Taco Beef

1/2 to 1 onion, chopped in 1/4″ dice
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1-3 teaspoons taco seasoning
1/4 cup tomato sauce (use the leftover marinara in the fridge)
1/4 cup water

Put a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil (more if you are using more onion) and let it get warm.  Then add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent.  If Da will be eating, the onions must be completely soft, so it will take at least 30 minutes.  You may add some water in the last 10 minutes or so to help it get softer.

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in another cast iron skillet over medium heat.  (Grass-fed beef needs to be cooked over lower heat and for less time than regular, to keep it from getting tough.)  Put the whole block into the pan and chop it up with the top of the metal pancake turner/spatula thing.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown.  Get a big dinner plate, put the colander on it, and line the colander with two paper towels.  Scoop the beef into the paper-towel lined colander.  The remaining grease/liquid should go into the big can under the sink:  put the can into the sink, bring the skillet to the can, pour into the can.

Return the beef pan to the stove.  Put the beef back in the pan.  Add the onions when they are soft enough.  Add the taco seasoning (jar to the right of the stove) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until ready to go ahead with dinner.  Or let cool and refrigerate for later.

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Published in: on April 9, 2018 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  

Brown Beef & Mushrooms

Brown one pound crumbled ground beef in cast iron pan over medium-high heat.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels on a plate or in a bowl.
Wipe out the pan.
Chop 1/2 lb mushrooms and saute in the same pan with salt and pepper.
Add beef to the mushrooms.
Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon (or to taste) beef Better Than Bouillon, 1 Tablespoon tomato paste or marinara sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until it is the consistency you like.

Serve over or next to rice, pasta or potatoes.

Published in: on April 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Smitten Kitchen Sizzling Beef Bulgogi Tacos

From “Smitten Kitchen EVERY DAY” by Deb Perelman

makes 8 small tacos, serving 3 or 4

1 lb ground beef
1 large garlic clove, minced
one 1- to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
red pepper flakes or sriracha

to serve
2 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1 Tablespoon lime juice
plus lime wedges for serving
1 1/2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
salt
1 scallion, thinly sliced
8 small flour tortillas (large tortillas cut in half work in a pinch)
diced tomatoes (I did not use this)
prepared kimchi (I did not use this)
chopped fresh cilantro
toasted sesame seeds (I did not use this – I forgot)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the ground beef and use a spoon or spatula to break it up, cooking the beef until browned, 7-10 minutes.  Drain any excess grease that has collected.  Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and sesame oil to the pan and let simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add red pepper flakes or sriracha to taste.

Toss the lettuce, lime juice, sesame oil, and scallions in a medium bowl to evenly coat.  Season to taste with salt.

Warm the flour tortillas individually in a dry skilled, lightly blistering them.  Scoop the beef onto each tortilla with a slotted spoon, draining any excess juices.  Garnish with the salad mixture, tomatoes, kimchi, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds.

These are equally wonderful in Boston or Bibb lettuce cups, in which case you would skip the lettuce in the salad.

 

Or serve the salad on the side, with Benihana Ginger Dressing.

Published in: on January 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slightly adapted from a recipe from Meal Makeover Moms’ “No Whine With Dinner”

Makes 8 Servings

  • 2½ pounds pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half across the equator and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 6 oz barbecue sauce
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  1. Put the pork, carrot, red bell pepper, onion, and barbecue sauce in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours.
  2. When the meat is done, drain off juice as desired. Use two forks to pull the meat into shreds.  Stir until well combined, adding more sauce as desired.  Divide the pork mixture evenly between the hamburger buns and serve.

Ma  yes
Sam  so-so
Anna  so-so
Da   yes

Published in: on May 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Barley Pilaf

From “Simply  Satisfying” by Jeanne Lemlin

Serves 4

1 cup barley
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups (6 oz) quartered mushrooms
1 large onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (omit for Sean)
1 2/3 cups Vegetable Stock
2 teaspoons tamari or other soy sauce1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the barley in a strainer under cold running water, then put it in a medium saucepan and cover it with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then trun off the heat and cover the pan.  Let sit for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a medium flameproof baking dish over medium heat.  (I do this in a cast iron skillet.)  Add the mushrooms, onion, and thyme, and saute for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to brown.  (I give the onions about an 8-minute head start because onions have to be completely soft for Sean.)

