I realize these pictures are terrible, but I took them with my cell phone, which is not a smart phone, so it's the best I could do!
I made dinner last night with what I had on hand. It's sort of like goulash, and sort of like a Cheeseburger Mac. I just threw a bunch of things together, tasting as I went, and it was a huge hit with my guys. It's very easy to make, so I thought I'd share! It makes for a great, filling, quick-and-easy weeknight meal when you only have a short time at home all together before everyone rushes off again for sports practice, Christmas parties, or to see The Hobbit, which is what we did last night! (And loved it, by the way!)
I used three different kinds of cheese and layered them. I think the cheese really made this dish. Again, I used what I had on hand. I had a package of Creamy Havarti slices, a package of swiss slices, and a 1-pound lump of fresh mozzarella, which I grated and piled on top.
I think I'll call it Cheesy Goulash Casserole.
Cheesy Goulash Casserole
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups macaroni noodles (I didn't really measure, just scooped some out of my jar.)
1 14.5-oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained (You can use diced tomatoes, or any other style. Stewed was what I had. )
1 12-oz can tomato sauce
About a heaping teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
About a pinch of sugar
Cheese! Any kind will do, but I think the mozzarella to top it off is important.
Boil the macaroni noodles until al dente. I think I boiled mine about 7-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Brown ground beef in skillet. When just about done, drain off grease and add onions to the pan. When onions are translucent, add garlic and cook and stir about a minute or two. Add the italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Stir about a minute.
Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, ground beef and onions, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the macaroni noodles. (If it appears too dry, you can play with it. Add a bit of water, or more tomato sauce or canned tomatoes. You will have to adjust the seasonings though. Somehow my ratios were just right. Happy accident!)
I originally poured it all in a 13x9, but it spread too thinly. I wanted to layer this with cheese, so I went with a smaller baking dish. Mine is about 9x7, and about 3 inches deep. (It's one of those oven/dishwasher safe Pyrex storage containers with lids, which is convenient for leftovers.)
Spoon half the mixture into the baking dish. Lay cheese slices on top. (I used Havarti, but would have loved to use sharp cheddar if I'd had it. The Havarti was creamy and delicious, though!) Spoon the rest of the mixture on top of the cheese. I topped this with slices of swiss cheese. Then I covered the dish with foil and baked at 350 for 30 minutes. Then I removed the foil and covered the top with freshly grated mozzarella. (A bunch! Definitely more than a cup!) Then I put it under the broiler until it was nicely melted and browned and blistered just right.
It was so delicious! We all enjoyed this very much. I served it with steamed broccoli and a salad. I can't wait for the leftovers for lunch today!
Let me know if you make this, and if you try different cheeses or other variations.