$138 A Week For Groceries - About Fish And Grits & Day 9 Meals (Sunday)

Sunday was a good day for kitchen productivity. 

Roasted chicken breast for salads and sandwiches, caramelized kimchi
with pork, boiled chicken for wiener dog food (resulting stock on stove),
Easy Braised Teriyaki Chicken, a whole watermelon cut and packed,
and a bag of grapes, washed and snipped into mini-clusters.

wiener dog food fixins...

And since I already went into it here, I'll just repeat that I need to do that more often. :)

On to the meals. Detailed breakdown of costs HERE.


As Izz is beginning to exercise more free will (and free speech), we begin to see more of this - multiple kinds of half eaten foods (behind the half-eaten banana is an uneaten half piece of toast with butter and strawberry jam).

As this is not my first rodeo, and I know this too shall pass, I just try to keep the servings reasonably small so I'm not serving as a human toddlerfood garbage disposal for my huge dislike of wasting food.

For me and Dean, a leftovers makeover of croquettes made with the last of the mashed potatoes from Wednesday night's dinner mixed with an egg, some chopped ham, some grated (old) Jack cheese, chopped green onion, and a little bit of flour to help soak up the excess moisture and bind the croquette, pressed in some panko, and panfried in a well oiled medium heat pan for about 5 minutes per side (or until golden brown), topped with a fried egg. 

2 croquettes for Dean, 1 for me (but I did get the double yolk!).

As a reminder, the big kids were at their other house.

BREAKFAST TOTAL (2 adults, 1 toddler): $2.61


Not mentioned in my post about Saturday was the schmaltz I rendered from the skin and fat trimmings from the chicken I used for Honeydew's food and the Teriyaki Chicken. Since breakfast was fairly filling, we just had the cracklings resulting from the process along with a couple of ice cold Coronas and some of the watermelon I cut up.

Izz had some with us (excluding the beer), and a banana. She loves chicken chicharrones.

Since the chicken skin and fat will be accounted for in the cost of the other stuff I made with the chicken itself, the chicharrones cost nothing for tracking purposes.

LUNCH TOTAL (2 adults, 1 toddler): $3.47


Since I knew Joey wouldn't be too keen on catfish and grits, I thought it a good idea to enjoy this while he was still at his other house.

Blackened (as in seasoning only, and not the cooking technique - I don't really care for truly blackened food. Just a personal thing.) pan-fried catfish over grits made with some of that lobster stock I made earlier in the week as well as a little water, milk, and butter.

Such a quick and easy meal to make, specially if you start your cornmeal in cold liquid rather than waiting to add it when the liquid is boiled, which gives it a chance to reconstitute and start cooking gradually as the water comes up to boil, taking less time and energy to finish the grits. As a general rule, you're looking at 4 cups liquid to one cup cornmeal. Put it all in the pot, give it a good stir to keep stuff from clumping, bring it up to a boil, covered, over medium high heat, then bring the heat down to medium low and let it simmer, covered, but stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired texture. I wanna say this takes me about 25 minutes from a cold liquid start, but I didn't measure exactly, so don't hold me to it.

You might have noticed that I called my cornmeal polenta earlier in the week and grits today, depending on the context in which I was serving it. Yes, there is a minor difference, but it's mostly the same product - dried cornmeal - with slightly different grind textures. I like to keep things reasonably simple in my kitchen, so at any given time, you are probably not going to find me with a bag of something labeled "polenta," and a bag of something labeled "grits," and/or a bag of something labeled "cornmeal." I will have one or the other, and I will use it for all the purposes it can reasonably be used until I have to restock at which point I might buy whichever one I didn't have before.

As for the catfish, it was just a light seasoning of salt and blackening spices, then a quick fry in a well oiled medium-high pan for about 2 minutes or so per side. Thin fish filets go quick.

The zucchini and tomatoes were sauteed in the oil left over from frying the fish over medium high heat as well, then seasoned with a little salt, blackening, minced garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.

Since I wasn't too hungry, I had half a fillet while Dean had a whole, and we still have another fillet and half left over as well as the grits and veg to go with, so that was 4 servings I made, of which we ate two.

Again, Izz liked the protein and could not be bothered with the cornmeal whether I called it polenta or grits. She did also have some watermelon.

Oh, and we had 10 little Famous Amos cookies between the 3 of us.

DINNER TOTAL (2 adults, 1 toddler): $6.30


Time to go make some blended pico de gallo (recipe HERE) for tonight's carne asada tacos. (Joey prefers his salsa-type condiments smooth. And yes, I know that if it's blended it's not really pico de gallo. Gotta preempt the peanut gallery... ;P)

A la cocina,




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