Easy Curry Beef Bowls

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Easy Curry Beef Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups stock or water
  • 1 cup peas

Method

Add the ground beef to a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook, breaking into chunks with a wooden spoon, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove beef to a bowl (leave any fat in the pan) and set aside. Add onions and saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.

Add potatoes, carrots, spices, and sugar and stir to combine. Stir in stock (or water). Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, until potatoes are about halfway done.

Add the ground beef back to the pan, and cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes, until potatoes are done and the sauce has thickened. Stir in peas and cook for another minute, until heated through.

Serve over cooked basmati rice.

NOTES

I must say when I tagged this post as both “beef” and “Indian,” it felt oh so wrong. So please feel free to make this with ground turkey or lamb or chicken or venison or whatever you like. The point here is not the recipe, but the recipe idea: a quick, healthy, easy, deeply flavorful Indian-spiced one-pot dish. I imagine I will do plenty of variations of this over the years because the meat and vegetables can probably all be substituted while the concept remains the same. I love these kinds of meals. Big thanks to Woks of Life for the inspiration.

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Sheet Pan Nachos

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3822E42B-A7DC-4A76-BCF9-8EB64282CD00Sheet Pan Nachos

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 8 oz. Mexican-style chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexican chile powder
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz. Hatch chiles (or sub canned diced green chiles)
  • 12 oz. thick, sturdy tortilla chips (I highly recommend El Milagro brand if you can find them)
  • 8 oz. Mexican blend cheese
  • For serving: diced tomatoes, diced red onion, jarred jalapeños, minced cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, hot sauce

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the beef, chorizo, and onion. Cook, breaking up the beef and chorizo into small bits with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft and the meats are no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, beans, and chiles and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.

Pour the tortilla chips onto a large sheet pan. Spoon the meat and bean mixture on top of the chips. Cover with cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is crispy. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

NOTES

Does this really need any notes? Besides *thud* and *drool*?

Chinese Spaghetti

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Chinese Spaghetti
slightly adapted from The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. dried spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon chile oil (optional, but highly recommended)

Method

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, undercooking it by about a minute (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a wok or large deep skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the ground beef and cook until slightly browned, breaking up any large chunks of beef. Add the onion, garlic, and Shaoxing wine, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the onion is transparent, and then add the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to a hard simmer. Stir in the oyster and soy sauces, sesame oil, and white pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, add the peas, and stir for one minute.

Stir up the cornstarch slurry and drizzle the slurry into the sauce while stirring constantly. The sauce should thicken until it coats a spoon.

Turn heat to low and add the cooked pasta. Toss until the noodles are coated in sauce. Add some of the pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick or add more cornstarch slurry if the sauce is too thin. Add the chili oil and toss again. Serve!

NOTES

The minute I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to have it. The flavors are right up my alley and it’s quick and easy to boot. It’s genius. It’s perfect. I am going to be putting it on our weekly menu for years. *INSERT MORE EXCITED FOOD TALK* Seriously, I cannot talk this one up enough. Go make it!

Ancho Chorizo Chili

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Ancho Chorizo Chili
slightly adapted from Simply Scratch

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or regular crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons ground ancho chili powder or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup of stock or water

Suggested sides/toppings: sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, cheddar or jack cheese, hot sauce, cornbread, tortilla chips, corn chips

Method

Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in a tablespoon of olive oil along with the onion and a pinch of kosher salt. Saute for about 4 minutes or until the onion is just tender. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the beef and chorizo. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small crumbles and cook, stirring occasionally until no longer pink.

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, Mexican oregano, sugar, and stock. Stir and bring to a gentle bubble, then reduce to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with desired sides/toppings and enjoy!

NOTES

OH MAN. This was amazing. I am not usually a big fan of chili (I know, sacrilege!), but for some reason when I randomly stumbled across Laurie’s post, the words “ancho” and “chorizo” took hold in my brain and wouldn’t leave. Maybe because I’ve been so into my recently tweaked homemade chorizo and I’ve been looking for new ways to use it. Whatever it was, I had to make this immediately – and I did not regret it. I admit being hesitant about adding in a full three tablespoons of ancho chile powder, but I’m glad I trusted her judgment and went for it. CRAZY good.

This made a solid six portions for us. I gave two to a friend and then ate my two servings as shown above. Steve had his first with just Fritos and pico and his second with Fritos and… hot dogs! I say that with a bit of a laugh only because we normally don’t think of chili with beans as being good hot dog chili, but we were both pretty blown away by how well it worked. Not a big hot dog fan myself, but for those of you who love them, I highly recommend.

Lasagna Hamburger Helper

IMG_0989IMG_1004Lasagna Hamburger Helper
slightly adapted from Jo Cooks

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz. dry mafalda pasta (SEE NOTES)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Method

In a large, deep skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until it is well browned and no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat, if needed.

Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet and stir. Season with salt, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper, and cook until the onion gets soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes, pasta, and chicken broth and stir everything together. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through; most of the sauce should be absorbed.

Stir in the cheese and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute until the cheese melts. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

NOTES

So freaking good. This was the last of Steve’s helper meal nostalgia tour. At this point, I think I have made every recipe from when we were kids, plus a couple extra. List below.

If you can’t find mafalda pasta nearby (I CANNOT), then buy two boxes of Lasagna Hamburger Helper and just use the noodles from that! That was a brilliant “duh” suggestion from Steve when I couldn’t figure out how I was going to buy the right kind of pasta. Two helper boxes end up being cheaper than buying the specialty noodles online, so it’s a win. Alternatively, you can use any kind of shaped pasta like penne, fusilli, rotini, etc.

Other Homemade Helper Recipes:

Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper

IMG_0654Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper
adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese slices, chopped (or 4 ounces shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley, for garnish

Method

Add the ground beef to a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook until a brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart. Saute until no longer pink.

Add the onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their liquid.

Add the broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then add macaroni. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 5-7 minutes or until noodles are just barely al dente (do not overcook), stirring once to make sure nothing is sticking. Remove cover, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken before serving. Turn off the heat, add in the provolone cheese and stir until melted and well combined. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve.

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NOTES

Just adding to my Helper meal repertoire! I never thought I would have so many homemade versions of the boxed meals Steve and I subsisted on throughout our early life, but here we are. This one might actually be my favorite. Creamy, savory, and the glorious taste of philly cheesesteak in a simple one-pot. Will make again and again.

Other Homemade Helper Recipes:

 

Thai Beef with Basil

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Thai Beef with Basil
with thanks to Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. beef, sliced thinly against the grain and mixed with 2 teaspoons oil and 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bunch thai basil leaves, packed

Method

Heat your wok over high heat and add the oil. Sear the beef until just browned, remove from the wok, and set aside.

Add the garlic and red pepper to the wok and stir-fry for about 20 seconds. Add the onions and stir-fry until browned and slightly caramelized.

Toss the beef back in, along with the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir-fry for another few seconds, and then fold in the Thai basil until it’s just wilted.

Serve with jasmine rice and prik nam pla (Thai chiles in fish sauce) on the side.

NOTES

Easy, authentic, delicious. This is another one of the dishes Steve and I would frequently order at our beloved Thai place in California. And with this recipe, I am that much closer to perfecting all of our favorites at home.