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03-21-2007, 02:15 PM #1Marguerite LattimoreGuest
homemade hamburger helper recipes
I haven't tried these yet, just got them off another group but they look
interesting so I thought I would pass them along.
Make your Own Hamburger Helper
Today, a recipe: Make your own Hamburger Helper. It's so easy, and
you'll be kicking yourself for spending $2-3 on those little boxes of
chemicals all these years! You can also make this gluten free by using
Chinese rice noodles and cornstarch.
Hamburger Helper is basically meat, sauce, and noodles. The sauce
usually comes in a powdered form, and is highly processed so that all
you have to do is add water. I use egg noodles (plain, yolk free, whole
wheat - whatever floats your boat) or no bake lasagna noodles, broken
up, work well too. Now you know what to do with those crushed pieces in
the bottom of the box! You can scale this up or down: the ratios are
roughly 1 lb. ground meat, 8 oz. egg noodles, 16 oz. of sauce (that's
two cups). But since YOU are in charge here, not Betty Crocker, you can
make it noodlier, saucier, or meatier. Allow 1-1/2 oz. noodles for each
adult portion and 4 oz. of uncooked meat.
Brown the meat (sometimes I get sassy and use ground sausage. I always
use ground turkey or turkey sausage, it's cheaper, healthier, and once
you throw all the other stuff in you can't tell the difference). Add
some chopped up onions if you've got them. Drain it to reduce fat (dump
meat in colander, rinse with hot water, dump back in pan.)
I usually use half an onion in a recipe, but I'm lazy, too so I usually
chop the entire thing and save half in a sandwich baggie so I only have
to wash the knife and cutting board once. Save money on soap, too!
Now, add sauce:
For Lasagna style, add 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, which I get free with
coupons or buy the WalMart brand, for $1.00/16 oz. jar. I can't make
this same amount of marinara sauce for cheaper than that! My family's
big, so I brown 2 lbs. meat and add 2 jars of sauce, or 1 jar sauce and
1 large can of crushed tomatoes. I like the crushed tomatoes, it is
thicker than tomato sauce but doesn't have chunks like diced tomatoes.
Add garlic and italian seasoning to taste.
For Cheeseburger style, put about a cup of beef broth per pound of meat
in a measuring cup. Add a spoonful of flour or cornstarch. Flour will
give you brown gravy, cornstarch will give you a translucent sauce; use
a small spoon if you go with the cornstarch. Mix it up with a fork until
there are no lumps. Pour it into the skillet and bring to a boil.
For Taco style, drain 1 can of diced tomatoes into a measuring cup (15
oz. size). Add beef broth to make 1 cup, add flour, dump broth and
tomatoes into pot. Add garlic and cumin, and maybe a spoonful or two of
salsa if you prefer. Bring to a boil. (You can add a can of corn or
whole pinto beans if you need to stretch it, or make it meatless. Use
the bean juice and corn water from the can instead of adding water.)
For Stroganoff, make it like the cheeseburger style at this point, using
milk instead of broth. Or use 1/3 dried milk powder mixed into 1 c.
broth . Or, you can add in canned mushrooms; drain into a measuring cup
and add milk to make a cup. I don't buy canned mushrooms, because they
are pretty much expensive and tasteless. I buy dehydrated mushrooms at
the chinese food store (not shitake, just generic dried mushrooms). You
put them in a bowl, add boiling water, and let them sit. Much tastier,
easier to store, and you get tasty mushroom water to use instead. Of
course, that takes some of the convenience out of the hamburger helper
style meal. Put a dash of Worcestshire sauce in if your family like it.
Bring meat and sauce to a boil, stirring often. (For stroganoff, make it
a gently simmer - don't want to have burned milk taste!)
Add the noodles and stir them in. Add more water if needed, so the
noodles mix well into the sauce (note: it should not cover the noodles.
You are not making soup Just enough water that you can mix the noodles
in easily without a lot of clumping or your spoon getting stuck.)
Cover and continue to simmer, stirring often, until the noodles are soft
(15 minutes or so down here at sea level for 16 oz. of noodles).
Now, top it off:
Lasagna style, turn off the stove and stir in some ricotta or cottage
cheese, or I just sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top. Serve.
Cheeseburger, reduce heat to low, add a handful of cheddar cheese, and
stir it in until it melts. Turn stove off, sprinkle more cheese on top,
Taco, turn off stove, top with cheese - monterey jack, pepper jack, or
queso fresco are good choices. Serve.
Stroganoff, reduce heat to very low. Add a couple of big spoonfuls of
sour cream and stir into mixture. Cook gently until heated through. You
can use non-fat plain yogurt as well, but it has a more acidic taste so
it won't taste like true stroganoff.