Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

October 22, 2009
Help for the cook

What's cooking? How about cross rib roast (on sale at Raley's and Safeway), chicken (Save Mart and Safeway); soups, sausages and apple strudel.  Researcher Sheila Kern scours The Shop Cheap Kitchen for recipes that will help you plan your week. Enjoy!

Cross Rib Roast


Serves 4 -6


2 lbs cross-rib roasts

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil


Brush roast with balsamic vinegar.

Make a paste with remaining ingredients and apply to meat.

Roast meat at 450 for 15 minutes Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 40 o 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 125.

Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil and let stand 15 to 25 minutes.

Dijon Herb Cross Rib Roast


Servings: 8-10


1 (6-lb.) USDA Choice Beef cross rib roast

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. butter, softened

1 tbsp. coarse black pepper

1/2 tbsp. each: basil, rosemary, sage and thyme


Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 2 to 3 hours

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place roast, fat side up, in a large shallow baking pan. Stir together the remaining ingredients and spread over the top and sides of roast. Insert an oven-proof meat thermometer so the tip is in the center of the roast. Cook for 2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 135°F for medium-rare or 150°F for medium. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Crockpot Smoked Sausages With Potatoes and Cabbage


Serves 4 to 6


2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled or peeled, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

1 medium onion, halved, sliced

1/2 small cabbage, coarsely chopped or shredded

6 to 8 links of smoked sausage, such as andouille, chicken and apple, or your favorite

1/2 cup apple juice

2 teaspoons cider vinegar


Arrange sliced potatoes in the bottom of a 4-to 7-quart slow cooker. Drizzle with the butter and sprinkle with about half of the salt, pepper, and thyme. Toss to coat then add the cabbage and onions. Sprinkle with remaining seasonings and top with the sausages. Pour the apple cider over all and then drizzle with vinegar.

Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.

Slow Cooker Creole Black Beans and Sausage


Servings: 10


2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch slices

3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper

1 cup water

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 bay leaves


Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add sausage. Cook, stirring, until sausage is browned, about 5 minutes. Drain fat, and transfer sausage to slow cooker.

Stir the black beans, onion, celery, green pepper, water, tomato sauce, garlic, thyme, bullion granules, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves into the sausage in the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on Low until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Corn and Wild Rice Soup with Smoked Sausage


Bon Appetit | November 1995


12 1/2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth

1 1/4 cups wild rice (about 7 1/2 ounces)

6 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels (about 2 1/2 pounds) thawed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

10 ounces fully cooked smoked sausage (such as kielbasa), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 carrots, peeled, diced

2 medium onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups half and half

Chopped fresh chives or parsley


Bring 5 cups broth to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add wild rice and simmer until all liquid evaporates and rice is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3 3/4 cups corn and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth in processor until thick, almost smooth puree forms. Heat vegetable oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and onions and stir 3 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups chicken broth and bring soup to simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer soup 15 minutes.

Add cooked wild rice, corn puree and remaining 2 1/2 cups corn kernels to soup. Cook until wild rice is very tender and flavors blend, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in half and half. Thin soup with more chicken broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold; cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm soup over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chives and parsley and serve.

Cranberry Dijon Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe


Serves: 4


1 family pack leg quarters (any type chicken cuts)

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 packet onion soup mix

1 bottle French dressing

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix all ingredients except chicken in medium -large glass baking dish. Add chicken and spoon mixture over top of chicken making sure to cover completely.

Bake uncovered for 35-60 minutes (depending on choice of chicken cuts - about 60 minutes for leg quarters) occasionally spoon-basting with mixture. Chicken is done when liquid runs clear or meat flakes with the twist of a fork.

Great served over mashed potatoes with side of green beans.

Marinated Grilled Chicken Legs


Yield: 4 servings


1 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons basil oil

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/4 pounds), skinned

Cooking spray

Green onion strips (optional)


Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Prepare grill.

Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat 3 minutes. Place chicken on grill coated with cooking spray; grill 30 minutes or until chicken is done, turning and basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Garnish with green onion strips, if desired.

Apple Strudel



Apple Strudel:

1/4 cup bourbon or apple juice

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 to 3 Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup crushed shortbread cookies

1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

5 sheets phyllo dough from 1 pound package of frozen dough

2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing phyllo sheets, plus more if needed

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Confectioners' sugar

Caramel sauce, purchased


2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, pour the bourbon or apple juice over the raisins and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Combine the raisins, apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, and butter in a large bowl.

Remove the phyllo dough from the box, unfold, and cover with a damp towel. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets, brushing each with melted butter, stacking when done, being sure to keep the unbuttered phyllo covered.

Place the apple mixture on the nearest third of the phyllo stack, being sure to leave a 2-inch border. Gently lift the bottom edge of the phyllo stack to cover the filling and fold the side edges over. Continue to roll the stack away from you until the filling is completely sealed in and the seam is on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Pour over the glaze and sprinkle with cinnamon and confectioners' sugar. Pass warm caramel sauce, to drizzle over the strudel.

For the Glaze:

Mix ingredients thoroughly.

Cook's Note: If too thick add a little bit of milk. If too thin add a little bit of confectioners' sugar.

Farmhouse Butternut Squash Soup


Yield: Makes 6 (first course) servings


4 bacon slices

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/2 pounds carrots, chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

3 thyme sprigs

2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California

3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar


Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.

Puree about 4 cups soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie


Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Pastry for one crust, nine-inch pie

4 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Cortland, peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch chunks

2 cups cranberries

3/4 cup oat bran

1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a nine-inch pie pan with the pastry, line the pastry with a sheet of foil and weight it with pastry weights or dry beans. Bake for about eight minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and bake another five minutes or so, until the pastry begins to color.

Combine the apple pieces and the cranberries in a bowl. Add one-fourth cup of the oat bran, two-thirds cup of the sugar and one-half teaspoon of the cinnamon and toss. Dot with two tablespoons of the butter and toss again. Spread in the prepared pie pan.

Combine the remaining oat bran, sugar, pecans and cinnamon and mash in remaining four tablespoons of butter with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the fruit.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top has browned and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool until just warm, then serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

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About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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