It would be nice to make a tasty, nutritious meal from scratch every night, but sometimes a quick-and-easy convenience product such as Hamburger Helper is the most practical option. If you keep a few of those familiar red boxes in your pantry for emergencies, dinner is never more than a few minutes away. All you'll need is a a skillet, and a little bit of time.
Heat the skillet on medium-high until it’s hot.
Add your ground beef and brown until the meat is no longer pink, breaking down the beef into bite-size chunks with a wooden spoon.
Tip the pan so any excess fat runs away from the cooked beef. Blot it up with several paper towels, taking care not to burn your fingers on the hot grease. Alternatively, tip the beef into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under hot water to remove the excess fat. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels, then return the drained beef to the pan.
Add water and milk the beef, then stir in the pasta and spice packet from the package. Stir to mix the ingredients.
Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to thicken the sauce and ensure the beef and noodles cook evenly.
Remove the skillet from the heat and uncover. stir the cheeseburger mixture thoroughly and allow it to rest for 2 to 3 minutes so the sauce thickens before serving.
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- For most Hamburger Helper products, the rule of thumb preparation method calls for 1 box of Helper for each pound of beef, along with two cups of milk and 1 to 1 1/4 cups of water.
- Vary the flavor, or make your skillet meals more virtuous, by adding frozen or sauteed vegetables to your skillet along with the cooked beef. Alternatively, replace some of the cooking liquid with tomato juice or other vegetable juices and purees to up the nutrition.
- To minimize the risk of food borne illnesses, ground beef must be fully cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
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