

                                  1. re: gordeaux

                                    Oh yes. Some years ago a friend made them for Christmas and they were great. But she said "nevermore."

                                    That reminds me. I made xiao long bao aka soup dumplings. A two day process. Good but not THAT good. Here's the recipe:

                                    http://www.steamykitchen.com/88-xiao-...

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I'm pretty patient with things like that, so tamales won't be a problem. Soup dumplings would be new for me too though so thats something to consider.

                                    2. re: gordeaux

                                      Ahhhh so delicious... I'm actually considering tamales 'cuz I love 'em so much!

                                      1. Filled pasta, especially small, filled pasta, like tortellini in broth. If you make your own broth and ricotta for the filling, it's cheap and soul satisfying.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jammy

                                          I've had store bought tortellini, so the idea of making up the filling myself is appealing. :)

                                        2. Someone on WFD just made stuffed zucchini blossoms- made the ricotta too. I've only had these in restaurants but they are so good it would be worth the effort.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                            Stuffed zucchini blossoms are excellent. I've made them a few times. I wouldn't call it difficult or labor intensive, other than finding the blossoms, which can be difficult and has a very short window, at least in Minnesota.

                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                              Believe it or not, I'm trying to grow zucchini right now, so I actually have blossoms. That'd be really doable!

                                              1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                What about squash blossom pizza?
                                                You can make your own dough, sauce, ricotta

                                            2. Just about any recipe from Thomas Keller is labor intensive. So any of his recipes where the cost of ingredients meet your budget ceiling (which was unstated here) would be a candidate. Also....

                                              Tamales

                                              Cassoulet

                                              Eggplant Caponata

                                              Ravioli

                                              Puff Pastry

                                              Raspberry White Chocolate Mousse Cake
                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                              Tarte Tatin

                                              Baklava

                                              Marjolaine

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Sam D.

                                                If you do any of these I'd like to know how it comes out. I read his cookbook mostly as food porn.

                                                1. re: Sam D.

                                                  I'll be sure to look up Keller's recipes. These are all good ideas, I like the idea of being able to make things like baklava which I've only heard of. Thanks for these suggestions!

                                                2. If you enjoy meat, check out the cheapest parts of the meat case. The parts of the chicken you rarely get in a restaurant. Backs, neck, wingtips, gizzards, feet.

                                                  Beef shanks, heart, stew meat.

                                                  Pork hocks, trotters, shoulders, hearts, intestines.

                                                  10 lb sack of chicken quarters.

                                                  If you have a fish monger, get the heads. Plenty of meat and brothy goodness.

                                                  Now hit the internet and see how those pig intestines are used in China, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Germany, etc. You may have 3 or 4 days of meals right there.

                                                  Go to a produce or ethnic store and buy the veggies you have never seen before. Get multiple names. Ask the manager how to use them. I do not have high expectations with the checkout women as they usually shrug their sholders and say something to the effect of Mom does that.

                                                  How many ways can you serve a pear, apple, breadfruit?

                                                  Have fun.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                    Oh I know, the check out people are usually just trying to survive their work shift XD I've gotten pig uterus before and stir fried it. It was a lot like eating gizzards in a stir fry. Since peaches are in season right now, so now I've been digging through our cookbooks for good recipes. Thanks for the tip though. I usually only thinking of Asian countries (and usually just the first few that come into mind) and Mexico, but there's always other countries with street food that would meet my interests.

                                                  2. chicken tagine, cheap and delicoius!!

                                                    1. Any of Paula Wolfert's Moroccan/Mediterranean recipes would fit the "time consuming" requirement. Usually cheap, too, and most importantly, delicious.
                                                      For Mexican cuisine, you might want to check out Diana Kennedy....also very laborious, fantastic recipes. Pozole is the first thing that comes to mind...plus you can have fun using a pig's head!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                        Yes, Diana Kennedy is a stickler for authenticity and a lot of her recipes and instructions take a long time, use cheap ingredients (if you're in TX so much the better and cheaper) and taste marvelous.
                                                        Try to find a copy of "The Cuisines of Mexico" by Kennedy.

                                                      2. Try making Thomas Keller's smoked salmon cornets. They're a great treat for after the burns on your fingers heal.

                                                        12 Replies
                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            True, but making smoked salmon is - beyond the cost of the salmon filet, which you can usually find decent quality on sale. I figure I make smoked salmon for at least half of what it costs in the supermaket, maybe a greater cost savings.

                                                            1. re: foreverhungry

                                                              Agreed. My BIL, a former river guide on the Middle Fork in Idaho, rigged an old refrigerator as the smoke box for enough salmon for 14 of us to enjoy for a week on the River of No Return.

