Sunday, October 11, 2009


For anyone who questions my man and my comitment to one another, let me just say we are approaching our one year anniversary of a joint Costco membership. Buying in bulk? That is love. When you can look someone in the face and say, "yes I will eventually use all of this" as you hold a 60-roll package of toilet paper, you know you have arrived as a couple.

Ah, Costco. Is it the free samples in every other isle? Is it the pizza they sell outside? Is it the favorable prices? Or is it just the option to buy candy bars in bulk (not that you ever would, but still there is the option)?

I started shopping at Costco last year as I got more into cooking and decided to be better with money. I have a good system going on, buying certain things about once every month or so from Costco and only buying produce, cheese and a few random parishables from the grocery store every week. Meat is something I have been able to save on through this process. I still buy fresh meat from the grocery store for specific meals, but I buy frozen chicken and ground beef by the 10 and 5 pound bag, respectively on the cheap at Costco. For this reason, I find myself leaning towards recipes that are made of chicken and ground beef. Imagine that.

Well, the big Costco trip was coming, and I wanted to get rid of those last two pounds of ground beef to clear the space in the freezer. When I asked Zach what dish I can make with ground beef, he replied "Beef Stroganoff". Seeing as how beef stroganoff is not made with ground beef, I eliminated that as an option (even though it does sound tasty for the future anyone have a favorite reipe?). Finally something clicked; this resulted in me clicking away on the internet for recipes for picadillo. Picadillo is a tasty Latin American dish of ground beef with a bunch of goodies mixed in. You can eat it over rice, with potaoes, alone or even as a filling for tacos and empanadas. We ate it with black beas and plantains. I made the whole two pounds of it, and we ate it for days.

Crunch Time Picadillo

(adapted from an allrecipes recipe)

3 lbs ground beef (I cut this recipe down by a third since I wa susuing 2 lbs)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 C raisins (optional...I left these out because oddly enough "somebody" I cook for specifically HATES the way rasins plump up when they are cooked)
16 oz green olives (stuffed with pimientos)
12 oz tomato paste
1/2 C water
3 oz of capers (optional...I would not use these if you include the raisins)

Brown the ground beef in a large pan.
Add onions and garlic to the meat and cook for 3 minutes.
Add all other ingredients, and bring the heat down to med-low.
Allow to simmer as long as you like or at least until all the vegetables are nice and tender.

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