Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nice Buns! But don't get sloppy, Joe!

Moomie's Beautiful Burger Buns have long been a favorite around our house. I'm not sure where the recipe is from originally, but I think it might be from King Arthur Flour. I got it off the CLBB. This recipe easily lends itself to subbing healthier whole-grain flour for most, or all, of the white flour called for. (My favorite is King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour, which is lighter than regular whole wheat, but shares the same nutritional profile. It's just a different, lighter, type of whieat.) Granted, the bread is a little denser with whole-grain flour, but the addition of a heaping tablespoon of vital wheat gluten helps solve even that. I make these in the bread machine, where they truly are idiot-proof. I've also made them by hand, and even using the Kitchen Aid mixer and it's magical dough hook. As written, the recipe makes 8 really large hamburger buns. Typically, I make a dozen out of the recipe, which yields a more standard supermarket-sized bun. Frankly, I don't eat a burger patty big enough to fill these up when made to yield 8.

For dinner tonight, I made a "morph" recipe (Robin Miller's term for planned-overs) from Thursday's Balsamic Roasted Pork Tenderloin. (Other recipes included for the planned-overs include wonton soup and pork fried rice.) I morphed the recipe a little more, adding antioxidant rich red and green bell peppers and chopped onion. While her recipe calls for a 5-minute simmer, I threw everything in the pan, covered it, and went and did other things for about 45 minutes. I didn't have to, but I couldn't figure out how to shred the pork tenderloin in it's original form, so I just sliced it really thin, then simmered it until it began to fall apart. It didn't change the taste, just made me happier. And it IS all about me! I was a little uncertain about the corn in this, but it ended up being quite good. Unlike most sloppy joe recipes, this one contains cumin and chili powder. It is also thinner than most, due to the addition of a can of diced tomatoes and their juice. I upped the ketchup a bit; I don't know how much--I just eyeballed it. I just didn't have enough liquid, and I wanted what was there to be a bit thicker.

This recipe was by no means a jaw-dropping WOW!!! But, it would definitely work for a weeknight. In fact, I've already packaged up two nights' worth of sloppy joe mixture to pull out of the freezer at a later date. All part of my move toward eating at home instead of eating out. I mean, seriously. This may not be a WOW!!! but it's gotta be better than Taco Bell! I've also packaged up diced pork for the Pork Fried Rice, and sliced pork for a morph from another recipe. They're vacuum sealed and in the freezer, ready to pull out for some quick, easy dinners later. Another bonus--one pan dirty. That's it!

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