Sloppy Joes

Appurtenant to yesterday's blog post, here is how I have made sloppy joes. 


Sloppy Joes 

This would feed eight people. I made this amount thinking of leftovers.* 


2.5-2.75 lb ground round

1 medium onion (about a cup, small or fine dice)

1 yellow or red bell pepper, small or fine dice

15 oz unseasoned tomato sauce (not British tomato sauce, which is just ketchup.)

6 oz tomato paste

1/2 cup warm water

@3 tbs brown sugar

@1 tbs Kirkland Sweet Mesquite seasoning (a similar style of barbecue seasoning would do.)

@1 tbs chili powder.


—Brown meat with onions and peppers. Drain, saving liquid for soup or gravy, if you like. 

—Stir in the paste, let it cook for a couple minutes, then use the paste can to add the warm water. 

—Stir in the tomato sauce and seasonings. You can try adding less brown sugar; we thought this amount balanced things well in the end. 

—Simmer at low heat with a lid on for 10-30 minutes, depending on the time you have. 

—Add a little more seasoning after tasting, if you like, and stir well. You might like a little freshly-ground pepper.

—Serve on warmed or toasted buns. I like dill pickle slices on mine.


*Making a half recipe would take 1.3 lbs ground round, 8 oz tomato sauce, half everything else. You can use chuck or sirloin; the moisture content and total volume will be slightly different.


Three Heads are Better than One

Today I roasted three heads of garlic and then did things with them.  When I put the garlic in the oven, I also put in whole wheat pita cut into eights, and tossed with olive oil, and salt and pepper. The pita cooked for about ten minutes, the garlic for...45 or thereabouts, at 400º.


I chopped onion, basil, and parsley from the garden for bruschetta. But I had to use canned tomatoes. The trade-off is that it will last a few days in the refrigerator, whereas fresh tomato bruschetta wouldn't really be good after tomorrow. DSC_3883


After the garlic roasted awhile, I squooshed some into the bowl with the tomatoes, and added lemon juice, olive oil, and s&p. And also drained a can of cannellini beans. DSC_3887


I mixed the white beans with the remaining garlic from that head, and added a lot of lemon juice and olive oil, and s&p. There is a pattern here, and it pays off. :-)

The remaining cloves of garlic were deskinned and added to a jar with olive oil. They'll stay good for several weeks in the refrigerator, and then there will be nice garlicky olive oil to use after they're gone.

So then I wanted to share this in a really twee fashion, like you would pin to the page of party foods you'll never get around to making. But my photo isn't very good because of how I didn't do it right. DSC_3890

Anyway, as good as the bean dip and bruschetta are separately, when eaten together, they are fantastic. DSC_3891

You can find recipes here and there, but mostly, it's just something you do as you like. When I make white bean dip I like it really basic but really strong. I probably use twice as much lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic as anyone calls for. And sometimes people add a lot of thing to fancy it up. Personally, I do not care for that. I just take things I like that I tend to always have around, and mix them together for my own taste. That's why I'm sharing these pictures; you should do this, too. Have some pantry play.

Tomorrow I'm cutting up a couple of late eggplants.