Cooking for Losers
February 16, 2003 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Don't know how to cook? You might find Cooking for Losers helpful, with new tips and recipes every day. Today:
Take one flour tortilla from the fridge and warm it slightly in the microwave. Spread a bit of cream cheese on it. Spread a bit of spicy sweet mustard on it. Top with a few slices of your favorite lunchmeat - pastrami, ham, turkey; this recipe does not work well with tofu products. Roll and consume. May be cut into multiple little rolly-things if more food is desired.
Share your own carefully hoarded recipes and be a guest loser.
posted by elgoose (39 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take one 12" flour tortilla, thinly coat one side in garlic butter. Cook garlic butter onto tortilla (light, light brown). Turn over, spread mozza / cheddar cheese. Add one ~6oz. julienned (pre-cooked) steak and BBQ sauce of your choice, and cook.

When cheese is melted, fold in half, cut into quarters. Mmm.... (Sorry, I had to share.)
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:12 PM on February 16, 2003

Get some all-beek franks, some of those precut rolled up crescent rolls. Roll a hot dog up into a crescent roll to make a pig-in-a-blanket; repeat as necessary until you're out of either franks or roll-sheets. Bake in an oven at 350 F until the rolls are nice & golden. Keeps the kids happy, damn betcha.
posted by alumshubby at 1:39 PM on February 16, 2003

Through careful management of the Wendy's 99 cent menu, you can have a full meal for approximately $3.17 (depending on your area state tax). What do you mean that doesn't count?
posted by Stan Chin at 1:45 PM on February 16, 2003

You will need:

Two (2) slices of bread
Two (2) slices of deli meat
One (1) slice of cheese
No condiments (too messy)

Stack bread, meat and cheese in some order (many people like to put the bread on the outside, meat and cheese inside, but nothing could matter less). Put it into your open hand. Now make a fist, smashing the meat, cheese and bread together. Roll the mass of food between your hands, as though packing a snowball.

Now you've got a fun and delicious Sandwich Ball. Congratulations! Serves 1 (one).
posted by Hildago at 1:46 PM on February 16, 2003 [1 favorite]

(Hee hee, this is fun to do.)

You will need:

Five (5) loaves
Two (2) fishes

A few minutes before your guests arrive, tell Jesus that you don't have nearly enough food to feed them, and that you should go buy more food for them. Instead of going to the market, have Jesus bless the loaves and fishes. Arrange guests in groups of fifty. Feeds 5000, with some leftovers.
posted by Hildago at 1:51 PM on February 16, 2003

What's the best beverage to serve with the loaves and fishes, Hildago? All I have are these jugs of water...
posted by turaho at 2:15 PM on February 16, 2003

(4) 10 inch flour tortillas
a half cup of sweet pizza sauce
two cups of cheddar/colby cheese

for each flour tortilla smear 1/4th of the pizza sauce around one side, then take a half cup of cheese and distribute it across the tortilla. roll the smothered tortilla into a tube like a burrito.

repeat until you run out of tortillas.

pop the plate containing for mess into the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until all the cheese has melted.

eat with a fork while being careful for scalding pockets of vaporized tomato sauce.

Best. Stuff. Ever (as long as it's not too salty, at which point it becomes vile.
posted by bunnytricks at 2:21 PM on February 16, 2003

Damn. The store's out of Jesus.
posted by transient at 2:23 PM on February 16, 2003

Bunnytricks, I love those things too... but I've never been able to figure out a good way to keep the tortillas from unfolding in the microwave. Toothpicks only seem to work about half the time. Do you have a secret?
posted by Hildago at 2:48 PM on February 16, 2003

A good website with plenty of good advice. Though there seems to be a lack application of my own first rule - when cooking for 1 remember to cook enough to feed 6-8 so that you can chill/freeze most of it and live off the one evening's kitchen graft for at least a week.
posted by MUD at 2:50 PM on February 16, 2003

Damn. The store's out of Jesus.
But you can't get the Jesus out of the store. Um. Or something.
posted by chrismear at 2:56 PM on February 16, 2003

1 Bag (16 Ounces) of Rigatoni, Penne or Other Pasta
1 Jar (16 Ounces) of Salsa (Fire Roasted is Nice)
1 Container (8 Ounces or Less if You Prefer) of Whipping Cream (Heavy Cream)

Boil the pasta, drain the pasta, return the pasta to the pot, add salsa, add whipping cream, and heat until the sauce is at a consistency you prefer. Eat.
posted by quam at 3:31 PM on February 16, 2003 [1 favorite]

...but I've never been able to figure out a good way to keep the tortillas from unfolding in the microwave. Toothpicks only seem to work about half the time. Do you have a secret?

