September 14, 2006 at 8:15 a.m.

Hambruger: one of America's favorites

Hambruger: one of America's favorites
Hambruger: one of America's favorites

It’s about hamburger today. Hamburger is one of America’s favorite meats no matter how you prepare it. I’m not sure how ground beef was named hamburger. Maybe it’s like the “hotdish/casserole” thing, but I always refer to ground beef as hamburger and you probably do as well, unless the recipe calls for ground chuck or ground round (this would probably be 90 percent fat-free hamburger). It is good, it is fast to prepare, it is inexpensive (compared to most other cuts of beef) and is easy to serve by itself or in dozens of hamburger dishes.

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So, let’s get to recipes.

Let’s start with a quick and easy spaghetti dish. You don’t have to cook the spaghetti separately.

MEXICAN-STYLE SPAGHETTI

1 lb. hamburger

1 small onion, diced

3 c. water

1-8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 envelope taco sauce seasoning mix

1-7 oz. pkg. vermicelli pasta (can use regular spaghetti noodles but I prefer the thinner noodle)

1/2 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese

In a dutch oven or deep large skillet over medium heat, brown hamburger; drain. Stir in next four ingredients; bring to a boil. Break spaghetti into thirds, stir into sauce. Lower heat; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until spaghetti is tender. Stir often so noodles don’t stick.

Turn into serving bowl and sprinkle with cheese. Makes four servings.

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This is a hearty dish to bring to a potluck or just to make for your family. If the amount is too large for your family, it freezes very well and you have another meal ready to take out of the freezer for supper.

BEEF NOODLE AND

VEGGIE CASSEROLE

2 lbs. hamburger

1 large onion, diced

1 medium green pepper, diced

1-15 oz. can cream-style corn

1 can tomato soup

1-8 oz. can tomato sauce

1-2 oz. jar diced pimientos, drained

1 T. minced jalapeno pepper (can use 1 t. dried red pepper flakes)

1 t. salt

1/2 t. chili powder

1/4 t. dry mustard

1/4 t. black pepper

1-8 oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked until just tender and drained

1-4 oz. can mushrooms, drained

1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

In a dutch oven or very large saucepan, brown ground beef; drain. Add next 11 ingredients; mix well. Stir in noodles and mushrooms.

Transfer to a buttered or spray with cooking spray, 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8-10 servings.

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When we were first married, Bud always wanted to know “What’s for dinner?” (Bud was big fan of steak.) I said, “It’s salisbury steak tonight.” Little did I know that it was actually a hamburger patty dressed up. Should’ve seen the look on his face when I brought the “steak” to the table. He thought it was very good. It’s tasty, easy to make and not nearly as expensive as the real stuff.

SALISBURY STEAK

1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted and divided (can use golden mushroom soup)

1 lb. lean hamburger

1/3 c. dry bread crumbs (can use fine cracker crumbs)

1/4 c. minced onion

1 egg, beaten

1 T. butter or margarine or use cooking spray

2-4 oz. cans mushrooms, drained or 1-1/2 c. sliced, fresh mushrooms

fresh parsley and halved cherry tomatoes for garnish

In a large bowl, mix thoroughly 1/4 cup of the soup and the next three ingredients.

Shape mixture firmly into six oval patties of even thickness. Melt butter in large skillet or spray the skillet. Over medium-high heat, cook three of the patties until browned on both sides (they’ll get a little puffy). Remove from skillet; set aside and do the same with the other three patties, set aside. Drain off fat.

In the same skillet, stir in rest of soup and mushrooms; return patties to the skillet. Turn heat to low; cover and cook 20 minutes or until patties are thoroughly cooked and no longer pink, turning once half way through cooking.

Place on a serving platter and garnish with parsley and tomatoes if you wish. (It adds a lot of color to those brown “steaks.”)

Serve the mushroom sauce over the patties or pass it. Makes 4-6 servings.

NOTE: You can skip the mushrooms if you wish and use cream of chicken soup instead of mushroom.

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Just a few ingredients in this recipe.

HAMBURGER-VEGGIE CASSEROLE

5 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick

1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)

1 lb. lean hamburger

1 can cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup, undiluted

1 can vegetarian vegetable soup, undiluted

1 c. crushed potato chips

In a greased 9x13 baking dish, layer potatoes and onions. Crumble hamburger over onion; combine soups and spread over burger.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Uncover; sprinkle with chips. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Makes 4-6 servings.

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This soup uses less sugar, salt and fat.

BEEF MINESTRONE SOUP

1 lb. lean hamburger

1 c. diced onion (1 large)

6 c. water

1 c. cubed, peeled potatoes

1 c. chopped fresh tomatoes

1 c. shredded cabbage

1 c. sliced carrots

1/2 c. diced celery

1/4 c. long grain rice

1/2 t. dried basil

1/2 t. thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1/4 t. pepper

5 t. grated Parmesan cheese

In dutch oven or very large kettle, brown meat; drain. Add next 12 ingredients; bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until veggies are tender. Remove bay leaf. Ladle into soup bowl and sprinkle each serving with 1/2 t. parmesan cheese. Makes 10 servings.

NOTE: If you wish, you can add a 15 oz. can of kidney or great northern beans, rinsed.

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Thought for the day: Those who say work well done never needs redoing, never weeded a garden.


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