Sloppy Joes Grow Up

Kids love sloppy Joes, and so do many adults. After all, they make for simple, satisfying and enjoyably messy meals that you can whip up quickly. However, if your online cooking courses have you craving something more sophisticated, you’re in luck. There are many great ways to prepare this classic sandwich without reaching for a store-bought mix. Here are a few ideas to help you start customizing your own version:

1. Keep it classic
You can step up the techniques and ingredients for your sandwiches while still keeping them comforting and familiar. The Food Network’s Ree Drummond provided a recipe that begins with browning 2.5 pounds of ground beef. Then add a diced green bell pepper, onion, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, red pepper flakes, dry mustard, salt, pepper and Worcestershire and hot sauces. After simmering for about 20 minutes, you’ll have the fixings for eight delicious sloppy Joes.

2. Pour on more toppings
You can always bring some kick to the old-school sandwich by throwing on intriguing additions. Bon Appetit suggested including another comfort food tradition with chili-cheese sloppy Joes. Saute the beef with red onions, garlic and chili powder. After the meat cooks through, pour in a can of kidney beans and half a cup of diced tomatoes. Simmer the mixture until it thickens, and then add some salt, pepper and cilantro. Set the chili on sourdough toast, and top it with grated cheddar cheese.


3. Spice up your Joe
On the other hand, if you’re bored with ground beef, other meats can also make an excellent basis for this sandwich. Serious Eats added excitement to the cafeteria staple by preparing it with chorizo. The recipe starts with sauteing poblano peppers and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat before adding the chorizo. Break up the meat with a whisk and cook it for about five minutes. After draining the fat, place the pan back on the stove and stir in sugar and crushed tomatoes. When the mixture reduces, season it with salt, pepper and hot sauce before setting it on buns. Add sliced onion and avocado, giving the sandwich a little more flavor and a look that sets it apart from traditional sloppy Joes.

4. Go vegan
You can still capture all the fun and flavor of sloppy Joes without any of the meat. The Kitchn offered a vegan take on the dish from The Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan. Instead of ground beef, the directions call for 2 cups of chorizo-spiced seitan, or your preferred meat substitute. Sauteed onions and garlic, red pepper flakes, cherry tomatoes, squash and sea salt ensure the sandwich is packed with plenty of taste. For a distinctive finishing touch, add a slice of sour pickle.

When you earn a cooking certificate online, you learn how to transform a reliable meal into something fresh and delicious. Put those skills to work on sloppy Joes, and you may find this family favorite can be better than you ever realized.

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