Thursday, May 28, 2009

Credit Crunch: Clara's Depression Era "Poor Man's Meal"

How fitting that in today's current economy credit crunch, I came across these charming cooking videos presented by Clara, a sweet 91 year old grandma who allowed her grandson to follow her around in the her kitchen while she cooked recipes and told stories about the Great Depression. All of her recipes in the video series are authentic, economical, and homey.

I decided to try her "Poor Man's Meal" tonight for supper. It was very easy, quick, and filling. It was also really tasty and I will definitely make this again. There was probably enough in the pan to feed about 6 people, but I would plan on them grabbing seconds, as this was really so good. I know I could not resist grabbing a second helping myself.

Here is my interpretation of her recipe:

Clara's Poor Man's Meal
(serves 4-6)

4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (roughly, enough to fill a large skillet)
1 small onion, peeled, cut into very thin slivers
1/4 cup sunflower oil, approximately
salt and pepper (I used Lawry's seasoned salt) (my addition)
garlic powder, a shake or two to taste (my addition)
2-3 large spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce
1/4-1/2 cup cold water
1 package of hot dogs, cut into coin shapes (about 6-8)

Note: In the video, Clara didn't really give specific measurements, and mine are just rough guesses based on what I did. She also didn't mention adding salt, pepper, or garlic, but I felt it needed some seasoning.

Basically, you toss the potatoes and onion slivers into a large skillet, add a generous glug of cooking oil (adding a dash of salt and pepper if desired) and cook over medium heat, stirring only occasionally, until the potatoes start to get soft and turn golden brown on several sides. This took maybe 15 minutes or so. Once they are browned, add the spaghetti sauce, water, and the sliced hot dogs and stir. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic salt, if desired. I was pretty generous with the Lawry's. Once the potatoes are tender enough to break with a wooden spoon, the dish is ready to serve.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this looks really tasty Heather! I love hotdogs. I know I shouldn't, but I do. Hotdogs and potatoes are the perfect combination!