Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Humble Suggestion

Of course you made those fabulous dinner rolls from my last post, right? Of course you did. You had them for a few meals, dipped them in sumptuous stews, munched them with a delicious seitan roast, shared them with the people you love/tolerate, and now you still have a few kicking around the counter and clogging the river of your desire to make yeast-raised breads. I have a solution, a humble proposal, if you will. And such a simple thing. A daydream. A bit of childhood whimsy.

A Sloppy Joe. Many efforts have been made to come up with a suitable riff on the name that would summon up memories of the factory-farmed original while signifying the critical difference. There's the Sloppy Steve, most notably. There are tvp versions, lentil versions, others made with ground up seitan, crumbled tofu, and so forth. I've researched them. One thing that most of them have in common is that the recipes call for copious quantities of ketchup. Though, as a professed condiment lover, I adore me some ketchup, I just can't get into squeezing a half cup of the stuff into a recipe as an "ingredient." Can't do it. Yet this has seemed to be the thing that stands between me and a vegan version of that Sloppy Joe that I had as a kid. Other versions without the ketchup just didn't fit the bill. Then I tried the Fantastic Foods Sloppy Joe mix.

The box has a few suggestions for how to prepare the mix. One is a sort of bare bones version where you simply combine the dry mix with boiling water and some tomato paste. Another is a bit more complicated and has you mix simpler version with diced tomatoes and some other stuff. I very much recommend that you ignore both of these and follow this advice. And, seriously, can you think of a better use for those extra dinner rolls?

Sloppy Joes (An unoriginal take on the Fantastic Foods version)

1 box Fantastic Foods Sloppy Joe mix
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with basil (I use the kind with basil)
3 T tomato paste
1 med diced sweet onion
1-2 T chili powder
1-2 T basil
1-2 T oregano
2 t garlic granules
1 c water

In a medium saucepan, saute diced onion until just translucent. Add oregano and basil and cook one minute. Add diced tomatoes with juices, tomato paste, garlic, and water. Heat until bubbly. Stir in dried mix. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.

To assemble, heat the rolls in the oven or the microwave until warm and soft. Split and butter both sides lightly. Ladle the Sloppy Joe mix generously over the buns. We had these with a spicy cabbage slaw, courtesy of C. Cabbage slaws are rather his specialty.


Cael said...

For best results, I think when reheating the buns toasting and then buttering is advisable. That way, the bun stays less mushy. My favorite is the crispy, buttery bread with the hot Joe slathered over it. These are delicious--Fantastic Foods really makes a great dehydrated mix.

[.L.] said...

I am so excited you've taken your culinary creations to the blog-o-sphere. It makes you feel a little less far away. And these dishes look AWESOME. I will be trying some of these and SOON.


Bourbon Enthusiast Monthly said...

And here I was with a lonely box of FF sloppy joe mix just sitting there in the cupboard, waiting to be used one of these nights, but never doing much to sell itself.

Great blog, Marla.