Tag Archives: beef

Indian-Style Sloppy Joes

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I found this recipe in Every Day with Rachael Ray, and I immediately wanted to try it! I like the idea of sloppy joes, although I never really eat/make them, and this spicy Indian version seemed like the perfect opportunity. I modified the recipe to give it more of a kick, and I used ground sirloin instead of ground lamb because I wanted a leaner cut of meat.

I served them with crispy oven fries, and the filling was great the next day over brown rice, too!

Indian-Style Sloppy Joes
(Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray)

1 lb ground sirloin
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3/4-inch piece of ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 T honey
butter, room temperature (for buns)
4 burger buns or kaiser rolls, split
fresh cilantro for garnish
sliced red onion for garnish

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes or until browned, then add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and red pepper flakes, then stir to combine. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft.

Add the tomato sauce and honey. Fill the empty tomato sauce can halfway with water, then pour the tomato-water into the pan as well. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Serve on toasted, buttered buns, and garnish with cilantro and red onion.

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Super simple slow-cooker chili

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Chili was one of the first things that my mom showed me how to make while I was in college.  It’s so simple, and can be modified any way that you like.

In my first post-college apartment, my parents gave me a slow-cooker, and chili was the first thing I tried to make with it.  It blew my mind!  I could leave the house while it cooked and let the flavors really develop, and the beans were much more tender.  Now I always make my chili in the slow-cooker. I usually eat it with rice, or try it with baked fries for a healthier version of my favorite food, chili cheese fries.

Slow-Cooker Chili

1 lb. ground sirloin
1 14 oz can of pinto beans, drained
1 14 oz can of kidney beans, drained
1 14 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 chipotle in adobo
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c water

Serve with any combination of the following:
rice
tortilla chips
french fries
baked potato
finely chopped red onion
sliced green onion
grated cheddar cheese

Add all ingredients to slow-cooker. Cook on High setting for 4 hours or Low setting for 8 hours. Stir and break up the beef with a wooden spoon. Taste and add additional seasoning as necessary. I sometimes add a bit of hot sauce (Chipotle Tabasco is my favorite for chili) or barbeque sauce at this point.

Serve with any or all of the desired toppings.

Other simple chili variations:

  • Use ground turkey or pork instead of beef.
  • Use white beans, black beans, or garbanzo beans.
  • Add beer instead of water.
  • Add chocolate!  A handful of chocolate chips (or 1/4 c if you have big hands) add a little sweetness/richness to the chili.
  • Add more vegetables – Try corn, mushrooms, or bell peppers.
  • Use diced tomatoes with green chiles (instead of fire-roasted) and omit the chipotle in adobo, for a less smokey chili.

Building a not-so-tiny perfect burger

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I love a good hamburger as much as anyone, but restaurant-sized burgers are usually too big for me. When did the standard burger become 8 oz of beef plus whatever other miscellaneous deliciousness you want to add?  (For me that probably means chili and cheddar or sautéed mushrooms, onions, and Swiss.) I still eat burgers at restaurants, but I very rarely eat them with my hands, because they’re just too big to pick up and take bites of.

At home, however, I can make a smaller burger and still eat it with my hands.  I think 1/3 lb is the perfect size, on a nice, toasted or grilled kaiser roll. Kaiser rolls are light enough to squish down for easier eating. We set out a bunch of different toppings, then customize the burgers accordingly. I try not to go overboard with the toppings, so that my burger stays a manageable size. However, if you have guests over, they can go as overboard as they want!

I topped mine with cheddar, bacon, tomato, lettuce, red onions, bbq sauce, pickled jalapenos, and pickles.

Taco salad

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Paco made this, isn’t it pretty and colorful?  It’s a nice change from regular tacos.

Taco Salad

romaine lettuce
tomatoes, diced
black beans, heated
cheddar cheese, shredded
tortilla chips for crumbling on top
salsa
avocado or guacamole
ground beef
cumin
garlic, minced
kosher salt
pepper

To make the beef, heat some vegetable oil in a skillet, then brown the beef and garlic, seasoning with salt, pepper, and cumin.

Layer the vegetables, beef, beans, cheese, guacamole, and salsa in a bowl, garnishing with crumbled chips.

North African meatballs and cous cous

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This was one of the first recipes that Melissa d’Arabian made on her show after winning The Next Food Network Star, and it has been one of our favorites ever since.

It’s really delicious, and I usually have most of the ingredients on hand.  It can be modified to accommodate whatever you have in your fridge.  For example, last night I made the following substitutions:

Red wine instead of white
Green olives stuffed with garlic instead of regular olives)
Fire-roasted tomatoes instead of regular
Dried cranberries instead of dates
Whole wheat cous cous instead of regular

The only thing that I always change when making this recipe is that I bake my meatballs in the oven, at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, instead of pan-frying them. While the meatballs bake, I make the sauce, then I simmer the browned meatballs in the sauce for 20 or minutes.

I am not going to re-post the recipe because I always use hers and make different modifications each time.  I can promise you that the results will be delicious, though!