                                                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                Somehow I'm guessing a student, on summer break, doesn't have any type of smoker lying about.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I rigged a cold smoker for use on the countertop indoors. A styrofoam cooler, ice, a thermometer (not absolutely necessary), a metal tray, and a "smoking gun" (which could also be home rigged for a similar [though with some difference] using a coffee can and a cheap soldering tool). I'm guessing it can be put together form anywhere from free to $100, depending on how much you want to scrounge and whether you buy a smoking gun or make your own version.

                                                                  Once you have that kind of a setup, you can cold smoke small amounts (up to a couple of pounds) of anything for dirt cheap, inside or out.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    OTOH, building a smoker might be right up his/her alley. You can do it with an old can and a soldering iron, or use a hot plate and a cast iron pan, and probably a number of other ways. Where there is a will, there is a way.

                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                      I think I better look up some detailed instructions on building a smoker if I wanna do that. Thanks for that idea though, that might occupy a few days if I can pull it off!

                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                      Yeah, I'd have to somehow convince my grandpa to let me use his smoker- a real challenge in itself!

                                                                      1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                        Copy this and enter it into your search engine of choice-

                                                                        alton brown clay pot smoker plans

                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                        Alton brown fashioned a cold smoker (I think it was a cold smoker) out of clay pots and I'm not sure what else, besides foil. Maybe a hot plate. Worth an internet search, anyway. You don't have to smoke salmon, after all. Gizzards, chicken legs, lots of stuff is good smoked.

                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                          It was a hot smoker, to my recollection, (though you could likely rig it to be a cold smoker some how)

                                                                          - He used 2 giant ceramic pots a pie tin and an electric hot plate as the heat source.... pretty cool.

                                                                          I just found this looks like someone took his Idea and improved upon it.

                                                                          http://www.instructables.com/id/Flowe...

                                                                    3. re: c oliver

                                                                      (a) you only need a small amount -- a few ounces is plenty; (b) you can smoke your own or (c) make salmon tartare using unsmoked salmon.

                                                                  2. I'd just like to add that "easy dishes" can be amazing dishes. I make Hazan's carbonara and it is swoon worthy. So don't discount the simple things.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      Ah, its not a bag on simplicity or easiness. I just have too much time on my hands, so I'd like to have projects that would kill my time and present it as a delicious treat. I'll be sure to keep your suggestion in mind though.

                                                                    2. Indonesian layer cake.

                                                                      http://narbadabakeclub.blogspot.com.a...

                                                                      You cook each layer one at a time.
                                                                      I think the most expensive thing in the recipe would be the brandy, but I think it would still be good without it.

                                                                      1. I second the votes for tamales.

                                                                        Consider also:
                                                                        lupini beans
                                                                        candied ginger (or candied citrus rinds)
                                                                        hominy
                                                                        ferment some kimchi or sauerkraut

                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                        1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                          Why lupini beans or hominy? Put 'em in a pot of water, got to bed, cook the next day.

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            The recipes I've seen for lupini involve several days of soaking/draining. As for hominy, it seemed interesting to research different recipes, find and prep the ingredients, go through and understand the process.

                                                                            Not sure where "Put 'em in a pot of water, got to bed, cook the next day" applies to either.

                                                                            1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                              I mistyped. GO to bed, not got. Meaning soaking overnight isn't exactly hands-on cooking :)

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                Jeez, really? Was not referring to the typo; was referencing the whole sentence as not applying to the suggestions.

                                                                                I chose to interpret the OP's post as not simply needing 8-12 hour days spent chopping, straining, simmering, etc.,
                                                                                but that she (guessing from avatar) might enjoy some multi-day projects that would help teach some skills or have interesting process/science/results. I may be dead wrong; that's fine with me.

                                                                                I have a pound of lupinis I bought as a project because the multi-day ritual sounded interesting. Again, not an overnight soak then a cook. Here's a couple of examples:

                                                                                http://dietdessertndogs.com/2009/05/2...
                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/401278 (CH thread on lupinis

                                                                                )

                                                                                As for making hominy, again, a complex process that could prove of interest. I'm not talking about already prepared hominy. Here's a few references:

                                                                                http://www.howtomakehominyfromcorn.com/
                                                                                http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/...
                                                                                http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-f...

                                                                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                  Yes, we interpreted OP differently :)

                                                                                  1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                    I love all the references you're giving me! It definitely gives me a good groundwork for me to work with. Also, I don't mind the different interpretations everyone took off my post, I just wanted some ideas to work with and maybe some new techniques to learn.

                                                                            2. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                              Kimchi probably wouldn't be doable, but I've used hominy in menudo before. Candied ginger would be cool though especially if it can go un-refrigerated for a while. One of the challenges of school is thinking of cheap dishes that can stay out of a fridge for a day and not kill me or get me suck.

