I think we all have pandemic stories about the past year. Yes, there are the awful stories about losing friends and loved ones, jobs lost, etc. But we all have the simple daily things that have changed in our lives or ways we overcame boredom or lack of social contact too.
Besides the new close personal relationship I have with Zoom, I have two of those stories:
1) At the beginning of our stay-at-home process last year, I thought to myself, “Hmm, I love to cook, I live alone, this could be BAD.” So I switched over to a keto way of eating and lost more than 30 pounds. (aside from my occasional recipe respites). Happy story.
2 ) My daughter turned me on to a show called Schitt’s Creek. Despite others’ urgings to watch it, I’m not much of a television person, with the exception of cooking shows. But I’m glad I finally did. For just a television show, I have to say, it brought a lot of laughter and smiles into my days, as did its star and creator, Dan Levy (swoon). If you watch the show, you’ll get the “fold in the cheese” reference.
This simple recipe is not keto-friendly, but like most of my cooking these days, I experiment with adaptations and I have some at the end of the column, just in case you’re interested.*
- 4 small russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 large white or yellow onion chopped
- ¼ cup black garlic, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 small bunch basil, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 8 oz. brick cream cheese
- 1 cup cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
Place first half of ingredients in a large crock pot.
Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with lid. Cook on low heat 6 to 8 hours OR on high heat 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are tender.
About 45 minutes before serving, cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Drain any grease. Pour cooked ground beef into crock pot.
Carefully wipe out hot skillet with a paper towel then add butter.
When butter is melted whisk in flour and cook until golden brown and bubbly (about 1 minute.)
Whisk in the milk. Pour mixture into the crock pot and stir to combine everything.
Fold the cheeses in to the mixture.
Cover with lid and cook another 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Skip the potatoes and add more ground beef and veggies to give it the same body.
Instead of flour, use arrowroot. It thickens things beautifully and you don’t have to use as much.
Sometimes, some of you have been kind enough to send me different ingredients and things to try. If anyone has the connection, I would love to have Dan Levy. Over for lunch, that is.