When I was little, I got some illness that left me blistered everywhere, including in my mouth. It being the late 70's, there weren't a lot of liquid-meal replacements, and while I would eat ice cream for every meal, my mom wouldn't go for it. She came up with this as something easy to make that I would eat every single day. As a bonus, it has lots of variations, and is darn good reheated.
1 Pot Potato Stuff. It's what's for dinner.
Serves: 4 hungry adults, or about 8 kids (or, if you were me as a kid, me, and then me for lunch, dinner the next day, lunch again… etc.)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cost: 3.38$ for the whole pot
Step 1: Ingredients:
- 4 Hot Dogs, Sliced
- 1 cup frozen corn*
- 1 cup frozen peas*
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2-3 cups potato flakes
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (optional. I used homemade.)
- 2 cup milk
- 2 cup water
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese**
- Pepper/Garlic to taste
* Don't use canned vegetables. They won't hold up to the amount of stirring, and will become mush. Fresh peas and corn, of course, would be even better, but it's the middle of winter and all I can get is frozen.
** Personally, I splurge and get nice cheese. Imitation 'Cheese Food' won't add a lot of flavor to this dish. I'm using Tillamook Sharp here, as it's a) local, and b) fantastic. You can grate your own, which I usually do, but the pre-shred is just fine for this.
Step 2: Hot Your Dogs
Heat on medium-high, until hotdogs are hot through. You can tell when they're hot because they swell up from a disk shape to a ufo shape. :)
Step 3: Water and Veg
Step 4: Now Comes the Seasonings!
Step 5: Milk!
Step 6: Po-tay-toes
Second, add potatoes.
But what's this? Ingredients say 2-3 cups? Which is it? How can you tell what you need? Math! Ok, not really.
According to the back of the box, you should use about 2 2/3 cups of flakes for every 4 cups of liquid (a little over 1/2 cup of flakes for every cup of liquid). We have 4 1/2 cups of liquid (1/2 cup broth, 2 cups water, 2 cups milk), so we should use 3 1/3 cups (or thereabouts) in our Potato Stuff.
But this will make it into cement.
What I do is start with 2 cups. It will be thin, but thicken quickly. Add 2 cups, stir, wait 30 seconds, then decided if you want it thicker. I like mine to be mountable, but still move if I tip the pot. If you want it thicker, add more flakes in 1/3 cup increments.
Step 7: Mmmmmm, Cheesy.
Step 8: Variations
Chicken curry Potato Stuff: Add 2 tablespoons of curry powder to the chicken broth, sub finely chopped cauliflower for the corn, sub cooked chicken for the hot dogs. Top with dried cranberries and slivered almonds instead of cheese.
Loaded Potato Stuff: Sub broccoli for veggies, add 1/2 sour cream after the potatoes, mix in cooked bacon instead of hot dogs, top with cheddar and chives.
Steak and Potato Stuff: Leftover steak instead of hot dogs. Sub green beans for vegies. Top with finely crumbled blue cheese.
Strange Potato Stuff: Sub sliced ham (chunks, not deli meat) for hotdogs, leave out the veg, mix in brie (no rind), top with chopped green apple and diced dried cranberries, and candied pecans if you can get them. This one is… very weird. It's DELICIOUS.
Step 9: Bonus! Budget Breakdown!
- 4 Hot Dogs, Sliced - 1/2 of a 2$ package = 1$
- 1 cup frozen corn - 1/2 of a .89$ package = .45$
- 1 cup frozen peas - 1/2 of a .89$ package = .45$
- 1 Tablespoon butter - 1/8th of a stick. 3$/1lb (32 tb) = .10$
- 2-3 cups potato flakes - 1/2 box at 3$ = 1.50$
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (optional) = (mine was homemade from leftovers, but let's call it canned.) 4 oz of a 1.50$ can, .60$
- 2 cup milk - 1/8th of a 3.50$ gallon = .43$
- 2 cup water - Free
- 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese - 1/4th of a 4$ bag = 1$
- Pepper/Garlic to taste - Freeish. Let's say .10$
Total, for 4 adult servings = 3.38$, or about .85$ each.
Less than a buck, and under 10 minutes? If only all food were this cheap and easy!