Gourmet Meal at Home for under $20!!!


Live Action Quick Tips

Did you know….

There are 5 star restaurants around the world that can charge you up to $600 per person for a nice meal.(usatoday.com)

Today’s Restaurant

My Home – San Jose, Ca

Today’s Recipe

Cajun Salmon sitting on top of a bed of mash potatoes with asparagus


 2 Salmon Fillets – You can buy at a market for under $15

3-4 large potatoes

Cooking Oil

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 Stick of Butter

Creole Seasoning

Italian Herbs

2 Garlic Cloves

1/4 Yellow Onion

Asparagus – Half a bundle

2 Lemons


Salmon Prep

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grab a pan to place in oven and place foil within and pour about 4 tablespoons of oil
  3. Season salmon fillet on top only with creole seasoning and Italian Herbs and place onto pan
  4. Slice onion into long slices and sprinkle around the fish
  5. Mince garlic and sprinkle around the fish
  6. Cut half a lemon and squeeze lemon juice over fish

Place in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Potatoes and Asparagus Prep

  1. Grab 2 large potatoes and place in boiling water for 45 minutes
  2. While potatoes are boiling grab a pan to cook asparagus on stove top
  3. Pour about 4 tablespoons of oil in pan and turn on medium heat
  4. Slice small pieces of onion and throw into pan and then immediately place in the asparagus
  5. Toss asparagus for 10 minutes and remove from stove top
  6. Grab a bowl and remove mash potatoes. Be careful they are hot!
  7. Use a fork and begin to mash them in a bowl. If they are still hard you can place them in microwave for 5 minutes and then they should be soft.
  8. Pour 1/2 cup of milk and stir until blended together
  9. Add half a stick of butter and stir until blended
  10. Lightly Salt and taste, salt and taste until it tastes exactly how you want it.

Plating Instructions

1. Use spoon and place mash potatoes on plate to the slight left of plate in the shape of your salmon filet.

2. Place salmon fillet on top of potatoes

3. Lay out a couple of pieces of asparagus towards the right side of the plate

4. Cut of circular slices of lemon and lay on the plate to fill the gaps. Just make it as elegant as as you can and serve.

Tip: A loaf of garlic bread would go great with this and a glass of white wine!

Average Cost

Between $15-20 for feeding up to 2 people

Rating (1-10)


Being in the comfort of your own home and eating a gourmet meal that would normally cost you $50 a person is a blessing in itself but where do you start from. Many of us have a Ferrari taste but Honda budget so how do we get a gourmet restaurant meal in our home without having to spend ridiculous amounts of money to get it.

There are many different types of dishes you can cook at home to reach a gourmet meal display on a plate by adding some type of bright veggie to your signature dish and not over-setting the plate.

Asparagus tends to be the vegetable of choice in many elegant restaurants because it’s decorative and has an artistic shape to it.

Now let’s get down to business and talk a bit about how I even got to this point to cook at home rather than go out to eat.

First of all, it’s Sunday and since I spent the weekend BBQ’ing at my mom’s house, it’s time to relax at home before having to go to my most frequent home. Work!

You have to spend 5 days at work and 2 days of rest before you get back to work, so my motto is to do all of my errands during the week versus the weekend, so that way I have 2 days of complete relaxation versus being busy 7 days a week.

Living life with purpose, peace and balancing your time and budget is important. I keep success scrolls in my house that a former coworker turned me on to; so take a look at them when you have a moment if you want to meditate on something positive.

Success SscrollsNow where was I, oh yeah, lounging on a Sunday afternoon. So, while sitting there in a relaxed stupor on the couch, Virginia let me know she was going to pick up some things from the store and ended up coming back with a pack of cajun fish fillets she picked up at the market with some asparagus.

We had never bought pre-seasoned meats from the market, but since I was lazy I figured we would try it. It looked pretty good so I actually left it alone and didn’t touch it. I could see the red peppers and Italian Herbs on it already so I gave it the 2 thumbs up.

As the recipe states above, we followed those very steps and when I took that first bite, I have to say it was an exquisite taste that hit my pallet and made me think back of gourmet restaurant food that we had visited in the past.

There was a slight crunchiness to the topping of the fish because of the seasoned layer and then the bite continues into the middle and lower layer with the fragile flavor filled portion of the salmon, then as the drop of the fork continues there is a delectable satisfaction from the texture and taste of a smooth dip into a snow field of mash potatoes.

On a separate bite, I take the fork and poke into a crisp piece of asparagus and bite into that slowly and take it down as if i was chewing a piece of Spaghetti in Lady and The Tramp.

I’m outside of time and engaging in conversation, filling my glass of Chardonnay repeatedly and continuing to smile and laugh and keeping a posture as if I was Mr. Gatsby himself. Total live action eating!

How can I be doing all of this at home? Shouldn’t I have paid hundreds of dollars for this experience? Who do I tip, myself?

A pat on my own back is worth more than a pat from a stranger sometimes so Virginia and I pat each other on the back for a job well done.

I hope you get to enjoy  a luxurious meal like this yourself soon with the recipe in this blog post. It’s really simple to do and it will leave you completely satisfied!

I want to thank you for taking the time on another live action adventure with me. I look forward to you joining me again soon! Keep hope alive!

Eating is an enjoyable way of life.Live it..Learn it..Love it!

Trevis Dampier Sr.


Kristen Oliveri, TheDailyMeal.com (6 a.m. EST November 23, 2013). 10 most expensive restaurants in the world. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/11/23/most-expensive-restaurant/3684335/

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