Friday, August 13, 2010

Frugal Friday - $21 Dinner Party!

So, frugal is the new black, they say. And now that I am into being frugal my challenge is not only to eat for less but to eat pretty well.

I whipped up this Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream sauce last week just for a weeknight dinner because I found this huge can of roasted red peppers for a great price at the SmartCo store grand opening. It wasn't actually on sale or anything, just a good everyday price. But, I was thinking that you could actually pass this off as a nice dinner for entertaining friends. All you would need to add is a salad, a loaf of crusty bread and a decent bottle of white wine and you could do dinner for 6 at an amazingly frugal cost of just $21!

This is definitely not a low cal type meal, but I don't think it is too terribly bad. Just if you are planning on serving dessert you might want to keep it on the lighter side, like a thin slice of pound cake with fresh berries and a dollop of light cool whip.

Chicken- $4
Red Peppers- $3
onion- $0.50
chicken broth-$0.75
seasonings-from pantry, use what you have on hand!
salad-$1.50 (I actually got local grown leaf and romaine for .50/head and store brand Ceasar dressing)
bread-$1 (nightly store special french loaf)
Wine-$7 (Barefoot Chardonnay)

Total: $21

This was so quick and easy, here is the recipe if you want to give it a try:

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1/2" strips
1 onion thin sliced
1 bottle roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
garlic pepper seasoning
6 pepper blend seasoning OR crushed red pepper flake, garlic salt and paprika to taste

1 pkg Fettucini noodles, cooked

Season chicken with grill seasoning to taste. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the chicken and cook until it starts to turn white on outside. Add the onions and cook a few more minutes. Reduce heat, stir in the flour and cook one or two minutes making sure it is all absorbed in the oil. Add the red peppers and slowly add chicken broth, bring heat up to med high again and bring to a simmer. Add cream and red pepper flakes, simmer for a minute then reduce heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until it is melted. Serve over pasta with a little extra grated cheese to top it.

Now I must apologize for my sorry lack of photos. I just forget sometimes that I am supposed to be taking pics when I get busy cooking. Anyways, I need to do something about my horrible pictures because my kitchen is a dark brown gawd awful ugly place and no matter how nice the food might look in person it just won't look good when I take its picture. K suggested a white tablecloth and some white dishes to use for the background, so I will have to scrounge around and see what I can find to help the situation. I am sure there is a frugal solution to the problem, although a $50K kitchen remodel would be my preference and a lot more fun.



  1. You gotta love a cheap meal that you would feel comfortable entertaining with! I love that you were able to get a bottle of wine to add to the meal and still keep it FRUGAL!

    Hey, about your photos, try the macro setting on your camera. Zoom in close enough to not get the background. My kitchen is pretty bad, yet it's usually not showing in my photos.

    Take a look at some of my pictures on my blog:

    Some of the photos are just a portion of the plate or bowl. Just a super close up of the food itself. I'm new at this myself and am in no way an expert, but email me if you have any questions. I'll try to help!

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