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

Tortillas

Tortillas are surprisingly easy to make, but it does go a lot faster with two: one to flatten dough while the other cooks the previously-flattened dough.  Each tortilla takes about as long to cook as to roll.

These tortillas are good enough to eat plain.  They store well in a ziploc baggie.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • (up to) 1 cup warm water

Steps:

  1. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat (our stove runs hot so it’s more like medium-low, YMMV)
  2. Mix flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl
  3. Cut in oil with a pastry blender or a fork
  4. Slowly incorporate water, mixing until a soft dough forms
  5. Make 2-inch dough balls – probably ten or twelve
  6. Roll flat with a rolling pin.  The dough should be as close to paper-thin as you can make it (you’ll probably wind up with cardstock).
    • You  won’t need to flour the surface – if the dough is good it won’t stick (except maybe to the rolling pin)
  7. Cook the tortillas one at a time until they start to bubble, then flip and heat until brown spots form.

Credit to https://kbmillers.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/169/

D-Angelo’s #9

I discovered the D’Angelo’s sandwich chain in my late teens and fell in love with their ‘Number 9’ grilled sandwich.  It’s very easy to make for yourself and it’s delicious!

This recipe makes enough to feed two or three people (or more, if they’re kids).

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 chicken breasts (2 if they’re small) or a steak’s worth of beef
  • a quarter of a green bell pepper, diced
  • half a small yellow onion, diced
  • a couple of spoonfuls of sliced mushrooms (optional, kids get weird about ‘shrooms)
  • a couple of slices of american cheese
  • a loaf of french bread (softer is better)

Steps

  1. add a little vegetable oil to a hot pan on medium heat, and throw in the onions, peppers, and mushrooms.  Let it soften.
  2. While the above is cooking, dice the meat and add to the vegetables.  Occasionally flip the whole thing over so nothing burns and the meat cooks evenly.
  3. While the above is cooking, slice the bread grinder-style
  4. When the meat is cooked, pile everything together and add the cheese to cover it
  5. When the cheese melts enough to collapse into the meat and veggies, scoop it into the bread and serve.