In this time of high fuel costs, we find ourselves trying to cope with, among other things, higher food prices. We are probably just barely eating well; now we have to further compromise the quality of our diet by buying and consuming cheaper food, just to get it on the table. But some observations by one of America’s best chefs give some insight on how to stretch our food dollars, and, with five others, offer gourmet recipes that won’t break the bank. (Some of which I’ll try in coming weeks; more on that in a moment).
TIME Magazine put a challenge to six chefs to create a gourmet meal for around $10. Reading the article, you get the impression that it wasn’t an easy thing for these chefs. Restauranteer and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, while shopping for the challenge, was surprised at how much the average consumer pays for food: The cost of pasta took him completely by surprise! Colicchio points out to writer Joel Stein that a key to food buying is to look for values: Better to buy a whole chicken at 99¢ a pound than boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $4.99 a pound! Processed foods can add to the price tag: A can of beans costs about the same as a bag of the dried ones, but the bag will yield more food in the long run.
I plan to cook a couple of the recipes in the coming weeks, after which the staff and I will do a taste test. I’ll then post the results in a future blog: The first of a series that I’ll call “The 641 Project,” which will discuss food, cookbooks and other food topics. Stay tuned!
Many 30 minute and quick cooking recipes and websites can be found on the internet by searching “30 minute meal recipes,” “quick meals” or “quick dinners.” Try the quick recipes at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s EveningEdge.com.
Here are more tips for cutting down your grocery bill from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.