Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Damn, when I was little I sure had it good! Of course I was sadly unaware of it at the time, but I was so incredibly fortunate growing up to have two parents that were awesome cooks! I suppose I just figured that all parents cooked like that and I never quite put two and two together and realized why all my friends wanted to come over to my house for dinner. My parents are often at their best in the kitchen, moving around the space as though they are performing a choreographed dance, tasting, mixing, and searching out ingredients instinctively knowing each others tastes and wants. They didn't just cook out of necessity, they cooked because of their passion for good food, good flavours, and the feeling you get when you enjoy a great dish. This lead them to discover new dishes to serve to my sister and I all the time. You would have thought we would have been in our absolute glory having meals like that all the time, but naturally the grass is always greener on the other side. I remember watching commercials for Hamburger Helper and longing to try that cheesy meaty dinner from a box, totally baffled that my mom had never wanted to buy it. The same went for frozen dinners, I thought it was just so cute and cool that each dish had its own little compartment in the plastic like your plate was made for meal. I swooned over the scene in It Takes Two with the Olsen twins when the character Alyssa ate her first Sloppy Joe, wishing that I could take my first bite of that messy concoction along with her! Alas, we never had meals like that in the Rose house.

Now into my twenties, often having to come up with something on my own before running out the door, or picking up the slack with the cooking when the parentals are busy, I certainly appreciate those regular home cooked meals from my past. You will never find one of those classic frozen dinners in my fridge, and I will never serve them to my own family. Although I'm still mildly curious about Hamburger Helper, the appeal is gone and I have still never tasted it. Now Sloppy Joes, on the other hand, are a totally different story. My interest in Sloppy Joes has remained just as strong over the years, despite the fact that up until a few months ago when I made this dish (jeeze another overdue blog post!) I had never even tasted a Sloppy Joe before. I think it had something to do with all that messiness and sauciness that just had me hooked! The time had come for me to fulfill my lifelong dream of having a Sloppy Joe for dinner! Just as I had imagined and heard, I whipped up the Sloppy Joes so incredibly quickly, using a recipe as a guideline and tasting and adding ingredients as I went. Just as I had always imagined, the Sloppy Joes were delicious! Served on a soft bun, the fresh bread soaked up the delicious sweet and spicy sauce that enveloped the savory ground beef, with texture in every bite from crunchy sweet yellow bell peppers. My parents both loved their Sloppy Joes and wondered aloud why they had never made them for my sister and I growing up. My future children (NOT ANY TIME SOON!) are definitely in for a treat!

1/2 yellow onion
1 lb ground beef (lean)
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp brown sugar
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
soft buns for serving

1. In a medium skillet set to medium heat, sauté the onion until translucent. Add the ground beef and yellow pepper and continue cooking, while breaking up the meat with a spatula, until meat has browned. Drain off any liquids.

2. Stir in the chili sauce, barbecue sauce, prepared yellow mustard, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Taste and season with chili powder and salt and pepper according to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve hot on fresh soft buns.

Listening To:


Collette Osuna said...

My son would love these!!! Im sure they are wayyyy better than the can variety...and you are right...we never KNOW at the time how good we have it, lol.

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Wine Club said...

Great work and great ideas to learn about some delicious recipes

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