Monday, June 16, 2008

Lightened Up American Chop Suey

I Got A New Pot!

Before I talk about the American Chop Suey recipe, I must first tell you about my fabulous new Dutch Oven. Although Mario Batali likes to call it an Italian Essentials Pot. I got it in his trademark "orange", he calls it Persimmon. It is cast iron covered in ceramic and it is gorgeous and very heavy.
Ok. Now I can give you all a very serious warning about this pot...
It gets very, very hot and apparently holds an enormous amount of dangerous steam. I used this pot to cook my American Chop Suey and had the cover on for about 10 minutes, when I went to peek in on my macaroni, the steam burned my arm pretty bad. I even had a mit on when I opened the cover, but I lifted the cover open from the front...big mistake. This is the damage.

It is pretty bad burn. I covered it with a bandaid for the photo only, since you are not supposed to cover a burn with a bandaid. I will be more cautious when lifting the cover in the future. I guess the cover should be opened lifting up in the back. Now I know. Lesson learned. Hopefully, my mistake will be fair warning for everyone else. Seriously, be careful...

A New England Classic.

My family ate this a lot when I was growing up. It is definately a comfort food for me.
I never really knew that this recipe was originated in New England until recently. Before I made it, I wanted to check some recipes online for the proportions because it's been a while since either my mom or I have made it. While looking, I found many variations and also discovered it's New England origin.

My mom's original recipe uses ground beef and onion. Since I am not a big fan of either ingredient anymore, I decided to adapt the recipe and also lighten it up a bit. I really like the new lightened up version. I also tried to make it for easy clean up. The pasta is cooked right in the same pot as the sauce... I love that. The only thing is, it tends to get a little dry if you don't use enough tomato sauce, so adjust it with water as needed. And be careful not to overcook the macaroni because it will break up and will not be as pretty.

Lightened Up American Chop Suey
by Mixed Salad Annie

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, washed, dried and finely chopped (or 1 large onion)
1 shallot, chopped (can be omitted if using onion)
1 green bell pepper -- cored, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey (93% fat)
1 can (28 ounce size) whole tomatoes with their juices, pureed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water, or more depending on dryness of mixture
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese, for garnish

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leek, shallot and green pepper, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for half a minute.

Add the ground turkey and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the meat is no longer pink.

Push aside the turkey to make an open space. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes, water, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the macaroni to the turkey mixture and stir to combine. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. Carefully, remove the cover and stir
half way through. Add more water if necessary.

It is ready when the pasta
is tender but still has some bite.
Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan, and serve immediately.

P.S. It's always better the next day, so make it ahead for best flavor!


RecipeGirl said...

This looks terribly comforting!

Hope your burn feels better. I did the same across the inside of my wrist when trying to take a tart pan out of the oven w/ one hand!

Love your new pot! I've been wanting one of those :)

Emily said...

Oh my goodness! You poor thing! That looks pretty bad. You should probably take it easy for the next couple of days and order in. :)
Can you sue Batali? DO IT!

I burned my elbow on the oven, on Saturday, making toast. I was broiling it, because our toaster attracts roaches, so now I use the oven.
That's really gross. I probably should not have said that.

I've never had Chop Suey before. I guess I'm not from a chop suey family.

Elle said...

Your poor arm! We love American Chop Suey. Definitely a classic! Oh, and I love your new pot--it's gorgeous!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

SO happy to hear about your pretty, new pot. Not happy to hear about your burn. Those can be so nasty. Hope it heals soon!

wheresmymind said...

Beautiful pot! America's test kitchen rates this pretty high :)