                                                                              1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                I've made gringo kimchi using ordinary green cabbage, red radishes, carrots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. You'd need a glass jar of approp size, and a baggie filled with salt water to place on top. Three to five days on the counter, then into the fridge with a cap on the jar. Very doable at minimal expense, if you're interested. :)

                                                                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                  I am interested! :D Thank you for the suggestion. That's much more manageable than the traditional version.

                                                                                  1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                    I made this one with bok choi because that's what I had on hand. It really only takes a day or two and it tasted like the real deal ( grew up eating it).

                                                                                    Kimchee is more of a method than anything.... though after one adventure I;m far from an expert.

                                                                                    http://www.beyondkimchee.com/bokchoy-...

                                                                                    1. re: sparky403

                                                                                      I like your take on it: "more of a method", so true... and is there anything that bok choy can't do?

                                                                                      I'm balking a bit at the banana lol. I've got an aging Cavendish lying around but I think I'll drop it into some bourbon rather than kimchi.

                                                                                      1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                        I was skeptical too.... but I looked at lots of other kimchee recipes and most have a pine apple or a bit of fruit.... it's needed for the fermentation..

                                                                                        for the finished product I couldn't detect any banana all all..... so not to worry.

                                                                                        Re: the method, if you wanted to use pineapple, a peach etc, I am pretty sure it would work just the same.

                                                                                        Also, I used fish sauce and just ground up small Mexican dried chilli's (Serrano's?) as I didn't have the Korean one... I was impressed with the results. Give it a try you'll be pleasantly surprised (I did find it better after a day). My father had a Korean girlfiend when I was growing up so I have eaten my share it was definitely kimchee.

                                                                                  2. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                    Done Kimchee - need large containers, wouldn't recommend plastic if you are using ANY oils - such as dried fish/shrimp as some recipes call for. Ceramics, glass are just fine.

                                                                                    Cool, cellar storage is a good idea when things are to be fermented.

                                                                                    1. re: algct

                                                                                      I don't have a storage, but the house is kept relatively cool and the jars can be kept away from sunlight if that works?

                                                                                  3. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                    I love the candied ginger/citrus rinds idea!

                                                                                  4. How 'bout some posole or menudo?

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                      I can already make menudo, its good stuff. I haven't done posole though.

                                                                                    2. Make your own flat rice noodles (kway teow) from scratch:

                                                                                      http://neckredrecipes.blogspot.hk/200...

                                                                                      1. Make your own hand-pulled noodles. Cheap ingredients, will take you forever to master but once you do you'll have the coolest skill under your belt.

                                                                                        http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2011/...

                                                                                        1. Empanadas. You have to make the disco pastry, then the filling, then roll out the discos, then fill and fold, then fry.

                                                                                          Lots of love and labor, minimal cost.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                            unfortunately I keep getting media ads from American outfitters for "disco pants" Which I would never wear so you may all breathe a sigh of relief now. But would I need disco pants for discos pastry?

                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                              Not necessary, but if you do, please post pics. :P

                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                I don't think that would encourage anyone to eat food. ever.

                                                                                              2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                Hahaha thats hilarious! I have trouble like that with my searches, but usually when I'm looking up science terms... not normally food. XD

                                                                                              3. This kills a lot of time and there is some price in the cheese but it's a lot of fun if you have a day to kill
                                                                                                http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/0...

                                                                                                1. The broth for a Vietnamese Pho or Japanese Ramen is a closely held secret for the chef. It will make or break their restaurant and it's not unusual for it to take 24hrs to make.

                                                                                                  Lots of recipes on the web, ingredients are cheap. Combine recipes, add your own twist, come up with your own legendary broth.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: p0lst3r

                                                                                                    Here's Andrea Nguyen's recipe for pho bo which I consider unbeatable. And nothing difficult of time consuming about it.

                                                                                                    http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                                                    1. re: p0lst3r

                                                                                                      Agree with the pho idea. The broth ideally simmers for hours and hours.

                                                                                                      Also like the idea of making jam. Find some fruit that's in-season, but maybe a bit bruised (so it's cheap). Then make, and can, a bunch of jam. On that note, pickles could work too.

                                                                                                      If you make things that are canned, you could use them as holiday presents in December!

                                                                                                      1. re: Dave MP

                                                                                                        Mmm, homemade jam! Way better than store bought! On that note, you could also make and can pickles, chutneys, and so on. Use the fruit or vegs at the height of the season.

                                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                        For that matter, make your own "processed" cheese using sodium citrate and xanthan gum, and cheddar and gouda (or any other cheese, within some bounds), and following the Modernist Cuisine recipe. You'll have the base for the best mac and cheese. And you can amaze your friends with your own homemade (and much better tasting with no preservatives) version of Velveeta.

