Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gooly Buns - A 4 Ingredient Dinner - Fast, Easy, and Cheap (the meal, that is!)

This recipe comes to me from my friend Danielle Gates, her mother made it for her and her grandmother made it for her mother. It's amazing!  While I did used to live with Danielle, it wasn't until more recently that she made this dinner for me.  (We're awesome, because we still have slumber parties.) I've asked her for the recipe several times, and she has graciously told it to me.  The problem is, whenever I go to make it, I think, "This can't be all it is!"  I had a hankering for some gooly buns yesterday and called her to verify that this was only 4 ingredients.  It is!  The best thing about the ingredient listing is, that it's stuff you will almost always have on hand in your pantry and fridge.  Do you want to know what they are?  Too bad. 

Just kidding :)

1 lb of ground beef
1 can of cream of whatever soup
1 cup of cheese
1 package of hamburger buns (or hot dog buns or sub rolls, or whatever you have on hand)

The first thing you're going to do is preheat your broiler.

Now,brown your hamburger on the stove top.  If you don't know how to do that, I'm not going to help you.  You can see that my hamburger is frozen, because I often fail to plan ahead and thaw out what I want to eat.  So, I put it on low flame and started a load of wash.  You can also see that my hamburger is brownish purplish, not "fresh" red ground beef from the store.  A woman recently told me that some supermarkets put red dye into the hamburger to make it appear red.  (Umm.....Whaaat?)  She knows this because her son is allergic to red dye.  I believe her.  If you don't, do your own Internet research.  My hamburger comes from my parents' freezer (thanks guys!) as my father is a beef farmer.  If you don't have your own cattle I recommend buying part of one to keep in your freezer, you can get one from a local farmer.  Check out your local farmers' market and ask around.  It's cheaper this way, and you don't unknowingly consume chemicals.

Once your hamburger is browned, turn the burner off.  Open your can of soup.  My soup I used had a pull tab on it, so I didn't even need a can opener.  Once your soup is open, dump it in the pan.  Stir it up.  Now, add 1 cup of cheese, I used Colby Jack, you can use whatever you like or have on hand.  The cheese should be shredded or cubed. 

Now, spoon onto buns that have been split (open face) and placed on a cookie sheet or broiler pan (you can use tinfoil if you want) and pop under the broiler until the cheese is all bubbly and gooey.  Like this:

What's-his-face (DH) ate four.  He saved one for me, which I warmed up for my lunch today and am eating right now. 

This should take you 15 minutes or less.  I might add onions next time, I may also season the ground beef with a little black pepper (doesn't need salt, soup has a lot). 

It should also cost you very little.  I don't know how much hamburger is so I can't say for sure, but here's the cost of the other ingredient break down:

Hamburger: FREE
Soup: 3 for $2 = $.66
Cheese: 4 for $5 = 1.25 per 2 cups =  $.62
Buns: Day old bakery goods = $.94

Total investment = $2.22 + cost of hamburger. 

Thank you to Danielle and her wonderful family for sharing this recipe!