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Recipe Contest: Your Best Cheap Feast

Our friends at Food52.com are holding a recipe contest! Read on for details.

As cooks, we have to be resourceful -- making ingredients last, stocking up wisely, and making our own versions of what others buy is all part of the routine. Now it's time to hone those skills: we want to see your best recipes that serve a crowd on the cheap. Think beyond the one-pot wonders and crock of beans (though all are welcome), and get creative! 

The winner of this contest will receive a $200 Whole Foods Market gift card, and the runner up will receive a $100 Whole Foods Market gift card. The contest will open on Monday, February 25th at 10:00am EST and will close on Tuesday, March 12th at 6:00pm EST. 

Interested? You can enter the contest on the Food52 site right here.


photo by James Ransom

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henry heater says …

Winemakers sausage: Heat half cup olive oil and infuse with fennel, anise and rosemary. Put 5 spicy Italian sausage in casserole. Cover with seedless green/red grapes. Place fingerling potatoes next to sausage. Cover sausage and potatoes with infused olive oil. Bake in oven at 325 for 1 1/2 hours until grapes brown.

henry heater says …

Hopping John: Sautee three diced onions, three chopped jalopenos, and 2lbs andouille. When onions are softened, add three cans blackeyed peas. Cook under medium low heat until you have a sludgy stew. Add honey to taste to offset heat.

henry heater says …

Brown six chicken thighs in oven proof pan and reserve them. Soften three onions sliced into rounds. Place thighs on theonions. Mix one cup white wine with three tbs dijon mustard. Pour mustard/wine mixture over chicken. Bake in oven at 325 for 20 minutes, flip the thighs over, and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Cristina Carbunaru says …

Go to cheap base is polenta, or as the Corn Meal package likes to call it: "corn meal mush". Boil 3 parts water, add 1 part cornmeal and another part non-boiling water, once the 3 cups are at a boil. Stir, stir, stir! As cornmeal tends to clump. When desired consistency is reached take it off the heat; this depends on if you want is soft or harder, you decide! Then it's time to dress the polenta. I like to add a little creamy-ness using sour cream. Yup, it's a cheap ingredient that you can stir right in! Then add any frozen veggies (cook em first) to the mix. Small or small chopped ones work best: peas, carrots, pearl onions, chopped broccoli, or you can go for some butternut squash that has a mushy consistency itself and can blend right into the polenta. If you like meat, things like ground beef and sausage work really well. My fav is the sausage which adds saltiness to the mix, nom nom. But ground beef (or pork) can be super cheap! Lastly, hot sauce over the entire dish and you're done. Of course, only if you're addicted to Franks RedHot and Sriracha like I am.

Silva Adeniyi says …

Quick Meal for your Family Penne Pasta White Chicken pieces Tomatoes, Onions and mushrooms (add spinach if you lik) Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese taste Boil Penne until soft as you want it In a skillet add: Olive Oil, white meant chicken, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms (until cooked to your specifications) (don'f forget the spinach if you like, put it in last) Pour the contents from the skllet into te pot with the Penne Pasta Add Parmesan Cheese to taste

Ashley says …

The easiest dishes to make for larger groups, that might include kids, are Italian. First there's pasta- any variation of your favorite pasta will work for a large group, but make it "gourmet" with some "adult" seasonings for an adult group or keep it simple if the kids are partaking. My easy way of making a party gourmet and kid friendly? Pizza buffet. Gather up or buy all the topping variations- veggies, meats, seasonings. Buy larger packs or blocks of cheese, tomato sauces, other sauces if your budget allows, and dough- or make your own larger-scale dough. Have children make their own, and then start on the adults! Take a tip from California Pizza Kitchen and remember that just about anything can go on a pizza! Salads, "Mexican" pizza, Thai pizza...it all works and will be a crowd pleaser.

Rose Schmidt says …

Saute one yellow onion in olive oil.....In large stockpot heat your favorite vegetable stock...cut and.toss in 12-15 large celery stalks...2-3 stakes of bok choy...throw in the sauted onion and olive oil. Cook till all is tender. ( may also include carrots if desire)....spice with curry powder, cajun seasoning, and spike to your liking......when tender throw all in blender and blend...return to stockpot to simmer and enjoy!!!

Rebecca says …

Start heating 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup olive oil in small saucepan on medium-low. Add a can of refried black beans and stir to mix. Add a teaspoon cumin, 2 teas. chili powder, 2 teas. onion powder and a half teas. salt. Lower heat a bit while stirring until hot. Taste and adjust if you like more chili powder. Spoon into serving dish, sprinkle with shredded Mexican cheese. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and a fresh, cut-up avacado on the side.

Ken Braybrook says …

2 Tbsp of fat (butter and/or oil) in a big pot, then cook diced onion until it's almost cooked, then put in a orange sweet potato cut into small cubes, then a russet potato cut the same. Put in a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Then put in 2-4 cups of liquid, either water and/or homemade stock. Increase heat and bring to a boil, cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes are soft. Use a potato masher in the pot until the potatoes are partially mashed with a lot of lumps left. Then put in chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, mushrooms etc and 1-2 sausages (spicy ones are nice). Add other spices if you like. Cook (simmer) for about another 15-30 minutes. Then let cool for 5-10 minutes in bowls and serve with crackers or bread. Beans are also nice with this soup. A nice dessert with this is fruit crisp like: (Pre-heat oven to 350F). Peel, slice, and core 2-5 apples, berries of some kind, sprinkled with 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1-2 Tbsp flour or other thickener, then mix this all together in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup quick cooking oats (not instant), 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1/4-1/2 cup of brown sugar. Then top the crisp with this and then bake it for about 55 minutes, uncovered. This can be served with vanilla yogurt if you like, or whatever.