                                                                                                      2. or make sourdough bread using only the wild yeast that you catch in your environment. Trust me. That can drive you bat s*it crazy.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                          I've done that! I'm still here and relatively sane as well...

                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                            Hm... I imagine I'd have to set some sort of culture dish out, but I'd probably get more than I'd bargained for... like pink sourdough starter o_O I managed to make a starter on my first try, and I was so relieved when it didn't turn pink like my cookbook had warned me.

                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                              One thing - not all wild yeast (another term for sourdough) I sour. Mine isn't at all, not even a little bit. Mine also rises relatively quickly. But yeah, making your own starter and then making bread from it? Immensely satisfying. :)

                                                                                                            2. Homemade ravioli - you can stuff with homemade sausage. The pasta dough is just flour water and egg (or no egg), and you can make Italian sausage from cheap pork cuts. No need to stuff or link it. Then a cheap and easy tomato sauce would make a very impressive meal.

                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                Do you make your pasta dough without a pasta maker?

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  I can and have, but it's a pain in the arse. I have an old Atlas I got on Ebay for $12. No motors or plugs or anything.

                                                                                                                2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                  Yeah, thats one of the dishes I wrote down. I am curious to know about the pasta maker though, since I don't have one. I've heard its possible to do it all by hand but its tougher and more likely to come out uneven?

                                                                                                                  1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                    You can probably find plenty of opinions about that. I use a pasta maker attached to my KA stand mixer and get it super thin. Not sure how happy I'd be with filled pasta if it weren't super thin.

                                                                                                                    1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                      Getting the dough rolled out evenly and thinly takes a lot of practice; when I proudly showed my mom my Atlas, she told me about how her Nonna (my namesake IRL) used a rolling pin three feet long to do ravioli. Check eBay for old pasta makers - it's a very common item to buy, use once, and stick in a closet for years, or to get as a gift and decide it's too much hassle - perfect for eBay in other words. Mine was a little rusty and dirty but a wire brush, some vegetable oil, and a batch of cheap fake dough cleaned it right up.

                                                                                                                      Another fun idea might be to get Pepin's technique book (I got mine used for $8) and play with all the fiddly little knife skills, decorating, and carving techniques. You can practice most of them on potatoes, which are super cheap.

                                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                        I just had a thought re pasta. I took an Asian dumpling class a few months ago and we used a tortilla press to get the dough flat and even. That could work for ravioli I'm thinking. And the presses don't cost much.

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          So you'd also recommend a tortilla press? I'd probably need one if I want to make homemade tortillas anyway, right?

                                                                                                                          1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                            You can certainly make em without a tortilla press. Roll a small ball of masa dough in your palms, place it between two sheets of plastic wrap or a sheets cut from a large ziplock freezer bag, and squish under something heavy and flat, pushing down hard on it. Might have to roll em out just a bit with a rolling pin after that to get em thin enough. Cook it, and make the next one while the previous one is cooking.

                                                                                                                            But if you make a lot of tortillas, a press is much less of a pain in the ass.

                                                                                                                            edit: sorry, I misread and thought you were talking about tortillas. Still, the same technique will work, though there will be some variation in how hard you have to press and which materials work best to place the dough on.

                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                              Okay cool. Maybe I'll look into getting basic tools like a pasta roller and a tortilla press around christmas. Those'll be good tools to have when I transfer into a dorm anyway.

                                                                                                                              1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                Check out local thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army etc. I've found ridiculous steals on things like meat grinders and pasta rollers there. It is really amazing some of the interesting kitchen gadgets you can find for next to nothing if you are patient and don't mind looking through a lot of crap.

                                                                                                                        2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                          It seems I'd better get a pasta maker then XD I haven't had a single person say its better without the pasta maker. I was thinking about getting one anyway, but to use one clay jewelry projects. One of my other hobbies is jewelry making, and its surprising how many cooking related tools are involved with polymer clay. I still haven't decided if I'll use polymer clay yet.

                                                                                                                        3. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                          It's possiable but It looks like it would take practice... I saw an older DDD episode where a lady got it super thin using a broom handle... it didn't come up using a google search so check the food network site... Here's a similar link

                                                                                                                          http://foodloversodyssey.typepad.com/...

                                                                                                                      2. This recipe for rozen torta (pink layer bar cookies) is in my someday file --- for that mythical time when I have an empty shelf in the fridge AND two days of cooking time available.

                                                                                                                        http://heavytable.com/rozen-torta-ser...

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                          This is pretty detailed, thanks for the link!

                                                                                                                        2. And did you read thru this recent mega-thead on labor of love recipes?
                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/902694

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                            No I haven't! I just barely made this account after realizing that none of my friends either knew how to cook, or didn't want to cook complicated things.

