Friday, May 15, 2009

Sloppy Joes

Click here for the recipe.

There's no picture of this one, sorry,...forgot to snap one before I ate it all up.

Sloppy joes remind me of childhood cafeteria lunches…browned ground beef swimming in a sweet red sauce, the whole thing oozing out of a hamburger bun. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to put what is essentially a sweetened spaghetti meat sauce into an edible container with no sides, but there it was. I never liked those school sloppy joes…they were too sweet for my taste. In fact, I don’t like many sweet or sweet/sour main dishes. I have a big fancy for savory meals.

I came across this recipe in my email, looking for a way to use some ground turkey that was hanging out in the freezer. Seeing this recipe made me want to revisit the whole sloppy joe idea. Or actually, try them again to see if I would like them. It had the advantage of being a fairly simple recipe, since I went out of the town last weekend and I didn’t have time for making anything involved. I only had to buy a green bell pepper and brown sugar. On a side note, I’ve always found it curious when a recipe calls for a ¼ of a bell pepper or 2 tsp of fresh herbs…what do people do with the rest of the produce? I don’t have a green thumb, despite multiple attempts at growing herbs at home and even one disastrous attempt at growing bell peppers at home. Probably has to do with the fact that I only remember to water plants about once a week. This week since I only used ¼ cup of the chopped fresh green bell pepper, which by the way, is about 5% of the bell pepper that I bought, I roughly chopped the rest and froze it. There will be some stew or casserole that would benefit from it. I also tossed 98% of a leftover cilantro bunch into the food processor, kind of pureed it, and then froze it in an ice cube tray. Again, some stew or soup will be able to use that cilantro puree eventually.

So the ingredient list, or rather, my grocery shopping list, was short and the directions are good and straight to the point. Winner on both counts. The prep time is fairly short…maybe 15 minutes to chop the pepper and onions. I actually diced the veggies instead of the “chop” as indicated in the directions. This would help the veggies blend into the ground meat. As it turns out, I didn’t have enough ketchup…only ½ cup. It was enough. I didn’t use the brown sugar at all…I forgot to add it to the sauce but I think it would have made the sauce too sweet if I did put it in there. My final change was to use superfine dried ground yellow mustard powder instead of the prepared yellow mustard. I used a bit less, maybe ¼-1/2 tsp, as I wasn’t sure what the conversion was for dried yellow mustard vs. prepared. I probably could have used the full teaspoon as I couldn’t detect any mustard when I tasted the sauce. Cook time is also blessedly short. And the meat sauce turned out well; it’s actually better the next day.

While this is a good recipe that I do recommend, I don’t think I’ll make it again. It’s my distaste for sweet-tasting meals. I love, LOVE desserts and sweets but just not in my main meals.

Next week I'm writing about a yeast bread that requires no kneading...it's very easy and I hope that it tastes as good as it looks. I'll tell you all about it in a week.

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