Jun 8, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe sandwiches are one of those foods you either love or loathe.  It is a sure bet my sides will hurt from laughing when I watch SNL's "Lunch Lady Land" skit with Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, which - in a twisted way - celebrated this humble and much-maligned school lunch staple of the 60s and 70s.  Remember?

"Sloppy joe.
Slop, sloppy joe.
Sloppy joe.
Slop, sloppy joe.
Come on.
Sloppy joe.
Slop, sloppy joe...."

Of course, if you haven't seen the skit, that won't make sense.  If you're not a fan of Adam Sandler's brand of low-brow humor, you won't laugh when you do see it.   But I have to consider it one of Chris Farley's most memorable characters (but not as good as the motivational speaker who lived in a van, down by the river.)

I digress.

Where were we?  Ahhh yes.  The sandwich.

I am not a fan of the MSG-laden canned concoction found on store shelves (although I confess I've bought the stuff in a pinch.)

This version - which I adapted from Once-a-Month-Cooking with a few changes - is fast, easy and delish - as long as I have chili sauce on hand, I can count on it as a go-to meal when we're scrambling for something to throw together.  (OAMC gives make-ahead freezing instructions, but do we need to make it ahead of time?)

Sloppy Joes (aka Joes to Go)

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (or more, to taste)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Hamburger buns

Brown ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Drain.  Add additional ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Spoon on buns to serve.  (Toasted buns are best.)  Makes 5-6 sandwiches.

Sloppy Joes. Is it plural or possessive: Joe's or Joes?  Either way, they're a fast, inexpensive and fun meal for families on the go and a trip down memory lane for those of us who grew up eating the cafeteria version.

Happy cooking!