                                                                                                                          2. Along the same line as those who have suggested raviolis, pierogi. Labor intensive and delicious.

                                                                                                                            1. My kind of thread. Here are a few ideas.

                                                                                                                              Making pizza doesn't have to be hard, but making pizza in a home oven that has the consistency and texture of a high
                                                                                                                              end professional set up can be a real challenge. Here is a link to some of my thoughts on the process
                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9015...

                                                                                                                              Cajun rice and gravy is dirt cheap. Not super skill-intensive, but definitely requires some patience to turn the ingredients into something special and build a ton of flavor. Awesome technique. A link.
                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/823160

                                                                                                                              For guests, I'll occasionally make corn tortillas from scratch and then set out a bunch of fillings for tacos from which they can pick and choose. Doesn't cost much. You can braise some chicken thighs or pork butt to make both the meat and the sauce. For a cool technique to try, consider reading this thread about an obscure form of braising that creates some really intense flavors, nicely browned but tender meat, and a delicious sauce.
                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805158

                                                                                                                              I've made chawanmushi a few times. The base is super cheap, but just a bit labor and technique intensive. The garnishes can be essentially whatever you want to use - take whatever ingredients you have and treat em as well as you can. Makes a really elegant dish and presentation.
                                                                                                                              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                              Similarly, ramen uses a comparatively cheap base and fills it out with whatever garnishes you feel like using. Here is a link to a mushroom ramen I made for a competition.
                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8351...
                                                                                                                              The mushrooms up the price, but were only included because of the theme of the contest.
                                                                                                                              Next time I make ramen, I'm going to try to make hand pulled ramen noodles, just to up the difficulty/fun/educational factor.
                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sd47u...
                                                                                                                              To alkalize the noodles, I'm going to try using 'baked soda'
                                                                                                                              http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/din...

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                I've made pizza dough before, but I usually just use Fibonacci bread. Thanks for the link to your advice and all of these links and ideas. These use pretty common household kitchen ingredients which means I won't have to go out and buy things especially for one dish for most of it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                  chawanmushi = simple? But not easy.....getting that one perfect would be very difficult;......

                                                                                                                                  I don't think I've ever even seen that on iron chef. do that one.... they should tho' - just so we could see it done:-If

                                                                                                                                2. You might be able to checkout at the library Michael Ruhlman's "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing" and learn to make sausages, sauerkraut, pickles, pate, mustard, etc.

                                                                                                                                  You could also get the "Ball Blue Book Of Canning and Preserving Recipes" and get some inexpensive canning supplies and learn how to make jams, pickles, etc.

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                    Charcuterie - perfect given the OP's guidelines.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the idea! I don't know of my local library has those books, but I can always try and wheedle some of the basic information from the book off the internet.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                        The Ball canning book is probably all of $8 used, if that helps. But there are certainly lots of places to get similar info. Good luck with your summer project.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                          Thank you Terrie! I'm usually pretty good at digging out both free recipes and information, as well as the cheapest prices on things like books, so I can definitely dig up the best on canning.

                                                                                                                                    2. I'll ditto ramen. I've made the Momofuko version, and to do it properly take days, and the meat cuts you use are considered scraps by most- neck bones, chicken feet, so cheaper, if you can find them.

                                                                                                                                      Then you can make the noodles, which I did not do.

                                                                                                                                      1. Dim sum items, especially those with translucent starch-based wrappres.

                                                                                                                                        1. Come to think of it, bibim bahp is also somewhat labor intensive and cheap. Marinade the boolgohgi, make 3 or 4 kinds of veg bahnchahn, make rice, make seasoned gochoojahng, julienne cucumbers, fry an egg, cook the boolgohgi, put it together...

                                                                                                                                          1. Make this: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...

                                                                                                                                            I don't know if it's cheap, but if you use store brand cream cheese in the frosting and pick your own berries, it might be. It is definitely labor intensive, at least the decorating part is, and it's the kind of thing that would turn out perfectly hideous if I tried it. I love to bake, but there's no way I could get those rows of berries so straight.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                              I'm getting hungry just looking at it XD The decoration looks straight forward, but I've always been sorta a cake only kinda person myself XD I'll make frosting, but you'd have to pretty much make me go through the trouble of a designing the frosting.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, if I attempted that myself, I'd just use a whipped cream frosting, stabilized with a little gelatin to make it sturdier, but then we'd have to eat the whole cake up pretty quickly!

                                                                                                                                            2. Time consuming & cheap: Cholent (takes about a day to cook + bean soaking time), really cheap cuts of beef & potatoes, chickpeas or other beans.

