my job situation is a little funky at the moment, so i did some recon in our freezer before going to the grocery store today. we have a very full freezer and really, i ought to be using that stuff before buying more food anyway. i guess i have this kind of depression mentality passed down from my grandmother via my mother... grandma and mom always had VERY full pantries, so it feels strange to me when ours gets "low," which really isn't low by any normal person's standards. like, there is nothing to eat because we only have 8 cans of tomatoes and 4 cans of corn and a bunch of pasta but no sauce and NO OLIVES, ohmygod what are we going to do without olives.
anyway, i found some ground beef and wondered what in the world i could do with it besides the usual: burritos, meatloaf, tamale pie, jury-rigged stroganoff. i looked through joy of cooking and found this recipe, and MAN if it doesn't ever sound good, and i generally have all these ingredients on hand anyway. apparently, it is traditionally served with dal, raita, and pita bread. YUM. we're definitely having this tomorrow night for dinner (tonight is ham with black-eyed peas and collard greens, yum!) so i'll let you know how it turned out.
keema alu (ground beef with potatoes and spices)
3 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. ground red pepper, or to taste
1 lb. ground beed or turkey
½ c. chopped canned tomatoes, drained, plus 1 T. juice
¾ tsp. salt
12 oz. boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 c. water
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips (optional)
heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy skillet; cook onion until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. add garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ground red pepper, and cook quickly, stirring just until well mixed. stir in beef, tomatoes, and salt; cook until meat is no logner pink and liquid is all evaporated, leaving the meat to sizzle in the oil, 8-10 minutes. stir in potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. add water. cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. uncover, increase heat, and cook until all the water is evaporated. taste and adjust seasonings. sprinkle with cilantro and pepper strips, if desired. serve with pita bread, dal, and raita.