Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Chili & Kraut Dog - Video Recipe

A Chili &Kraut Dog and it may be my favorite. I don't always have canned chili in the cupboard, but when I do I open a jar of sauerkraut and build this overloaded dog. The combo of pungent meaty chili and puckering sauerkraut can be too much for some, but not for me.

*If you just want to cut to the chase and watch my video of a Chili & Kraut Dog, just scroll down to the end of this post to play it.


The good thing about sauerkraut is that it lasts forever when bought in a can or jar. And once opened and stored in the refrigerator it has a long shelf-life. I've kept sauerkraut for more than 2 months in the fridge! It's hard to tell when it goes bad as it's so sour.


And to add sour to sour, I like mustard too! With a soft neutral bun and a beefy hot dog, it's a delicious combo of flavors I never get bored with.

Sauerkraut doesn't show up at my local 99c only Store every day, so when it does I usually get a few cans or jars to keep in the cupboard. I can't tell a difference between sauerkraut that is jarred or canned, I guess the salty brine overpowers any difference between cabbage and sauerkraut recipes.


My girlfriend spent time in Germany so she likes her sauerkraut heated up - I don't mind it right out of the can and at room temperature. I think we can both agree to drain and shake out the kraut before piling it on the wiener.

I've made Hot Dogs with all kinds of canned chili, from name-brand Hormel to brands I've never heard of like Hartford House...and they are all just fine by me. In the South, my Mom tops her Chili-Cheese Enchiladas with Wolf Brand Chili.



Canned chilis should mainly be flavored with chili powder. These days it's usually a mix of meats like pork and chicken, but mainly beef. I've grown used to canned chili and actually like the flavor.


The main problem is the texture which is often crumbly from ground meat, not stringy like a saucy pulled pork which I prefer - hey, you get what you pay for!


The last couple of years I started making my own Homemade Beef Chili and you can click on the recipe name to see it, but a warning, this recipe has beans, although it's easy enough to leave them out. Check back in a  few and I'll have a Homemade Beef Chili (no beans) video on my YouTube Channel.


I use the cheapest cut of beef called shank. It's one tough steak but after 2 or 3 hours of simmering in spices and tomato sauce, it becomes fall-apart tender and extra flavorful. Try slow-cooking with beef shank sometime, as it's even cheaper than hamburger these days.


Can you top your Hot Dog with a can of Chili with Beans? Sure, I have in desperate times.

These days it easy to make vegan versions using tofu dogs and vegan chili, so everyone can join in summertime patio Hot Dog partying.

 And the main ingredients of a Hot Dog are cheap of course, but that's not the only reason to like them. They are just a satisfying combination of flavors that you can build any way you like.

A package of Hot Dog Buns for about a buck? Check. I prefer regular white flour buns, but I often find whole wheat bun on sale too -- it's all good. And any grocery store carries them for barely a buck per 8-count package.


Meaty tube steak for a buck? If you know where to look and don't mind if they are a mix of beef, chicken, and pork. I always find them on sale at my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree.



There is a texture taste difference - I find the typically mixed meat wieners a bit softer when you bite into them and with a milder meaty taste, while an all-beef wiener has more snap and thicker texture and an intense beef flavor. Depending on how my pocketbook is feeling I can work with any type of tube steak.


Do you like your weenies steamed, sauteed, or grilled? I find it easiest to just steam mine in a pot with a basket and covered until they are hot and plump. This way you can walk away and get all the fixing ready while they cook - when you steam them you don't have to worry about burnt weenies.


How about the Hot Dog Buns? Well, at the last minute I will throw in a couple of buns on top of my steaming wieners, cover and give them a minute to soften. This works especially well if the buns are old and hard.


You do have to watch steaming buns as they can become soggy, although you can always let a soggy bun dry out for a couple of minutes if necessary.

 If I am barbequing then I will grill the wieners and add the buns at the finish line - same with sauteing in a frying pan on a stovetop.

I always find jars and squeeze bottles of mustard for a buck, even Grey Poupon!


So, how do you like to make yours? Leave a comment and let's compare wiener...recipes. Ha, ha, I couldn't resist. And check back for more simply delicious and cheap Hot Dogs. So load up the steamer basket or fire up the grill and get to cooking one of my yummy Hot Dog recipes.

Chili & Kraut Dog - VIDEO
Play it here. The video runs 2 minutes, 22 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

🏆 NBA Playoffs - Shooting Produce Video & Recipes 🏀

 Welcome to the NBA Playoffs99 Cent Chef-style, that is. This is basketball played by the rulebook of the Cheap$kate Dribbler. The matchup this year is between the Miami Heat and the LA Lakers - it's East Coast vs West Coast and  Miami better or turn up the heat to ketchup! 

