Sloppy Joe Time

Whenever I think of sloppy joe, my mind jumps back to my elementary school days. It was, hands down, one of the best lunches. Ever. I was an extremely picky eater, and I hated most meat that wasn’t chicken fingers. But I would go ape shit over some sloppy joe — lathered in sauce and piled high between two soft hamburger buns. That’s the stuff. With that in mind, I started defrosting the ground turkey.

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And I was pretty darn happy with the results, which I felt would have pleased young Jen.
Every bite was coated in mildly spicy yet gooey sweet sauce, with meat trickling out of a toasted whole wheat bun. :mwah:

Also, I ate my joe with raw sweet corn. Fact: I’ve never cooked corn in my life. Fact: I totally forgot you’re “supposed” to.  The only time I’ve had it on a cob has been during bbq’s where I’ve been the entertainee not the entertainer. So, I didn’t think twice before I shaved the kernels off immediately. When I told my mom, she refused to even try it.  Fact: It was better this way. The kernels retained their crispness, and next to the melting, flavorful ground turkey, they added a textural, as well as, rather refreshing element to the dish.

For a twist to the classic, you can add a dash of 5 spice as well — not that it needs it.

P.S. In the end, if the meat doesn’t tumble out of the bun, then you’re doing it wrong.

Today’s Special: Homemade Sloppy Joes

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Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/3 cup cold water
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup water, or as needed
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese (optional)
6 flatbreads or toasted hamburger buns for serving

  1. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Mix ground turkey and 1/3 cup cold water into onions. Cook and stir, breaking up the meat, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, and cocoa powder. Cook, stirring frequently and adding in water if needed, until meat is cooked through and liquid is reduced and thick, 20 to 30 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  3. Remove turkey mixture from the heat and mix in green onions and Cheddar cheese (optional).
  4. Serve on flatbread or toasted hamburger buns.
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