Get out your skillet or buy a nice sturdy long-lasting Revereware frying pan with a lid, and preferably with a copper bottom. DO NOT get a "non-stick" pan.
Get a pound of ground beef, a can of chili beans, and a can of crushed tomatoes. You also want some vegetable oil or margarine.
Cook some macaroni in your saucepan. Don't add cheese yet.
Put a Tablespoon of oil or margarine in the frying pan, turn the heat on to 2 1/2 or 3 and let it get warm.
Crumble the ground beef.
Put it in the frying pan and stir once in a while with a fork or spoon or spatula while it cooks. It's done when it's brown.
Meanwhile open the cans of beans and tomatoes.
When the beef is ready, put in the macaroni and beans and tomatoes.
Sprinkle pepper on it. If you got pre-spiced chili beans, that should be enough. If not, you should add some cayenne or ground chipotle. One or two pinches should be enough.
Stir to mix thoroughly, put the lid on, and let it stew for at least 15 minutes.
You can also throw in canned or frozen corn, or chopped up green bell pepper, or chopped up fresh jalapenos or chilis. Okra would be good in this.
Why not a non-stick pan? For one thing, the non-stick isn't really non-stick. I know that from experience. Even Silverstone can get food stuck on it. Second, the non-stick finish wears out. That means it comes off and gets into the food. Then you're stuck with a non-non-stick pan. You can't get that repaired, you have to get another one.
Now that your Chili mac has cooked for 15 minutes, you should sprinkle in shredded cheese if you're going to use it. Put the lid back on and in 5 minutes, turn the heat off.
TRICK OF THE TRADE
1. Just like with your sauce pan, your frying pan will get rice and pasta stuck to it. The trick, once again, is turn the heat off, leave the lid on, and let sit 5 minutes. The rice or pasta will come unstuck.
2. FOR REALLY TOUGH STUCK FOOD flood the pan with water, put it back on the stove and turn the burner to high. When the water boils, turn the burner off and put the lid on.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved