Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Sloppy "Sloppy Joe"

I know better than to buy a mix of anything, but I just had a weak moment in Williams Sonoma yesterday. My son has been begging me for sloppy joes. When I lived where I could get tomatoes by the box load I would make chili sauce. The chili sauce would be the base for my sloppy joes! It was to die for. Since then I have been relying on good old ketchup, green peppers and brown sugar. So, in my weak moment I purchased this high end mix with the assurance of the check out lady (whom we know has years of experience in the food business) that it was the BEST sloppy joe mix EVER!

Well, let me tell you....Yucky Ducky! After I added it to my meat I took a taste expecting that sweet tangy sauce. Instead, however, I got....cumin? CUMIN! Who uses this spice in sloppy joes? I quickly looked at the ingredients list on the back. Here is what I found; corn syrup, caramel color, ANCHOVIES, tamarind, veal demi-glace, mushroom stock, lime juice, roasted garlic, jalapeno powder and the list goes on. Seriously Williams Sonoma? What are you thinking? What was I thinking?

I am hear to tell you that I plan to return the empty bottle to the store today, letting them know it was disgusting. Then I am going to buy some meat, ketchup, brown sugar and bell pepper so that my little sweet boy may have his sloppy joe tonight. But in the meantime, here is my recipe for the chili mix.

Chile Sauce

24 large red-ripe tomatoes
3 medium onions, chopped
4 medium red bell peppers, seeded & chopped
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded & finely chopped
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

Combine the tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar & salt in a large saucepan. Cook over a low flame for 45 minutes. Tie the spices in a cheesecloth bag & add to the tomato mixture. cook until the mixture is reduced by one-half, about 45 minutes. As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add vinegar and cook slowly until desired thickness. Remove spice bag. Pour into hot clean jars leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Cap, seal & water-bath process for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation if more than 1,000 feet above sea level.

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