Tuesday, October 30, 2012

GGC Sloppy Joes & Brussel Chips...

This evening I decided to make "sloppy joes" for dinner.  Since all the ready made canned "Manwich-type" sauces are filled with all kinds of sugars and other "frankenfoods", I made my own from scratch.  They were so easy to make and they even received hubby's "2-thumbs up" approval too!  In creating my recipe, I tried to make it taste as close as I could to the familiar taste we used to eat.  I think it came pretty darn close...close enough for us anyway -- it even LOOKED like traditional sloppy joes!   I also needed to come up with a quick bun for the sloppy joes -- because the meat just HAD to have something to fall out of all over our plates while we ate them!  :-)

I decided the quickest thing would be to make a double batch of the flax-parmesan pizza dough, spread it out, bake it and then cut it into circles for our buns.  I made them thinner (kind of like the popular little round sandwich thins I used to eat).  Unfortunately I couldn't find my big round cookie/biscuit cutter, so I just used the top of a glass to cut them with.  The edges were a little more jagged than if I had actually used a cutter, but it did the job -- they held our meat until it plopped out onto our plates as we picked them up and ate them!  When I roasted brussel sprouts a few days ago and said how my favorite part was the loose, browned crispy little leaves that fell off and how they tasted just like chips to me...well, tonight, I intentionally tore them apart and roasted them as leaves only  to make "brussel chips" -- tossing them in a bit of olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and roasting them until browned.  They were good!  Below I snapped a couple of pics for you to see as well as the quick and easy recipe for "GGC Sloppy Joes" -- these aren't just "Manwiches" -- they're "GourmetGirlWiches".  Enjoy!


GGC Sloppy Joes


1 pound ground beef (I used ground round)

1 tablespoon olive oil, optional (to brown beef, if necessary)
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely diced Poblano pepper (or green pepper)
1/3 cup finely diced onion
3 ounces tomato paste (half of a small can)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Few dashes Cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Swerve sweetener (or preferred substitute equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


In a medium saucepan, brown ground beef, breaking it into pieces as it cooks (if necessary, add 1 tablespoon olive oil).  While the beef is browning, add the peppers and onions and continue cooking until beef is cooked and peppers/onions are softened.  Stir in tomato paste; add all the spices and chicken broth and stir well.  Add Swerve (or sweetener of choice) and vinegar; stir and bring to a light boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered on low for 30-45 minutes until most of the liquid has reduced and the sauce thickens.  Once the sauce has reduced to your desired thickness, taste and adjust for seasoning.  Serves approximately 3 to 4.

Note:  I allowed it to simmer for 45 minutes so it was nice and thick and the flavors were concentrated.  Be careful not to over season or salt your meat mixture until after it has reduced as the flavors become more intense and concentrated as it reduces. 

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