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well folks, here it comes...
My dad's girlfriend would like some cool ideas for ground beef. She is sick of meatloaf and meat sauce for pasta, and meatballs and all that junk and would like something new. I havent proven creative enough yet to think up anything cool, so i come to you guys. I know it probably sounds dumb and all, I just can't seem to think of anything. Sorry to pop such a dull sounding question, but i got no place else to go!:cry:
 

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How's about West Lake Minced Beef Soup? Although, technically, it's better (texture) if the beef is minced by hand, ground beef (especially ground for chili) will work. The soup is chicken stock based with ginger, cilantro, white pepper, a little sherry, sometimes green onions and/or straw mushrooms. The stock is thickened with cornstarch, an egg white is gently stirred in and the beef is added at the last moment. It's very yummy. You'll find a recipe at many of the Oriental food sites, such as www.chopstix.com or you can find several using the search engine www.google.com
 

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Moussaka, stuffed vegetables with avgolemono sauce, pate chinois, mexican meatball soup, chili, sloppy joe, tacos....
 

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Meatball strogonoff - or if you're feeling lazy, hamburger strogonoff; that good ole school cafeteria standby - hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes (or SOS!); hamburger fried rice; nachos with taco-flavored ground beef; burgers with yummy stuffings (blue or cheddar cheese, fried onions).
 

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I was taught that this was called "Joes' Special". I'm sure that it has conflicting stories about its' origins, but I like it anyway.
In true bachelor style, this dish is best eaten directly from the skillet, with a beer in one hand and ESPN on the Tube, attired in a T-shirt and boxers....

Joes' Special-
Half a pound of ground beef, not too lean
half a cup diced onions,
2 eggs
Half a pound of spinach, either fresh or frozen
if you use frozen, thaw it out and squeeze most of the water out.
A little garlic, S+P,
Parmesan cheese to finish.

Brown the ground beef, add onions, garlic and cook till onions are clear. Move the ground beef to one side of pan, add eggs, scrambling them in the beef fat. Some people say that the eggs should NOT be mixed. You want to see cooked white and yolk.
When eggs are set, add spinach. Mix well, add copious amounts of Parmesan to stick it all together. Salt and pepper to taste.
 

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Ground beef with a quasi-Mexican twist. (Note: all amounts advisory only; if you really like peppers use two, etc.)

Saute until soft 2 diced onions, 2 diced celery stalks and 1 diced green or red pepper in a bit of vegetable oil. Remove to a large mixing bowl.

Brown ground beef in the pan. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, thyme, whatever you like. When cooked, remove beef to the bowl too, leaving drippings behind.

Turn the heat up a bit and add 2 teaspoons cumin seed. Let it sizzle for three or four minutes, until aromatic. Drop in 2 cups sliced mushrooms. Stir for another three or four minutes. Add a can of peeled plum tomatoes (whole or chopped) and juice, and half a beer if you happen to have one. If you like spicy things, add chopped chipotle or other heat source.

Let the mixture simmer, stirring regularly, until reduced by a third to a half, turning from a soupy mixture to more of a stew. Add it to the beef and veg mixture, stir. Taste, correct seasonings.

Load it into flour tortillas, pack them into a pan, dump a can of enchilada sauce and shredded cheese on top and pop into a 450 deg. oven. After the cheese melts throw on a handful of chopped scallions if you want and turn on the broiler.

Sounds complicated perhaps, but it's the kind of cooking you can do while you do other things. Mighty tasty.
 

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You could try individual meat pies: cook the hambuger with onion and garlic, add to diced and blanched potato, carrot, celery, parsnips, rutabagas, mushrooms, and/or peas (for me the more root veggies the better), season it with herbs of your choosing, add a little heat if you like, and add about 1 cup of water and 1/2 can of tomato paste, cook until everything binds and cool it down. Take thawed puff pastry and cut into squares 5 inches on each side. Brush with egg wash, put about 3/4 cup of filling just off center and fold into a triangle. Crimp the edges with a fork so that they are sealed and bake at 400 degrees until the puff pastry is golden brown.

I usually do this with ground vension that my brother sends me from his hunting expeditions, but often make it with just burger when I can't think of anything else to make for dinner.

BTW, this dish started out one night as "clean out the fridge" dinner. My wife loved them so much that they have become a regular dinner option at our house.
 

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Pete,

I like your basic recipe for meat pies. I need to make Jamaican meat pies for a catering event soon. I haven't found a specific recipe but I'm sure I could take yours and add some jerk seasoning to the meat. Any suggestions for this would be hugely appreciated!!:chef:
 

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Isa, you beat me to it: I was going to suggest dolmathes (stuffed grape vine leaves) or stuffed cabbage made with avgolemono sauce.

Filled dumplings are good (I have a Russian recipe if you like), as are egg roll-type stuffings. You could also make a roulade (stuffed meat roll). Baked kibbee or kebabs formed around a skewer work, too. Vary the flavorings with different spice combinations. Vary the bread (pita, papadums, etc.). Vary the coarseness of the grind, as garlicginger suggested. How about Italian Wedding Soup?

My brain is dead from grading papers tonight, or I'd have more ideas.
 

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Catciao, there are lots of ways to give it a caribbean flair. Jerk seasoning would be one way. You could also hit it with a little curry as curry powder is used in a number of caribbean dishes. Also try adding some tropical fruits. You may even want to replace the meat with fish and shellfish. Since I don't, personally, know of any traditional caribbean dish like this, the idea is just to give it a caribbean flair.
 

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Catciao,

I posted this some time ago. Hope it inspires you.

click
 

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Kimmie,

Thanks for the link, the recipes sound awesome. I will try them.

Pete,

After looking for Jamaican Meat Pies on Epicurious and some Jamaican sites, they do mention putting curry powder rather than Jerk in the mix. I just happen to have a bottle of some pretty awesome, incredibly yellow curry powder from Jamaica that I hardly ever use. Now I have the perfect occasion. Thanks.
 

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A traditional Ligurian dish:

VERDURE RIPIENE ALLA GENOVESE
(Genoa style stuffed vegetables)

Vegs: Onions, Eggplants, Peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, 4-6 each type, the smallest you can find. Steam or boil them until half cooked, cut them in half and dig away the flesh in the center.

Filling: 7-8 oz minced beef meat, fried in EVOO. 3-4 oz Ricotta cheese. Grated Parmesan. 1 small bread, soaked in milk and drained. 1 beaten egg. The flesh of the vegetables. Plenty of chopped fresh marjoram (if you can't find it use oregano or thyme, but it's not the same). S&P. EVOO. Smash everything with a fork and mix well in a bowl, then fill the vegs. Arrange them in a baking dish, pour some EVOO on, bake at 350° until browned on top. Serve warm.

This dish is very popular in Genova and served almost everywhere; this recipe is from my MIL and it's maybe the best one I know :)

Pongi
 
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