Make A Holiday Meal For 4 At The 99 Cents Store!

As the holidays arrive this week, many are scrambling to put together the ultimate menu for their Christmas feast. As we all know, preparing such a meal can be costly… unless you buy all your ingredients at your local 99 cents store.

I went on a mission to create a tasty holiday meal for four using only ingredients found at the 99 cents store.
After recruiting the help of Chris Meenan, Executive Chef at the Water’s Edge in Long Island City, Queens, a bag of ingredients – which totaled only $18 in cost – soon became an unbelievable feast for a family of four.

Using sheer creativity and experience, Meenan managed to churn out an extravagant 4-course meal including two appetizers, one entree and one delicious dessert. In the most shocking twist, the chef was not briefed on what ingredients were going to be involved in the cooking.

After taking a look at his tools, Meenan got to work and created courses just about anyone could do.

Learn how to make all the chef’s creations:
(PLEASE NOTE: All ingredients were purchased at Jack’s 99 Cents Store on 32nd Street in Midtown. For more information, click here.)

Crab Meat Pot Pie

What you will need:
• 2 frozen pie crusts
• Bag of imitation Crab Meat
• Bag of frozen broccoli cuts
• Can of corn
• Generic cream

Thaw out pie crusts, spread out dough, separating in five different portions. Each of the four portions will be used for its own individual tart tray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or when crust has golden exterior. Set aside the fifth dough portion, which will be will be used to cover each pie later.

Thaw out frozen crab meat. Cut meat into strips, then cut into cubes. Add crab to a pan that is lightly dressed in olive oil at mid-heat. Add about a cup of cream. Bring to a light boil.

Thaw out bag of frozen broccoli. Cut the tops off each broccoli stem and put them aside. (The tops will be used for your Ramen Noodle entree.) Add broccoli to crab/cream mixture. Finally, add canned corn. Allow mixture to reach light boil. Cream should thicken up and appear frothy.

After crab, broccoli and corn cook, its time to add mixture to each tart. After adding a generous portion to each crust pie, roll out fifth dough portion into 1 1/2 inch-wide strips. Take each strip and start covering each tart in a cross-cover fashion.

Place each tart onto a baking sheet and put into oven. Allow to bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crust goldens. Remove from oven, and Enjoy!
Ham Roll-Up Stuffed With Mandarin Rice

What you will need:
• Oscar Meyer or any generic, pre-sliced processed ham
• Box of Minute Rice
• Can of cut mandarins
• Bag of dried cranberries
• Whole wheat pita bread

Cook minute as per box instructions. Add cranberries and mandarins to a pan lightly dressed in olive oil at low heat. Make sure contents do not burn.

Toast whole wheat pita break. Slice bread into triangle shapes. (Cutting one pita in half and then into quarters should be sufficient for four portions.)

Lay out ham slices (4) onto pan lightly dressed in olive oil at mid-heat. Allow ham to crisp, but do not burn.

When rice is fully cooked, add cranberries and mandarins. Make sure to complete mix.

After ham is cooked, lay out each slice onto its individual triangle-shaped pita. Add small portion of rice to each slice of ham, later rolling each slice using a tooth pick.

Serve and enjoy!

Classic Ramen Noodle Dish

What you will need:
• 2 packets of Chicken Flavored Ramen Noodles
• Box of beef broth
• 4 eggs
• Pack of generic hot dogs
• Bag of frozen broccoli cuts

Cook Ramen Noodles as instructed on packet label. Heat about 3 and a half cups of beef broth in medium-sized pot at mid-heat. (Optional: to add more flavor to broth, feel free to add a carmelized onion.)

Poach four regular sized eggs. Set aside.

Slice hot dogs into quarter-sized portions. Add to pan lightly dressed in olive oil. Cook at low to mid heat for about 10 minutes or when crispy, golden exterior appears.

After noodles are fully cooked, separate in four portions onto serving bowls. Add broth to each bowl. Add cooked hot dogs. Also add broccoli tops saved from crab meat pie scrappings. (see Crab Meat Pot Pie instructions.) Finally, top each noodle dish with poached egg. Serve and enjoy!

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Categories: The Broke Fix

Author:Andrew Ramos

I'm a reporter in New York. I talk to people. We have a blast.


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