Homemade Sloppy Joes

You can find various styles of beef sandwiches, beef on a stick, or beef pockets like empanadas throughout the world. The sloppy joe sandwich is uniquely American, though, and something that many people will relate to their childhoods. Most people grew up making sloppy joe sandwiches using sauce from a can, but it is possible to make it from scratch with fresh ingredients. We found that making homemade sloppy joes was not only easy, but the taste was better than what you can get from a pre-made sauce. You also have the option to make a different twist on the dish as well, perhaps making it a little spicy, but we chose to go with a traditional approach.

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Fresh Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 lb Ground Beef
  •  1/2 Medium White Onion – diced
  •  2 cloves Garlic – minced
  •  1 Red Pepper – diced
  •  3/4 cup Ketchup
  •  1 dash Worcestershire Sauce
  •  2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  •  1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
  •  2 cups Water
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Beef and Peppers

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the ground beef and onion into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat, breaking the ground beef up as it cooks, until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate all of beef bits into the sauce. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add another cup of hot water, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick and the liquid has been reduced, about 40 minutes. Serve on buns.

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Reducing the Sauce
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Creating a Traditional Sloppy Joe Sauce
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Finished Sandwich

 

Another Take on Spicy Chicken Curry

We love a good chicken curry and we tend to try various styles at different times. This particular version is pretty simple and you can make it very spicy or tone the heat down for a milder version. We chose to go ahead and leave in the heat, but we would forewarn you that it did pack a bit of a punch. It was very flavorful and would certainly work with shrimp or fish as well. We also chose to use a couple of types of peppers, but it can certainly be made using a single pepper. This recipe serves two, but it can easily be increased for a larger group. Our original version of chicken curry used cream to help cool it down, which could be done for this dish as well.

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Peppers and Spices

INGREDIENTS

  •  2 Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts – cut into 1 inch cubes
  •  1 Medium White Onion – thinly sliced
  •  2 Garlic Cloves – chopped
  •  1 tsp Fresh Ginger – peeled and grated
  •  1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  •  1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  •  1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  •  1 Serano Pepper – chopped (deseeded for less heat)
  •  1 Fresno Pepper – chopped (deseeded for less heat)
  •  2 tsp Tomato Purée
  •  2 tsp Lemon Juice
  •  2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
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Simmering Chicken

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned. While the onion is cooking, add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, peppers, and 1/4 cup cold water to a blender and pulse until it forms a smooth paste. Remove the onions from the skillet and add the chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until fully done and the sides are browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the paste, tomato purée, and onions to the chicken. Rinse the blender with 3/4 cup of boiling water and stir it into the skillet to create a sauce. Simmer for about 7 minutes to completely coat the chicken and heat the sauce. Add the lemon juice and serve over a bed of rice or fried potatoes.

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Blending the Ingredients
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Sautéed Onions
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Browning the Chicken
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Spicy Chicken Curry

 

Butcher’s Sausage with Peppers and Onions

When we lived in Frankfurt, there was a butcher located on the corner of our street where we would go and buy fresh meats for dinner. Here in Colorado, we have to go a little bit further to get to a butcher, but it is well worth the effort. Everyone talks about farm to table cooking, but for home-cooks it isn’t always as easy. We also go to a local farmer’s market every weekend to get fresh vegetables. This is a meal that definitely reminded us of Germany, not just because of the sausage, but also because of using the fresh ingredients with no preservatives. Butcher’s sausage is a sausage that is made up of meat scraps that the butcher saves as they trim up different cuts of meat. Our sausage had pork, beef, duck pate, chicken liver, and chicken. It sounds like a crazy combination, but it tasted really good. Obviously, this recipe works well with bratwurst, beef sausage, or almost any type of sausage. You can also use green pepper if you’d like, but red and orange peppers are a little sweeter. Because the sausage has a lot of seasonings inside of it, there isn’t any reason to add anything other than some salt and pepper.

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Peppers and Onion from the Farmer’s Market

INGREDIENTS

  •  Two Links of Butcher’s Sausage
  •  1 Red Pepper – sliced
  •  1 Orange Pepper – sliced
  •  1/2 Red Onion – sliced
  •  2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  2 Buns or Hoagie Rolls
  •  Dijon Mustard
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
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Browned Sausage and Caramelized Vegetables

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat a large skillet with the oil over medium-high heat. Be sure to slice the peppers and onion into similar size strips. Place the peppers in the pan and sauté them for about 5 to 6 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté until peppers and onion begin to caramelize, about another 4 to 5 minutes. Butterfly the sausage and place them into the center of the pan, moving the peppers and onion towards the edge of the pan, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until the sausage begins to brown. Spread the mustard onto the bun, place the sausage cut-side down, and cover with peppers and onion.

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Sautéing the Peppers and Onion
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Sausage and Pepper Sandwich