Names are so important, aren’t they? Kim and Kanye naming their daughter North West was particularly cringe-worthy. (And what happened? Weren’t they going with a K-name? In which case shouldn’t she be called Knorth West?) But to my point: names matter. They are windows into the soul of its subject. Take this recipe, for example. When I clipped it from a newspaper decades ago and typed it on an index card, it was called “Texas Hash.” I no longer remember if the recipe originated from the Lone Star State, but most of the hash recipes I’ve ever seen call for potatoes. There’s nary a spud here! The taste, however, is so reminiscent of my mother’s stuffed peppers (a recipe for which I’ve never found), that I have taken it upon myself to rename the dish. I call it “Unstuffed Peppers.” It’s quick and easy and delicious. Inexpensive, too. Can’t ask for much more in a casserole (or a kasserole), now can you?
— Serves 4 to 6
One pound ground beef
Three large onions (about 3-1/2″ diameter), sliced
One large green pepper, chopped
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped
One-half cup uncooked rice (I use Basmati)
One to two teaspoons chili powder
Two teaspoons kosher salt
One-eighth teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Heat oven to 350-degrees. In a large skillet, cook and stir the ground beef until light brown. Drain off any fat. (If the beef is particularly lean, cook it in a tablespoon of canola oil.) Add onions and green pepper, cooking and stirring until onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes (and the juice in the can), the rice, and the seasonings. Heat through.
Pour into an ungreased two-quart casserole. Cover and bake for one hour.