Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Childhood Favorite

I have fond memories of this dish.  It's so simple and delicious.  Bear with me when I suggest a pinch of this or a dash of that.  Here's what you should know: A pinch equals a pinch.  Pour a touch of salt in the palm of one hand.  Then with the other hand, use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the salt.  That's a pinch!  And a little salt goes a looong way.

This dish is called Picadillo.  Say it with me now, peeka - dee - yo.  Just like that.  Well, kinda.  It's basically ground beef with seasonings.  And serve over rice.  I grew up on this and whenever I make it these days, it brings a smile to my face.  I remember being in a Spanish class in high school (or maybe middle school) and there was a section on foods.  It defined picadillo as a stew.  My picadillo is in no way, shape, or form a stew.  (I was pretty offended by that definition, in fact.)

Serves 6

1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small or 1/3-1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef (I use 93/7 for pretty much anything)
pinch of salt
2-3 grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1-2 Tbsp water
2-3 Tbsp Spanish olives with pimentos, sliced (optional)


1. Cook up a sofrito of green peppers, onions, and garlic, sauteed in olive oil.

 2. Add ground beef and spices.  Break up into small pieces and cook until completed browned.

3. Add olives, and stir until they are warmed.  Serve picadillo over rice.

1.  Heat pan over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add just enough olive oil to coat pan.  (Tip: If you heat the pan first, you'll get more bang for your buck from your oil.)  Let oil heat, about 1-2 minutes, and chopped bell pepper.  Let cook over medium-low heat until pepper starts to brown, then add onion and garlic.  Cook 1-2 minutes more, until veggies start to soften.  Be careful not to let garlic burn. 

2. Add beef to pan and use wooden spoon to break it up into little pieces.  Season it with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.  Let cook 5-10 minutes, until call meat has turned dark brown.  Continue to break up into small pieces with spoon, as necessary.

3.  Add 1-2 Tbsp water and stir to get with meat.  This will create a bit of a sauce, but not so much that the dish is "saucy."  Add olives (if desired) and stir until olives are hot.  This should only take a few seconds.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

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