Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekly Menu No.8 (plus Monday nights recipe)

bacon with fruit salad
grilled PB&Js with banana slivers
cowboy skillet pie with chips and guacamole

whole wheat oatmeal pancakes
lunch on the town (field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art)
best ever chicken and dumplings

pecan maple sticky buns
macaroni and cheese with cauliflower purée
baked ziti with ham and peas

best ever biscuits with country gravy
picnic at the park chevré arugula and white bean whole wheat pasta salad with jam cupcakes and chocolate frosting
mushroom stroganoff

apple omelets
Kashi onion rings with mini lentil burgers
swiss chard and sweat pea manicotti

Do you have one of those recipes that you could make with a blindfold on and it would still come out great? Well tonight's dinner, Cowboy Skillet Pie, is one such recipe. Do not let the word pie deceive you, it is simply a quick and easy biscuit topping that is spooned over ground beef and veggies. It is a great in a hurry meal that is inexpensive and easy to assemble, and also travels well (if prepared in a baking dish, see note) for the sick friend or brand new mom (trust me, she is sick of lasagna). Check back in later this week for another super recipe in this same category (and one of my family's all time favorites), best ever chicken and dumplings.

Cowboy Skillet Pie
1 lb ground beef or bison
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced (could substitute garlic powder in a pinch, about 1/3 tsp)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can black beans
1 jar (16 oz) chunky mild or medium salsa
1/4 cup water
1 cup grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese (for extra spice, use pepper jack)

for biscuit topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup milk

preheat oven to 425
brown ground beef in a large cast iron or ovenproof skillet* over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes
season with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper
add garlic and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes
stir in beans, salsa and water and cook over low heat for about 2 minutes
remove from heat and stir in cheese

meanwhile, make biscuit topping...

in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
using a pastry blender or your fingers, work in the butter until pea sized clumps form
stir in the milk until just incorporated

spoon dough over the beef mixture in 7 or 8 clumps about 1 inch apart
bake for 20 to 25 minutes

*If you do not own an oven proof skillet, or are planning to transport the dinner, you can cook the beef mixture and then transfer it to a rectangular or oval baking dish, add the topping, and bake with the same directions.

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