Monday, April 8, 2013

Skillet Chili Mac

   I love the fact that this recipe is made start-to-finish in one pan. The original recipe comes from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, The Best 30-Minute Recipe. Although, admittedly, I am such a slow poke when it comes to cooking, any recipe that says "30 minutes" usually takes me at least 45. But this is a dish that has made few appearances in the dinner rotation. It's easy and very family friendly.

   I made a couple of changes to the original recipe. I just played with the spices a little bit, used whole-grain macaroni instead of regular and used a different cheese. Nothing major.

Also, the recipe says it serves 4, but I think you could easily serve 6. The skillet is pretty much full.

Skillet Chili Mac
~serves 4-6~

What you need:
1 1/2 t. canola oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped fine
1 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1/8 - 1/4 t. cayenne pepper (to taste, I used 1/8 t.)
salt & pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. brown sugar
1 (15 oz. can of tomato sauce)
2 c. water
8 oz. whole grain macaroni
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

What you do:
1. Heat the oil in a large (12 inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and 1/2 t. salt. Cook, breaking up meat into small pieces, until it looses all the pink color, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.

2. Add brown sugar, tomato sauce, water and macaroni. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat so that it maintains a lively simmer (somewhere between medium/medium-high heat), until the macaroni is tender, about 10 minutes or so. Season with salt & pepper if needed.

3. Off heat, stir in half the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

*adapted from : The Best 30-Minute Recipe

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