Category Archives: Main dish
Recipes, Recipes, Recipes!
I am a recipe hoarder. There. I said it! I love recipes from cookbooks, recipes from the local food section (what’s left of it anyway), recipes from magazines, recipes from food tv cooking shows and recipes from the internet. I can’t seem to get enough. I print them, cut them, file and store them. Once in a while, I actually try them.
My family loves new recipe days. A delicious home cooked meal waiting for them to return from their daily activities. Something different. Something creative. I love these days too. The problem is they seem to come fewer and far between lately. The heat of summer just hasn’t made me want to cook ANYTHING! The insanity of our weekly schedule has hardly afforded me the energy to sit down and plan anything unique.
I think often about the movie Julie & Julia. The film where Amy Adams, who plays Julie, starts on an adventure to cook through the entire collection of Julia Child’s first cookbook. She subsequently blogs about her daily adventure. I would love to try something aspiring like that. The only problem is I just can’t see myself cooking rabbit, offal and other questionable meats. I mean eeeeew! Maybe one day, I’ll cook myself through my thousands of recipes.
Motivation to try a new recipe, however, arrived last week thanks to The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I love her recipes. They usually involve way too many steps and pots and pans. But she posted this soup recipe that intrigued me. Ten Can Soup. That’s it. Ten Cans. Oh…and some Velveeta Cheese Product.
By personal choice, I usually don’t open a lot of cans and I avoid anything that includes a word indicating it is processed. But what the heck, I thought I’d give it a try. And I am so glad I did. My family loved it. Ad I literally put it all together in less than 15 minutes TOTAL!
Here is the recipe. Drop me a line and let me know what your family thinks.
TEN CAN SOUP
1 can meat only (no beans) chili ( I might use two next time)
1 can 15oz. kidney beans
1 can 15 oz. pinto beans
1 can 15 oz. black beans
1 can 15 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 15 oz. corn (she used, as did I, Fiesta Variety)
1 can 10 oz. Rotel
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed.
Without draining the cans, dump them in a pot over high heat. The chili, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn and the Rotel.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Dice the cheese and stir it in.
Yup, that’s it! Enjoy!!!!
Warm Fragrant Spices
Warm fragrant spices. Creamy flavorful curries. Cool fresh Raita. Samosas. Tandoori Chicken. Aaah, Indian Food. My family loves it. But we’ve never cooked it. So how, does one even consider venturing into a completely new cuisine? Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira. Seriously.
Aarti was featured in, and eventually won Season Six of The Next Food Network Star. From the first episode we fell in love with her and knew she’d win. And we were fortunate enough to meet her a few weeks ago at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books here in Los Angeles. Being the food geeks that we are, we purchased her new cookbook, Aarti Paarti, An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul, so she could sign it for us. Usually when you stand in a line for a book signing you are hustled along with such speed that the ink doesn’t have the chance to dry before you are scurried away. Not so with Aarti. She was so genuine and gracious. We told her we had never ventured into this type of culinary endeavor before and she actually opened the book to the recipe we should try first. It was her favorite growing up, she told us. She signed the book, took a picture and wished us well. We just love her!
The more stories I read in her book, the more I love her. We have a lot in common her and I. Aarti graduated from Northwestern University with a goal to enter the field of journalism. I wanted to go to Northwestern, but alas I do have the “J” degree (from CSUN). She came to a crossroads in her journalism career after leaving CNN and discovered her love for food. I went into Public Relations, had some kids and then at that crossroads in my life, decided that the world of food is where my heart is. We both realize that the stories and the memories that are derived from our cultural upbringings is what ties us to our ancestors. Her book is full of these stories. I highly recommend checking it out if you have ever been curious about the food of India.
So like I said, she told us to try Kheema. Her ground beef recipe, she told us, is traditionally made with ground lamb. I happened to have a boat load of ground turkey and so there you have it. The meat is not what makes this dish. It is the glorious spices that permeate your kitchen that make this dish the amazing thing that it is. And yet, it’s so simple.
(recipe printed with permission from Aarti Sequeira)
3 Tbl. Sunflower Oil
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 tsp)
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 Tbl.)
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 pound ground beef ( Aarti recommended lamb and we used ground turkey)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup) or 1 cup canned, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tsp. malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro leaves and soft stems
In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and sauté until their golden brown, about 5 minutes. (her time was 5…it took me closer to 10/15 minutes to get them the brown that she talks about). Add the garlic and ginger, cook, stirring often, for another minute, then add the coriander, paprika, garam masala, cumin and cayenne. Sauté, stirring often to keep the spices from burning, for about 30 seconds.Add the beef, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, and cook until the meat is no longer pink and all the liquid has been absorbed, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and water and season with salt and pepper. Partially cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in the vinegar and cilantro. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve.
*some of these harder to find spices can be located at Indian, Ethnic stores or online