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Make a gourmet dinner for only $40

/ Source: TODAY

At La Bernardin restaurant in New York, diners pay hundreds of dollars to eat the meal of a lifetime — it's a world class experience. Well now everyone can try it... at home. Chef Eric Ripert shares his recipes for a delicious three course meal for four people, at $40 dollars or less. On the menu: Mussels, chicken ratatouille, pear maple clafouti.

Steamed mussels with a white wine broth and spicy sausage
4 servings
Total - $17.43


The mussels
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic 4 ounces spicy Italian sausage (casings removed), crumbled ($1.25)
4 pounds mussels, cleaned and beards removed ($11.96)
1/2 cup white wine 1/2 cup chicken stock ($.99)
1/4 cup butter 1 lemon, cut in half and wrapped in cheesecloth ($.75)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped ($1.49)
1 baguette, cut in 4 ($.99)
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 clove garlic, cut in half DIRECTIONS
Place olive oil in a sauté over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots, garlic and sausage. Lower the heat to medium and add the mussels. Deglaze with white wine and chicken stock. Cover the pan and steam the mussels until they open. Add the butter and toss to combine. Squeeze in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toast the baguette, drizzle with olive oil and rub with garlic half. Divide the mussels between 4 bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Braised chicken ratatouille with steamed rice
Serves 4
Total - $16.42

INGREDIENTSThe braise: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 4 whole chicken legs, split ($4.06)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 cup red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice ($2.49)
2 cups zucchini (about 2 small) cut into 1/2-inch dice ($2.90)
1 ½ cups eggplant (about 1 medium), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice ($1.90)
2 cups crushed tomatoes with juices ($1.49)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper Garnish:4 leaves fresh basil, juilenned ($1.99)

Rice: 1 cup Jasmine rice ($1.59) 1 1/2 cups water 2 tablespoons butter Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Heat a large casserole over moderate heat. Season the chicken thighs and legs with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the chicken in the casserole and sear on all sides. Add the garlic and onion and cook about 3 minutes. Add the pepper and zucchini and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover the casserole with a lid and let simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are tender.

For the rice: In a medium pot, bring water and butter to a boil. Add rice and let simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Remove the rice from heat, cover with aluminum foil and let sit for another 10 minutes.

To serve, divide the rice between each bowl, place a thigh and leg in each of the four bowls and divide the vegetables and juices between each bowl. Sprinkle basil julienne over each plate. Serve immediately.

Pear and maple clafouti Serves 4
Total - $3.68


2 cups pear, medium dice ($1.99)
2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup sugar plus more for casseroles 2 large eggs 3/4 cup half and half ($1.69)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 400°F. Butter the casseroles with 1 of the tablespoons of butter and dust with sugar. Lightly brown 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sauté pan. Add pear dice and drizzle with maple syrup. Cook for 2 minutes or until pear is tender. Reserve. Place the eggs in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until frothy. Add sugar, half and half and vanilla extract to eggs and mix. Add the all purpose flour and whisk well. Divide the pears into the ramekins and pour the batter over the pears. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and the middle is set.