                                                                                                                                              Time consuming & can be cheap: Cassoulet - can use pork instead of duck I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                              Manhattan clam chowder: Buy clams & shuck them yourself - cheap & time consuming. The veggies in a precise dice - time consuming, otherwise cheap.

                                                                                                                                              I remember reading a Jacques Pepin recipe for cooling a stuffed deboned chicken (the book was on cooking techniques). Deboning a chicken, but keeping it intact is a timeconsuming skill. The stuffing & chicken is cheap enough.

                                                                                                                                              Cheap & skillful - BBQ your own pork shoulder over coals on a hand-turned spit.

                                                                                                                                              The Kimchee Cookbook by Kim Man Jo et al, has many recipes calling for knife skills, cheap ingredients & time.

                                                                                                                                              1. Sou Boereg - ingredient cost, about 5 bucks, difficulty level, mind-numbing. The difficult part is rolling the dough out to near-phyllo thinness (my grandma actually made her own phyllo dough, though she had a battalion of other church ladies helping). The more difficult part is individually boiling the ten 11x15 sheets of paper-thin "pasta" without tearing them too much, then shocking them in cold water. My version has muenster cheese, eggs, and parsley in the middle. The whole thing is crisped in butter in the pan, then flipped to crisp both sides. The flavor and texture is unbelievable, though, for such a simple recipe. Here's a thread with some recipe links: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/353544

                                                                                                                                                1. Another thought are Indian pickles. Very cheap ingredients depending on the pickle somewhat labour intensive and definitely need time to cure.

                                                                                                                                                  Also preserved lemons (middle-Eastern) are relatively inexpensive, take time to prepare, and definitely need time to develop. Once done - lots of uses!

                                                                                                                                                  A dessert item is a fruit compote.
                                                                                                                                                  Take various dried fruits, add water almost cover, add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seeds (1 clove to 3 cardamom to a small cinnamon stick - more or less),
                                                                                                                                                  a little lemon peel, simmer until the fruits have plumped up somewhat. Cool & place in the fridge for a day or so.

                                                                                                                                                  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you like.
                                                                                                                                                  The chilling and waiting creates a natural syrup.

                                                                                                                                                  Main ingredients (for my taste) are (dried) prunes, apricots, pineapple, cherries, pears, apples, mangoes (in moderation), cranberries if you like tart, coconut is OK, but I won't cook it - just add it into the mix afterward.

                                                                                                                                                  Whilst on the fruit subject -
                                                                                                                                                  Try poached pears in wine sauce. A fair amount of prep work peeling and coring the pears. About 40 min of cooking, thence some chilling involved.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: algct

                                                                                                                                                    Thats going to be interesting. I'll have to see about how to make Indian pickles! I like pickled foods since you get the salt you need after working out in the garden, but you don't have to worry about the carbohydrates like in chips. They're overall a healthier salty alternative.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: algct

                                                                                                                                                      Preserved lemons - or limes, as is more common in Sri Lanka - are used in many cuisines, including Sri Lankan. I have a lovely capsicum and salted lime recipe that pretty much everyone loves.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I didn't read all of the answers, so forgive if it's been suggested already....

                                                                                                                                                      TAMALES!

                                                                                                                                                      A pain in the butt, delicious, dirt cheap.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                        Lol it has, but easily forgiven. I'm amazed at all of the suggestions I'm getting, I have to look up half the dishes just to understand what they are! XD Its awesome!!!

                                                                                                                                                      2. Lumpia aka fried Filipino egg rolls. Homemade wrappers are time consuming but produce thinner, and crispier egg rolls. Very similar to making crepes. Typical fillings are french-cut green beans, julienne carrots, hand-trimmed beans sprouts (pinch off the sprout, and tail ends), and freshly minced pork, or shredded chicken. Rolling them is an art in itself making sure to get a tight roll.

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.cheftalk.com/t/8742/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                                                          Egg rolls are one of the things I've been considering, so if I make eggrolls, I'm sure I'll give Filipino egg rolls a try!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Bagels
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                                                                                          These bagels always get rave reviews.

                                                                                                                                                          Caramalized onions
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/01/th...
                                                                                                                                                          This method makes it less time consuming, but chopping the onions still takes a while, especially if you're doing several batches.

                                                                                                                                                          Falafel
                                                                                                                                                          http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...
                                                                                                                                                          You can also bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes instead of deep frying them.

                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ecclescake

                                                                                                                                                            I've got a Williams Sonoma bagel recipe, I just haven't gotten around to making it yet. I really should give handmade bagels a try though, so I can see if I like them better than store-bought. Is there any big difference?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                                              I lived in Germany for a while and made these for a friend, who had been an au pair in New York. When her husband had one he exclaimed that he finally understood what she had been talking about when she said how good bagels were. Until then all he had had were German supermarket bagels.

