Sunday, April 19, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers Budget Challenge!!

I was really intrigued by the new Barefoot Blogger Challenge-take one of Ina Garten's recipes, and overhaul the recipe to make it cost less. The recipe chosen to overhaul was Lobster Cobb Salad Rolls.
And boy, this recipe would have cost a pretty penny had I made it as written. It calls for 1 1/2 lbs lobster meat, which would cost a lot. If I went to Giant, it would cost over $60 dollars to get the amount of lobster meat required. I usually halve the recipes, since it is just for me and my husband but I would still end up spending $30-40 on the lobster meat alone for 3/4 of a pound.
I read a lot of the comments for the recipe on the TV Food Network website. Many people commented that the bacon and blue cheese made it overly salty. I decided to get rid of the blue cheese, since that is also pricey. I used a few shavings or parmesan, which I always have on hand.
Someone also commented that with all the other stuff going on (the vinaigrette, the bacon, etc) you might as well use turkey instead of lobster. So I decided to do that! I used a turkey tenderloin that cost me exactly $3.64! How is that for saving?
I also turned it into a pasta salad, using 100% whole wheat rotini. Other changes include using pancetta instead of bacon, sun-dried tomatoes instead of cherry, (not in season yet!!) and a slightly altered vinaigrette. So you can check out the original recipe here but I recommend my version :) I'm not biased at all!It is very different from the original recipe, but I really really enjoyed it. It is one of the tastiest dishes I have made in a while!
Turkey Cobb Pasta Salad Serves 3
1/2 lb whole wheat spiral pasta (such as rotini)
about 1 lb turkey tenderloin
6 slices (medium thickness) pancetta
1 small bunch organic arugula
1 organic avocado
lemon juice
1 small handful sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tsp honey
juice of 1/2 a large lemon
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. While the water heats up, season the turkey tenderloin with salt and freshly ground pepper on all sides. Put on a tray in a toaster oven at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.

The cooked turkey tenderloin. I got this from "The Turkey Lady" at Central Market in Lancat
Cook the pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, remove to paper towels to cool.

I just loooooove pancetta. It has a great flavor.

After the pasta is cooked until al dente, drain and rinse in cold water to cool down. Dump in a large bowl.
Rinse the arugula and rip larger leaves in half. Add to bowl.

This organic arugula from market was tender and much better than the supermarket variety nowadays.

Cut the avocado in half, remove pit, and peel off outer skin. Cut into a 3/4 inch dice. Sprinkle with lemon juice, then add to pasta.

This avocado, from the organic produce stand, was also labeled "Fair Trade Certified"!!! It was beautiful and delicious.

Roughly chop sundried tomatoes and add in. Crumble pancetta and also add into the salad.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Blend the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender, or use a container and an immersion blender (This is what I did, less clean up.) Then add the shallot, garlic and honey and blend until shallot and garlic are incorporated.

This organic lemon was HUGE!

Cut the turkey into bite sized pieces and cool. Add to the pasta mixture, then mix in the vinaigrette. Serve with freshly shaved parmesan on top.

Approximate cost of this dinner: $17.00 (including mostly organic ingredients)
Approximate cost of original recipe (cut in half to serve two): $58.00

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tracy said...

found your blog thru pioneer woman and I love the recipes. following you!

Anonymous said...

Looks delish! You stuck to it too... keeping it budget friendly. Can't wait to see what they come up with next time.

Anonymous said...

great job!!