SRP #7: Joe forth and conquer!

An “SRP” in dentistry, short for “Scaling & Root Planing,” is an anesthesia-requiring deep-clean experience.  A FoodSwing Blog “SRP,” short for “Short Recipe Post,” is a concentrated flavor and humor experience…anesthesia-optional.

Sloppy Toms

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Connecticut is currently full of wild turkeys:  toms, hens, and their awkward-looking teenage children, which, in case you didn’t know, are referred to as jakes and jennies.  I love the way they run.  I find the shockingly-fast, head-down, large-hipped, side-to-side turkey-trot so ungainly yet incredibly mesmerizing.  If I worked at DreamWorks, the claymation film would’ve been called Turkey Run, not Chicken Run.

Anyway, since I’ve had turkey-on-the-brain recently — and, since ground turkey was on sale this week — I decided to come up with a fun riff on the cafeteria classic:  the sloppy joe.  Swapping turkey for beef, adding some fresh veggies, and sophisticating the sauce a bit resulted in a sandwich that truly embodies all that is “comfort food” — you would never know this version is “lighter” than the original.  Be prepared for requests for seconds!  Oh yeah, one last thing:  fire up those broilers and toast yo’ buttered buns.

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Sloppy Toms

Yield:  4 hefty or 5 normal-sized sandwiches
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
1 medium carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon prepared dijon mustard (or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard)
3/4 cup organic ketchup (you can use regular ketchup, but I prefer the extra tomato-ey punch of the organic kind)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4-5 Kaiser buns
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Place butter and turkey in a large skillet, over medium heat.  Use a wooden spoon to break up the turkey as it cooks, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.  Carefully drain liquid from pan (discard liquid).  Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and spices.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables start to soften.  Add mustard, ketchup, and sugar.  Stir to combine and coat meat with sauce.  Cook, stirring regularly for 2-3 minutes longer.  Add water, stir, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened.  Add Worcestershire sauce, and stir.
Butter insides of buns, and place under pre-heated broiler for 2-3 minutes, until golden at edges.  Pile saucy heaps of meat on buns, sprinkle with shredded cheddar, and serve to happy people — and if they’re not happy to begin with, they’ll be happy once fed!

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