Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Menu: American Chop Suey

This takes less than an hour to assemble and cook - plus, it's a lunch lady special.  One thing that both Dan and I have in common is the occasional craving for what the ladies used to serve.  Oh, and "American Chop Suey" is what they called Hungarian goulash at Bakersfield Middle School back in the day.

To an oiled saute pan on medium heat add:

One pound ground lamb or beef
One large onion, grated
6 cloves of garlic, minced

Stir for a few minutes, then add:

2 TB Paprika (I used the smoky hot variety)
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Add two cups of roasted tomatoes (on hand in the freezer) and 3 TB of worcestershire.  I also added 1 tsp of Candeleros habanero sauce because I was afraid it would be bland - you'll notice all the plated pictures have sour cream in them to cut the heat - but as leftovers it wasn't overly spicy.  So, if you don't like spicy, use sweet instead of hot paprika and omit the hot sauce.

Keep stirring and add 2 cups beef stock.  Let it come to a simmer, then stir in 2 cups of dry elbow pasta.  Cover and turn the heat down to low.  Check it after 10 minutes and stir.  Cover again. The pasta will be done about 10 minutes later, depending on size and type.  I used a corn/quinoa brand and it took about 18 minutes in all.  Yes, this is basically homemade "hamburger helper" and it serves 6-8.

American Chop Suey
Smells really good, even my mother-in-law said so.

Reheated for dinner, the noodles are overdone and starting to fall apart, but that's par for the course.  Delicious, with a creamy mouthfeel, exactly like they served in school.  However, Dan says that in Highgate it was sweet, so if you come from these parts add sugar with the dry ingredients (start with 1/8 tsp and work your way up).   Better yet, stir a sploosh of barbecue sauce into the beef stock.