Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sloppy Joes

Isn't that trend of gussy-ing up old classics annoying? Isn't it pretentious when cooks try to remake humble comfort food gourmet-style? Potato chips with fine herbs, venison meatloaf with wasabi mayo, banana splits with caramelized plantains and chocolate ganache powder. I mean, why do you have to fancify things? Isn't the way Mamma made it good enough?

No, it's not! Quit wallowing in that equally pretentious nostalgia. That glop most of you ate in the 70's wasn't that good and you know it. It was bland! We're just trying something new here. Is that so wrong? Well? IS IT?!?

Anyway, I got it into my head to make sloppy Joes after reading a David Sedaris story in this week's New Yorker. He recalls a childhood sitter out of a John Waters movie who feeds the kids sloppy joes every single night. She makes it with ketchup and when they run out of buns she serves it on crackers.

My sloppy Joes were a little more complex than that, but still quick and simple. I sauteed some chopped onion and six hatch peppers (yes, we still have some in the freezer) until the onions were translucent. Then I added a pound of ground beef and cooked it in the onions and peppers until done. I removed the meat from the heat and added half a cup of our favorite barbecue sauce, the one with the name that always makes me blush -- Bone Suckin' Sauce. I also added salt, pepper and a handful of chopped cilantro.

I have fond memories of sloppy Joe mix soaking soft potato rolls, but the Coop didn't have any. They did have sturdy rosemary cibatta rolls (yes, the rosemary was overkill, I admit) that were perfect. I topped the Joes with grated cheddar cheese, pineapple chunks, and raw chopped sweet vidalia onion. Pineapple rings would have been better, but the Coop had only chunks and canned pineapple seemed more in the spirit of sloppy Joes than fresh.

Is this stuff really food? I can't believe we ate ground beef mixed with barbecue sauce for dinner. But it was delicious and very Friday night. Hope your weekend is bone suckin' as well.


Co said...

I only dislike it when people fancify old-timey comfort foods so much that they make them no longer yummy. Yours sound good, although I don't know about the pineapple, but I'm not a big pineapple fan in isolation either.

BTW... L and I went to Bogota Latin Bistro, which I believe you recommended, for Brooklyn Restaurant Week. Thanks for the suggestion. We had a great meal.

shaunamama said...

This is a MUST try for me! There isn't anything better for comfort than barbeque sauce mixed with pineapple on just about anything! I love it on chicken...I shred the chicken and mix it with the sauce then top with the pineapple.
I must say that this recipe made me nostaligic for Oklahoma, though. I didn't even taste barbeque sauce until I moved mom was a very bland cook (only because my father had a very bland palate).

ticklethepear said...

Desperation Dinners has a Sloppy Janes recipe. Clever title and yummy to boot.