Kow Piek Sen (ເຂົ້າ ປຽກ)

Kow Piek Sen (ເຂົ້າ ປຽກ)
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This is probably the most popular homemade soup in Laos, and this is a westernized version of. This is from my friend who is Lao, the only part to make it westernized is the use of macaroni instead of the rice noodles. This recipe to make it more available to those in the US, use macaroni unless you are familiar with making rice noodles, this recipe does not cover that. Servings, prep, cook times, and some quantities are approximate until I make this. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Kow Piek Sen (ເຂົ້າ ປຽກ)
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This is probably the most popular homemade soup in Laos, and this is a westernized version of. This is from my friend who is Lao, the only part to make it westernized is the use of macaroni instead of the rice noodles. This recipe to make it more available to those in the US, use macaroni unless you are familiar with making rice noodles, this recipe does not cover that. Servings, prep, cook times, and some quantities are approximate until I make this. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
For Seasonings
For Garnish
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. You can go with a whole chicken (in Asia, remove the head and feet first), in the US, remove the giblet pack, save those for a snack later. Now you can boil the chicken whole, or you can cut it into the standard pieces or I will just go with two breasts and two quarters (separated), no need for the wings or back.
  2. In a large pot, add the water, onion, lemongrass, and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, carefully lower in the chicken, using pieces would be much easier than a whole chicken. Return to a gentle boil and cook the chicken through (you are making the broth).
  4. While the chicken is cooking, open and drain the drain the eggs if using canned, or hard boil them if using fresh, shortcut for hard boiled is Recipe Notes. Prep the pork balls by simply slicing each in half. And then measure out the dry macaroni.
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked, carefully remove the chicken and the lemongrass bundle from the pot. Then add the dry macaroni and let that cook.
  6. While the macaroni is cooking, use two forks and shred the chicken, removing skin, bones, and any gristle, good snack for your dog 😉
  7. When the macaroni is tender, add the chicken, eggs, and pork balls to the pot. reduce heat to a simmer and use the Seasonings as listed to taste. Let this cook to heat everything through.
  8. Ladle soup into bowls and use the Garnishes listed as you desire and to taste. Serve.
Recipe Notes

I will price this when I gather up all the ingredients. I will say Low cost for now.

Shortcut: Perfect Hard Boiled Quail Eggs.

Variants: 1. Use 1-2 Cornish game hens in place of chicken. 2. Omit the eggs or the pork balls, or both.

Recipe inspired by good friend, Khanthary Singnhoth, and her recipe is here.
United States.

Old Fashioned Mac & Beef Casserole

Old Fashioned Mac & Beef Casserole
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Sounds like a good hearty meal. This dish can be changed in many ways to make it different each time. On the to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Old Fashioned Mac & Beef Casserole
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Sounds like a good hearty meal. This dish can be changed in many ways to make it different each time. On the to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter.
  2. In a pot of salted water, cook the macaroni to just tender, drain.
  3. In another pot, heat the butter then saute the garlic, thyme, jalapeno pepper, and paprika for about a minute, then add the onion and saute until just translucent.
  4. Add the ground beef and season with salt and both types of pepper. Cook until the beef is no longer pink and browned. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes to soften them up then add the macaroni then the milk, stir and mix well, adjust salt and pepper to taste. Stir in half the cheeses.
  6. Pour into the prepared baking dish, top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and the top is starting to brown.
  7. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, serve.
Recipe Notes

For the beef figure about 150 Baht for 500 grams. For 6 servings, this is about 75 cents per serving.

Variants: 1. Change the cheese to Swiss or a 4 cheese blend. 2. Change the meat to ground chicken or ground pork. 3. Add chopped bell pepper. 4. Add sliced mushrooms. 5. Instead of baking, just prepare on the stove.

Provided courtesy of good friend, Stephen Connell.
United States.

