Food day leftovers

Sriracha Sloppy Joe Nachos on Waffle Fries offers a flavor twist to the traditional sloppy Joe recipe. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/MCT)

The Sloppy Joe story we are running in Wednesday’s Record had me at hello. I remember being served the canned version and happily eating it as a child; definitely was disgusted by the school cafeteria’s version though. These “grown up” sloppies seem amazing. I love the new food craze of late that twists recipes and throws creative – and sometimes totally strange (Ramen burgers, anyone?) – curve balls.

I can’t believe we didn’t have enough room to print the recipe for the Loaded Sloppy Joe Fries! Thank you Al Gore “for inventing the Internets” so we can share these Wednesday Food Day leftover recipes.

LOADED SRIRACHA BBQ SLOPPY JOE FRIES
So good! These nacho-like sloppy Joes are perfect for any game day – or the Oscars, or like, right now.
1 pound ground beef
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sriracha
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
24-ounce package waffle cut fries
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced
Directions:
Cook ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon pan drippings. Cook bell pepper and onion in reserved pan drippings until softened, about 5 minutes. Return ground beef to pan.
Add remaining ingredients except cheese and green onions. Mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, cook fries according to package instructions. You want them crispy so they won’t get soggy underneath the sauce.
Turn oven to broil.
Spoon sloppy-Joe mixture over top of cooked french fries. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil just until cheese is melted. Sprinkle green onions on top. Serve with additional sriracha sauce, if desired.
Serves 6 to 8.
———
TOFU SLOPPY JOES
Don’t eat meat? This vegan Joe substitutes tofu. But no worries — it’s just as flavorful and messy, thanks to a rich, delicious tomato-based barbecue sauce. Jalapeno slices add zing.
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 small sweet onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 medium green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and diced (1/2 cup)
2 small cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces extra-firm tofu, crumbled (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups Kansas City Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows; you’ll need to double it)
8 gluten-free (or regular) burger buns
12 jarred thin sweet pickle slices
16 pickled jalapeno slices
Directions:
In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and pepper and saute for about 6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
In same skillet, saute tofu and sea salt for about 8 minutes or until browned.
Add cooked onions, peppers and garlic to pan, and pour in Kansas City barbecue sauce. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Divide tofu mixture among buns and top each with 2 slices sweet pickle and 2 slices jalapeno.
Serves 8.
— “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Low-Fat Vegan Cooking” by Bo Rinaldi (DK, 2012, $18.95)
———
KANSAS CITY BARBECUE SAUCE
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Directions:
In high-speed blender, combine ingredients and blend on high until completely smooth. Transfer to an airtight glass container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 11/2 cups.
— “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Low-Fat Vegan Cooking” by Bo Rinaldi (DK, 2012, $18.95)
———
SLOPPY JOE PIE
This flaky, one-skillet savory pie isn’t really a pie at all, in that it just has a top crust. But no one will miss the buns, guaranteed.
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
1 1/2 pound bulk turkey or pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup chunky-style salsa
1/2 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 1/2 ounce can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
Directions:
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Unroll pie crust on ungreased cookie sheet. With sharp knife, cut into a circle to fit the top of the pie pan. Cut out squares for a checkerboard pattern. If desired, place cutouts on crust to decorate, securing each with small amount of water.
Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until crust is light golden brown.
Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink. Stir in remaining ingredients except cilantro. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn is cooked and sauce is desired consistency.
Stir cilantro into sausage mixture. Carefully place warm baked crust over turkey mixture in skillet.
Makes 4 servings.
— Adapted from “The Big Book of Pies & Tarts” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, $19.99)
———
VEGGIE SLOPPY JOES
This is the vegetarian answer to sloppy Joes, made with black beans and mushrooms.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup trimmed and diced mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup prepared tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Salt and pepper
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, cumin, and paprika. Stir everything together and allow mushrooms to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add beans, tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard and syrup, and allow to simmer and thicken for about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if you like.
Toast hamburger buns (to make Joes a bit less sloppy). Spoon a generous amount of bean mixture onto the bottom half of each bun and sprinkle with a good pinch of shredded cheese. Put hamburger lid on top and serve.
Serves 6.
— “How to Feed a Family” by Laura Keogh & Ceri Marsh (Random House, Sept. 2013, $27.95)
———
OPEN-FACE SLOPPY JOES WITH CRISPY SLAW
This is a fairly traditional recipe that’s a little on the sweet side until you add the Crispy Slaw.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 onion)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
12 ounces lean ground beef
2 cups tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 small hamburger buns, toasted and buttered
Crispy Slaw (recipe follows)
Directions:
Warm oil and butter in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and ground beef, stirring to crumble and brown the meat. Add tomato sauce, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place a toasted bun, open face, buttered side up, on each plate, and spoon the meat mixture over top. Spoon crispy slaw on top or serve alongside the sloppy Joes.
Makes 4 servings.
— “Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook” by Sharon Kramis and Jule Kramis Hearne (Sasquatch, 2013, $)19.95
CRISPY SLAW
1/2 head green cabbage, finely sliced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/4 cup red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed and cut into thin strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
Place cabbage in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and 8 to 10 ice cubes. Let crisp for 15 minutes. Make dressing by mixing vinegar, mayonnaise and sugar together. Drain cabbage in colander. Transfer to a serving bowl, add carrots and bell pepper and gently toss with dressing to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
— “Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook” by Sharon Kramis and Jule Kramis Hearne
———
VENISON SLOPPY JOES
This recipe is extremely rich, but a great way to introduce your family to eating game. You can find venison at Strip District Meats ($7.99 and up, depending on the cut) as well as at Giant Eagle Market District stores. I cut up loin chops.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds venison meat from the leg, shoulder, and/or shank, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
2 cups small-diced red onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
24-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
10 to 12 soft buns
Directions:
Put a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pot and let it get hot. Pat the venison meat dry and season liberally with salt. Begin browning the meat, about 2 minutes per side. You may need to do this in batches so as not to crowd the pot. When browned on all sides, remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and garlic along with a pinch of salt, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chipotle powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the red wine, being sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Once it has reduced by half, about 5 minutes, add the vinegar, Dijon, sriracha, and brown sugar and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer.
Return the meat to the pot and add the oregano and granulated sugar and simmer until the meat is tender, 3 to 4 hours. If the sauce still is a little loose, continue simmering until it reaches optimum sloppy-Joe consistency! Serve on buns.
Serves 10 to 12.

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    Christine Teldeschi

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