Yes, I work in advertising, but I still have trouble admitting when it works on me. Watching the TV the other night, a (somewhat cute) Manwich commercial came on and the Bun turned to me and asked, “do you like Sloppy Joes?” Sheepishly, I said that I did and would gladly eat one that very moment. We agreed that we would make Sloppy Joes, but our own special version, of course. I haven’t had Manwich since I was a kid, and even then, I am pretty sure my mom just made her own version from scratch. Judging from the images on the commerical, it isn’t a terribly complex set of ingredients, and I am quite sure that some sort of added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup plays a role. We decided that it couldn’t be that hard and would take cues from the seasonings we use in Bolognese Sauce and in Bloody Mary mix.
As a base, we knew that onion and garlic should play a role, but instead of the carrot that goes into Bolognese, we decided on the “trinity” from Creole cooking, which swaps in green bell pepper. From there, we layered the flavors according to our tastes, sampling a lot along the way, adding this and that, which is exactly what you do, should you decide to make scratch Sloppy Joes one night – they’ll make you feel a little like a kid again and I think we all need that from time to time. Have napkins handy!
The Lentil Salad was because the wonderful Amy reminded me how much I love it! Holla!