Great NBA All-Star match-ups have included Magic and Bird, Jimmy Butler and LeBron James, and now: Pete versus The 99 Cent Chef ! It's a triple-double of a basketball video event. One-on-one has never been so much fun.

In the video below I take playing with food to surreal and fanciful extremes. What starts out as a simple 5 basket pickup game turns into a food free-for-all, and you can be sure things go splat when there is a drive to the hoop.

During this week of the NBA Playoffs, be a sport and join me for my outlandish video halftime entertainment event right here!



If you are looking for yummy eats for your NBA Playoffs Finals, I got drooly double dribble recipes that will satisfy Floridian Heat and laidback L.A. Lakers tastebuds. There are no turnovers in this recipe list! Just click on any recipe name to be directed to my blog post with yummy photos and tasty text.

And as you cheer on your team do check out some classic basketball moves I've adapted and have scattered throughout this yummy blogpost.

Banana Cut: a wide, curving cut, as opposed to a cut that is a straight line. Also known as a 'C' cut.

Miami Heat fans will eat up my Cuban Recipes (click here to see them all) - since many communities have major Cuban immigrant neighborhoods. Is it ever too early for a sugarcane and rum drink? Allow the 99 Cent Mojito to get you in a Playoff mood. To see the blog post with my Mojito cocktail recipe written out, just click here.

The 99 Cent Mojito -Video


Okay, maybe it's better to start with a simply delicious Cuban Salad. All it is, is sliced avocado, tomato, onion and radish with a tangy vinegarette of lime juice (or vinegar) and oil.


But you may want to go for an extra overtime quarter and make Cuban Roast Pork. Marinate a cheap pork shoulder with orange and lime fruit juices and sit back and let it roast until fall-apart tender. 


If you are making Cuban Roast Pork then get a few extras: sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, some mustard, and small white bread rolls and let your bleacher bums make their own Cuban Sandwiches. Check out my recipe page here and see my grilled pressed sandwich technique to get the Swiss cheese all melty.


And don't forget the beans, Cuban Black Beans, that is. They really are the beans I make the most and the flavor trick is adding vinegar, sugar, and bell pepper. Hey, kick it up a notch with a pound of ground beef or turkey.


Onion Over the Back: a foul committed by a player who tries to rebound the onion by pushing, moving, or climbing on a player's back who is already in a position to rebound the ball.

I give the opening jump ball recipe to the LA Lakers! Los Angeles is the land of avocados where the creamiest Hass Avocado was first grownAvocado Toast is a fave appetizer. It's as easy to make as a layup.


Whew, that recipe should be penalized for deliciousness. Well, Los Angeles has a South-of-the Border recipe that will give Cuban Roast Pork a run for the money, it's called Carnitas. Hours of braising reduce a pork shoulder to a tender and succulent Mexican-style taco filling. I even throw in the pigskin for extra flavor. Carnitas are what I order for late-night noshing at a taco truck.

 
My recipe for a LA Street Dog is a freeway pileup of flavors that make a behind-the-back dribble around any hot dog out there. Hot dogs and sports just belong together and my LA Street Dog recipe is a jalapeno-hot fast food classic. Just check out my grilled fajita veggie topping (colorful bell peppers and onion with a big fat jalapeno,) and you'll have your game guests slam-dunking them down their gullets!


The Bell Pepper Bank Shot: a shot that hits the backboard before hitting the rim or going through the net.

A Los Angeles fan favorite is a California Roll. Like a stadium wave, this California spin on Japanese sushi has traveled to grocery deli cases all around the country. And it uses cheap imitation crab, so you will save big bucks on usually expensive seafood - hey, now you can afford an extra keg for your Playoff party!


Cucumber Chucker: a player who takes frequent, and often imprudent, shot attempts. The term was popularized by the television series Seinfeld.

Just looking for some tasty recipes with no strings attached, well just keep moving down the court and I'll make a long pass of them to you -- read on!!

My riff on an East Coast favorite Lobster Roll is a cheaper Scallop Roll. This recipe is so scrumptious it was featured in the Huffington Post website! Click here to see the write-up.

  Scallop Roll

If an evening game is played on a chilly night then throw another log on the fire and gather in front of the big screen with a steaming bowl of my cheap$kate Clam Chowder. Fans will throw off their warming blankets, peel off their gloves, and elbow each other for a big bowl.


Everyone loves Pizza. You can avoid the long lines at Domino's or Shakey's Pizza and save your pizza delivery driver tips by making your own pies cheaply with my recipe that uses pre-made cooked pizza crusts from the Dollar Tree store.


