Saturday, December 22, 2007

Is this Asian Cooking?

One of my favorite family recipes is American Chop Suey. I believe my mom came up with this recipe about 40 years ago when she was in school. In the cafeteria at her school, they served this. She made note of the ingredients and recreated it for our family.

It isn't Asian cooking. I have no idea why it's named Chop Suey. There isn't any Chop or Suey. Instead, it's a mixture of ground beef, elbow macaroni, onion and green pepper with some tomatoes. I believe some people call this Ghoulash. But, it isn't very Hungarian either. Don't panic about the bacon fat. I realize that most people don't keep it on hand. If you don't have any, which we rarely do, you can use canola oil or vegetable oil. Also don't panic that you don't drain the ground beef or rinse the pasta. Just try and trust me here!

This is a favorite of our family. It's quick, easy, inexpensive and filling. When I was growing up, my whole family loved it. Now, my husband, who isn't all that impressed with some of my cooking, loves it too. What is not to love about beef and tomatoes (my favorite food)? Enjoy this hearty dish with a bread of some sort. French, Italian, Sourdough. It doesn't really matter.

American Chop Suey

3-4 teaspoons bacon fat
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can tomatoes, diced
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Boil water and cook macaroni according to package directions. While macaroni is cooking, saute the bacon fat, onion, and green pepper on medium heat. Onions and green pepper should be soft when thoroughly cooked.

2. Add ground beef, cooking until grey.

3. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, and spices. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

4. When macaroni is cooked, drain it and add it to the meat mixture.