And those two things are:
- We have really, really good food.
- I don't really cook anymore.
Now don't get me wrong, I help out with dinner whenever I am asked. Chop things, run to get things, stir things. All the things, I do them. But I long ago relinquished any control over what we eat, or how it is made. Happily I might add.
I make food for myself when the need arises, but nothing involved really. Sandwiches, oatmeal, etc. I am a simple man with simple needs in the food area.
So, it was a bit of a change up last week when I was thrust back into the kitchen due to illness putting The Chef out of commission.
Faced with the daunting task of making dinner for my two boys, wife and myself I did what any self respecting, well groomed man would do. I through some crap together.
After dinner, The Chef dubbed my concoction "Hipster Hamburger Helper". It was a fair label. Here is how it went down.
Step 1: Find Some Ingredients
So I went to the cupboard and started looking around, hoping to find something to spark a brilliant idea.
My eyes fell on our box of De Cecco Orzo a really rad pasta that resembles rice. I was off and running. Orzo is a beautiful pasta, with great texture and size that is quick to cook to boot. So a pasta dish. What to do for a sauce?
A bit more digging and I found a tube of Cento Tomato Paste my favorite tomato paste, sourced from 100% Italian tomatoes. And man do I love the move to a resealable tube as opposed to those metal cans.
Do yourself a favor, find a brand of paste you like that comes in a tube, it will change your life. Now, to find something to add some body and flavor to the sauce. Time to move to the fridge.
Sweet, we have some chicken broth! We prefer the taste stock imparts over broth, since stock is a base for a sauce, and broth is a seasoned, ready to eat... thingy (read more on the kitchn), but you work with what you have.
So now I have a decent base for a sauce, but I still need some protein. I have growing boys after all. Ooh, look at this!
That's a pound of Marconda's all natural pure grass fed beef, an old style butchery out of Los Angeles. Thanks to Amazon Fresh, we can get regular deliveries of their meat, and my God, is it amazing.
All of their beef is from certified Piedmontese cattle, an Italian breed of cow. Even Italian cows are tastier. Crazy.
Add some shallot and garlic in and your list of ingredients is complete.
Step 2: Mix Em Up!
So let's get this joint going, shall we?
- Add the meat, 2 cloves of garlic sliced, and a large shallot chopped finely to a large frying pan and sweat the shallot down, while browning the meat and the garlic.
- Once the meat is brown, and the shallots have become tender, add one cup of the chicken broth along with a half cup of water and 12 ounces of the tomato paste to the pan, mixing it all together.
- After the paste, water and broth are well mixed, add a cup of the pasta to the skillet and mix well.
- Reduce the hit to low to medium low and cover to simmer.
- Right before serving take a half stick of your favorite unsalted butter from grass fed cows and stir.
So that's about it. Hipster Hamburger Helper. If you make this yourself, let me know on Twitter, pictures are a must!
Enjoyed this article? Follow me on Twitter.