Before Super Storm Sandy hit, Chris Christie, New Jersey’s more than portly governor, held several press conferences. During one of the last ones preceding the storm, Chris said simply: If something seems stupid, it is stupid. His statement urged residents to stay off the beaches, move to higher ground, avoid downed power lines etc.
Tonight, we are hunkering down for what might be a significant winter snow event. In the suburbs such weather warnings result in a mad rush at the Stop ‘n Shop, Whole Foods, ShopRite, Price Chopper etc. In New York, we wonder which bars will be open and which restaurants might still deliver if the weather gets really bad.
In the event that (gasp!) restaurants, bars, etc. are closed at some point during the storm, you may want to prepare – You know, rent some movies, learn to knit, dust off the scrabble board…and, please have something ready to reheat and eat. So, you don’t really cook, like ever.
Don’t stress too much. Make something hearty that can sustain you and your crew through the storm…But, something that has ingredients easily accessible and something that’s more than simple to make. And, since Bill Evans, Lee Goldberg and the entire ABC7 Weather Team say that the storm will begin before we are up tomorrow…Please, make it today.
Paula Mac’s Taco Soup (Serves 8 – I know, a lot, but your doormen, neighbors etc. might be hungry too)
2 lbs Ground Beef – 90/10
- 1 Chopped Yellow Onion
- 1 Can Kidney Beans
- 1 Can Black Beans
- 1 Can Pinto Beans
- 2 Cans Shoepeg Corn – Ho Ho Ho Green Giant makes one, but if you can’t find it, whole corn kernels are AOK as well
- 2 Cans Rotel Tomatoes – in the Mexican Food Section
2 Packages of Taco Seasoning – El Paso makes this …I use less than the two packages to reduce spice
- 1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix – In the salad dressing area
- 1 Heaping TBSP of Brown Sugar
- 3 Cups of Water
1. In a large stock pot brown the beef and chopped onion over medium heat
2. Once browned, drain off the excess fat
3. And…This is the hardest part…. Drain and rinse the beans and add those to the meat/onion mix
4. Drain the corn and add to the pot
5. Open the packages of taco seasoning and Ranch dressing mix and sprinkle over the meat, beans and corn
6. Open up the cans of Rotel Tomatoes and pour ’em in
7. Add the brown sugar
8. Pour in the water
9. Stir to combine
10. BTB/RTS (Bring to boil, reduce to simmer) and Simmer covered for 1 hour
11. Let the soup cool…then put it in the fridge overnight. This allows the flavors to all meld together and for the soup to thicken a bit
12. Rent some movies, get all other hunkering activities done…..When ready to serve, reheat the soup over med/low and serve
13. Serve with shredded cheddar or Jack / Cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips
In all probability, NYC won’t be hit that hard with this storm. In any event, it’s a good idea to follow CC’s advice and if something looks stupid, it is stupid. You know what’s stupid? Having nothing to eat if you are stuck inside is stupid. Luckily, you don’t need to panic about starving in the event that you don’t cook and the weather is worse than expected. Paula Mac’s taco soup is not only hearty, impressive and delicious, it seems simple because it is simple.