Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bonus! Emergency Microwave Meal - Beef and Rice Espagnole

For some reason, I keep thinking about my dad today.  And how proud I was of him after my mom died.  For a man who had gone from his mother's house to the Army to fight in the Pacific during WW II to his own home with a new wife, he had never HAD to take care of himself in the kitchen.

After we lost Mom, he really made huge attempts to learn how to cook.  He struggled for a bit,  especially getting everything done at the same time (we sometimes ate in "courses" - the corn course, the potatoes course, the coffee course, the beef course, the gravy course...), but he eventually became QUITE adept in the kitchen and even turned into a world-class bread baker!

I used to find easy recipes for him to try out that went beyond grill a steak and bake a potato - he was my cooking "beta tester"!!! This was one of his favorite "I don't feel like cooking" dinners - fast and easy in the MICROWAVE.  I think everyone who visited his house ate this at some point!!  And the leftovers are great for lunch the next day, too.

Beef and Rice Espagnole

1 pound ground beef
1/2 c chopped onion
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup quick-cook rice
1/2 c water
1/3 sliced, pitted black olives
1 small can green chili pepers, rinsed and chopped
1/2 t garlic salt
1/8 t pepper
1 t hot pepper sauce (or as he liked to put it "one repetitive teaspoon" - I think he used about 1/4 CUP!!! The man's tastebuds were seriously inept!!)
1 cup American cheese (like Velveeta), cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Procedure Microwave:
Brown the meat and the onions together on HIGH 6-8 min.  Stir once or twice to break up the meat. (Cover cooking dish with wax paper or a microwave splatter shield)
Drain off the fat.
Stir in everything else EXCEPT the cheese.
Cook on HIGH 10-12 min, stirring after 4 minutes.
Add the cheese cubes and stir until they are distributed.
Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

note:  Be sure you use MINUTE RICE when preparing in the microwave.

Procedure: Conventional Oven:
Brown the meat and onion.
Drain the fat.
Stir in everything else and turn into 1 1/2 qt casserole
Cover.  Bake at 350° for 46-40 minutes.
Add the cheese cubes and stir until they are distributed.
Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

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