Monday, June 27, 2011

Super Delicious American Chop Suey

I don't think there's a person alive who hasn't had American Chop Suey. Seriously, it's the easiest, simplest, yummiest thing in the world. OK -- maybe not the yummiest thing in the world, but it's quick and easy and darn tasty [when made right].

Related to the post at hand -- one of my "selling points" to The Boyfriend™ was my love of and ability to cook. I am no Gordon Ramsey, but I can hold my own in the kitchen. Whoever it was that said the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, was right.

So, The Boyfriend™ and I are on our own with no Troll supervision until the middle of next month, and we're trying to keep the grocery budget smaller. Recipes like American Chop Suey are easy on the budget and rely fairly heavily on things already in your pantry (and in your garden). The Boyfriend­™ had never heard of chop suey until I introduced it to him, and still doubts that what I make is actually chop suey (which is when I point out to him that it's American Chop Suey... and there's a whole, 'nother different Chinese version). So, for him, I dedicate my first cooking blog

(Oh, I forgot to mention that, from time to time, I'll be posting recipes up on here now):

Step 1: Gather your ingredients from your cupboards, garden and pantry shelves. You will need:

- Peppers
- Onions
- Garlic (either fresh or the stuff in olive oil)
- Tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Meat or tofu crumbles
- Pasta (pick your poison. I usually use macaroni noodles)

Step 2: Boil some water in a big pot. This is important, because when I asked The Boyfriend™ to get the water ready for me, he put it in a sauce pan. Umm.. no. BIG pot. After you get the right size and put the water on to boil, add a little olive oil to it.

Ignore my stove. It's gross

Step 3: Grab a frying pan and start warming the beef, turkey or tofu (really, it's up to you what you use. I used beef in this recipe). After it gets nice and brown, drain off the excess fat. Because, seriously, fat is nasty.

For grain fed, organic beef, there's a helluva lot of fat in here. Gross!
Step 4: While the meat is browning and the water boiling, start chopping up the veggies. Watch out for those pepper seeds; the oil feels like BURNING!

Why yes. Yes, my counter DOES have '70s era Formica on it. Why do you ask?

Step 5: When the water gets roiling and boiling, add your pasta to it and turn the heat down to medium. Cook according to package directions.

Step 6: While the pasta's cooking, after the meat is all browned and drained, toss your chopped veggies into the pan with meat.

Step 6a: Add a ton of garlic. The more, the better in my opinion. I love garlic! I love it so much that I use it in everything possible AND take garlic pills. The Boyfriend™ doesn't seem to have a problem with my breath. Why do you ask?

Step 7: Stir the meat and veggie concoction around a bit to warm the veggies a bit and get everything mixed up right. Now add the tomato sauce -- not too much, but just enough to sort of coat the meat/veggie mix.

Step 7a: Let the mixture simmer for about five-seven minutes. I usually do the prep dishes during this time, cuz I'm good like that. A clean kitchen makes for a happy me. Every once-in-a-while, go back over to your stove (which, because you're better than I am, I'm sure is cleaner than mine) and stir the meat/veggie/sauce mix.

Step 8: When the pasta's ready, drain it and toss it back in the pot or put it in a serving bowl. Whatever works for you -- American Chop Suey is not picky. Then toss in your meat/veggie/sauce concoction. Give it all a big stir or two (to combine):

Please just pretend that my stove isn't disgusting. I blame The Boyfriend™. He did horrible, bachelor things to this stove

Step 9: Grate some Parmesan (or use the sprinkle kind), put some of this deliciousness in a bowl, topped with the Parmesan and enjoy! 

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