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Classic Spicy Sloppy Joes
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

If you were with friends in New Jersey and made "Sloppy Joes," as we in New
England know it, not only would you get a quizzical look, but you'll probably
get kicked out of the house.

What they refer to as "Sloppy Joes" in New Jersey is a triple decker sandwich
made with rye bread and stuffed with thinly sliced
tongue, ham, swiss, coleslaw
and Thousand Island dressing.

Everyone has their own idea of what Sloppy Joes ought to look and taste like.
But we in New England, we think of Sloppy Joe's as that hot, mildly spicy,
messy sandwich made with hamburger meat we always ate when we were kids.
Remember?

Now the next question is, how long has it been since you have made it? There is
absolutely no need to run to the store and buy a can, or package, of Sloppy Joe
mix when you most likely have everything you need right at home.

So let's enjoy this classic "sandwich" again.

To make this even more robust in flavor, omit the tomato sauce and substitute
spicy tomato-vegetable juice, along with some minced jalapenos or a teaspoon
of cayenne pepper.

For a chunkier Sloppy Joe, try using your favorite salsa instead of tomato sauce
and paste. You can substitute a textured vegetable protein (such as diced tofu)
in place of the meat, or even ground turkey. My parents put green peppers in
our Joes growing up, but simply omit them if desired. I have added some hot
sauce as well, but again, simply omit if you desired.

1 pound hamburger meat
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green and/or red bell pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (5-ounce) can tomato paste
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Shredded mozzarella cheese
4 hamburger rolls

Over medium heat in a large skillet, brown hamburger, onions and peppers
until burger is cooked through; drain. Add remainder of ingredients and reduce
heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Evenly divide onto the bottoms of hamburger rolls, top with cheese and close.
Oh, and eat!

Makes about 4 giant sandwiches


About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third generation chef, a
New England food historian and food columnist. His first in a series of cookbooks is due
out in January of 2013, titled The Yankee Chef. He would love to hear from anyone about
their old family recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:
theyankeechef@aol.com.
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
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