Thursday, September 24, 2009

Practically a dream come true

American Chop Suey
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Copyright 2008

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef I used ground venison which I boiled first
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Kosher salt I used celery salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup tomato juice I used Spicy V-8
Pinch of sugar
1 pound elbow macaroni I used non-elbow macaroni

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Then add the ground beef and continue to cook, stirring and breaking up the chunks of meat with a spoon. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle the herbs and pepper over the meat, add salt to taste, and mix in well.

Add the canned tomatoes with their juices, the tomato sauce, paste, and juice. Add sugar to taste. Simmer while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain. Mix the macaroni into the chop suey. Serve hot. Serves 8.

First things first. For years I have yearned to be able to buy non-elbow macaroni. I know from older recipe pamphlets that it used to be available. The technology is still around since Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is made with non-elbow macaroni. I don't mean to insult elbow macaroni but what is that great about it that it shoved the non-elbow variety right off the market?

So when I saw this new Quick Cook Pasta in non-elbow macaroni shape (the description on the pasta's site is wrong - it's not curved!) in Wal-Mart, I nearly leaped for joy.

I was worried that this quick cook pasta wouldn't be as good as regular pasta but it was close. It did cook very quickly - an excellent time saver. Unfortunately the noodles were a bit bigger than I would have liked since they we getting into ziti territory but at least the non-elbow noodle has it's foot back in the door.

Okay, now about the recipe. It was recommended to me and I had no doubt it would be good. I opted to use venison since it's almost deer season again and I have still have a lot of venison in the freezer. I boiled the ground venison first just to be sure there wasn't too much deer-taste there. You can't exactly marinate ground meat so this is my personal solution to using ground venison. I've worked with it without pre-treating it and usually it's been fine but I didn't want to take a chance. I just used water but sometimes I use some beef bouillon.

I used celery salt instead of kosher salt and Spicy V-8 instead of tomato juice since my favorite venison recipe, Venison in Sauce, includes celery and that's what really makes it, in my opinion.

This was a real crowd-pleaser. It has a strong tomato sauce which made it great for the venison. My son loved it and especially liked the noodles (yep, he's my boy.)

I haven't had a loser from this cookbook yet. I hope there's another volume on the way.

Question of the Day: Are there any long-lost products you would like to see come back?


Annie Jones said...

There used to be mixes for pudding cakes...chocolate and lemon...the kind that ends up with cake on top and pudding underneath the cake when it's done.

I have scratch recipes for both, but sometimes it would just be convenient to make them from a mix.

Noel said...

I do wish that a company called Loma Linda Foods would bring back a canned product they used to make called Nuteena. Anyway, no one has probably heard of that LOL
I so didnt know Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives had a cookbook. I need now.

Bonnie Brown said...

I just looked at Chapters in Canada and it says there is another one coming out in early November.
Annie, I can still get thoses, made by Dr. Oetker now I think

Heidi said...

My mom use to make a cinnamon swirl bunt cake with a glaze from a cake mix and it was so good. She has been looking for several years at our local grocery stores, but they do not carry it any more. It was so good!

Robbie said...

Salt N Spice by McCormick

Heather said...

I agree with hoping there is another DDD cookbook coming. We have only made the french toast, but so many cookbooks, so little time :)
I will have to try this recipe though because of your recommendation!

frances said...

This looks delicious, I have to try this!

Whatever happened to Vienetta? From what I can get out of the wikipedia page they still make it, but I haven't seen it anywhere!

Anonymous said...

Flavourful, normal tomatoes! I recently found a bean sprout growing inside a tomato I sliced, very scary!