So, a while back, Tooz posted a video of "Depression Cooking with Clara's" Pasta with Peas. I really liked this little granny, and liked the idea of relatively cheap ways to feed the family, so I went to YouTube and watched a couple more episodes. One of her recipes was for "Poor Man's Meal". Basically, you take some potatoes and peel them, chop up half of an onion (I used a sweet onion), and chop up some hotdogs (because hotdogs are cheap meat, and were cheap back during the depression, too). Put enough olive oil in a skillet to lightly coat the bottom, then fry up the potatoes and onions. When they are almost fried through, add the hotdogs. Clara notes you can add your favorite spices and anything else you have handy (she likes to use spaghetti sauce in everything). Then keep stirring to prevent sticking, until it is heated through. Serve some veggies or a salad on the side, and you have a filling, cheap meal.
I made this the other night, (I added shredded cheese over the top at the end) and Jamie loved it. Last night, he asked for it again. This time, I got creative. Instead of hotdogs, I used some cubed ham we had leftover from chef's salad. I also added a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix (if you don't have any ranch seasoning, adding ranch dressing after it is cooked is just as yummy). We also added a can of tomatoes (Jamie's idea), and it was okay - but not spectacular. I think it would have been better if we had used mushrooms instead, and two packets of ranch seasoning instead of just one.
Clara has three seasons' worth of episodes of depression cooking recipes on YouTube. She even has a DVD for sale, and a cookbook coming out this fall. With the economy the way it is, I'm planning on watching more episodes and getting tips on how to cook delicious meals that cost less. Clara's YouTube page is here.
Thanks, Tooz, for introducing us to Clara's recipes!