Ground Beef and Rice
Ground beef and rice makes a quick skillet meal. Just vary the seasonings to stir up variations. From Mexican to Italian to Indian curry, these easy recipes for ground beef and rice offer a sampling from around the world.
No more boil-and-eat packets: Knowing how to prepare Mexican rice from scratch requires a few added steps but pays off with more flavor and far less sodium. Mexican rice (also known as Spanish rice in the U.S., though it's not at all native to Spain) is a popular side dish, often served alongside refried beans, at Mexican-American restaurants.
You'll need a steamer basket to make this Greek recipe. The bite-size grape leaf rolls are filled with a mixture of ground beef, rice, and mint and steamed until fork tender. A lemon-dill dressing gives the appetizer just a hint of tang.
This ground beef recipe is a delightful mix of meat, tomatoes, olives, raisins, cinnamon and other spices. Here, it's served Cuban-style with rice.
A spicy jalapeno pepper heats up this classic chili recipe. The mild flavors of kidney beans and rice mellow the meal.
Spanish rice, ironically, is not a Spanish at all -- it originated in Mexico (and is sometimes referred to as Mexican rice). Spanish conquistadors introduced rice to Mexico in the 1500s, hence the name; it soon took on a life of its own, evolving into an economical "peasant" dish that turned bits of leftovers into a full meal. So we can thank Mexican chefs for the popularity of this deliciously versatile dish that has become an American favorite.
If you know how to cook ground beef, you can serve up a healthy one-dish meal any day of the week. Ground beef became popular as a way to make scraps of fatty beef salable. Originally the meat was chopped finely or minced, but by 1902 butchers were simply running it through the meat grinder twice along with spices and onion, and selling the resulting ground beef as "hamburger." Today ground beef is used in all sorts of dishes, from meatloaf to tacos, and Americans consume approximately 13 billion hamburgers a year.
Sources differ over exactly how old the tamale is, but all agree that it's likely an ancient dish. Some claim it can be traced back as far as 7,000 B.C. Those who knew how to make tamales in the ancient world were creating a close predecessor of the modern day sandwich. Because tamales were portable, easily reheated and could be made ahead of time, they were the perfect food for soldiers, farmers or anyone else who might be away from home at mealtime.
When you thumb through cookbooks or surf the net looking for instructions on how to cook wild rice, you may be surprised to find out that wild rice isn't a rice at all, but instead a nutritious grain. In fact, it's the only cereal grain that's native to North America.
Traditional beef burgers have long been a mainstay at backyard parties and barbecues, but if you're looking for a lighter, leaner alternative, you should learn how to make turkey burgers.
Just about every Italian joint in the U.S. knows how to make ziti, but why not put it together at home next time you're craving a hearty, red-sauce meal? Ziti--also referred to as baked ziti, depending on the preparation--is as honored among Italian-Americans as spaghetti with meatballs.
For busy weekday dinners that satisfy with little fuss or mess, you'll want to learn how to make beef casserole. Since you can do most of the work ahead and time, casseroles are a perfect go-do dish for nights when you want to sit back and unwind while dinner heats up seemingly effortlessly in the oven. And since casseroles cook up on one dish, clean-up is easy too.
From hamburgers to meatloaf, casseroles to meatballs, ground beef has long been a staple of American home cooking, in large part because it's more affordable than other types and cuts of meat. So it's no wonder that somewhere along the line, someone invented sloppy joes -- deliciously messy sandwiches made with ground beef in a tomato-based sauce that can range from mild to spicy -- as a means of stretching the amount of beef they had on hand to feed a few more.
Sure, your friend's Italian-American grandmother knows how to make baked ziti, but why not gather a few tricks yourself? Ziti, a dish that's as beloved as spaghetti with meatballs, is poised to be your next Sunday supper.
When you think of Scandinavian food, you probably think of Swedish meatballs (and Ikea!). This flavorful and simple dish is by far one of the most popular to come out of Sweden (pickled herring just never took off in quite the same way). The process of how to make Swedish meatballs isn't really all that different from making any other type of meatballs. We suspect it's their miniature size as well as the lingonberry jam and gravy -- giving the dish a perfect sweet-savory balance -- that has made Swedish meatballs such a huge hit in this country.