Holiday meals on a shoestring budget - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Holiday meals on a shoestring budget

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ATLANTA -

It started as a friendly wager between colleagues. Now, two New York Times' writers have come together in a friendly competition to see who truly dominates the kitchen apron strings and the purse strings.

Cook Fight authors Julie Moskin and Kim Severson stopped by Good Day Atlanta to show how to make million dollar holiday themed dishes on a shoestring budget!

Recipes:

Chile - Spiced Peanuts -- This snack delivers a lot for a little effort. The only trick is the timing when you toast the peanuts.

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 lime wedges

To toast the peanuts: Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the peanuts and shake the pan often so that the nuts toast slightly but do not burn. After about 2 minutes, you should begin to smell the aroma of toasted nuts. Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.

To make the spice mixture: Set the pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the sugar, cayenne, and salt (be careful, because the heated cayenne can cause some coughing). Allow the sugar to melt slowly, stirring lightly and frequently with a heatproof spatula. As soon as all the sugar has melted, return the peanuts to the pan and stir to coat well with the sugar mixture. The peanuts may clump a bit, but that is OK. Turn the spiced nuts out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow the nuts to cool and the sugar to set.

Serve with wedges of lime for guests to squeeze over the nuts as they eat them. Makes 1 cup

Dark Molasses Gingerbread -- This recipe, is adapted from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Best served with freshly whipped cream.

A simple, albeit risky, way to make dulce de leche begins with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Remove the label, place it in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 2½ hours. Be very careful to keep adding water. If the water evaporates completely, the can might explode. If you have a slow cooker, pour the milk into half-pint canning jars, cover, place them in a slow cooker and cover with water. Cook for about nine hours.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted
butter, cut into pieces
1 cup boiling water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup dark molasses

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack in center of oven. Butter and flour an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan. Sift the flour, baking powder, and soda into a large bowl. Blend in the spices and salt with a whisk. Melt the butter in the boiling water and whisk into the flour mixture. Add the eggs to the mixture, along with the molasses. Whisk until well blended and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer plunged in the center comes out with no trace of raw batter. Makes one 8-inch square cake, about 8 servings

Pasta with Roast Chicken, Currants , and Pine Nuts -- Using a whole chicken and its golden fat to sauce a pound and a half of pasta—what could be more economical than that?

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 pounds bucatini or linguine
2 teaspoons crumbled dried rosemary
1 cup dried currants or raisins
2⁄3 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden in a skillet or 250-degree oven
3 tablespoons chopped fresh
parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (if the oven has a convection feature, use it). Arrange the thighs in a large roasting pan, preferably nonstick. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and paprika and dot with the butter. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the thighs are just cooked through and the skin is crisp.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the chicken is done, let cool slightly, then use your hands (rubber gloves are helpful) to pull the meat and skin from the bones, making bite-sized pieces. Reserve the meat and skin in the roasting pan; discard the bones.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook just until tender. Reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and add to the roasting pan. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the roasting pan and set over low heat. Add the rosemary, currants, and pine nuts and toss, then add more salt and pepper to taste, and more cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately in shallow bowls. Makes 6 servings.

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