What's great about making your own Individual Pizza, is everyone can add their fave ingredients. I like anchovies and an egg on mine -- I know no one else would order that one!

Just set out a stack of individual pizza crusts and a few bowls of pepperoni, shredded cheese, black olives, fresh basil leaves, Italian sausage, a fave jar of marinara sauce -- you get the picture. And it only takes 10 minutes or so in a hot oven and they're done. This is a slam dunk recipe!



Next to pizza and hot dogs, Fried Chicken is a fan favorite, and no one fries chicken better than this Penny-Pinching Game Changer.

I've come up with a crunchy coating that will empty the bleachers and have fans storming the kitchen! Get Playoff day going with my Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe, or use my special flour and spice mix for regular bone-in chicken pieces. Fry up a batch of chicken to handoff when the jump ball starts the game.


Apple Advance Step: a step in which the defender's lead foot steps toward their man and the back foot slides forward.

Bring more Southern flavor to your kitchen, no matter what State or Country you are in. Fans will take a half-time break and huddle around your cast iron pot of my fragrant and spicy Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya and Cajun Gumbo.

 Mom's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

In Louisiana, we put a dollop of Cajun Potato Salad on our Gumbo. If you don't believe me just check out the video below.



Keepin' it vegan is my longtime friend Ms. Patti. Her Red Beans and Rice entree is a swish, all net. Dig it here:



Everyone will huddle around sandwich plates of gooey, cheesy Patty Melts, hearty Meatball Subs, Homemade Deli PastramiFalafel Pitas, and steaming Sloppy Joe's (or Sloppy Jane with ground poultry.)

If you're looking for one-pot meals, so you don't miss any action on the court, just check out my Pork BourguignonFrench CassouletChicken Tinga StewBaked Pasta with Cheese and CauliflowerBaked Lasagna with Ground ChickenShepherd's Pie, or Sausage & Sauerkraut with Beer recipes.

Baked Lasagna with Ground Chicken

Tired of stale, soggy stadium hot dogs? I have a deliciously decadent and easy Corn Dog Recipe made with Vienna sausages -- but you can use regular wieners. Your hungry guest will not step out of bounds dipping these crunchy coated B-balls into a tasty Honey-mustard Sauce.

Since you have the fryer going you might as well make a batch of my Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. They're as light and airy as the Goodyear blimp.

All the above NBA Playoff recipes are easy free throws to do, so head down the court for an easy layup to the dinner table loaded with Pick-and-Roll Cheapskate's game day eats. 

Be safe out there and keep your distance with a mask handy!

Toilet Bowl Tomato: when the ball hits the rim at a certain angle and then circles around it, can go in or out.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

National Taco Day - Recipes & Reviews

Today is National Taco Day, the most hallowed of culinary days in my cocina (kitchen.) I can have tacos morning, noon, and night. So read on and you'll know what I mean - just click on any taco name, or highlighted text, to see all the tasty details from my blogpost recipe or review.

In the morning it's spicy Mexican chorizo with scrambled eggs and refried beans nestled into a warm corn tortilla.

Breakfast Tacos

And my Chorizo & Egg Taco is about as cheap as you can get. I get Mexican chorizo from the 99c only Store natch, and all kinds too, like beef, pork, and even soy (which is a recent favorite.) Eggs still show up at my local Dollar Tree.

The simplest breakfast taco to make is one made of Scrambled Eggs & Refried Beans. You can use canned refried beans or make my Homemade Mexican-style Pinto Beans.

And for Breakfast Tacos, it all about the salsa toppings. I like salsa from a jar, but sometime I just gotta go for it and make my own Homemade Salsa, and it's easy to do.

My Mango Salsa recipe with yummy photos and tasty text is right here, but you can check out the video below:



I'm ready to party on this auspicious day, and when this cheap$kate does it you can bet pennies will be pinched without a sacrifice in flavor. For my backyard soirée it's my favorite taco: a slow-cooked pork Carnitas. Just check out my video below to see what I'm writing about.



I buy a 5 to 6-pound budget pork shoulder, and I can get a couple dozen tacos out of it, too.

 And boy it's the perfect budget recipe that your friends and neighbors will line up for. You let them do most of the work -- they get to build each taco to suit their taste. I like to set out some chopped onion and cilantro. You can make your taco bar any way you like, go ahead and add a bowl of shredded cheese, chopped lettuce and tomato, and a cheap jar of salsa, too.