Duct tape and microwave-able Saran wrap! And I know you have some of the former....
posted by y2karl at 3:41 PM on February 16, 2003

Hildago: I just put the loose flap on the bottom of the burrito, letting the weight of the thing hold it shut.

You mean I'm not the only person to make these? Why can't you get these premade in the frozen foods section of the supermarket?

Going on a tangent here: Does anyone know the basics of getting into the frozen snack food business? i.e. How much capital does it take to put a cheese-and-tomato-sauce based treat into the supermarkets of a region?
posted by bunnytricks at 3:52 PM on February 16, 2003

May be cut into multiple little rolly-things if more food is desired.

Something about the end of world hunger..


You will need:

Some (some) cream cheese
Some (some) salsa

Mix the salsa and cream cheese, doesn't need to be done too well.
Eat, via chips.
posted by duckstab at 4:19 PM on February 16, 2003

Wow, you guys are a bunch of cooking losers. I love you.
posted by elgoose at 4:47 PM on February 16, 2003

cook some ramen noodles in a pot... drain... mix in some butter.. throw in the flavor pack mix, and have at it.

unhealthiest ever.
posted by lotsofno at 5:13 PM on February 16, 2003

You need a (a) jar of olives and a (a) package of pepperoni. Roll olive into pepperoni and consume. As I speak, I am washing down these tasty nuggets with a bottle of La Fin du Monde beer. God I need a wife, or Jesus, or my Mom to come take care of me.
posted by vito90 at 6:02 PM on February 16, 2003

You will need:

1 can of black beans drained

handful of chopped raw onions

1/2 teaspoon cumin

malt vinegar to taste

a few drops of olive oil

Combine ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Improves with time in the fridge, so it's perfect to bring to work.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:06 PM on February 16, 2003 [1 favorite]

1 telephone
1 menu from the Hunan Spring Restaurant
1 pair of pants (to be worn when delivery arrives)
1 TV guide
posted by horsewithnoname at 6:22 PM on February 16, 2003

cook some ramen noodles in a pot... drain... mix in some butter.. throw in the flavor pack mix, and have at it.

I love ramen like this.

But, full disclosure: I love to cook, and I'm really good at it. Buttery ramen is something I eat in the dark, when nobody else is home.
posted by padraigin at 6:38 PM on February 16, 2003

[A tape recorder clicks off, then rewinds, then clicks on]

"Buttery ramen is something I eat in the dark, when nobody else is home."

[tape recorder clicks off, then rewinds, then clicks on]

"Buttery ramen is something I eat in the dark, when nobody else is home."

[tape recorder clicks off.]

$10,000, in small, unmarked bills, or everybody knows about your little secret.
posted by Hildago at 7:00 PM on February 16, 2003

White or wheat bread
Tomato, finely chopped
Cheddar cheese, grated
Onion, finely chopped
Iceberg lettuce

Spoon tomato and onion onto bread, top wich cheese. Toast that and a second slice of bread in a toaster oven to desired darkness. Add lettuce. I keep a tupperware of tomato/onion mix and a tupperware of cheddar in the fridge for these 5 minute meals.
posted by whatzit at 7:26 PM on February 16, 2003

Some of my cheap secrets:

Bean Burritos
Couple of cans of beans in tomato sauce (or pork if you want)
An onion
Spices (teaspoon max of each):
cayene pepper
black pepper
whatever else you want

I use a blender and just turn everything into a slurry... spread it on a tortilla and microwave it for 30-60 seconds and roll it up and chow down... four of them usually does me for a meal...
*on preview* Quite similar to Mayor Curley's, but with more spices... and like Mayor's it improves with time in the fridge... and it's dirt cheap... 5-7 bucks for the stuff...

Cheap Fresh OJ
1 Can frozen OJ (I like minute maid, but whatever)
1 Orange

Mix in water and orange and concentrate in blender... blend!

It's really tasty... must be the areation... but it's really good... cheaper than a 4 dollar box of tropicana.
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 7:28 PM on February 16, 2003

1 can o' tuna.
1 fresh bagel (mmmm.. multigrain...)
lettuce, tomato, onion, green pepper.
Spicy mustard.

