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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chili & Cheese Macaroni

Source- Joelen's Culinary Adventures

Somehow I failed to take a picture of this recipe.  In reality I could just post a picture of the goulash that my family makes and really you'd never know the difference.  :)

  • table salt
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked pasta)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped (used green pepper)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 12 oz Colby Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups) (used 16oz)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. 
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and add dry macaroni; cook until al dente. 
  • Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Using the same large pot, wipe dry and heat over medium heat. 
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering. 
  • Add ground beef and break it up in pieces to brown. 
  • Once browned, remove from pot and discard drippings. Set beef aside. 
  •  Add remaining oil to the same large pot and return to medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add onions, garlic, red pepper, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and begin to brown. 
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, reserved 3/4 cup pasta water and beef to the pot. 
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until flavors have blended. 
  • Stir in the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and smooth over with a spatula. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle the top of the dish with the remaining shredded cheese. 
  • Return the dish once again in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and brown. 
  • Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 
Review & Changes- As stated above this recipe is really similar to the goulash my family makes.  The only difference is the addition of the chili powder and cumin.  That combination and all that cheese makes this a really good meal.  This recipe makes a lot, so leftovers are really good too. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ginger Spicy Chicken

Source- Campbell's Kitchen

  • 1 can (about 20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 medium green peppers or red pepper, cut into strips (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice, cooked without salt
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (omitted)
  • Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. 
  • Stir the cornstarch, sugar, ginger, soy, picante sauce and reserved pineapple juice in a small bowl until it's smooth. Set the mixture aside.
  • Spray a 10-inch skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat for 1 minute. 
  • Add the peppers and stir-fry until they're tender-crisp. Set them aside.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. 
  • Spray it with cooking spray and increase the heat to medium-high. 
  • Add the chicken in 2 batches and cook until it's well browned and cooked through, stirring often. Set the chicken aside.
  • Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the skillet. 
  • Cook until the mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. 
  • Stir the pineapple in the skillet. 
  • Return the chicken and the peppers to the skillet and heat through. 
  • Serve over the rice. Garnish with the parsley.
Review & Changes-This had amazing flavor.  You may be skeptical considering you're adding picante sauce which is like salsa to an Asian dish, but it just works.  Leftovers did not last long in our house!!  Make this!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Ham & Pasta Skillet

Source-  Campbell's Kitchen

I got this recipe in an email from Campbell's right after Easter.  They were pushing it as a recipe to use up leftover ham. Now I didn't have ham leftover from Easter, but I did have some left in the freezer and I only needed one more recipe to use up the rest.  This recipe fit the bill.

  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Condensed Broccoli Cheese Sou
  • 2 cups broccoli florets or 1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham cut into strips
  • 2 1/4 cups medium shell-shaped pasta
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain, and set aside.
  • Heat the soup, milk, mustard and broccoli in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil.  
  • Reduce the heat to low.  
  • Cook for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  • Stir the ham and pasta in the skillet and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
 Review & Changes- This recipe had really amazing flavor.  The mustard gave just a slight tang that went well with the broccoli and cheese.  I was really happy with the overall dish, and wouldn't make any changes.