Apr 30, 2013

Bombay Sloppy Joes

I love sloppy joes and love to make different variations of it. I rarely use ground beef for sloppy joes. I think because sloppy joes are so saucy, you really don't need to use beef. I always use ground turkey for sloppy joes. Before this recipe, I go back and forth between this recipe and this one. Now this recipe will be a top contender. I don't know why I like sloppy joes so much, I think it's nostalgic.

This sloppy joe recipe comes from Aarti Sequeira. I haven't actually seen her show, but I remember her from the Food Network stars competition. I was rooting for her the whole time because I love how she uses Indian spices and flavors in her cooking. Like the sloppy joes, you can really taste the Indian influence, but it's still very much a sloppy joe. I did have to adjust the spice level in the recipe, I think I pretty much doubled the spices because it didn't have enough umph. Here's the recipe.

Bombay Sloppy Joes
adapted from Aarti Sequeira

For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

For the Sloppy Joes:
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Small handful (about 1/4 cup) raisins
Small handful (about 1/4 cup) shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 serrano chile pepper (don't chop it unless you like things spicy!)
Kosher salt
2 tsp garam masala (see notes)
1/2 tsp chile powder (see notes)
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup half-and-half
Small handful fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
4 sesame buns

1. Make the sauce: Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chile pepper and cook until the ginger and garlic brown a little, about 1 minute. Add the garam masala and paprika and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and 1 cup water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the sloppy joes: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the raisins and pistachios and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

3. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the cumin seeds and let sizzle about 10 seconds, then add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile pepper and cook 2 more minutes, seasoning with salt. Add the turkey, breaking up the big lumps, and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the prepared sauce to the turkey-and-onion mixture in the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

5. Remove the whole chile pepper (unless you want to eat it, like my dad does!) and stir in the honey, half-and-half, raisins and pistachios. Taste for seasoning. Add the additional garam masala and chile powder to taste (see notes). Stir in the cilantro right before serving.

6. Toast the buns and fill with the sloppy joe mixture.


  • The original recipe didn't call for the extra garam masala and the chile powder.  I didn't feel like the sloppy joes had enough taste so I added some extras.  

Apr 18, 2013

Lemon Crunch Cupcakes

I'm baaaack!! So sorry for not posting for so long, Mr. G and I have been traveling, but we're finally back to Hawaii! It's nice to be home after a long trip. While away, I was really missing my kitchen and especially my oven. When I got home, I had a long list of things I wanted to bake straight away, but I settled on these Lemon Crunch Cupcakes to start.

The creation of these cupcakes started when I tried the Lemon Crunch Cake from Aiea Bowl. It's a white cake with a light lemony frosting with little bits of crunch like toffee bits. I really wanted to recreate this cake because it was so delicious. I found this copycat recipe from Group Recipes. I was so disappointed because the cake from the recipe uses a cake mix.

I decided to make my own recipe. I used this recipe from The Stir for a light lemony cupcake. I made a lemony cream cheese frosting and made the crunch from Group Recipe. The result is a delicious lemony cupcake. The problem I had was the cream cheese frosting didn't hold up very well to the increasingly hot weather here. Another problem was the crunch part, it was really good when I first put it on the frosting. But after awhile, it just melted into the frosting. If you make these, don't chop up the brittle too much so you can maintain the crunch. Enjoy and thanks for sticking around! =P

Lemon Crunch Cupcakes

Lemon cupcakes
Lemon cream cheese frosting

1. After the lemon cupcakes have cooled, frost with lemon cream cheese frosting. Top cupcakes with crunch!

Lemon Cupcakes
from The Stir

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.

5. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.

6. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

7. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.

8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch -- a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of one lemon

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and continue to beat for 2 to 3 minutes more.

2. Add the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until smooth and no lumps of sugar are visible. Add the lemon juice and zest and beat until it's combined.

from Group Recipes

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold or ice water separates into hard, brittle threads.

2. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking-soda until light and foamy.

3. Pour mixture onto a buttered 8-by-12-inch cookie sheet and quickly spread to 1/4-inch thickness; cool.
Break into pieces, then crush into crumbs.

Template by Best Web Hosting