Mix tuna with mustard, slice and toast bagel, dump the tuna on it, throw on some of the green, healthy stuff, eat like a starving maniac. Tasty.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 7:38 PM on February 16, 2003

Take two slices of bread, spread one liberally with Skippy extra crunchy peanut butter and the other with Welch's grape jelly. Slap both pieces of bread together. Serve with a glass of milk and enjoy. Grape jelly can be replaced with sliced banana for variety. mmmmm yummy!

Pour one bowl of Rice Krispies, pour on some milk. Liberal sprinkling of sugar and or bananas or other fruit optional.
posted by SweetIceT at 8:10 PM on February 16, 2003

A pack of sausage -- the big "log" type, not those wimpy link-style weiners, and not the patty-style...drop it in the frying pan, and mash it up into tiny little pieces...crack 4-8 eggs, whip 'em up real good, and then pour the eggs into the pan with the sausage...mix/stir occasionally until done. Heat up some flour tortillas, then scoop some sausage/egg into the tortillas, roll, and scarf 'em down!

Total time: under 10 minutes. Cleanup: 1 pan. Leftovers: NONE.
posted by davidmsc at 9:01 PM on February 16, 2003

1 can tuna
1 can peas
1 box mac and cheese
Mix it up!
(via oddtodd)
posted by TurkishGolds at 10:07 PM on February 16, 2003

I don't know if this counts as loser cuisine, but I've yet to meet the person who couldn't make this recipe. Chop one onion, saute in a tablespoonful or so of olive oil in a saucepan until soft, stir in a tablespoonful or so of curry paste (depending on how hot the curry paste is and how hot you want the curry to be), add one can of chick peas (drained and rinsed), stir around in the pan for five minutes or so, add one can of black beans (drained and rinsed), one can of lentils (drained and rinsed), and a can/bottle of your favourite spaghetti sauce. Simmer over medium heat for half an hour or longer, stirring every ten minutes or so, season to taste with salt, pepper and more curry if needed. Serve over rice (follow the package directions for that). Add any other veggies you like. Awesome veggie curry: quick, easy and very forgiving to make (you can fix almost anything you mess up), it tastes great, costs almost nothing (especially since it's good for at least four meals), and is good for you to boot. It's even better after a night in the fridge.
posted by biscotti at 10:17 PM on February 16, 2003 [1 favorite]

You will need (or need to have nothing to eat except...):

(1) A mostly-empty box of Frosted Mini-Wheats
(2) The last brave soldiers from a container of presliced pepperoni

Step one: wrap a piece of pepperoni around a mini-wheat
Step two: eat
Step three: ???
Step four: enjoyment
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:22 PM on February 16, 2003

biscotti: chop, saute, stir, simmer, drained and rinsed, lentils, simmer, season, serve

You're speaking in some kind of crazy chef language. Please rephrase your comment again using words more common to us losers:



Yeah that's basically it.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:55 PM on February 16, 2003

Around here, we're fond of Big Hunk of Meat. You need: a hunk of meat (a smallish roast of some description), a roasting pan, an onion, a couple of carrots, and a few potatoes. Cut up the onion, the potatoes and the carrots. Put all of the pieces around the edges of the roasting pan with the hunk of meat in the middle, cover, and throw into a preheated oven for an hour or so. It's all edible, there's actual vegetable content that can be sneaked past your suspicious teenager, and you can make gravy should you feel so inclined. Anybody can make this, and you don't have to saute or stir anything. Also, the leftover bits of meat recycle nicely into burritos. (This also works with chicken, by the way.)
posted by jokeefe at 11:22 PM on February 16, 2003

Biscotti, I thought that looked pretty good, I'll have to try it.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:04 AM on February 17, 2003

I used to impress my girlfriend (now wife) with this easy Spaghetti Carbonara recipe from my mom:
Cut several slices of bacon and ham into 1cm squares and brown them in a frying pan, then toss in a big lump of butter, turn off the heat and let it melt. Prepare spaghetti as usual (simultaneously if you have more than one burner), and separate 3 eggs (for 2 servings of spaghetti, adjust for more). Toss out the whites and beat the yolks briefly with a fork and 1/4 tsp salt until stiff. When the spaghetti is done, don't strain or rinse it, just pick it up with fork and haul it, still slightly dripping, over into the pan with meat (or a big bowl). Add yolks, some pepper and parsley, and just turn it to coat well.

