Gettin’ Sloppy

by Sarah on June 16, 2011 · 17 comments

Yesterday I told y’all I’d made a special recipe to celebrate my one-year anniversary in Austin: a recipe I can only think to call a Sloppy Texan.
While this might conjure up images of drinking too much Shiner and tequila while encouraging sing-a-longs to Willie Nelson and Pat Green in a dive bar, waving your mug and punctuating key lines with cheers and tears…
…that’s not the kind of sloppy I’m talking about. Although if you’d care to put on “Texas on My Mind”* and pop open a longneck 512 bottle while dancing around in your kitchen as you make this…by all means, go ahead.
*written by Django Walker, performed by Pat Green & Cory Morrow on Songs We’d Wish We’d Written…and listened to me excessively in college, long before I ever knew I’d become a real Texan

Sounds fun, actually.
No, this is the Sloppy Joe kind of sloppy, and although there have been four billion and one variations on the ‘Joe’ made (98.6% of them created by Rachael Ray I think), I figured…why not one more?Don’t judge this recipe by the fact that it involves ingredients that come almost exclusively from cans.
(OK, fine, the salsa technically comes from a jar. And if you haven’t tried this Goya Pico de Gall-O, well, to quote Trout Fishing in America, “you oughtta give it a try-o.”)

Actually, you SHOULD judge based on that–judge it for being fabulous in its ease of preparation and low cost. [And by “low cost,” I mean crazy cheap.]
And yes, those were canned peaches you saw.

After the success of combining chipotle and apricot, I thought, “Why not keep going on this whole sweet ‘n spicy kick?” Since Texas prides itself on peaches (not in the way Georgia does…but Texas prides itself on everything, so peaches grown here should be no exception), I went with those. [Clearly, you could use fresh or frozen, but frozen can be expensive, and it can be torture waiting for the fresh to ripen just to cook them into a saucy mess, when you could have eaten them alone in their juicy deliciousness.]Running a knife through those is about the only real prep work you have to do…aside from using your can opener and stirring. I added some fresh cilantro, and I didn’t even chop that. I just ripped off a hand full and tore it directly into the pan.Basically, all you have to do is bring everything to a simmer over medium heat, adding a bit of cumin if you like, and then serve it. The salsa adds spice and onion…and any more heat comes from my new favorite ingredient: chipotles in adobo.You don’t even have to cut these before adding them to the pan. They break down (with a little help from a wooden spoon attack) directly into the sauce. Chipotles will last for a looooooong time in the fridge, just transfer them to a glass jar. [Be careful to tell your roommates what they are, though. As they look like, well, something that you usually find in a toilet bowl, there is a high risk of these being inadvertently tossed into the trash can.]
And there you go. I didn’t even talk about preparation much, because there wasn’t much to say. Did I mention there were beans? There are beans. I used pinto, but you could probably use any kind you want. Or if you wanted to get REAL “Texas,” you’d use beef, obviously. When it comes to serving a Sloppy Texan, clearly an ordinary bun won’t do.* If you have more foresight than I, you could serve it taco-style in a warmed tortilla.
*Well, it would. But we should get a little more creative.

And although I normally think nothing of poaching my roommates’ food [insert endearing, puppy dog, “Who me?”-“I couldn’t have stolen the cookies from the cookie jar!” look here] these weren’t open…so I had to think of alternate possibilities….in the form of cabbage.I made a quick Cilantro Slaw in the food processor, involving cabbage and a bunch of fresh cilantro.Also involving another moment of kitchen klutziness.
A squeeze of lime and a dash of salt and pepper later…yumminess was made. [Unlike heroes, which are born.]
You could totally use pre-shredded cabbage or slaw mix, but you get at least three times as much cabbage for your money if you buy it whole.
And you get to make more of a mess.A festive plate……topped with slaw and tortilla chips form a stand-in base for the Sloppy Texan. [Fritos, a la “Frito Pie” might work quite nicely as well. :)]And I actually didn’t have tortilla chips on hand (although this would be a GREAT way to use of the end of the bag…if you didn’t want to make Migas-agna that is), but I DID have some PopCorners, sent to me for review by the company [stay tuned for more on that] and they filled in perfectly!
Once you’ve got your base ready to roll…
…spoon on your Sloppy Texan deliciousness.
Sweet, with the peach surprise, yet spicy from the salsa and chipotle. Super flavorful and requiring little to no time near a stove. Tasty both warm and cold (crucial in the 104 degree Texas heat).

Now, drink one more round (on Cory Morrow) and get a little sloppy y’all.Sloppy Texans

[Serves 4]

1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz can tomato sauce
1-2 chipotles in adobo
3/4 cup prepared salsa
1 15-oz can sliced peaches (in juice), or 2 cups sliced peaches [fresh or frozen]
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, optional

For serving:
4 oz. tortilla or corn chips
Quick Cilantro Slaw [recipe follows]

1. Combine beans, tomato sauce, chipotle, and salsa in a frying pan or skillet over medium heat.
2. Drain peaches. Coarsely chop and add to tomato sauce.
3. Bring to a simmer. Add cumin and fresh cilantro.
4. Serve on top of a bed of Cilantro Slaw and tortilla chips, or on a bun or soft tortilla.

———————Cilantro Slaw
[Serves a gazillion people…I would halve the recipe]

1 small head green cabbage
1 large bunch fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 large (or 4 small) limes
salt + pepper

1. In a food processor (or by hand) shred or chop cabbage and cilantro.
2. Toss cabbage and cilantro together in a large bowl.
3. Add lime juice, salt, and pepper to cabbage mixture. Stir well to combine.
4. Serve as a side, underneath the Sloppy Texans, or as a topper for a Carolina-style BBQ sandwich.

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