I went to Costco today. My main client’s staff was at an off-site meeting so I figured this was a good day to “sneak off” mid-day to Costco. I detest going on weekends, yet always have a hard time going during the week when work is a’plenty, as it has been lately. There are a few things I almost always get there (milk, half and half, eggs, laundry soap, dishwasher soap) and other things I check the prices on and get if they’re reasonable. The big huge (2.5 pound!) bag of spinach is usually a given. I personally don’t like cooked spinach but my girls will both eat it–go figure. I do like a spinach salad however so we have no problems consuming all this spinach before it goes bad. Hamburger, ground round, was about $2.49 a pound–a good deal around here, so I bought the 5.5 pound package. I divided it into roughly 6 equal parts and froze 5 of them. I can pull these out later for meatloaves, tacos, meat sauce, shepherd’s pie, and so forth. Sometimes I boil it up and then freeze it, but since it was a working day I froze it raw.
I hadn’t planned a dinner tonight, figuring I’d use up something I got at the store. I debated between tacos, spaghetti sauce, and a few other things but somehow nothing was grabbing my attention. I skimmed a few cookbooks, not dead-set on the ground beef as the mainstay. I have tons of tomatoes in the garden and despite having BLT’s last night for dinner, I was tempted to do some pasta with tomatoes tonight. Then I spotted a recipe for “Joe’s Special” in one book, and “San Francisco’s Little Joe’s” in another book. One had garlic and the other had Parmesan and Tabasco, but they were basically the same recipe. Being a “more is more” kind of cook, I combined them both and used it all. Both recipes warned this was not a pretty dish. Spinach and ground beef. You can imagine. The girls gave it an expected look of horror–but having just returned from an hour and a half of swimming they were starving and had no choice but to dig in.
“Mmmmm. This doesn’t look very good, but it’s actually really good!” says the youngest.
“This is gross.” Chew. Chew. Chew. “Can I have more? It actually tastes good.” says the eldest.
I used about 3/4 of a pound of ground beef, despite the recipes calling for a pound. I served it with some bread and mock apple pie for dessert. This served the three of us (with two hearty swimming eaters) with one portion leftover. For big eaters, add more meat, serve with bread and another side dish, etc.
San Francisco Joe's Special
- 2 Tbs oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3/4 - 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 pound fresh spinach steamed or blanched, and chopped (you could use frozen of course)
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- a dash or two of Tabasco sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the ground beef and brown as you break it up into small pieces. If your children swim, turn this down to low, drain the fat off, and let sit covered until they're done showering.
- Add the spinach and cook a few minutes. Salt and pepper here if you'd like, or at the table later.
- Mix together the eggs and Tabasco, then pour into the meat and spinach mixture, stirring until the eggs are set. Pour the whole thing out onto a platter and top with the Parmesan.
Prepare yourself for groans and set it on the table. Prepare yourself to accept accolades as well, which you’ll get as soon as they taste it if they’re at all hungry.