Monday, November 23, 2015

Turkey Sloppy Joe’s

Hello again, dear readers! I'm sorry I've been away from the blog for so long. I was a bit busy having a baby! Because of this wonderful event, my life has recently been about family, family and more family. We first had my mom to visit (currently mom has gone back to the east coast and we have my husband's family here from down south) and one of the things I requested of her was to cook for us. My mom was largely responsible for developing my love of food. She made amazing vegetarian food when I was growing up and baked on a regular basis. She filled the house with the irresistible smell of freshly baked challah bread and bought local eggs and milk. I remember getting fresh milk in a narrow necked glass bottle and being able to see the layer of cream floating at the top. We really appreciated growing up eating all that marvelous food! When we first came home from the hospital, mom asked me what I wanted her to cook. Recalling her flavorful vegetarian version growing up, I immediately requested Sloppy Joe's. She now eats meat and was happy to adapt the recipe for ground turkey, a protein we settled on to keep the fat and cholesterol content low.

Sloppy Joe’s is a thoroughly American dish. Perfect for the cold it is filling and very comforting. Despite this it is actually fairly low in calories. Although this dish is endlessly customizable, there are a few elements it must have to be considered a proper Sloppy Joe's: ground meat, tomato sauce and it must be served over a toasted bun or slice of bread. I've made this recipe with Mexican spices, roasted corn and ground beef. More recently my mother and I developed this turkey version with loads of garlic and Italian herbs. Both are great. I know, I know: you're all about to be awfully sick of turkey. Trust me when I tell you this works equally well with ground beef. Each serving will cover one bun.

Turkey Sloppy Joe's

Makes 10 servings

2 lbs ground dark meat turkey
1/2 medium yellow onion, julienned
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (11 ounce) can chopped, fire roasted tomatoes
16 ounces marinara sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small pinch crushed red pepper
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive and onions and sauté until just beginning to caramelize (about 5 minutes).
2. Add garlic and cook for one additional minute.
3. Add turkey, salt, pepper, bay leaf, oregano and basil and cook until turkey is browned.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, marinara sauce, crushed pepper and 1/2 cup water to loosen tomatoes. Bring to a lazy boil and then turn heat down to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes to allow mix to thicken and flavors to marry.

Heap generously on toasted buns or bread and serve.