As many of you know, I am planning an awesome Fall Food Festival with The Poor Girl Gourmet. In the midst of conversation one day, she asked if I would like to review a copy of her cookbook titled ‘Poor Girl Gourmet, eat in style on a bare-bones budget’.
Now some folks might think: Wouldn’t you be nervous reviewing a friend’s book? Nope, as I know Amy and I knew it would be a quality book and boy, I was right! I was immediately excited to see what recipes Amy created on a budget as a good percentage of our budget goes to buying quality foods which automatically cost more. At least until the rest of America wises up, starts buying real food and then we watch the prices decrease.
Her book begins with the background of how she started her blog and why – job loss (we all know that one these days) and a requirement to streamline spending on food. She shares her many smart ideas on cutting down food costs without sacrificing quality. The next section contains some techniques such as, kneading and cleaning leeks. My favorite is the lesson she learned when pureeing a couple of gallons, okay cups, of corn chowder.
Amy offers a break down of the costs of items at non-sale prices so you can definitely make these recipes even less expensive if you plan your weekly menu based on sale items. The contents of the book is broken down into: Soups/Salads, Entrees, Veggies and Sides, Bakery/Desserts, Splurges, Menu Suggestions (thank you!), and Resources. Now, onto what you really want: A budget conscious recipe.
Honey Mustard–Marinated Pork Chops with Peach Salsa (serves 4)
Pork Chops and Marinade
¹/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¹/3 cup honey
¹/3 cup Dijon mustard
4 (½-pound) bone-in pork chops, approximately 1 inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium peaches (approximately 1 pound), pitted, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or ¼ teaspoon dried
1 In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, and mustard. You’re working to make a cohesive marinade here—which, by the way, also happens to be a honey mustard salad dressing—and you do not want pools of oil floating atop the mustard and honey.
2 Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Place them in a large, airtight container or a 1-gallon-capacity plastic food storage bag. Pour the honey mustard marinade/dressing into the container, being sure to coat the chops completely. Seal your pork chop container of choice, and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
3 In a small bowl, combine the peach pieces, shallot, honey, and thyme and stir well to evenly distribute the honey. If you’d like to get all of the prep work of marinating and salsa making out of the way at once, it is perfectly fine to refrigerate the salsa for a day prior to using it.
4 If you haven’t already, clean your grill rack of debris—if it’s like mine, it probably has some debris—and coat it lightly with oil. Now, preheat the grill—to medium if using a gas grill, or, if using charcoal, create an area for indirect grilling. At our house, we do this by cooking around the perimeter of our charcoal grill, the pile of high-heat embers in the center of the grill. Grill the pork chops until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Discard the remaining marinade.
Amy calculates this to cost $15-20 with the prk chops at $5.99 a pound but on sale, you can cut this cost down by a third.
Verdict: My family was crazy for this recipe. I actually used my panini press as it was pouring rain outside. I then used leftover pork to make my husband a sandwich with the salsa on top – delish! ** Amy is giving away copies of her cookbook!!*