Friday, December 14, 2007
From my favorite cookbook
--Skillet Chili Mac
Skillet Chili Mac
The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Copyright 2006
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef I used ground turkey
1 onion, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin I used about 1/2 tablespoon
8 ounces macaroni (2 cups)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
1 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
8 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the fat.
2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the macaroni, tomatoes in their juice, tomato puree, water, brown sugar and drained beef. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the Colby evenly over the top, cover until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes.
This is the cookbook that I recommend most. In fact, it's the only one I ever find myself recommending. I recommend it for beginners or anyone who just wants to start cooking more. Most people will recommend the Joy of Cooking (snore) or Betty Crocker (not bad but I don't have the sentimental attachment to it that many people do) but this is my pick. It's modern, it has detailed instructions, great pictures, a sturdy ring-bound binder design. It's definitely not packed with gourmet recipes (it's a Family Cookbook) but you could find recipes for family or company in this book.
This was great chili mac. I held back on the cumin a bit as I normally do but I think I could have added it all and not minded it. I should trust ATK - they usually know best. Well, I don't always agree with them, that would be odd, but they certainly do put a lot of thought and effort into their recipes and product recommendations.
I missed my regular grocery night due to bad weather. I was prepared but now I have to go a day later and I still don't have my list done. I'm feeling the holiday crunch. Maybe Stouffer's will take over my kitchen next week. Darn, I don't think I have room in my freezer for frozen dinners.
Blast From The Past: Easy Dill Pickles from June 2007. I miss those pickles. I can't wait to get my hand on pickling cukes again.
Question of the Day: What's your favorite cookbook?