December 5, 2009

What's Cookin': Potato Soup & Buttermilk Biscuits

Welcome to What's Cookin'! This will be my recipe portion of the blog where you'll find out what's coming out of my kitchen and how much it cost me to do it. My goal is $5 or less -inspired by $5 Dinners. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't.

I will try to start taking pictures, but don't have one tonight for two reasons: One, we are still out of batteries. Two, I just plain forgot (even if we did have batteries). So imagine a steaming hot bowl of potato soup with fresh homemade biscuits...

Potato Soup
1 Tbs. spread - .02
6 (ish) russet potatoes (about 2 pounds) - .19
1/2 onion, chopped - .12
1/4 water - I don't count this because it's almost impossible to calculate for us
3 C milk - .42
2 C water - .00
1 tsp salt - .00
2 tsp instant chicken bouillon - .08
1/4 tsp garlic powder - .00
1 bay leaf -  .13
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese -1.44
1/4 lb bacon, fried and crumbled - .82

Melt spread in a large pot over low heat and add onions and potatoes. Cook until onions are tender. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, until potatoes are starting to get tender. Add everything else but the cheese and bacon. Bring to boil over medium heat, cover, reduce to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes so it becomes creamy. Or you can use a food processor and blend half the soup for chunky, or all of it for smooth. I just didn't feel like washing mine tonight. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve with bacon and biscuits. I just put the bacon on the table so you can choose how much you want.

Total: 4.74

Variations: You can omit the cheese and save almost a buck and a half on this meal. You can also omit the bacon. The recipe I used called for chopped celery to be added at the beginning with the onions. Ben doesn't like celery so I try to stay away from it, but it is good with it. It also called for 4 Tbs butter, 4 cups of half and half and 1 cup milk - I changed that to the 1 Tbs spread, 3 cups milk, 2 cups water for price reasons and it turned out just fine. But if you're feeling luxurious go ahead! It's deliciously rich with all the cream

This is the first time that I've made biscuits from scratch (gasp!). I just always used Bisquick because it was around. Came to find out, Ben hates biscuits made from the mix. Doesn't like the taste. So I made these and he kept saying how great they were! Total success and I'm thinking I might keep these on hand.

Buttermilk Biscuits
2 C flour - .38
4 tsp baking powder - .12
1/4 tsp baking soda - .00
3/4 tsp salt - .00
2 Tbs spread - .04
2 Tbs shortening - .14
1 C buttermilk, chilled - 1.36

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in spread and shortening until dough resembles small crumbs. Use your fingers, it won't kill you and they do a better job than any tool. If you squish the dough together in your hand and it holds the indentation but crumbles under a small amount of pressure then it's ready. Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined (you can use a spoon for this part to avoid "club hand"). It will be sticky. Knead on a floured surface a few times until it's easy to handle. Pat out to about one inch thick, cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter* and place on cookie sheet. Combine your scraps, pat out again, and cut as many as you can get. Repeat until you don't have enough dough for any more. Smoosh up the last bit and make a frankenbiscuit - don't throw it away! Bake for about 15-20 minutes.They're ready when they've puffed up and have turned a delicious golden color.

* Don't go buy one. I used an evaporated milk can that I had cut both ends off of. Worked perfectly.They were on the smaller side, but if you want bigger biscuits find a bigger can!
Total: 2.04

Variations: I used "baking" spread instead of butter because it's what I had. Butter will make it taste, well, buttery-er. Yes that's a word, I just made it up. You can also use plain milk instead of buttermilk (I believe you would need to reduce the amount to around 3/4 C though), they just won't be as tangy. The recipe said it makes 12, but I only got 8 and a franken. I think my problem was I didn't pat it out thin enough. But it was plenty for us. We ate 4 with dinner and have 4 left for later.

Total for the whole meal was 6.78. But this actually made two meals since I was able to fill a quart zip bag with the leftover soup and put it in the freezer as well as the extra biscuits which will go with breakfast tomorrow. So all in all, about three and a half bucks for tonight. Not bad!

1 comment:

NetRaptor said...

That soup sounds good! I'll make some this week, while we still have milk.

A tip on biscuits: only knead them ten times. That's the smallest amount of kneading that you can do and have it all mixed. It makes the biscuits flaky without turning them into cement. Also, plain old baking powder buscuits from the Betty Crocker cookbook are very nice, and they don't require buttermilk.

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