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August 22, 2012

Casual Classic Recipe: Asian sloppy Joes

In his new book, Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics, Cactus Club Cafe Chef – Rob Feenie – showcases his favourite casual recipes to cook for family and friends. Chef Feenie has already redefined casual dining at our restaurants, and now you can redefine your cooking at home with this book. Starting Tuesday, August 7th, for a limited time, you can purchase an autographed copy of the book with a bonus recipe at any Cactus Club Cafe location.

Check back weekly for more recipes from Rob’s new cook book, Casual Classics.

Below is a recipe for Asian Sloppy Joes – just one of the delicious and easy recipes you can expect from Rob’s new cookbook:

When I think of sloppy joes, those ground beef sandwiches I remember eating as a kid, it reminds me of my mom preparing Hamburger Helper (yes, that’s right, I have had it a few times). The key to her version was a soft bun and a drippy grey meat mix – nothing more.

This updated recipe is an Asian version made using both pork and beef. The key is to by soft buns and warm them – in the oven if it’s already on, or in the microwave for 10 seconds – to soften them up. If you don’t want to make sloppy joes, use this recipe with pasta for an Asian-style spaghetti or serve it with mashed potatoes as a main course. Remember to pour off all the fat from the meat before adding the liquids. Serves 6 to 8. – Chef Feenie

Directions & Ingredients

Cabbage-cilantro slaw

Combine cabbage and cilantro in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and grapeseed oil. Just before serving, pour the vinaigrette over the cabbage mixture and toss lightly. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days.

2 cups shredded green cabbage

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

Sloppy Joes

Heat a large, heavy frying pan on medium-high. Add grapeseed oil and swirl the pan to spread the oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, celery and sambal oelek and saute, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and ground pork and use a wooden spoon to break meat into small pieces. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour off and discard any fat from the meat. Add hoison sauce, tomatoes and lime juice, then season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Cut the buns in half, place them on a baking sheet and warm for 2 minutes, or until very lightly toasted.

Arrange the bottom halves of the buns on individual plates. Spoon about ⅔ cup of the sloppy joe mixture on top of each bun, then cover with 2 to 3 Tbsp of cabbage-cilantro slaw. Finish with top halves of the buns. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftover meat and slaw, separately, in airtight containers for up to 2 days.

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 red onions, in ¼ inch dice (about 2 cups)

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 ribs celery, in ¼ inch dice (about ¾ cup)

1 Tbsp sambal oelek or any hot sauce of your choice

1 lb extra-lean ground beef

1 lb ground pork

1 cup hoisin sauce

1 cup chopped fresh or canned Roma tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)

2 tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

6 Portuguese buns or any other bun of your choice

 In Casual Classics, Rob Feenie hits the nail on the head; the recipes and the stories are the perfect building blocks to delightful and delicious family means. Letting the ingredients shine is the best advice of all. – Mario Batali