This simple Philly skillet is another in my impromptu, unorganized, and a johnny-come-lately decision to dive into cooking basics here on Home-Ec 101.
I try my best to stay out of the center aisles of the grocery store. Yes, there are some pantry basics on some aisles that I must have, but for the most part, if you want to have a healthy diet, stick to the perimeter, that’s where you’ll find largely fresh ingredients. Shelf-stable items, in general, are the less healthy choice.
Still, there’s that one aisle, and we’ve all walked down it. There used to be that this large, cheerful glove with eyeballs large eyeballs that would stare at customers as they figured out what they’d serve for dinner. Over the years the glove has gotten smaller, but the options have grown. I agree with the premise, everyone needs a handful of meals that come together as quickly as those options, so I thought it might be fun to do a make-it-yourself series based on these skillet meals. You see, a trademark is a very big thing, so I’m purposely vague. These skillets in no way represent an actual skillet living or dead any resemblance to a skillet living, or dead is pure –ahem– coincidence?
I am not copying their recipes, first of all, because I don’t have access to fun things like stabilizers, and I’m helping reduce your sodium intake while I’m at it. Additionally, these items are designed to hit the middle of the palate bell curve. If you make it yourself, you can always increase or reduce the spices and have something much more tailored to your palate. I look at the title and figure out what *I* think it should taste like and get to work.
Last week’s Taco Skillet was the first and this week we’ve got today’s Philly Skillet and guess what? This version does not have cream of something soup, so it’s super easy to make it gluten free if that fits your family’s dietary needs. Don’t eat beef? No problem, swap in ground turkey, pork, or chicken. HECK, live on the wild side and use seitan if that’s what you prefer. (When substituting out the beef, you’ll probably want to add the optional Worcestershire sauce, which does have some glutamates in it, but you’re in control of how much goes into your food)
: Simple Philly Skillet
: One dish, Philly skillet, use ground beef, turkey, pork or chicken
- 1 lb ground beef, turkey, chicken, or pork
- 3 onions, sliced
- 4 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1 rounded tsp garlic powder
- 1 optional tsp salt* only use this if you use homemade beef or chicken stock. Otherwise, you’ll lose the benefit of reducing your sodium intake.
- 1 optional tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups dried pasta -we used elbows just because.
- 2 cups beef stock -hot- divided (1/4 cup and 1 & 3/4 cup)
- 2 cups milk
- 4 oz provolone cheese**
- 4 oz American cheese**
- Brown the ground meat over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Drain off the fat.
- Add the sliced onions to the pan and 1/4 cup of the beef stock. Use your spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the onions just start to look translucent -more clear than raw onions, add the garlic powder and optional salt to the pan. Stir.
- Add the bell peppers and beef stock and slowly add the milk, while stirring. Add the pasta and stir often until bubbles appear. Reduce the heat until you have a gentle simmer happening -bubbles coming to the surface but not breaking the surface tension. Any hotter and your sauce will look a little grainy; it’ll work just fine, but it won’t be pretty.
- Cover. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes until the pasta is done.
- Add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
**use 8oz of any cheese that you’d like, you’ll have better results with provolone and American because they melt well. Anything like cheddar *real* cheddar and it’ll “break” and you’ll get a grainy sauce. It’ll taste good, it just won’t be pretty, not that this is a pretty dish to start with.
**If you choose ground turkey or chicken, you may want to substitute chicken stock for the beef.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)