American Chop Suey

American Chop Suey is Meghan’s comfort food.  It’s quick to cook so I can generally make it on short notice, when I know she’s had a really bad day.

The instructions below are meant for multi-tasking and making everything come together at the right time — an expression of an unplanned dinner made on short notice.  🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of small-shape pasta (elbows, mini-shells, or rotini are all good)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 15 oz or so, depends on how saucy you like it
  • 1 or 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • olive oil

You’ll also need a large skillet and a 9×13 glass pan to go in the oven.

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Put on a pot of water to boil, and put on a large skillet on the stove with medium-low heat
  3. Dice onion and pepper
  4. When the water is very close to boiling, turn up the skillet to medium heat, add some oil, and throw in the onions and peppers
  5. When the water boils, add the hamburger to the skillet and brown it with the onions and peppers
  6. Put the pasta in the water and cook to al dente; strain.  If the meat isn’t done yet, toss with a little oil to keep it from sticking.
  7. When the meat is brown, drain off the fat and mix in the jar of sauce.  Put back on medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble.
  8. Pour the cooked pasta into the 9×13 pan, and stir in the meat sauce.
  9. Sprinkle (or if you’re like me, shovel) the cheese on top, cover with foil, and cook at 350° for 20 minutes

Black Bean Burgers

I love black bean burgers, which means in my house I’m the odd man out.  That used to be ok because I didn’t make them – I would only buy them when we went out so no one else had to put up with them (I happen to love the ones from Blimpies but Subway has a good one too).  That is, until now.

  • 16-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 or a small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  1. Dice the bell pepper and onions
  2. Mash the beans (optionally reserving some to mix back in after mashing).  I find a regular pot and a potato masher work well.
  3. Mix the beans, peppers, and onions together
  4. Mix in the egg, chili powder, and cumin
  5. Mix in a half-cup of bread crumbs
  6. Add more bread crumbs, a little at a time, until the mixture isn’t wet anymore
  7. Form into patties
  8. Fry in a little oil on medium heat, or better yet in hamburger grease, until both sides are toasted.  Serve on a hamburger bun.

Extra patties can be frozen for later.

Jonesey’s Enchiladas

Quinn used to work at Margarita’s in Mystic. (Its a great place for pretty standard Mexican food. The stories that came out of that place are legendary.) He loves cooking Mexican food. I’m … okay at it. Tonight, we came up with something epic.

Ingredients:

  • hamburger (about a pound and  a half was pretty good)
  • two handfuls of cheese
  • two dollops of salsa
  • 12 tortillas
  • green enchilada sauce
  • sour cream and more cheese for garnishes
  • chilies for more garnishes

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brown the ground beef. When it is cooked completely, remove it from the heat and drain the grease.
  3. Mix in the cheese and salsa.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tortillas, rolling them and placing them in a 9×13″ pan. Keep going until the pan is full or you run out of filling.
  5. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil when there is about 5 minutes left on the timer.
  6. Scoop out the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese (and chilies if desired), and dump some sour cream on them for good measure.
  7. Eat!

Pork Chops and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • half a spoonful of minced/chopped garlic
  • half a spoonful of chicken bullion

Place all above ingredients in a rice cooker, and kick it off. It should be done in about 25 minutes

  • 1/2 inch thick Pork chops
  • 1 Tbsp butter for each chop
  • Italian breadcrumbs (about a cup)
  • Parmesan cheese (enough to add some yellow to the bread crumbs)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat a large, oven safe skillet on the stove over about low-medium heat.
  3. On a plate, mix the Parmesan and the bread crumbs.
  4. On another, microwave-safe, plate melt the butter
  5. Dip the pork chops in the butter on both sides, and then dredge through the breadcrumbs. Place them on the nice, hot skillet.
  6. Once they are all on the skillet, give them a couple of minutes, and then flip them all over. Cook them for another 3 or 4 minutes.
  7. Place the whole skillet in the oven for 15 minutes (for 1″ chops, 25 minutes).

Serve with the rice, applesauce, and some green veggies. Makes as many chops as you need.

Buttermilk Pancakes

From http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buttermilk-pancakes-ii/

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready!
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

A Billion Baked Fish Recipes

Baked Fish — More than a Billion Recipes (5x12x3x12x11x12x5x12x12x6 = 1,231,718,400)

From http://www.reddit.com/r/AskCulinary/comments/19x3ak/should_modern_recipes_be_consultative_or/c8s3gqz (Ken-G)

I call this a recipe template. It is a spreadsheet but shown below in text outline format.

Container (choose 1 of 5)

  • Au Gratin Pan
  • Baking Dish
  • Foil
  • Parchment
  • Single Serve

Fish (choose 1 of 12), guideline 1 pound

  • Bass/Branzino
  • Cod
  • Dorado/Mahi Mahi
  • Grouper
  • Halibut
  • Roughy
  • Salmon
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper
  • Sole/Flounder
  • Tuna

Fat (choose 1-2 of 3), guideline 2-4 Tbsp

  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Mayo

Liquid (choose 2-3 of 12), guideline 1/2 Cup

  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • White Wine
  • Sherry
  • Balsamic Vin
  • Milk/Cream
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Mirin
  • Sesame Oil
  • Teriyaki Sauce

Extras (choose 0-3 0f 11), guideline <1/4 Cup

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Onion
  • Bacon Bits
  • Capers
  • Jalapeño
  • Olives
  • Marmalade
  • Shallots
  • Sugar/Honey

Fruit/Veg (choose 0-2 of 12), guideline – not too much

  • Tomato
  • Mushrooms
  • Bell Pepper
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Cajun Trinity
  • Creole Mix
  • Parsley/Cilantro
  • Pesto
  • Salsa(Red/Green)
  • Sambal
  • Tabasco

Cheese (choose 0-1 of 5), guideline 1/4-1/2 Cup

  • Parmesan
  • Romano
  • Jack
  • Cheddar
  • Feta

Spices/Herbs (choose 2-3 of 12), guideline 1/2 tsp each

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Basil
  • Cayenne
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Mustard(Dry/Wet)
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Red Chile Flakes
  • Thyme
  • Wasabi

Crust (choose 0-1 of 12), guideline <1 Cup

  • Coconut
  • Corn Flakes
  • Cornmeal
  • Flour/Egg Batter
  • Panko/Bread Cr
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Walnuts

Oven Setting (choose 1 of 6), guideline Hotter=Crispier

  • 325° 30-40 min
  • 350° 20-30 min
  • 375° 15-20 min
  • 400° 10-15 min
  • 450° 8-10 min
  • 500° 5-8 min