June 1, 2020

Chop Suey

Chop Suey

Faith Pineo Photo | Chop Suey

American chop suey is popular throughout the U.S. with names and ingredients varying from region to region. Here’s the recipe our family has passed down through the years, simply known as “Chop Suey.” We always use a quart jar of our home-canned tomatoes, but a 28oz can of whole tomatoes will do. Add or subtract what you like for veggies. In the summer, we like to toss in some zucchini or yellow squash when they’re producing like crazy.

Chop Suey

Cook 12oz of macaroni. And while that’s boiling away…

Chop the following vegetables and saute until almost tender in a bit of olive oil: 1 green pepper, 1 onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1-2 cloves of garlic and 6 or 7 button mushrooms. Crumble in 1lb of lean (90%) ground beef and cook until done. Sprinkle in some salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp. each of dried basil and oregano. Pour in a quart of canned tomatoes (do not drain) and bring to a gentle boil.

Drain the cooked macaroni well and then combine the meat/veggie mixture with the pasta. Serve hot with a green salad and parmesan bread* on the side.

Meat options: In place of the ground beef, use a package of meatless ground soy for an instant vegetarian dish. Or use a bit less ground beef and add in 6-8oz of lite or turkey kielbasa. It adds a delicious hint of smokiness. Want a little heat? Crumble up a hot sausage or two and cook with the ground beef. Or you can chop up a few slices of pepperoni to add a bit of zing. Use your imagination!

*Bonus recipe! Every house has a few slices of bread that need to be used up, especially those poor  heels that no one ever wants to eat. Lay them on a baking sheet, pour a bit of olive oil onto each one, sprinkle on a liberal shake of grated parmesan cheese and then bake in a 375-degree oven until golden (about 10 minutes).

— Faith Pineo