Chicken is one cheap protein. My Chicken Tinga recipe will have your guest coming back for seconds...and thirds! Chicken Tinga is a stew simmered in tomato sauce with a can of spicy chipotle peppers, but you can make a mild version with a can of enchilada sauce.

 Chicken Tinga

One of my most unique tacos came about one summer while on vacation at our spectacular national parks in Utah. I stopped to eat and had an Indian Frybread Taco. Frybread is flour dough that's rolled out and deep-fried. You top the frybread with chili beans, lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

Frybread Taco

Carne Asada, or grilled steak, is a favorite taco of mine. Just make my marinade for thinly sliced steak, let it sit for an hour, then slap it on the grill. After the Carne Asada is done you chop it up and serve on a corn tortilla

Carne Asada Taco

The marinade is a simple mix of lime juice, oil, cilantro, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Drive anywhere in Los Angeles and you will see taco trucks, sidewalk taco vendors, and taquerias on almost every street. And I've stopped at most of them. What follows are a few of my faves - with a few recipes I cribbed from them, too.


When I moved to Los Angeles over 40 years ago, I discovered the taco truck. Boy, have they evolved over the years. In the beginning, it was just hamburgers and tacos made with ground beef. Well, that all changed about 9 years ago when a hotel chef named Roy Choi, who was down but not out, rebounded from couch surfing to start Kogi Taco Truck.

A fellow co-conspirator came up with the idea of a Korean taco, and Roy Choi assembled the taco ingredients of Korean barbecue short ribs with a kimchi-style coleslaw, served on corn tortillas. His truck was an instant hit, and Kogi jump-started the ongoing nouveau taco truck renaissance.

Kogi is still around and I still love them. Check out my video below, where I hang out night and day, for L.A.'s most uniquely mouthwatering taco.



Inspired by Kogi's mashup of Korean BBQ and Mexican Tacos, I came up with the Loxaco, that combines Jewish and Mexican cuisines.

Loxaco is comprised of homemade lox (cured salmon) in a fast food crunchy taco shell topped with cream cheese and thin sliced red onion. I introduced this preposterous concoction at a book signing in Libros Schmibros, a lending library in East Los Angeles. How did it go over with book lovers? The following video is a twofer, you get a recipe plus a literary happening scene.



After a double feature at my fave art house cinematheque like the Egyptian or New Beverly Theater, on the way home I swing by Leo's Taco for a few al pastor pork tacos. They just cost a $1.25, and the line can be long, now that the word is out.

This is porcine perfection on a paper plate. It's tender and flavorful grilled marinated pork, that's cooked in front of a gas grill called a trompo. A cook manning the grill slices off thin slivers, finishing the taco with flare: a flying slice of pineapple. Check out the yummy action below.



I've followed the Two Hot Tamales from the beginning when the Border Grill was in a storefront with half a dozen tables on Melrose Avenue. Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken are fixtures on the L.A. dining scene who jumped on the taco truck train, bringing their neuvo take on Mexican cuisine to four wheels. They primarily park their taco truck in the environs of Silicon Valley West Coast, Santa Monica.



My Tacos El Primo video review has gone viral. That means this YouTube video gets thousands of views per month - right now it is pushing half a million. Why? I'm not sure. Let's see... in this video I review Buche and Tripas tacos, or tacos made from slow-cooked stomach and intestine. Gross right? One thing I noticed is half my visitors are from Mexico, so maybe half my audience is curious about how gringos react to offal.

That doesn't seem interesting enough really, but hey, what do I know, I'll take it. I did the taco review because Tacos El Primo was a midnight munchies stop on my return home from various Hollywood treks.

When you have a neighborhood food stop, you eventually dive deeper and try eats you would not normally taste.

Tripas (intestine) Taco

Well, join the multitudes and check out my Cheap$kate video review of Tacos El Primo.

Deep-fried Fish Tacos are one of L.A.'s great culinary contributions. These battered depth charges of crunchy perfection are based on the street food of Baja Mexico and other coastal communities. If you like British Fish & Chips, you will love Fried Fish Tacos.

Fish Taco

The battered fillets of fish are typically served on corn tortillas and topped with a white crema and chopped cabbage. I have my own recipe for Fish Tacos you can see by clicking on the recipe name.

And this is the best taco deal in town: Today (Wednesdays) is $1 Fish Taco day at Tacos Baja! Yeah, that's what you heard - don't believe me? Just watch the video below and see it for yourself.

Celebrate National Taco Day with me today. Hey, celebrate it any day now that I've shown you a slew of taco recipes you can make easily and cheaply.

And I'll end with a queasy taco review, from of all places, Jack In The Box's 2 for 99 cent tacos...ugh, watch it with a barf bag.


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