Macaroni Salad II

Macaroni Salad II
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This is an excellent macaroni salad, I made this on 11 Jan 2018. This is a very versatile recipe that you can make different each time.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Macaroni Salad II
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This is an excellent macaroni salad, I made this on 11 Jan 2018. This is a very versatile recipe that you can make different each time.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings as a side
Instructions
  1. Heat a pot of salted water to boiling, add and cook the macaroni until tender, drain and rinse under cold water, set aside to cool.
  2. While you are cooking the eggs and pasta, prep the vegetables.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, and mustard until smooth.
  4. Add the garlic, onion, celery, bell pepper, eggs, and parsley. Mix to coat then add the pasta and mix to coat.
  5. Refrigerate for several hours before serving as a side dish.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Variants: 1. Add 100 grams or so of shredded or cubed Cheddar or Swiss cheese. 2. Use any color bell you like.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Bleu Cheese Bacon Mac & Cheese

Bleu Cheese Bacon Mac & Cheese
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Bacon and Bleu cheese, and mac, I think we have a winner here! On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Bleu Cheese Bacon Mac & Cheese
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Bacon and Bleu cheese, and mac, I think we have a winner here! On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, egg, salt, pepper, and cayenne until combined then set aside.
  2. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just tender, drain, and return to pot and add the butter and reduce the temp to low, toss the pasta until the butter is melted. Pour in the milk mixture and stir until well mixed. Raise the heat to medium, stirring occasionally for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce comes to a simmer.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and stir in both cheeses until melted and mixed in, then stir in the bacon.
  4. Serve, garnish additional bacon and Bleu cheese if desired.
Recipe Notes

Bacon would cost about 150 Baht, the Bleu cheese about 150 Baht, and the Cheddar about 90 Baht. For 3 servings, this is about $3.82 per serving, not a cheap meal but sounds really good for a once in a while treat.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Pizza Mac & Cheese

Pizza Mac & Cheese
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Mac & Cheese, always a classic, and this version sounds really good. On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Pizza Mac & Cheese
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Mac & Cheese, always a classic, and this version sounds really good. On my to cook list.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 190 C. Bring to a boil a large pot of salted water, add the pasta and cook until just tender, drain.
  2. Add butter to the same pot and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Sprinkle with flour and cook until golden brown, about a minute more. Add milk and bring to a simmer. Let thicken then add 1 cup mozzarella, the Gouda, and Parmesan and stir until melted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the macaroni and stir until completely coated, then stir in the chopped pepperoni, 1/2 cup pizza sauce, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer to a baking dish and spoon remaining pizza sauce on top. Top with remaining mozzarella and pepperoni slices. Bake until cheese is melted and golden brown and the pepperoni crispy, about 15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with basil and Parmesan and serve.
Recipe Notes

Only thing that is expensive is the cheese. Figure about 120 Baht for the Mozzarella, 90 Baht for the Gouda, and 90 Baht for the Parmesan. For 6 servings, this is about $1.47 per serving.

Shortcut: Pasta Sauce.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole

Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole
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Another great sounding slow cooker casserole. The cheese is the expensive part here, but go with the low side and it should be reasonable cost per serving.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 hours
Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole
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Another great sounding slow cooker casserole. The cheese is the expensive part here, but go with the low side and it should be reasonable cost per serving.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
6 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Lightly butter your slow cooker, place everything inside, cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Stir well and top with shredded mozzarella if desired. Cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes to let the cheese melt.
  3. Serve with a salad on the side for a complete meal.
Recipe Notes

The ground beef would be about 100 Baht/500 grams, the Cream cheese about 120 Baht, 2 cups of Cheddar about 100 Baht, and 1 cup of Mozzarella about 70 Baht. For 4 servings, this is about $2.86 per serving. I think the 6 servings is more accurate, especially if this is served with a salad and maybe dinner rolls, then the cost would be about $1.91 per serving.

Provided by Slow Cooker Kitchen and the link to this recipe is here.
United States.