Add the drained barley, stock, soy sauce, salt, and pepper, and toss to mix.  (I use my 10″ square covered Corningware casserole.)  Cover the baking dish and bake undisturbed for 1 hour, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Do not stir until just before serving.  Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until you are ready. May be prepared up to 48 hours in advance and chilled.  To reheat, add a few Tablespoons of water or stock and place in a 350 degree F oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

Ma  yes
Da  yes
Anna  yes but without the mushrooms
Sam no

Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Da’s Tuna Mac

tunamac

1.5 cups elbow macaroni
2 small cans tuna
mayo to taste
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni until as done as you like it, being careful not to overcook, because you want it to stay intact.  Rinse well under cold water and drain well.  Meanwhile drain the tuna (give the tuna water to the cats), put it in a large bowl and flake with a long-tined fork.  Mix in the mayo with the fork, adding more than you would for making tuna salad for sandwiches.  With a large rubber spatula, mix in the drained macaroni.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until serving time.

Da yes
Sam yes
Ma yes (put prefers to add celery, green onion, minced red pepper)
Anna no

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Broccoli Quiche Lorraine

from The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers

Serves 4

2 cups fresh broccoli
2 Tablespoons dried whole wheat bread crumbs
2 ounces lean ham, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
5 large eggs
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Steam the broccoli until tender, about 5 minutes.  Chop to desired size (I suggest smallish) and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Arrange the broccoli, ham and cheddar cheese in the bottom of the pie pan.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium bowl.  Pour over the broccoli and top with the Parmesan.  Bake uncovered until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.

Ma yes
Sean no
Anna yes
Sam no

Published in: on February 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chow Mein

Serves 4

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced thinly across the grain
2 large baby bok choy, stems sliced 1/4″ thick, leaves in 2″ pieces
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 green onions, sliced in half lengthwise, then in 2″ pieces
2 packages Yaki Soba fresh noodles
1/2 cup Kikoman stir fry sauce (or 1/4 cup soy sauce + 3 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
1/4 cup water

Warm the noodles according to package directions.  Heat oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove to a plate.  Add the bok choy stems and carrot and cook until softened.  Add the peas, green onions, sauce, water and noodles and cook and stir until as done as you like.  Add the chicken and warm through.  Serve immediately.

Published in: on January 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cheesy Goodness Pasta with Meat Sauce

Slightly modified from The Pioneer Woman’s Skillet Lasagna

Serves 8

12 oz fettuccine, broken into thirds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground beef (Anna and I like half beef and half sausage)
1 large onion, diced small and sauteed
12 oz mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or 3 cups homemade)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon Italian seasoning
8 oz shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
optional:  ricotta or parmesan for serving

Boil pasta in large pot of salted water until al dente, drain.  In large skillet, brown and crumble ground beef until fully cooked, drain fat from pan.  Stir in the sauteed mushrooms and onions. Pour on the jar of sauce, add the salt, garlic powder and Italian seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.  Add cheese, sour cream and pasta. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.  Serve with parmesan or ricotta, if desired.  And French bread is practically required.

Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nachos

Spray a non-rimmed baking sheet* with non-stick spray or line with parchment.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Place triangular tortilla chips in a single layer with edges touching as much as possible in the center of the baking sheet.  Top with a mix of grated jack and cheddar.  Add any optional toppings of your choice:
taco-seasoned ground beef or chicken
beans
Top with additional cheese and heat in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Remove from oven carefully – don’t let them slide off!
Slide the nachos off the baking sheet onto a plate.  Top as desired with sliced olives, green onions, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, hot sauce…

*Airbake is one option:

http://amzn.com/B002HWSATC

Published in: on December 19, 2015 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment