Just a quick post to talk about a version of Eggs Benedict that found it’s way to our breakfast table this past Sunday. Meteorologists had predicted a blizzard which was to bring a foot of snow to Denver. The storm was to begin early Sunday morning and not clear out until Monday morning. Correct in their forecast, we were snowed in all day Sunday. Armed with groceries and recorded episodes of Downton Abbey, we loved every minute of it.
Our February Wine Time party fell on Valentine’s Day and I was very happy to be celebrating at home with good friends, an incredible selection of wine and a table full of small bites. Beats fighting crowds at a restaurant any day.
Sarah is a 20-something engineering undergrad student at UMD who is “eating and cooking her way through life in DC”. She’s admirably ambitious. Besides writing a food blog, in any given week she’s taking and teaching classes, playing in sport leagues and spending whatever time is left with friends and family. When she cooks, all pots, pans and utensils end up in the kitchen sink. Hence the name of her blog.
Scrolling through her blog posts, I came to a screeching halt at Chicken Chorizo Burgers with Cumin-Lime Quick Pickles. When I read “this recipe is for the chicken burger doubters” (which would be me) I knew I had to give it a try.
Asian Sloppy Joes
One Saturday afternoon last Fall, we were browsing PBS and came across a quite curious scene. An Oriental chef was working furiously over a stove packed full of woks, pressure cookers and sauce pans, all of them steaming, sizzling, smoking or hissing at full speed. Standing alongside the chef were mom and dad smiling proudly and admidst the chaos the three were cheerfully reminiscing over family cooking memories as chef furiously stirred, shook and shifting pans from burner to burner. During this juggling act, chef even took the time to tudor us about the safety of modern day pressure cookers.
The Chef was Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger Restaurant. Ming was raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent hours cooking alongside his mother and father at Mandarin Kitchen, the family-owned restaurant. In 1998, Ming opened Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA and introduced his innovative East-West cuisine.
I don’t remember what he was cooking that day on television, but I did know I wanted to research the Pressure Cooker he was using on the show. But that search saga in it’s self is for another blog post.
In mid-January, when SuperBowl recipes were filling up my email, I spotted this one that came over from Food and Wine Magazine. I subscribe to their “daily recipe” feature. The recipe caught my eye and then I noticed it was the same Ming from the simmering, steaming, smoking, hissing stove top show I had watched last fall. I had to give these Asian Sloppy Joes a try. Here’s the lead-in description for the recipe.
Star chef Ming Tsai’s Asian-accented sliders are based on a recipe his mother made for him when he was young. “Everyone at school wanted them, so I’d usually trade a little slider for a complete lunch,” says Tsai.
These didn’t end up on my Superbowl menu, but the weekend before we enjoyed these wonderful little treats. It’s a really good recipe and a change up from our traditional American version of Sloppy Joes. Don’t forget the pickle, it really adds to the experience.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 3 tablespoons sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce (I used chile sauce)
- 2½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound ground chicken thighs
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 20 brioche dinner rolls, split and toasted
- Shredded iceberg lettuce and spicy pickles (optional), for serving
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, chile sauce, garlic, ginger and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add the ground chicken and pork and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the hoisin, tomatoes and lime juice and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon about ¼ cup of the sloppy joe filling on the bottom half of each roll. Top with shredded lettuce and pickles and serve.
- MAKE AHEAD The sloppy joe filling can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
Ming Tsai’s Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders…It’s What’s For Dinner
I had a $30 gift certificate from Williams and Sonoma burning a hole in my pocket, so Hubs and I loaded up last Saturday and ran over to nearby Aspen Grove Shopping Center. I had my doubts that I’d find any sort of kitchen item I didn’t already own, but when we walked into the store we were greeted by a display of Moroccan themed cookware. Exotic in color, hand painted tagines were surrounded by a set of vibrant dinnerware, flatware and linens, accented with with jars of earthy colored simmering sauces…$30??? I could have spent ten times that amount.
A tagine is a type of ceramic or clay cookware from North Africa. The bottom is a wide, circular shallow dish used for both cooking and serving. The lid of the tagine is shaped like a dome or cone. There’s a little hole in the top of the dome to allow for steam to escape during the a long slow cook.