This is less than 20 minutes of work, most of which time you can watch TV. Throw together a green salad and garlic bread and you have a meal you can serve to a girl. I'm looking at you, Stan.
posted by planetkyoto at 2:34 AM on February 17, 2003

i go this way with carbonara..

1 onion
pack of smoky bacon
tub of creme freche

chop onion and bacon and fry up in a pan with olive oil.

add creme freche and cook for 1 minute until creme freche is hot.

serve over (cooked) spaghetti
posted by Frasermoo at 5:30 AM on February 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

For daring losers who want to try planetkyoto's carbonara but don't have any idea about separating an egg:

Crack egg into bowl and pick out bits of shell

Hold one hand cupped over another bowl and pour egg into hand. White runs through but you catch the yolk.

Put yolk into third bowl/container/whatever.

Repeat as necessary.

If you are bowl-challenged and going to be discarding the white anyway, do it over the sink. Do be sure to wash hands after handling raw egg. And clean out the sink. Unless you want a visit from the salmonella fairy.

Not exactly loserish, so you might not want to let people know you can do it or they'll be expecting you to make a roux or caramelize onions before you know it
posted by elgoose at 11:08 AM on February 17, 2003

Easy and yummy. Sorry there are no measurements. I just mix this stuff together until it looks like a proper consistency to me:

1 can tuna (or chicken, if you prefer)
sour cream
Minute Rice
curry powder
coconut (optional)
Mandarin oranges (optional)

Make Minute Rice. While that sits aside doing its rice thing, in a separate saucepan or skillet, mix together tuna/chicken and sour cream (essentially so that the sour cream holds the tuna/chicken together). Add curry powder to taste. Heat. Serve mixture over rice. Top with coconut and/or Mandarin oranges. Takes roughly 5 minutes to make. Tastes very yummy.
posted by aine42 at 1:32 PM on February 17, 2003

Sunday Morning Breakfast

1 medium potato per person
1 or 2 eggs per person
Left over or canned chili (salsa can be substituted)
tons of shredded cheese
sour cream

Cut and fry up the potato in a bit of oil to make your basic home fries. I suppose hash browns could work.
Dump cooked potato onto plate. Heat up chili in microwave then dump on top of potato. Fry up the eggs. I prefer mine over easy, thanks. Place them on top of chili.
Pile on the cheese. Add sour cream and salsa if desired.

I know I call this a breakfast, but this keeps me going all day.

My chili is made with the following
2 lbs of ground beef
1/2 lb chubb of sausage, sage flavor or hot preferred (Yes, that log of sausage is actually called a chubb. I swear.)
2lb bag of dried beans that you've cooked up
at least 45 oz of dark red kidney beans
many ounces of crushed tomatoes
chopped up green chili

Spices: Cumin, Coriander, cayenne, Chili powder, Chili Flakes, black pepper, whatever else seems to work.

Cook up meat. Drain fat. Add in beans and tomatoes. Season to taste. Serve and Enjoy. :D Feel free to top off with cheese and sour cream.
posted by onhazier at 4:34 PM on February 17, 2003

Iro iro na Ramen! ("Various" Ramen!)


1 pack ramen (the fifty-cent ones from Asian markets are best, like Nong Shim and Nissin, but ten-cent ones like Maruchan or Top will do in a pinch)
Some veggies (I like green onion and mushroom in mine, but green peppers, sprouts, and water chestnuts are also good)
An egg

1. Fry the egg how you like it. You can do this at the same time as the ramen if you have two burners.
2. Start cooking the ramen as per directions on the package. Be sure to add in the spice packet. If it came with an additional packet of dried food items, throw that away (you'll replace it with the tastier fresh items).
3. When the noodles are 2 or 3 minutes away from being done, cut the veggies up, and toss them into the boiling ramen (except sprouts - if you are using sprouts, put them in at the last instant).
4. When the noodles are done and the veggies look gently cooked, toss the lot into a bowl, top with the egg, and eat, preferably by slurping with chopsticks.

This is a really great cheap and quick meal (about $1 and 5 minutes), and you can put almost anything in it - bits of meat, other veggies, tofu, soy sauce, hot peppers, whatever. Great for getting rid of leftovers ^___^
posted by vorfeed at 2:23 PM on February 18, 2003

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