Monday, March 2, 2009

College Student On a Budget

As I find myself tightening the purse-strings more everyday, I am actively seeking hearty, healthy and tasty meals to satisfy my cravings on a college student's slim budget. I grew up in a home with two amazing Home Chefs for parents. I proudly call them "Home Chefs" because the recipes they hold in their back pockets exceed a family's traditional mac n' cheese or spaghetti and meatballs, but instead, are not traditional at all, and are rarely the same every time. Although neither were trained in culinary arts, both have informally studied under some of the nation's top chefs thanks to the Great Chefs Program at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, Ca. Charlie Trotter, Alice Waters, Jacques Pepin, Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, Lidia Bastianich, Stephan Pyles and Michel Richard are just a small cluster of the chefs my parents had the honor to meet and learn from. What does this formula equate for someone like me? Let's just say I keep the dehydrated ramen in the cupboards unless a sickness disables my taste buds. 

I came across a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine perfect for my needs: Cumin-Pepper Flank Steak with Horseradish Chimichurri. The most expensive parts of this meal were the flank steak and horseradish, both ranging from $5-$8 depending on the size; I purchased a 1 lb flank steak and a small jar of horseradish. In total, this meal cost me about $13, a small price to pay to be hostess to a couple friends for the evening. 

I rubbed the steak with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, and cumin.

In a small food processor, I blended
2/3 cup parsley 
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons water
1 hearty tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1 garlic clove

I cooked the steak in a nonstick skillet for about 5 minutes on each side so it was not so bloody, sliced, and served!

This is the final product ready to serve with the horseradish chimichurri in the background. 

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