Sloppy Joes

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So, I must admit. I enjoy these a whole lot. I can’t even attribute it to nostalgia. We did not grow up with Sloppy Joes. My only memory is from a certain Olsen twin movie. It was from this clip I figured the key factors were: 1) soft bun and 2) messy.  I had always wanted to try them, but was hesitant…as I didn’t know what a Sloppy Joe would taste like. Unfortunately, the name of the ‘dish’ nor the iconic ‘Manwich’ offer any descriptive of what a makes a Joe a Joe. A few years ago I found a recipe for them from scratch and decided I might just enjoy more than just the idea of them.

Get your napkins and give this a try.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ green pepper, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound lean ground beef (or any ground meat, really)
1 ¾ cups plain tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s or Primo brand)
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. Prepare your ingredients
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, pepper, and celery and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add ground meat to skillet. Cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  4. Stir in ketchup, tomato sauce, and Worchestershire sauce and simmer until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Spoon onto buns. Enjoy!

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Source: Martha Stewart Living

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“Moroccan” Stew

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This morning the windchill was -9®C. Yesterday I drove home in light flurries. Cities just north of Toronto are waking up to inches of  the white stuff. It’s happening.
We are rapidly progressing into the season of blankets, wool slippers, hot chocolate…the obligatory small talk about how dark and cold it is outside. Oh, and stew. Or “bowl meals”, as Andrew calls them.

Now, having never been to Morocco, I cannot confirm the authenticity of this stew. However, it is supremely delicious with amazing fragrance. This meal is on our regular rotation during the cooler months…which is impressive considering I am constantly reading new recipes. You may be raising an eyebrow as you get down to the bottom of the ingredient list…but trust me. It all comes together to create an amazing winter dinner with, importantly, a low dish yield.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander, chili powder
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 can chickpeas, (low sodium, if available) drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced to about 1 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
½ cup raisins
3 tablespoons each peanut butter and chopped, fresh cilantro

Instructions
1. Heat oil in a large pot/dutch oven. Add onions, celery, green pepper and sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and fresh ginger. Cook until fragrant (less than 1 minute)
2. Add broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
3. Stir in raisins, peanut butter, and cilantro. Make sure the peanut butter is fully incorporated. Serve hot, garnished with more cilantro if desired.

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Source: “Crazy Plates” – Janet and Greta Podleski page 74