For a quick and satisfying dinner, I have a go-to meal, a very loose adaptation of Spanish-style picadillo, improvised with foods I usually have in my kitchen. Using staple ingredients makes this recipe easy to pull together, but it’s also just pleasantly simple to prepare. I make this dish when an extra trip to the grocery store isn’t going to happen, or when I want a hearty dish but don’t feel like working too hard. Even just to peel and cut onions and garlic – there are times I’m not going to be bothered. We always keep ground grass-fed beef in the freezer for quick dishes. I omitted the tomatoes usually found in picadillo because they tend to cause some joint pain for me, but I find that the paprika and chili powder (although they are in nightshade family) are less aggravating and add a nice smokiness to the balance of flavors, including the light salt of the olives and sweetness of the raisins. Preparing the squash and the meat in one (albeit heavy) cast-iron skillet cuts back on time and energy and that only makes me love my cast-iron skillet even more.
And the key ingredient in the dish would have to be… garlic-stuffed green olives. Careful you don’t eat all of them before they make it to the skillet. Such salty goodness, perfect for Bloody Mary’s or martinis if that’s your thing. If you don’t have the garlic-stuffed green olives, slice up plain green olives and add 2 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet, or more if you love the stuff.
The summer squash is a nice seasonal accompaniment, but most any vegetable you have on hand can be prepared on the side for a complete meal. We enjoyed the picadillo over sprouted corn tortillas with a big dollop of sour cream but you can omit these to avoid any food sensitivities. You might also serve it with an even larger pile of vegetables, or for starch there’s also spouted and streamed rice, or organic blue corn chips. During my seasonal tomato binge, we paired this one-skillet meal with cool gazpacho for a Spanish-flavored supper and kept the oven off on a hot day. However you serve it, count on your trusty cast iron skillet to make it easy.