I read an interesting article on Slate (see If You Are What You Eat, America is Allrecipes) the other day about how there is a disparity between what Americans really eat and what the media thinks we eat. The "foodie culture" as they call it is all about trends and perfect images on social media (and maybe a little snobbery thrown in?). In reality, Americans are getting their recipes from sites like allrecipes.com and food.com, where the recipes are submitted by people like....the average American. That's why I like those site so much, the writer/sharer of the recipe knows what the typical person wants in a recipe because they are that person.
What do Americans really want in a recipe? Something easy to make and tasty. A growing number of people are looking for healthy food as well. Oh, and don't forget affordable! That's all what I want too. I do love a good food photograph and I like to try new foods and trends, but generally reserve such forays for dining out. However, during the week, all I want to do after work is make something easy, quick and satisfying. Usually something I've made time and time again, so there are no surprises, no disasters. I'm sorry if I'm making the same salmon recipe yet again, but I'm tired! (Usually words I say to myself in my head. Luckily my husband doesn't mind the repetition.)
The recipe I'm sharing with you today is a perfect example of the type of food people actually eat: It's adapted from Food.com, it's cheesy, it's easy and it's inexpensive. I've made it a lot lately, not only to get the recipe tested and finalized, but because it's such a breeze to make! I hope it's something that you, my readers, actually want to make too.
Brown your meat and drain the fat. Then add the veggies, water, rice and seasonings.
Cover and let simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
Transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle on the cheese and bake until melted and bubbly.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve!
Spanish Beef and Rice Casserole
adapted from Food.com: Spanish Rice Casserole
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 14.5 oz. can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sliced scallions, green part only (about 1 bunch)
3/4 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili pepper (or as tolerated)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
fresh chopped cilantro for serving
- In a large skillet, brown and crumble beef over medium-high heat. Drain fat.
- To the beef in the skillet, stir in the remaining ingredients (except for the cheese and cilantro). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer the mixture into a 2.5 qt. casserole dish. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot and bubbly. Serve sprinkled with the cilantro if desired.