I didn't think it could happen to me. I didn't watch her shows (unless my roommate and I needed a good laugh), I didn't read her cookbooks, and I didn't parlay any of her obnoxious catchphrases into my vocabulary. For years I was able to maintain my nonverbal commitment to never let the egregious event take place in my kitchen, and I was fully confident that I could make it through my culinary life without ever breaking that promise to myself.
Then, this past Sunday night, due to my inability to read carefully, I unwittingly committed that very foodie crime that I fear the most.
I cooked, ate and enjoyed one of Rachel Ray's 30-minute meals.
I originally found the recipe for the Sloppy Buffalo Joe's on one of my favorite healthy food/recipe blogs, Running With Food. I was intrigued by Jennifer's addition of blue cheese to the turkey sloppy joe's and have had the recipe bookmarked since this past January. Because my fridge is currently stocked with a hefty container of blue cheese from the red-leaf salad with roasted sweet potatoes I made two Saturdays ago, it seemed like this past Sunday was the opportune time to give the Joe's a whirl.
Everything went exactly as planned. I found all the ingredients with relative ease -- even stumbling upon a four-pack package of Oroweat whole wheat buns so I didn't have to get the jumbo eight-pack, and the recipe was a breeze to make. It was a nice break after some of my recent kitchen misshaps (Note: When de-shelling shrimp, do not forget to de-vein them too).
The positive energy in my kitchen continued at my dining room table. While the blue cheese was a bit of a shock to my tastebuds at first (last night when I reheated the leftovers I scaled back a little and added some carmelized onions to balance out the flavor), it was a filling and comforting Sunday night meal.
Or at least it was until I logged on to my computer after finishing the dishes. I wanted to post a comment on Running With Food to let Jennifer know I'd made and enjoyed the recipe, but all my good intentions flew out the window when I saw the following words in her post about the Joe's,
"Dinner this evening was a recipe borrowed from the YUM-O queen herself, Rachel Ray, scaled down and modified slightly to suit our tasty buds."
I was shocked. Stunned. Flabbergasted!
I had made a Rachel Ray recipe?!?
And liked it?!?
I ran to the window, my eyes searching the night sky for flying pigs, but none were to be found. The universe had not been thrown off kilter -- I had only myself to blame for my grave error.
Only, it wasn't a grave error. At all. This is actually a recipe I might make again -- for myself, for my future husband and kids, or for a Superbowl party.
Of course, for the latter to happen, I'd actually have to develop a taste for the barbaric sport. But crazier things have happened -- I did make a Ray Ray recipe, didn't I?
Sloppy Buffalo Joe's
Adapted from Running With Food who adapted it from Rachel Ray
Makes 3 generous servings
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/3 cup grated carrot
Olive oil (not EVOO)
1/2 lb. extra lean ground turkey
1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire
2 tbsp. hot sauce
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
Whole wheat hamburger buns
Blue cheese crumbles
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet, add turkey, salt and pepper, and cook until browned. Remove turkey, and add onion, celery and carrot to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the turkey back to the skillet and mix together with vegetables.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Mix well and add to skillet. Stir well to distribute sauce and allow to simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Spoon mixture onto buns, top with blue cheese crumbles and place under broiler until cheese is melty and bun is browned.
Note: I ultimately added more sauce to the mixture, so consider making extra if you like your Joe's a little sloppier.