                                                                                                                                                              I don't know what they're like in US stores though so you'll have to tell me if there's a big difference.

                                                                                                                                                              Another thing you can do with bagels if you have plenty of freezer space is to make several batches, par-bake them (bake them for 3/4 of their cooking time) and freeze them. Then when you want bagels later you just have to bake them enough to warm them through and give them a little colour (about 5 minutes) and you've got fresh bagels!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ecclescake

                                                                                                                                                                I'll let you know. :) the store bought bagels can be pretty good in US depending on whether you get them in the pre-packaged section of the store or the ones that were made just that day in the bakery. I also know of particular bakeries that specialize in bagels. I hope homemades a lot better, because bagels are pretty tasty already, and I'd love to put all sorts of different things in 'em! Like maybe ginger candy sugar from the Alton Brown recipe might be good?

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                                                Homemade bagels are amazing. Be sure you use a recipe that includes barley malt; also, they MUST be boiled or they won't be right.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I figured since it seems to be the only recipe in my cookbook that required boiling, that bagels had to be boiled. So I need to get a barley malt for these? What does that do?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                                                    Barley Malt (liquid or powder):

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Is very nice food for the yeast
                                                                                                                                                                    2. Provides part of the distinctive bagel flavor

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                      Yeast food huh? I wonder what would happen if I isolated a sample of my sourdough starter, and then threw in some Barley Malt in with the next feeding..?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                                                      Barley malt is for flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also note that a lot of traditional bagel recipes alkalize the boiling water to get a kinda pretzel-y taste and browning. Baking soda is sometimes used. For a more dramatic effect, lye can be used. Lye can be a bit harder to get your hands on though, and though I haven't tried it, I suspect the 'baked soda' I linked you to in my longer post in this thread would achieve a similar effect.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                        I love that you know what these ingredients do for the food. I'm thinking to try the recipe in the cookbook I have as is, and then maybe using some of the things mentioned 1 ingredient at a time to watch the changes.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, for its flavor, but also as a yeast food.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                            It's awesome as a sub for sugar in yeast based waffles, both in terms of color and flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                              You're right, of course. But I had assumed the question was why to use it in place of other sugars. If you make a bagel recipe that doesn't call for barley malt, the yeast will still have enough fuel to do their thing.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Someone has mentioned caponata. That and ratatouille
                                                                                                                                                                    use lots of cheap summer veggies and require lots of
                                                                                                                                                                    chopping. Several prep methods - stove top, baked, even
                                                                                                                                                                    grilled but I've never had a bad batch. Of course, the
                                                                                                                                                                    caponata can become not so cheap when you start adding
                                                                                                                                                                    quality olives, capers etc.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, with stuff like that, I often end up skipping ingredients since it takes a toll financially. But veggie dishes would be great, not really 'cuz I go vegetarian ( I'm honestly a through and through omnivore, don't take away my meat OR my veggies!) but I'd like to have more vegetable dishes to eat. I don't feel like I eat enough of them sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Mole Poblano. . .not necessarily difficult but definitely time consuming and labor intensive. Most expensive ingredient would be the nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I have always been a little afraid of apple strudel, getting the dough to that stretchy, thin consistency to do the proper wrap.

                                                                                                                                                                        I also second dim sum. So many different kinds of filling, and if you are making the dough, can be much more of an undertaking. It also tends to use smaller amounts of meat, if you are on a budget.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thinks too much

                                                                                                                                                                          Where we live, we have NO dim sum so I'm getting a real kick out of making it myself.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I still stand by making cheese. Ingredients are cheap. It takes for f'ing ever (aged cheese) and it will inevitably either be spectacular or break your heart

                                                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                              Do you have a particular recipe you recommend? 'cuz the recipes I know of are a bit costly with the supplies they require.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                Cheese can get rather pricey if you're having to use rennet and citric acid.

                                                                                                                                                                                Ricotta is cheap to make, but isn't super time consuming.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, thats why I want to know the recipe Firegoat might be thinking about. The ingredients ring up at a pretty high price altogether, and it may be cheaper just to buy the cheese from the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SummerBoredom

