Everybody has a favorite food. Some people like Pizza. Some people like Chocolate. Some people like peanut butter cookies. Some people like french bread.
My favorite food is probably ghoulash. My mother used to make it for me as a kid, and it was one of the first meals that I mastered. It is a beautiful thing; it is cheap to make, you can easily make 8 servings at a time, and it tastes better after you have reheated it! How many foods can you say that for? Reheating it in a frying pan is the best way, but it is still really good out of a microwave. I am not much of one to nuke my food, but reheating ghoulash is fine by me.
The great thing about ghoulash (besides its reheatability and its self-marinating goodness) is that it gives your body a lot of the fuel that it needs to do its work. You have your veggies, your meats, your straight up carbohydrates, and for some enterprising folks you have your dairy as well (although the dairy tends to not keep as well as the rest of it and is better off being put on each serving rather than cooked in).
I will give you my recipe in a simple form. It is very easy to make substitutions and additions; for example, I often use ground turkey instead of beef, and will some times add in sausage. Lately, I have been cooking 3 or 4 carrots in with it as well (which tastes great).
- 1-1.5 lbs ground beef
- 1 green pepper
- 1-2 onion(s)
- 1.5-2 jars sphaghetti sauce (Classico Spicy Red Pepper goes great)
- Seasonings to taste (I like a garlic pepper mix we used to buy in CT and basil and sometimes oregano)
- 1-1.5 lbs of elbows (macaroni)
1. Brown the beef, and chop up the pepper and onion into small pieces (as well as any other vegetables you are going to add), start the water boiling for the macaroni.
2. Drain the beef, and put the chopped veggies in with it.
3. Sautee the veggies as long as you like, but remember that they will continue to cook in the sauce so you do not need to leave them in too long before adding the sauce. Lower the heat to medium low, and if desired cover.
4. Cook the sauce as long as you like, and once you figure you want another 10 minutes or so start the macaroni. Generally I play this by ear and don’t cook the sauce too much longer than the elbows take.
5. Drain the macaroni, mix it all together, and serve.
6. Save your leftovers, and to reheat just throw it in the microwave or reheat in a frying pan over medium-low to medium heat.
Melting cheese on it tastes good, as well as parmesan. Generally, I eat it as a one dish meal, and clean my plate or bowl with a piece or three of bread. This will serve 5-8 people depending on how hungry they are and how many leftovers you want for lunch!