Childhood Comfort Food

It’s September which means back to school.  I happen to love fall and after the hot humid summer we’ve had, I am looking forward to cooler weather.  However, by the looks of it, it may not be very soon.   In all honesty, I really can’t wait for it to get colder because my boots are calling my name, its been ages since I’ve worn them, ok, so its been like four months, still, that’s a really long time.

 I guess I can start embracing fall in baby steps, first by lighting my fall harvest candle, second by gathering together some fall friendly recipes.  I personally like the comfort foods of fall and winter, they’re rich, hearty and filling, warming the body and soul with each bite.   This brings me to tonight’s dinner, taken from Guy Fieri Food cookbook.  I know I say every cookbook is great, and all the ones I own are, but this one really is wonderful.  Most of the recipes are pretty time-consuming and often have ingredients that may only be available in Asian markets, but once you make the dish it’s totally worth it. I don’t think I’ve made anything from this book that came out horrible, if anything, I want to make each recipe again and again.  I’d say, if you pick up this book, which you should, try most of the recipes on the weekend when you have more time.  Well, except his recipe for sloppy joes, its fast, easy and way better than anything you buy in a yucky can.

Sloppy Joes with Maui Onion Straws (Guy Fieri Food-by Guy Fieri)


For the Sloppy Joes:

1/4 cup canola oil

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced(I used a hold orange pepper instead of 1/2 of the two he listed)

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and diced

1 red onion, diced (I used 1 yellow onion)

1 pound ground beef (I just used ground turkey)

1 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup red wine (I used beef broth since I didn’t have vino)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this can be adjusted depending on taste)

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

24 slider rolls or sweet Hawaiian rolls (I used whole grain buns)

For the Maui Onion Straws: (I didn’t do this, but I bet it brings the sandwich to a whole other level)

2 cups canola oil

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 sweet onion (Maui or Vidalia)


Prepare the sloppy joes: In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, combine the canola oil, bell peppers, jalapeno and onion; cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef and pork; cook thoroughly, breaking up the meat as it browns. Add the garlic. Depending on the amount of residual grease, you may need to drain some of the fat from the pan. Deglaze with the red wine, then stir in the remaining sloppy joe ingredients (except the rolls) and season with 1 tablespoon each salt and freshly ground pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick as it simmers, add up to 1 cup water to adjust the consistency. Toast the rolls and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the onion straws: In a medium sauce pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg and milk in a medium bowl. Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in another medium bowl. Cut the onion in half, then slice into 1-inch-thick half rings; separate into short straw-like pieces. Add to the milk mixture to soak.

Once the oil is hot enough, remove the onions from the milk mixture, shake off excess and dredge in the flour mixture, 4 or 5 pieces at a time. Add to the pot and fry until golden brown; transfer to paper towels to drain.

 Serve the sloppy joes on the toasted rolls and top with onion straws.

Verdict:  Really flavorful, if you have kids or don’t like the spice, you can omit the jalapeno and cayenne pepper, it would still be great.  Next time I’ll try the onion straws, I’m usually not one to pass up fried onions, but it was too much to do tonight, plus I’d like to save the extra calories for dessert.  Eric gives it two sloppy thumbs up, he’s already had two, I’m thinking he’s going to go in for number three any second now…

I leave you now with something that has been in my head all day, sloppy joe, slop sloppy joe




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