Apr 012013
 

Ground Beef with Polenta from Simple Recipes Dot Me (1)

I hope you all had a great weekend, either celebrating Easter, Passover or just an enjoyable weekend…

I love to make this dish…it is simple and so delicious. Not to mention so comforting…
This time I added a little jalapeno in the polenta, which added an extra flavor to it. It is so good when you scoop the polenta together with the ground beef and its sauce…yum!

Anyway, enough of bragging about how delicious this dish it is…lets be practical…

Ingredients:

Ground Beef

2 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 small onion cut into small pieces
Approximately 12oz lean ground beef
1 can stew tomatoes
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Soft Polenta

1/3 cup cornmeal
2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves

Ground Beef with Polenta from Simple Recipes Dot Me (2)

Ground Beef with Polenta from Simple Recipes Dot Me (3)

Ground Beef with Polenta from Simple Recipes Dot Me (4)

Method:

In a medium sauce pan, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil until slightly golden brown. Add the ground beef until browned using medium high heat.

Add the ground all spice, dry oregano and the can of stewed tomatoes. Once the mixture starts to boil, lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Let is cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the ground beef is soft.

In the meantime cook the polenta by adding the polenta in the boiling water with butter. Stir constantly in low heat until the fully cooked. As the cornmeal cooks the texture will change from watery to cream consistency. Add the jalapeno, mix gently and remove the polenta from the heat.

To assemble the plate, scoop the polenta in the center of a deep dish and using the back of the spoon make an indent. Add the ground beef on the little crater. Garnish with fresh basil or freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Ground Beef with Polenta from Simple Recipes Dot Me (5)

Ground Beef with Polenta from Simple Recipes Dot Me (6)

If you enjoy this simple and delicious dish with soft polenta, you might want to check on Chicken with Soft Polenta or Polenta with Sausage.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that polenta or its variety is widely used throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America?

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a wonderful week!

Jul 192010
 

I have been trying to cook more with quinoa, so I decided to substitute the grain in the stuffed bell peppers with quinoa. I usually use cracked wheat or rice. The way that I prepared this bell peppers are very easy and simple and sure makes a great one meal dish.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup quinoa
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tomatoes, seed removed and chopped
½ large onion chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 teaspoon ground all spice
1 tablespoon olive oil
5~6 medium size green bell peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Rinse the quinoa and let it drain well. Mix all the ingredients together, except the olive oil and stuff the bell peppers.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and place the stuffed bell peppers with the stuffing facing the pan. Let the meat brown for a few minutes. Turn the bell peppers and add 1 cup of hot water.

Cover and let it cook for approximately 15 minutes.

Serve it hot.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a seed? Quinoa’s origin is ancient from the Andes Mountain of South America, Inca civilization. Quinoa is known for its high content of protein, it is gluten free and easy to digest.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Jul 202009
 

Growing up in Brazil, we were so exposed to Middle Eastern food and Esfiha was something that you could literally find in almost every corner.

Ingredients:

Dough
¾ cup of water
2 cups bread flour
1½ tablespoon sugar
1½ tablespoon dry milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon yeast

Filling

1 lb of lean ground beef
2 large tomato cut in small pieces
1 large onion chopped
½ bunch Italian parsley
2 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
Sal and pepper to taste

esfinha-1

esfinha-2

Method:

Dough

I use my mini bakery Zojirushi for the dough, or follow the instructions of your bread machine.In my bread machine.

Place the water first at the bottom of the bucket and add the dry ingredients. Choose the dough setting, when the cycle is complete, gently remove the dough from the bucket and knead until all the bubbles are removed.

Filling
Mix all the ingredients and let it set for a few minute.

esfinha-3

Assembly

Knead the dough to remove the air bubbles, after removing the air bubbles from the dough make a roll and cut into 12 equal pieces.

Open the dough (approximately 4 in diameter), place approximately 3 tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle of the dough and close it by making a triangle (see the pictures).

Place the esfihas in a flour surface and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Bake in a hot oven, 400F for 20 minutes.

esfinha-4

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that esfiha is also called sfiha in Arabic? It means meat with dough. In Brazil, esfiha is very popular due to the presence of a large Arab population.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Jun 012009
 

I love fusilli, maybe because of its shape, “traps” better and more sauce. I am sorry if you do not have Trader Joe’s nearby…because some of the ingredients is from Trader Joe’s, but you can always substitute.

Ingredients:

1 lb of lean ground beef
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 can of Hunts tomatoes paste (6 oz)
½ teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon pasta seasoning blend (Trader Joe’s)

1 lb fusilli pasta (Trader Joe’s)

Parmesan cheese
Dry parsley

Method:

In a pan, heat the oil and add the garlic and onion, let it brown. Add the ground beef and cook until done.
Add the tomato paste and 12 oz of water (use the can to measure), salt, pepper, seasoning blend and sugar. Simmer until the liquid is evaporated. Longer you simmer more flavorful the sauce will be, so don’t rush.

fusilli-1

In the meantime, cook the fusilli as instructed in the package. I added some rock salt just before adding the pasta. I learned that it should keep the water “hotter”.

Serve the sauce on the fusilli and garnish with grated parmesan and dry parsley.

fusilli-2

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that fusilli in Italian means “little spindles”? And it is known as well as “twisted spaghetti”?

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

May 182009
 

We grew up exposed to a lot of Middle Eastern food. We could buy them everywhere back in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This recipe is a “simpler” version of quibe or kibbeh since it does not require much assembly and instead of frying small portion, we just bake it, which is much healthier. I like to use bulgur # 2 since the grains are not so finely crushed.

kibbeh-1

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb lean ground beef
¾ cup bulgur cut #2
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup finely chopped green onion

kibbeh-2

Method:

Soak the bulgur in cold water for approximately 1 ½ hours. Drain the water by squeezing out the excess of water. Mix the bulgur to the ground beef and add all the others ingredients.
In a pyrex, gently press the ground beef and bulgur mix. Bake in 350 F for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with lemon, yogurt or hot sauce.

kibbeh-3

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that bulgur is a cereal made from a mix of several different species of wheat? Mainly from durum wheat, which is high in protein and gluten, therefore bulgur contains more nutrition than rice. Bulgur is a common ingredient in Turkish, Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Mar 162009
 

This is a common dish in Brazil. It is simple and nutritious. Yuca or cassava is a root like potato and is very popular in the Brazilian diet.

yuca4

Ingredients:

Beef
1 ½ lbs of lean ground beef
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large onion chopped
2 tomatoes without seed chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup fresh parsley and cilantro

yuca1

Yuca
2 lbs yucca root cooked and mashed
1 cup milk
2 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese grated

yuca2

Method

Beef
In a pan, heat the oil and add ground beef, let is brown and then add garlic and onion.
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cook until the liquid is evaporated.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the fresh parsley and cilantro.
Set the beef into a Pyrex dish.

yuca3

Yuca
In a bowl place the cooked yucca, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mix them well.

Mounting the dish
Place the mashed yucca on top of the ground beef and top it with the cheese. Cook it is a pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes until the cheese are melted.
Serve immediately.

yuca4

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Yuca or cassava root is native of South America. It is extensively cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. The flour made of the root is called tapioca. Since yucca undergoes Postharvest Physiological Deterioration, meaning that once root is separated from the main plant the root responds to a healing mechanism, which involves the production of coumaric acids. The coumaric acid will then oxidized the entire root and in within 2 to 3 days the root turns black. Due to this happening, it is hard to export yucca, therefore most of the time when you see yuca in the grocery store they are coated in wax, which is a way to preserve the root from oxidation.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!