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh it's always cheaper to buy it at the store. New England Cheesemaking Company has had the best prices on supplies that I've found.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                      I purchased my stuff at a local brewery supply store here in CO, it was cheaper than New England Cheesemaking. Still was around $10-15 though. You get a decent quantity so you can make a lot of cheese even with the smallest containers, but the initial investment isn't super cheap (although a lot of people might consdier $10-15 cheap). Also if you don't know what you're doing you do end up wasting a lot of it. A friend of mine and I have been attempting mozzarella ever since we took a class... we've done 4 batches and only one (the third one) turned out decently.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think a good starter kit at NE Cheese is about $20. I guess I thought that was reasonably cheap for the amount of cheese you could make from it. Obviously you can make some soft cheeses just with milk and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah the instructor of the class I took said to avoid those kits, I think because of the type of rennet (the tablets vs liquid) that's in them, makes the process harder. I dunno if that's true but we heeded her advice. And yes, that's why I mentioned ricotta above... that is really easy and cheap to make. Just not very time consuming.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                            A good cheddar has been my life's work... and have yet to achieve it. Then again I only go on a making cheese tear about once a year... so probably just 11-12 experiemental cheddars out there with my name on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                One of my coworkers recently made mozzarella- he said it was insanely easy to make. I wonder what the difference in your techniques was!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I bought one of her kits starting out. But you can buy whatever ingredient you need separately once you realize what you want. They sell quite an array of rennet depending on what you are looking for... liquid, powder.. tablets even vegetarian

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.cheesemaking.com/cheeseren...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup the one in the kit is vegetable rennet actually. I'm all about the animals though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                They have some decent stuff. Once you get past the basics and know what you are really looking for. They've always given me good customer service.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                        You're right. We go through a lot of ricotta in my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you make the ricotta, you can make cannoli shells in which to put it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://deep-fried.food.com/recipe/can...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. While perusing this thread it suddenly occurred to me that you are the perfect audience for the following sites-

                                                                                                                                                                                        foodinjars.com
                                                                                                                                                                                        punkdomestics.com

                                                                                                                                                                                        Give it a whirl- dare ya.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. How about an Indian meal? I recently did one, and had about five dishes and you want to talk about labor intensive..... None of it was really hard, just a lot of steps and prep was involved. My menu was pork vindaloo, chicken pakora, basmati rice, garlic naan, red lentil Dahl. None of the ingredients were super pricey, you can mix your own vindaloo spices, or I bought a bottle of vindaloo spices premixed from Penzey's, that would be the priciest thing you have to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Are you in Texas?? what ingredients are cheap and available now thru August/? What can you get where you are w/out too much trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                            You mentioned peaches:
                                                                                                                                                                                            peach pie, dried peaches (to store) peach jam, pickled peaches, brandied peaches, peach leather, spiced peaches, grilled peaches, peach marinade/bbq sauce for chicken, peach cobbler, peach shortcake, peach ice cream, peach melba, peach pound cake wiyth peach sauce, **** blueberry and peach gallette ****, peach preserves,
                                                                                                                                                                                            peach upside down cake, 1 perfect peach eaten outside under a full moon.

                                                                                                                                                                                            more?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Aushak (Afghani leek dumplings). Long to make but super delicious and if you make a vegetarian version, they are even cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Anything based on caramelized onions. Roasted in a 300-325 oven and stirred periodically, or caramelized in the crockpot, they'll take and hour or more (keep checking for color and softness/sweetness). Do a mix of red and white onions, with scallions or other oniony bits thrown in and use in homemade beef broth for onion soup, with cream and egg for onion tart, with soy/veg meat substitute and herbs/spices to make a cheap, heart healthier "taco meat" etc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pelmeni: http://www.food.com/recipe/meat-fille.... I never put crushed ice or butter in my filling. Also usually use ground beef only. Super yummy served with butter and sour cream, In Siberia they also serve it with soy sauce and vinegar (why not, they are essentially dumplings).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Piroshi: http://www.food.com/recipe/piroshky-p.... Pretty similar to my recipe except that I brown the onion and garlic with the ground beef, and sometimes I add a few chopped hard boiled eggs to the filling. Oh, and dill. Must have dill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I must say I'm very impressed with your summer project. You are a unique young man/woman and you'll be sure to impress your friends! Have a good summer vacation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Fresh pasta a 1,000 ways

                                                                                                                                                                                                    pierogis -- fresh dough and potato and cheese filling with well browned onions - love them but they take forever

                                                                                                                                                                                                    stuffed cabbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                    little buttery Eastern European cookies

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pierogis - I second this! They really aren't difficult to make, just putzy. And carbo-licious. I like them browned in butter after boiling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pierogies... Yum! Covered in caramelized onions and mushrooms fried in butter and drenched in sour cream... Yum yum yum!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Hello! I'm with you. I like a challenge, and I like to save money. Here is a labor intensive recipe that will take you a few hours. One of my favorite ways to spend the day in the kitchen, on a budget, is to bake! Try these feather light, "Jam Thimble Buns." I got this recipe from an old vintage cookbook and was first attracted by the cute name. These are over the top awesome! Enjoy, ~M
                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.chindeep.com/2013/01/29/ja...

                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Jerk Chicken - I have been dying to find a recipe I like so keep me posted....