Looking for an elegant meal for 2!?! I have just the menu for a low cost meal dining in rather than out.
Here is what was on the menu:
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Homemade Breaded Chicken Tenders(if you want to go simple)
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Iceburg Lettuce Salad
Now to explain how I managed it!
For the Chicken Cordon Bleu, I used this recipe as my guide. I use 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast that I got for $1.89/lb ($3.74). I got a 1.87lb mini half portion boneless ham for $7.46($3.99/lb--cheaper than ham from the deli counter) and thinly sliced it with my electric slicer. I used only 3 thin slices so I figured just 75¢ for the ham. I used 3 slices of swiss cheese out of a 24ct. pkg. that I got for $1.88 so that figures to 24¢ for the 3 slices.
Then for the 1 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 cup flour, 1 egg, 1/2 stick margarine and spices, I figured about another 75 cents. That brings my total just for the meat portion of my meal to $4.73. I used the 1/2 stick of margarine as my "oil" for the pan. However, instead of melting it in the pan before adding the chicken to the pan, I used little pats of it on top of the chicken and it melted in the oven as the chicken cooked. Doing it this way makes it where you don't have to worry about flipping the chicken at the halfway point of cooking.
I used 2 lbs of white pototoes which costed me 65 cents. I got a 5lb bag of white potatoes from Save A Lot for $1.29! You can figure in 1/4 cup milk, 3 heaping tbsps. sour cream and the other 1/2 stick of margarine for another 25 cents brings the total for the potatoes to 90 cents.
I used 1 can of sweet corn that I got on sale for 67 cents/can and simply heated the corn up(steamed it in the microwave).
For my salad, I used a head of iceburg lettuce that I got at Save A Lot for 50 cents and 1 large carrot. I also sprinkled shredded cheese, real bacon bits, and croutons on it so I figured that the salad costs me $1.00. It is hard to know exactly how much the cheese, bacon and croutons costs as these are a few things that I get in a monthly Sam's run.
The biscuits was a tube of Pillsbury biscuits that I got for 66 cents with a sale and coupon!
To whip up one of my no bake cheesecake recipe, I usually buy my supplies for that at Aldi's, I get a graham cracker crust for 99¢(its less hassle than making my own!), 8oz bar of cream cheese for 99¢, a can of sweetened condensed milk for $1.39, and then for lemon juice and vanilla, these are staples in my pantry so I am going to figure in another 20¢ for them. So for $3.57 I have a whole cheesecake! Now if I divide the cheesecake into 8 pieces each piece is only going to cost me roughly 45¢!
So the grand total for this restauraut style meal for two with dessert was $8.20!!! If hubby and I were to go out to eat at a nice "sit-down" restauraut we would have spent at least $20 or more if you include the tip!
I can make this entire meal with the dessert for my family of seven for a little over $5 more!!
Here is the recipe for the Chicken Cordon Bleu:
3 boneless/skinless chicken breast
3 thin slices of ham
3 slices of swiss cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
1 tsp. onion powder*
1 tsp. garlic powder*
a few dashes of black pepper and paprika*
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning*
1 tsp. water
1/2 stick margarine
Combine flour and spices together in one bowl. Combine the egg and water in another bowl. Butterfly cut the chicken breasts just about all the way thru to where if you were to cut them totally apart you would have two pieces that look the same. Put one piece of cheese folded in two and one slice of ham in between the two pieces of chicken. Dip chicken pieces in the egg wash first and then in the spiced flour mixture. Place in a jelly roll pan or 9x13 pan. Place pads of margarine on top of each piece of chicken. (This is the secret to it tasting so delicious.) Bake 400 for 1 hour. I don't worry about spraying or oiling the pan as the pads of margarine work in keeping the chicken from sticking to the pan.
*spice amounts are approximate
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