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Old 11-17-2005, 10:02 PM   #1
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Taste of College

First, purchase a box of Maccaroni & Cheese. Generic is just fine!

Get Pot (yes... the metal thing )
Fill pot with water 3/4 of the way up
Open box
Take out packet of powdered cheese
When water is boiling, Pour contents of box into boiling water
While noodles are boiling, get 2 tablespoons of butter and put into large bowl
When noodles are almost tender, drain noodles and then put them into large bowl with butter.
Mix!!! When butter is almost dissolved open packet of powdered cheese and mix together until the noodles turn a deep orange.
Milk in college is optional. If you have it, pour it in before adding the powdered cheese.
There you have it! now kick back and watch Ren & Stimpy!

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Old 11-17-2005, 11:36 PM   #2
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I've had this many times Sushi.
I still eat it when Paul goes out of town. It's still good. I do add
the milk though and sometimes mushrooms and some canned tomatoes.
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:00 AM   #3
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Well - I can make this for about $1.

Basic:

1 box generic Mac-n-Cheese (19 cents)
1 can tuna (50 cents - on sale 2/$1) - drained
1 can sweet peas (19 cents) - drained
butter and milk - amount according to Mac-n-Cheese box (butter is mandatory and can be lifted from most eating establishments for free - milk is optional but nice, or you can use an equal amount of reserved pasta cooking water)
additional salt and black pepper, to taste (packets from any restaurant or McDs - free)

Boil the mac according to package instructions - drain - turn burner down to medium - add the butter to the pot while draining pasta - throw pasta back into the pot, add cheese powder, and milk (if not using milk, reserve some of the pasta water and use that) ... stir to combine. Add tuna and peas - stir to combine and allow to heat for about 1 minute. Turn stove off - take pot into the living room and eat while watching reruns of your favorite TV show.

Big Spender (Payday) version:

Use real milk and 2 cans of tuna, 2 boxes of mac-n-cheese optional.

Gourmet version:

Put a pot of water on to boil, and while waiting for it and the mac to boil - sweat a diced onion in butter in a skillet. When soft - over low heat add a tablespoon or two of flour and cook for a minute or two to make a roux. Add tuna (1 or 2 cans) and peas, salt, pepper, and 1-2 cups milk. Stir to make a sauce. Make the Mac-n-Cheese and add the tuna mixture.

Low on Butter? Use the oil from one can of tuna to sweat the onions and make the roux.

Low on Milk? Use the juice from the peas plus additional water to make the sauce.

Cooking for a crowd?

2 boxes Mac-n-Cheese
2 cans tuna (3 cans if you're rich)
1 can peas
milk, butter, salt, pepper
onions and flour (optional for adaptation of the gourmet recipe above)

College Gourmet?

Make any 1-box Mac-n-Cheese recipe above and place in a 8x8 or 9x9 inch buttered casserole dish, or the 2-box version in a 9x13 inch dish, sprinkle some buttery flavored cracker (something like Ritz) crumbs over the top and bake at 350-F for 20-30 minutes.

Dude - I got a date casserole:

Make the "College Gourmet" recipe casserole above - but add some grated chedder cheese - mix some into the mixture and a little on top before adding the cracker crumbs.

Fancy Gourmet:

When Walgreen's has their canned mushrooms on sale 3/$1 - add a can.

Options:

For the casserole - use the "dust" in the bottom of a potato chip bag in place of the cracker crumbs. In fact, you can sprinkle this dust over any of the above recipes.

Of course ... you could used chopped bacon, cubed canned ham, corned beef, canned shrimp .... wow - what will cooks think of next!??
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:59 AM   #4
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WOW! Look at all the big spenders!

Two words - Ramen Noodles!

John
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:17 AM   #5
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OMG, Michael ... I make your basic recipe all the time as "comfort food" lunch.

I thought it was my dirty little secret
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:39 AM   #6
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Good stuff, Michael!!!
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:57 AM   #7
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michael, what year did you go to college? where in the heck can you get canned veggies and mac-cheese for 19 cents?
i remember my brother-in-law talking about buying quarts of beer for 25 cents, back in the early 70's.

here's something a little more fancy, in case you want to impress your college sweetheart. it's also good to make for large groups and benefit functions, as it is easily multiplied, and cost effective.


linguini alla vongole (pasta with white clam sauce)

ingredients:
1 box linguini
3 cloves garlic, smashed, skins discarded, minced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 stick butter (or steal a lot of packets from the cafeteria)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese (steal from a pizza place )
1 can chopped clams, drained
1 can whole baby clams, including the liquid
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed, stems discarded, chopped, divided into 2
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

optional, to serve on the side: extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, italian bread

fill a large (like a 6 quart or so) pot 3/4 of the way with water, put over high heat, bring to a rolling boil, salt the water, and add the box of linguini. stir a few times to keep the pasta from sticking together.
while the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat, let butter melt, and add the diced rred onion. toss a few times to coat, then once a minute or so, until the onion begins to soften and carmelize (turn brown on the egdes). turn heat down to medium, and add the garlic. cook the garlic gently with the onion, unitl it just begins to turn golden.

the pasta should be ready about now, so test it so that it is just little firm, not gushy. this is called al dente. drain the pasta when it is ready, set aside, uncovered.

dump the can of chopped clams into the onion and garlic, cook for a minute, then add the whole baby clams, including the liquid. add 2 more tablespoons of butter and 1 of the divided portions of parsley, cook until the butter is melted, stirring into the clams.
turn off the heat, dump the drained pasta over the clams and toss with a couple of spoons.
pour the clam tossed pasta into a large bowl, and sprinkle the remaining parsley over top.
serve with italian bread, olive oil for dipping (with a little salt and pepper added), and offer the grated cheese as you plate the pasta. not everyone likes cheese on their clams.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:22 AM   #8
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BT,

I went to school in downtown Detroit - where in the world was I gonna find:

1 can chopped clams, drained
1 can whole baby clams, including the liquid
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed, stems discarded, chopped, divided into 2

I mean, just ASKING where to get that type of stuff in that neighborhood is enough to get you smacked around!

John
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:36 PM   #9
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you went to harvard? wow, ronjohn, i'm impressed.

ok, so it was harvard driving school, but it's still the best one around.

the clams can be found in almost any supermarket, even bodegas, and the parsley, while some consider it a main ingredient, can be left out.
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:34 PM   #10
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Bucky, prices have gone up a lot in the last few years, but I think you can still get deals almost that good at a box store.

My first husband got that meal once a week. My budget and my repertoire were quite limited.
I still make tuna and noodles, but now I use wide noodles, 2 cans of flaked tuna, 1 can of solid albacore tuna, mushroom soup, canned mushrooms, peas, and top it with slices of Velveeta cheese (lite). I love it so much, I can eat it the leftover cold from the fridge.
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