A Harmony of Flavors

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 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 cannot 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.

This is what I added in to create the "second can" worth of sauce:

1 (14.5 or 15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1(6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
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)
3/4 teaspoon Barbecue Spice Mix

I just added this to the pot with the two browned ground meats and the one can of Manwich I had. I let it simmer for about an hour to meld flavors. It was really good! I will have to make this on its own and see how it compares.

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. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter