Monday, June 10, 2013

Sloppy Joe Conundrum

Uniquely Fine Chicken Salad
Hi again! It seems like that old saying about that road paved with good intentions. I keep wanting to get to this blog, and I am still so bogged down with unpacking. Admittedly, I have too much stuff. No question. And now, with a large enough house to really unpack it all, one month later and I am still working on it. On top of that, I have a wedding cake to make. I have finally gotten a little preliminary work done, but there's a lot to do, and the wedding is less than a month away.

Sweet Smoky Pork Tenderloin

I have also been busy trying out new recipes and getting photos of some that have been around quite some time in  my kitchen, like my Uniquely Fine Chicken Salad. A couple days back I made Goan Style Chicken. Before that, I had made Sweet Smoky Pork Tenderloin, accompanied by Apple Onion Chutney with Sultanas. 

But on to the title of this blog: Sloppy Joe Conundrum. Last evening I thought I would make something quick and easy; Sloppy Joes. We have a lot of hamburger meat left from the side of beef we bought 2 years back, so I look for new ways to use it, but often just fall back onto old standbys. My husband is picky about certain sauces like spaghetti or Sloppy Joes. If they are too thin, he just doesn't like them. Store bought ones do have thickeners, such as flour or Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum, among others. He likes the Manwich original so that is what I buy. My preference would be to make a recipe of my own, but have not bothered.

Goan Style Chicken
Okay, so I had thawed a package of what I thought was hamburger, only to find it was pork sausage instead! Great. I usually don't thaw too much ahead, so it wasn't like I couldn't just substitute some ground beef. I heat a pot, add some oil, set the frozen meat in there, allow to brown a bit, flip, scrape off the cooked part flip again and scrape, repeating until I have cooked the whole package of frozen meat. It works.

My original thought was to just make the one pound of ground beef, since I only had one can of the Manwich. I would just save the sausage meat for something else. Then I started reading the ingredients on the can. I got thinking I'd like to try out some semblance of the canned flavor by creating a sauce of my own. Granted, once I did this, it was combined with the actual Manwich, so I couldn't be completely impartial about the flavors. I added in the ground pork sausage to brown with the beef. I will have to give this a go all on its own to see how it tastes. However, that said, my husband and sister did not know the difference. I guess that says something.

Having gone on to remake this on its own, using just ground beef, this is the recipe:

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes, served with Oven Fries

1 pound hamburger meat
1 (14.5 or 15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
I large onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup double concentrated tomato paste (from a tube)
2 teaspoons Barbecue Spice Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a 6 quart pot, brown the hamburger meat well. Add in the onion and continue to stir and cook for about 10 minutes more. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least a half hour for flavors to meld. Serve on hamburger buns.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.