I was in search of dinner inspiration last week, and I went old school. People, I busted out the church cookbook from 2001.
These are the recipes of my youth. The casseroles, the jello salads, the cakes eaten off Styrofoam plates in the church basement. Comfort food made by people who love you. The smile on my face grew wider as I flipped through each page. Yes, I was thinking about how good Bonnie's Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole is, but more than that, I was thinking about how good the people are.
The recipe I landed on was contributed by Amy, our fearless babysitter back in the 90's. She took us to the county fair and let us swim until we were pruney. We spent summers cruising in the backseat of her giant whale of a car, listening to Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. I could hear the opening strains of Piano Man whispering through my subconscious as I made Amy's Bacon Cheeseburger Rice.
This is fall-is-here comfort food at its finest. Quick, easy, and delicious, The husband and I couldn't stop eating it. I kept sneaking bites as I was cleaning up the dinner dishes. Truth. Bacon Cheeseburger Rice will be a regular on the menu rotation around here.
Thanks for a divine hot dinner, Amy. And thanks for being such a great babysitter.
Bacon Cheeseburger Rice
Gently adapted from the Randall Memorial Baptist Church Cookbook
6 strips bacon
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
Salt and pepper
1 3/4 cups water
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from the pan and return to medium heat.
Add ground beef or turkey to reserved bacon grease and cook, stirring, until cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add water, barbecue sauce, mustard, and onion powder. Bring to a boil and stir in rice. Sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved bacon before serving.