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Thursday, July 6, 2017

San Francisco Joes


You go, Aviva.

Aviva Goldfarb, the Chevy Chase author of the 2006 "The Six O'Clock Scramble" and tireless spirit behind the SOS online dinner-planning service has followed up with a new cookbook that is organized by season and earth-friendly. Prep and cook times are given, as are nutritional analyses. Lots of family-oriented tips are sprinkled throughout.

This dish is not one of the most attractive in the spring chapter, but its taste will surprise you. One of Goldfarb's subscribers sent her a "Northern California" version of sloppy Joes, more sophisticated than the standard and made without tomato sauce or green bell peppers. The meaty mix of ground beef, mushrooms, spinach and onion doesn't have a sauce but includes a combination of egg, white wine and a small amount of Parmesan cheese. (If your family doesn't do wine, Goldfarb offers a nonalcoholic substitute.)

We found that it needed a dash of hot pepper sauce and have included that as an option. The mixture reheats nicely in a skillet over medium-low heat.

Serve with a crunchy vegetable salad of red bell peppers and carrots.



10 ounces/280g frozen chopped spinach or one 9-ounce microwavable bag of fresh spinach
1 small onion
1 medium clove garlic (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, added with the Worcestershire sauce)
8 ounces/224g mushrooms (can use sliced mushrooms)
Half a loaf sourdough bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef (may substitute ground turkey)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs
1/4 cup dry white wine (may substitute 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar and 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
Store-bought pesto (optional)

If using frozen spinach, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on DEFROST until no ice crystals are left. Squeeze/drain as much liquid out of it as possible to yield a scant, packed 1 cup of spinach. If using the microwavable bag of spinach, follow the package directions, then let cool for a few minutes. Coarsely chop to yield 1 packed cup.

Finely chop the onion to yield about 3/4 cup. Mince the garlic to yield 1 teaspoon. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices, if necessary. Cut the bread into 6 thick slices, then toast them. Drizzle lightly with oil.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until they have softened. Add the ground beef and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring to break up any clumps, until browned and cooked through. Season with the salt and pepper.

Add the Worcestershire sauce and spinach, stirring to incorporate. Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs, wine and cheese in a liquid measuring cup, then add the mixture to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the eggs have been incorporated and no liquid is left in the bottom of the skillet. Add a dash or two of hot pepper sauce, if desired, and mix well. Remove from the heat.

Place a piece of toast on each plate. If desired, spread each one with a thin layer of pesto. Divide the Joe mixture evenly, spooning it on top of each piece of toast. Serve warm.


Adapted from Goldfarb’s “SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 290
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 9g 14%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 120mg 40%
Sodium: 550mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates: 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 26g

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