Foodies Don't Eat Hamburger Helper
After berating my friend for suggesting such a graceless recipe as cheeseburger soup, I realized it was exactly on the wavelength of what I wanted for dinner tonight. I do think there are some major problems with the soup (Chicken broth in a burger-inspired soup? Velveeta?). Also, whereas some foods have evolved over time to be served on a stick, this strikes me as a devolution from a solid, land-lubbing perfect food creation back to the literal primordial soup.
Andy and I decided that the solution to this junk food craving was to de-box box food. We made Hamburger Helper. This would satisfy the craving and our pride. If we were actual, discerning foodies, this meal would have been censored before it made it into the pan, let alone us letting it pass our lips. If it was never clear before, we now know that we are not foodies, but chowhounds. We served it with frozen peas on the side.
6 ounces wide egg noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced finely
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika is what we used tonight)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat a large pot of salted water and add egg noodles when water reaches a rolling boil. Heat olive oil in a wide skillet, and add diced onion. When the onions have become translucent, add the ground beef, and cook until browned, seasoning with salt to taste. When noodles are done, strain and return to pan. Add the browned meat and onions to the noodles to prevent them from sticking together, and set aside. Add butter to a heated saucepan, and once melted, whisk in flour slowly. Allow flour to cook in the butter for about thirty seconds, and then slowly whisk in the milk. Stir in the grated cheese, allowing it to melt into a thick sauce with the milk, butter and flour. Add seasonings and adjust to taste. Pour cheese sauce over noodles and beef, and stir to combine.