20 April 2009

Recipes: Spring Comfort Food on a Budget From Former Ballerina

Strawberry shortcakeImage via Wikipedia

From Denny: Louisiana has always been about two things - food at an affordable price and French cooking!

Patricia Williams is a former ballerina who retired at age 30. She followed her passion and became a chef, studying in France. She answered the CBS Morning Show's challenge of a meal for a family of four on $35 or less.

Seriously mouth-watering is this comfort food! She lines the meatloaf pan with smokey bacon and it adheres while it is baking in the pan. To serve, take it out of the pan, flip it over so the bacon is now on top: awesome!

Chef Williams shows you how easy it is to make your own fresh Green Goddess salad dressing and finally, a small bite version of Strawberry Shortcake. A lot of nutritional and taste value for reasonable money definitely qualifies as great comfort food in my book!

Recipes from CBS:

Arugula Salad

Serves 4


1 pound Arugula

16 asparagus green stalks, standard size

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper


Wash and dry the arugula. Cut the woody stems off the asparagus; peel the asparagus and save for the salad. Blanch the asparagus in salted water then shock in ice water.

To assemble the salad, place a large dollop of green goddess dressing on the plate. Place the arugula and the asparagus shavings in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper; add the olive oil and the lemon juice and toss. Place 4 asparagus on each plate (2 green and 2 white) and top with arugula.

Green Goddess Dressing

Serves 4


2 egg yolks

2 cups extra virgin olive oil

2.5 cups parsley leaves

2 cups arugula leaves

4 tablespoons tarragon

6 tablespoons minced chives

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 white anchovies

Juice of 2 lemons

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 ripe avocado


Slice the herbs and arugula thinly and puree with anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, avocado with ½ cup extra virgin olive oil.

To make the mayonnaise, blend the egg yolks and white wine vinegar and slowly add 2 cups extra virgin olive oil; combine and season with salt and pepper.

Bacon and Beef Meatloaf

Serves 4


1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon mustard

2 ounces breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 egg slightly beaten

2 pounds ground beef

1.5 ounces heavy cream

1 tablespoon tabasco sauce

2 teaspoon kosher slat

1 piece of diced bacon

1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned & blanched


Sauté the bacon and add the onions and the garlic; let cool. Mix the remaining ingredients and combine everything with the beef; do not over mix. Place in a 1-pound loaf pan and bake at 320°F for 30 minutes.

Drain the oil that has accumulated during cooking. Remove from the mold and serve with spicy ketchup sauce and green beans.

Spicy Ketchup Sauce

Serves 4


1.5 cups ketchup

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 sticks butter

Tabasco to taste


Combine all ingredients and puree in a blender; season to taste with Tabasco and serve with the meatloaf.

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 4



1 pint strawberries - washed, hulled and sliced

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar


Whip the heavy cream and add the powdered sugar. Set aside until ready to serve.



2 cups flour

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

3.2 ounces butter

4.8 ounces heavy cream

2 eggs

3 tablespoons flour for the surface

1 tablespoon cream for tops

1 tablespoon sugar for the tops


Cut the butter in small pieces. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of the mixer. With the paddle, beat the butter into the flour mixture; do not over mix.

Beat the eggs and combine with the heavy cream and add to the flour mixture.

Lightly flour the surface and roll the dough into 1 inch height and cut with a 3-inch cookie ring.

Brush with heavy cream and top with sugar. Bake in a preheated 300°F. oven for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

So, how did Williams do with our $35 budget?

Arugula Salad:

arugula $4.50
asparagus $1.75
parsley $.69
tarragon $1.49
chives $1.69
garlic $.39
anchovies $.99
lemons $.98
avocado $2.00

total $14.48


onion $.52
ketchup $.99
mustard $.89
breadcrumbs $.99
ground beef $4.58
heavy cream $1.19
bacon $1.00
green beans $1.99
soy sauce $1.39
butter $1.79
tobasco $1.39

total $16.72

Strawberry Shortcake

strawberries $2.49
heavy cream $1.19

total $3.68

Grand total: $34.88

Leader chefs so far this year in "How Low Can You Go?":

1. Scott Peacock $32.60
Watershed Restaurant

2. Joey Campanaro $33.27
The Little Owl

3. Patrick Connolly $33.32
Bobo Restaurant

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