Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo | Pinky's Pantry
Growing up, my Mom always made us Picadillo, but it was a soup. It had ground beef and potatoes swimming in a tasty broth and it was absolutely delicious. So the first time I went to a Cuban restaurant and saw Picadillo on the menu, I was very surprised to learn that their version was not a soup at all! It was completely different, but equally delicious. Served with white rice, black beans, tostones (fried plaintains) and mojo (garlic sauce), it was different and to die for. I asked a couple of my Cuban friends at work what spices go into Picadillo and was surprised to learn that both of them put cumin and cinnamon in it! Well, cumin wasn’t surprising, but I only ever use cinnamon in sweet stuff like pies and desserts. So… here’s my attempt to recreate the Picadillo I had at the Cuban restaurant. I think it turned out pretty darn good!

CUBAN PICADILLO

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. salt (add more or less, to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut in cubes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pan set over medium high heat.
  2. Saute onions and garlic for about 2 minutes, then add ground beef.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until beef is browned through.
  4. Stir in green bell pepper, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and bay leaf.
  5. Lower heat and let simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in olives and raisins and let simmer for another 8-10 minutes more.
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Taco Soup

Taco Soup | Pnky's Pantry
It’s been kind of cold lately and chilly weather always makes me think of soup when I start planning on what to make for dinner. Who doesn’t love a nice, steaming bowl of hot soup on a cold wintry evening?

This is a delicious, hearty, crockpot soup that’s the perfect choice to feed the family when you’ve just come home from work and are too tired to fuss with dinner. I learned this recipe from one of my officemates, a sweet lady named Janet. The recipe is great because I usually have all the ingredients I need sitting in my pantry which makes it a breeze to throw together. You could also make this in a soup pot on the stove if you don’t feel like lugging out the old crockpot. And best of all, this recipe is completely gluten free so my daughter, Spunky, can eat it too. Everyone who’s tried this soup loves it. And it really goes over big when you have a houseful of hungry kids!

TACO SOUP

  • 1½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, do not drain
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, do not drain
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (2.25 oz.) cans sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 packets taco seasoning mix
  1. Brown ground beef and onions in skillet.
  2. Drain ground beef and transfer to a crockpot.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir together well.
  4. Set on high and cook for 1 hour or until hot.
  5. Serve with sliced avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, sliced green onions, and tortilla chips.

NOTE:  If the soup seems too thick, you can stir in a little water to thin it out.

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne | Pinky's Pantry
I thought that since I posted the recipe for Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins yesterday, I would post My Old Goat’s Chili con Carne recipe today. His chili is a family favorite. He seasons it with Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix (which you fix hot or mild according to your own preference) and a packet of McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix. I asked Old Goat if he would give me his recipe so that I could post it here and he agreed to share it with me.

CHILI CON CARNE

  • 2½ lbs. lean ground chuck
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 pkg. Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Brand Chili Mix
  • 1 packet McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 4 cans pinto beans
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional Garnishes:  chopped onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped scallions or chives, tortilla chips
  1. In a large pot, saute ground beef. Drain off excess oil.
  2. Stir in diced onions and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir in the Carroll Shelby’s chili mix, using the spicy seasoning if desired.
  4. Add the McCormick chili seasoning.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans and pinto beans.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Omit the salt if you think it’s salty enough.
  7. Serve with optional garnishes on the side.

Warm Cheesy Salsa Dip

Warm Cheesy Salsa Dip | Pinky's Pantry
It’s Super Bowl weekend this weekend! My Old Goat can hardly wait. His favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers, are playing. He’s going to be glued to the TV all day so I’ve planned a few appetizers and tailgate party dishes for him to nosh on while he enjoys the game.

I learned to make this recipe from my sister, Helen, who is a great cook and an amazing hostess. She was living in Ohio and during one of our frequent phone calls, she told me about this recipe that was perfect for football parties. I decided to give it a try and have been making it for Superbowl Sunday ever since. Not only is it deliciously addicting, but it’s super easy to prepare. All it takes is three ingredients. Now what could be simpler than that?
Warm Cheesy Salsa Dip | Pinky's Pantry

WARM CHEESY SALSA DIP

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large jar (24 oz.) of your favorite chunky salsa (I used Pace Chunky Salsa)
  • 1 box (1 lb.) of Velveeta cheese
  1. In a small saucepan, brown the ground beef and drain off the fat.
  2. Stir in the whole jar of salsa. You can use mild, medium or hot depending on how spicy you want it.
  3. Cut the cheese into cubes and add it to the beef and salsa mixture.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is completely melted.
  5. Transfer mixture to a small crockpot and set on Warm.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.