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Archive for the ‘Meat Me’ Category

Crabby Quarantine

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

We are now on Day 11 of our quarantine. On day 14 my two daughters and their respective significant others will be huggable. Meanwhile, we have dinners together beside the pool, seated at shouting distance from each other.  

I am cooking because they, being recent travelers from separate hot spots, can’t provide food for my husband  or me, nor can the couples cook for each other. So, as I’m  the only certified safe chef in the family,  I’m chalking up 3000 paces a day in the kitchen. 

As y’all who know me know, one of my noms de plume is The Crabby Cook. There is a reason for that.  Now cooking for six, I’m trying to keep things simple so as not to further my kitchen bitch reputation. To that end, I’m revisiting The Crabby Cook Cookbook, which I wrote for irritable people like me who must deliver regular meals to loved ones even when they’d rather be doing something enlightening like watching  Season 3 of  West Wing.  The book’s   recipes are unglamorous and designed for picky people, so, for everyone.

Last night I made Abby’s Casserole (on page 70.)  It’s like Mexican lasagna: layers of corn tortillas, a spicy meat and bean mixture, and cheese. One of those “ugly, delicious” things. It’s a little labor intensive for low-patience types, but you can make it in advance and then pour a martini and  watch West Wing until people gather poolside.

P.S. I ordered the ground beef from Belcampo Meat Company. It’s really good. They also have a great roaster chicken. 

Plus lots of other meaty sstuff…  

Abby’s Casserole

2 Tbls. Olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 lb. ground beef

1 tsp. each: chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika

1 tsp.  kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ cups tomato sauce

1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

6 corn tortillas, 8-inch size

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or Monterey jack , or a mix)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and saute until onion istranslucent, about ten minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute.    

Add the beef to the skillet, turn the heat up to medium and cook, breaking it up with a fork, until the beef has just lost its pink color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and salt and pepper and cook two more minutes. Add the tomato sauce, turn down the heat some and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the beans and the corn, mix well, and set aside.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of a 10-inch, high sided casserole dish. Spread about 2/3 cup of meat mixture on top. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of cheese on top of that. Repeat these layers about five times, ending with the cheese.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes. 

Remove the cover and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the casserole is bubbly. Serve hot.

Pandemic adjustments: 

If your tortillas are small, just cut them to fit eh size of your baking dish. (I did this.)

If you don’t have black beans, use another kind. (I did this, too.)

If you don’t have a jalapeno pepper, omit it. (I also did this.)

If you are cooking for six big eaters, double the recipe. (I did this and used two casserole dishes. One version was cheeseless for dairy-haters.)

Also you can: Add more spices if you like, plus a pinch of red pepper flakes if you want more heat. 


Mom’s Short Ribs (aka Stringy Meat)

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

MOM at 95 3_4 When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother was a miraculous cook—every night she procured dinner for eight people. Among our favorite meals was what we called “stringy meat,” which was any kind of meat that was cooked long and slow until it was a fork-tender, pull-apart, deliciously stringy thing. Read More


Sassy Sliders

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

SLIDERS1A couple years back i reported to you on a prize-winning, record-setting burger that weighed in at over 210 pounds. Well, apparently that record has been obliterated, shattered, knuckle-dropped, air-popped, heel-stomped and other synonyms for royally busted. Read More


Crabby&Crabbier: Skirt Steak Tacos

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

For the first installment of Crabbier&Crabbier (the Crabby version of Julie&Juia), I revisited a recipe from my book called Skirt Steak Tacos…

When people discuss skirt steak (admittedly not a common occurrence) it makes me think of cows in tutus.

I don’t know why someone would name a cut of beef after a girly garment. It seems almost oxymoronic. Read More


Grilled Flank Steak For Amost-Ready-To-Be Vegans

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I’ve been meaning to swear off meat in honor of Bill Clinton’s resolution to go vegan on his 65th birthday, which was August 19th. (For more on that scintillating story and on two ladies who share Bill’s birthday but not his commitment to healthy eating, click here.) Read More


Not-For-Scott Turkey Burgers

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

My brother-in-law Scott claims that he will not eat turkey in any format other than roasted, Thanksgiving-style. He thinks ground turkey is peculiar and unappetizing.

If you have a relative as annoying as this, or if by any chance Scott is coming to your house for dinner, you will want to skip this turkey burger recipe. For that matter, don’t bother with last week’s recipe for turkey loaf either, unless you substitute beef for the turkey. For some reason Scott is okay with ground beef, but picky people like him often have such irritating quirks. Read More


The Loaf That Keeps On Giving

Monday, June 28th, 2010

We were maybe going to go out for dinner last night (for a big fat change), but my  husband was suddenly gripped by a summer virus. (Why does this always happen the minute I make a reservation?) So I was back to spelunking in the fridge for dinner possibilities.

I stumbled across the remains of a turkey loaf, which had been delicious on Wednesday. It was now Sunday, and, not being as well-acquainted with the breeding habits of bacteria as I should be, I wasn’t sure if the loaf was trustworthy. I gave it the scratch ‘n sniff test and then, still uncertain, I ate a bite, figuring I’d take a bullet for my family. If I dropped dead from bacterial poisoning, I would most likely not be serving them the turkey loaf. I’d make pasta instead. (My family does not accept death as an excuse for not cooking.) Read More


World’s Largest Burger (Or Not)

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Who doesn’t love a good burger? I know I do. Well, in Sydney, a certain chef loves ‘em so much he was willing to spend three months planning the construction of the largest burger ever  made.Weighing in at over 210 pounds, the mega-meal took 24 hours to make (120 eggs were involved) and four men to flip.   Read More


Sonoran-style Hot Dogs

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Okay, so Tuesday I posted something on my Blahblahblog about the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and then Wednesday, there it was: a piece I the New York Times Dining section about…Oscar Meyer. I know, I’m prescient, right? OMG.

Specifically the article was about the dozens of hotdogueros (hot dog vendors) in Tuscon, who sell Sonoran-style hot dogs, which are wrapped in bacon before grilling. Supposedly the bacon dog was invented by our pal Oscar, back in the fifties, in an attempt to sell more of his piggy product. Somehow, Mexicans picked up on this idea, and it evolved into a thing Mexican-Americans call their own: a bacon-wrapped dog topped with beans, chopped tomatoes, salsa verde and a squirt of mayo. Read More


Homewrecker’s Pasta

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

I’ve found that this is one of those dishes that make men want to marry you. I could be imagining things (moi?), but I don’t think so: if you serve this pasta at a dinner party, the men look at you differently after the first bite. This causes their wives to look at you differently, too, of course, in a way that’s less friendly. Since I only have dinner parties once or twice a century, this is actually not much of a problem for me, but you should be forewarned.

In my family, only me and my dog Oliver love this dish.  The rest of the group are frightened by foreign cheeses. But if your family are more adventurous (and sick of mac and cheese), or if you’d like your male dinner guests to want to marry you (you homewrecker!), this is the dish for you. Read More

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