Monday, December 20, 2004

Betty's Recipe

We had a neighbor named Betty who lived across the street from the first house I lived in on Darby Ct. in Ewing, NJ. We moved to a new neighborhood before I was 3 years old, but I still have memories of Betty and her house. I remember how she held a cigarette (between two fingers), I remember she had a husband named Al, a miniature schnauzer named Lance, and some kind of parakeet in a cage. I also remember photos on the wall of her college aged son who had long hair and a Fu Manchu mustache (it was the 70's!).

Betty who was middle aged when my young mother was trying to figure out what to feed her family, offered my mother this recipe, which has become my ultimate comfort food. I have always known this dish to be called Betty's Recipe.

  • 1 lb hamburg -- that's how Betty wrote it! (I used soy crumbles)

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 3 slices of white bread torn up

  • 1/4 cup of catchup

  • 1/2 tsp salt (I left this out because the soy crumbles were salty already)

  • 2 cups uncooked macoroni elbows (I used whole wheat)

  • 3 Tbsp butter

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese

  • 1 small can of tomato sauce

  • 1 small can of tomato paste


Fry hamburg (or soy crumbles) with garlic, bread, and catchup. Set aside. Cook macaroni and drain. Mix butter and cheese into macaroni. Mix tomato sauce and tomato paste into meat mixture. Mix macaroni and meat toghether and put in a greased caserole. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Serve with salad and enjoy the burnt bits of macaroni on the top!

My mom always serves this when we go home for a visit, but she either uses ground beef or turkey. I never tried making this before, but it was great! You'd never know you were eating soy crumbles instead of meat! This is definitley going to be part of our rotation. Next time I may try lightening it up with olive oil instead of butter.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mary said...

That's sounds really good - kind of like a combination of mac&cheese with american chop suey (less the veggies!)

9:51 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Matt told me about American Chopped Suey (he grew up in Massachusetts). I had never heard of it, but we had something similar at my New Jersey school called Beefaroni. It was my favorite elementary school lunch, and yes, Betty's Recipe is very similar. Beefaroni wasn't baked in a caserole, though. It was served with French style bread with a slab of butter (probably margarine). Ahhh, memories of the school cafeteria... I'd never eat that in a school cafeteria now, which is the funny thing.

9:56 AM  

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