Showing posts from August, 2014

Manwich Recipe: Bold Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe's were made famous by the Manwich brand in 1969 (slang for massive sandwich). It was American's fascination with the TV dinner and quickly made meals that led to this variation of traditional southern beef barbecue.

As a product of the eighties, I grew up with a basic Sloppy Joe on a  bun. It was adequate then, but when Con Agra developed the Bold version marketed towards more mature tastes, I found a new way of enjoying a childhood tradition. Unfortunately, where I live, my local grocer has refused to carry the Bold version. Considering Sloppy Joes are basically a combination of mustard and ketchup mixed together, I wondered if I could create my own. What resulted was simply the best Sloppy Joe recipe I have ever tasted. It has none of the preservatives and all of the taste.

Ingredients (for 1 lb of ground beef or turkey): 1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. French's mustard
2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. onion
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 t…

Good things come in three... toppings.

Let me explain two thought processes of food that you may not be aware you're (or not) engaging in. The first scenario is a typical American ideology that bigger is better, and the more toppings we can put on our pizza, burgers, and food, means that the food is better. Extra cheese, Biggie-Size, X-large, etc., all excite us when we go out to eat. Now consider this alternative view that I learned while living in Europe, that you should only add something to recipe (or a topping) if the ingredient improves the taste of the dish.

I've called this the Three-Topping Theory here at the food lab, based on the Italian way of making pizza. The idea is that pizza should have no more than three toppings (or garnishes). It's very effective in my experience, and honestly, I've realized I love pepperoni, mushroom, and black olives a lot more than any other combination of pizza. There's a balance when you cook with the TT Theory, and I began seeing it in a lot of my other favori…

Authentic Homemade Tortillas

The Internet, unfortunately, is often wrong when it comes to authenticity. Recipes especially are often made up, wrong, or purposely altered, often with ignorance as to why a certain food has evolved (or merely is what it is). Let's be honest, some people don't belong in the kitchen, many more don't belong on the Internet. Give the world the Internet, and with it they will write a fable, rather than record the truth.

Tortilla recipes on the web are unfortunately horrible. Many include baking powder, which is completely incorrect (though they do make decent Gorditas). Another issue I've discovered, especially in relationship to Mexican food, is there is a lack of bona-fide Mexican recipes from Mexicans on the Internet. I'm not sure if they're keeping all the good stuff to themselves or not, but finding the real-deal on the net require lots of work, especially among numerous people on the web posting unintentional decoys.

Real authentic tortillas contain flour, …