Cheesesteak Casserole

Cheesesteak Casserole
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Sounds really good, I will certainly have to stock up on Provolone cheese next time in Phuket but I will make this before going there and simply use Mozzarella. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Cheesesteak Casserole
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Sounds really good, I will certainly have to stock up on Provolone cheese next time in Phuket but I will make this before going there and simply use Mozzarella. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C. Get out a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the garlic, season with salt and pepper as desired, add the Italian seasoning, drain fat off when cooked and remove beef to a bowl.
  3. Same skillet, cook the peppers and onion until soft. While that is cooking, heat a pot of salted water to boiling then cook the pasta to just tender.
  4. When the peppers and onions are done, add the ground beef back to the skillet and mix. Tear up the slices of cheese and add to the skillet and let them begin to melt, 2-3 minutes is all that is needed, it's ok if the cheese is not fully melted.
  5. In a large heatproof mixing bowl, add the ground beef mixture and the drained pasta and mix everything together. Pour this into the baking dish and top with a few slices of Provolone, bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown and the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve.
Recipe Notes

The beef will cost about 150 Baht/750 grams. The cheese, Mozzarella, will cost about 250 Baht/350 grams. I cannot price Provolone yet. For 8 servings, this is about $1.47 per serving.

Shortcut: Italian Seasoning, Italian Sausage.

Variant: 1. Use Italian sausage in place of ground beef.

Provided courtesy of good friend, Stephen Connell.
United States.

Squid Macaroni

Squid Macaroni
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Sounds tasty! This is a cheater version of the Greek dish called Macarontha, which is squid in a tomato sauce served over macaroni pasta and topped with sheep's cheese. I'll pass on that type of cheese however. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Squid Macaroni
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Sounds tasty! This is a cheater version of the Greek dish called Macarontha, which is squid in a tomato sauce served over macaroni pasta and topped with sheep's cheese. I'll pass on that type of cheese however. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni in a pot of boiling water until tender, drain and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, boil the squid in cups of water mixed with the red wine vinegar for 4-5 minutes. Drain, cut into rings, reserve the tentacles and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy non stick skillet. Cook the onion and garlic until onion is tender but not brown. Stir in the squid and cook for 2 more minutes. Pour in the tomato puree, white wine, and lemon juice. Season with cinnamon stick, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick pieces then mix in the macaroni. Serve with Parmesan cheese for topping.
Recipe Notes

Squid will run about 100 Baht/500 grams, for 4 servings this is about 74 cents per serving.

Shortcut: Tomato Puree.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Grandma’s Goulash

Grandma's Goulash
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This is an excellent version of goulash, made on 24 Dec 2017, hit with the family as well. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Grandma's Goulash
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This is an excellent version of goulash, made on 24 Dec 2017, hit with the family as well. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil then add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper (I also added 3 Shiitake mushrooms, chopped) and saute until the onion and bell pepper are softened.
  2. Then add the beef and cook until no pink remains then drain off any fat.
  3. Add the pasta sauce, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, seasonings, and water. Mix together, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you want a thicker goulash, simmer for a bit longer to reduce some of the liquid. If too thick, add some of the tomato juice from the canned tomatoes.
  4. Add the macaroni and mix in, cover and simmer until the macaroni is tender, about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  5. Top with the shredded cheese if desired, cover and let sit for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve.
Recipe Notes

Ground beef will cost about 100 Baht/500 grams, the cheese will cost 90 Baht for 1/2 block. For 8 servings this is about $1.40 per serving.

Shortcut: Pasta Sauce.

Inspired by Spend With Pennies and the link to this recipe is here.
United States.

Ultra Creamy Mac & Cheese

Ultra Creamy Mac & Cheese
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This is by far the best Mac & Cheese I have ever made, and actually, a low cost meal as well. This is a a slow cooker recipe. Link to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Ultra Creamy Mac & Cheese
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Rating: 5
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This is by far the best Mac & Cheese I have ever made, and actually, a low cost meal as well. This is a a slow cooker recipe. Link to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni until just near tender, do not over cook, basically under cook it by a minute or so. Drain and rinse under cold water, the cold water will stop the cooking process.
  2. Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and give it a mix. Cook on Low setting for 3 hours or High setting for 2 hours, stir once or twice during the cooking but quickly so not all the heat is let out of the cooker. Serve.
Recipe Notes

The cheese is the costly part here, 180 Baht/250 gram block. For 6 servings, this is about 88 cents per serving.

Shortcuts: Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup, Sour Cream.

Inspired by Spend With Pennies and the link to this recipe is here.
United States.