Hello and welcome to Ugly Food Week at The Kitchen Bitch Blog! Just kidding … well, not so much, really. Between pot roast and sloppy joes, I’ve picked some of the more ugly foods to showcase this week, but that’s OK because they taste delicious!
I know, just the mention of sloppy joes brings back memories of the cafeteria in your elementary school and the lunch ladies who happily served you the meat-like substance they had just scooped out of a can. Yikes! [Confession: I actually loved sloppy joes as a child (yes, even out of the can), which is probably why I’m writing this post, but I digress.]
When I told Doug I wanted to make sloppy joes for dinner last week, he gave me this very puzzled look, like what in the world has gotten into you that would make you want to do that? But since he’s the best guy in the world he didn’t say anything—he just shrugged his shoulders as if to say, good thing I trust you.
And trust me he did, and 30 minutes later he was scarfing down sloppy joes like they were kobe beef burgers. Once again fresh whole foods beat out of the canned competition, in terms of both health and taste. In this version, ground turkey stands in for ground beef, and diced peppers, onions, green chiles and garlic add some much-needed vegetation to this updated classic. Of course, you could more roughage by topping your sloppy joe with lettuce or cole slaw, but I was a little low on leafy greens in my fridge that day.
This dish is what my friend Xannie would call a “past blast,” but it doesn’t taste anything like 1993, at least not that I can remember. With all the chatter about how un-nutritious school lunches are for kids, you’d think schools would try to lose the canned meats in favor of dishes like this—ones that are healthful, flavorful and sure to please folks young and old.
Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes
I adapted this sloppy joe recipe from one that appeared in the September 1999 issue of Bon Appetit. Ground turkey, diced chiles, and beer spice up this modern take on the classic. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.
3 Tbs. olive oil
1½ pounds ground turkey
1 large bell pepper, diced small
1 red onion, diced small
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1¼ c. beer
¾ c. bottled chili sauce or ketchup
1 (4-oz.) can diced green chilies
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
6 sourdough rolls, split, toasted
2 c. shredded romaine lettuce or packaged garden salad mix, optional
Saute meat and veggies. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add green pepper and onion, sauté 3-4 minutes or until vegetables begin to get tender. Add the turkey and garlic and sauté until turkey is no longer pink, breaking up meat with back of fork, about 10 minutes.
Add seasonings and simmer. Mix in chili powder; stir 1 minute. Add the next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon and serve. Arrange roll bottoms on plates. Spoon sloppy joe mixture over; top with lettuce and roll tops.