Serious Eats: Recipes

Eat for Eight Bucks: Texas Turkey Hash

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

The dinner table isn't the only place you can pinch pennies. Last fall I went to my first estate sale and had such good luck that I've been reluctant to try another; what could top finding a fabulous silver Revere bowl and three pieces of my wedding china for less than $10? To max out my bliss, the proprietor of the estate also had an extensive cookbook library. I had trouble limiting myself to one volume but eventually took home only Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book of 1956. Frankly, I expected the recipes to be as funny as the prim sketches of happy housewives, but the second one I tried, Texas hash, turned out to be a winner.

To be fair, I have an ongoing love affair with my 9-by-13 Pyrex, and my husband recently announced that he wants to go on diet consisting almost exclusively of casseroles—so I suppose we were sure to be a receptive audience for any loosely bound, cheese-topped combination of meat, onions, and grain. Nevertheless, I was surprised by how greedily I went back for seconds and thirds. If I may say so without offending chili fanatics, the dish is rather like a quick, simple chili that bakes in the oven instead of bubbling away on the stove. I suppose you should really eat a green salad or some broccoli with it, but this has become one of my fast and easy dinners, which sometimes means pretending that the single green pepper counts as a vegetable.

The original is made with ground beef and white rice; I used turkey and millet and was very happy with the results. The cilantro, also my addition, is nice but not necessary; add it only if you have it around. I make my own chili powder; you may use any store-bought or homemade powder you like (just watch the salt if it's store-bought) or make up your own spice blend of cumin, oregano, and a dot of cayenne.

About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.

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