Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Beef and Rice Good Stuff
This skillet dish is combination of a leftovers casserole and beefaroni made with rice instead. The name comes from a long-lost recipe from one of the first cookbooks my husband and I used after we got married. The recipe may be gone, but the name has stuck.
This recipe is even more flexible than my usual recipes, which is saying a lot. You can substitute salsa or even tomato soup for the tomatoes, swap turkey for the beef, use whatever sort of cheese you have handy, and hide a multitude of odd bits in the mixture. The bag of rice has come out of the freezer and been reheated in the microwave. It isn't pretty but it sure tastes good.
This is what a pound of still mostly frozen ground beef looks like if you try to cook it. You've probably seen this before.
Once the beef is cooked, drain if necessary and add the onion and garlic. I thought I would use two onions because they were small, but it looked like a lot once I started chopping. Darn onion hating children. I ended up using only one. Cook the usual onion-garlic amount of time, meaning 3-4 minutes. I added about a teaspoon of cumin on a whim.
I diced the zucchini really small in hopes they wouldn't see it.
When I added the rice and couscous to the pan, I started to panic. That was a lot of grain! I thought I would need to add more liquid or tomato or something. I added one can of petite diced tomatoes with all the juice. It took a while to mix it thoroughly but in the end it was enough liquid. Fortunately, the rice was nice and moist already.
You can serve it like this, or you can apply the magic melted cheese charm before serving. I made this mid-day so I won't put the cheese on until serving time.
I thought it was good. Not award-winning, but good. The dreamy husband ate a lot, doctored with Tabasco. Two girls thought it smelled great but no one actually ate any.
I would make this again, especially since it helped me to get rid of soon-to-spoil leftovers. I wouldn't go out of my way to put it on the menu or make it for guests, though.
Beef and Rice Good Stuff, serves 6 if they like it
precooked rice, between one and two cups (check your freezer)
one package of ground beef, about a pound
one teaspoon of cumin
one diced onion
one tablespoon minced garlic
one can of diced tomatoes, any flavor, undrained. the petite dice is extra nice.
optional inclusions: random leftovers to possibly include beans, corn, celery, couscous, bell pepper, salsa, zucchini, green chilis or jalapenos. or anything else you think you can sneak in.
Brown ground beef in large skillet until no longer pink. Drain off grease if there is an excess.
Sprinkle cumin over meat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.
Add rice and tomatoes, plus any other bonus ingredients you need to use. Mix without flicking all the ingredients over your clean stove and heat through.
Top with cheese before serving, if desired.