Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Cookout!!

I am scared of grilling. Well, maybe not scared but I have never done it. This Memorial Day, I am not making burgers. Instead, I am making Not So Sloppy Joes with Not So Fried Zucchini. No grill needed :)

While the Manwich mix isn't bad, you can really taste the difference when you make your ‘Joes from scratch. Don't forget to toast the buns. This quick but necessary step ensures the bread doesn't turn soggy the second the juices hit the roll.

Not So Sloppy Joes
By Real Simple Magazine Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 hamburger buns, toasted
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Cheddar (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains, about 7 minutes. Spoon off and discard any excess fat. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 12 minutes. Spoon the beef mixture onto the bottom half of each bun and top with the Cheddar and a dollop of the sour cream (if using). Sandwich with the top half of each bun.

Not So Fried Zucchini

I think it tastes like fried zucchini- it’s technically sautéed in just a little olive oil though…

2 green zucchinis
½ onion chopped
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning (basil, thyme, oregano)

Begin by sautéing the onions with the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini so that you have round circles ¼ inch thick. Continue to stir the onions and sauté until browned. Add the zucchini and stir in salt and seasonings. Cover for just a minute or two then uncover and turn the zucchini so that each one is browned on each side. You will sauté the zucchini for a total of about 8 minutes so that it is soft but not limp or soggy.

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