Sloppy Sundays

What’s your Sunday morning routine?

Do you sleep ’til 10 a.m. or later? Do you grab brunch with at least 2 friends of the same gender and take full advantage of your urban eatery’s bottomless mimosa and Bloody Mary specials?

Do you make it to a hot and heavy Bikram yoga session? Or maybe just throw on your semi-transparent Lululemon yoga pants and head to Starbucks for a flan latte and a cake pop?

Chicago has an unrivaled obsession with brunch. No matter how far below zero the weather gets, the masses flood to restaurants across the city, waiting at least 45 minutes before getting a seat at a sticky table – which always ends up being one of the few next to a booth of young parents and their Baby Gap-wearing toddler instead of three young women outfitted in Pink loungewear.

Breakfast is the one meal I prefer not to eat outside of my couch. Especially on Sundays, when I have a standing date with Jeff Mauro.

For the uninitiated, Jeff Mauro (a.k.a. Food Network’s “Sandwich King”) is six feet, two inches of perfect, culinary-inclined man. Every Sunday morning at 9:30, after only half-watching Guy Fieri make something involving aioli, I’m glued to the old RCA to see what Jeff’s stuffing between two pieces of bread (and, TBH, to catch a glimpse of his unfathomably adorable child Lorenzo.)

Honestly, why should I go blow $ on french toast and disappointing bacon (not to mention put clothes on) when I can stay put in my heated living room watching Jeff make sando’s. (When it comes to Food Network personalities’ lingo, “sando”>”Flavor Town”>”E.V.O.O.”…Ina Garten’s husband Jeffrey and Giada’s sheer volume of teeth surpass all of it though.)

After weeks of tuning in to my broad-shouldered sandwich-building babe and a half, my actual boyfriend threw out the wild suggestion that I actually make one of his recipes rather than dream about him them.

That’s how the Sloppy Jose came into my life (never mind the fact that I’ve never even had a traditional Sloppy Joe…) and I’m never looking back.

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It’s meaty and cheesy and full of guac and masculinity. Make it for your favorite guy or hungry girl some Sunday.

Turkey Sloppy Joses
Makes 3-4 sandwiches; Adapted from Sandwich King

1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp adobo seasoning
Salt + pepper
1 (12 oz) jar of salsa (heat level of your choosing)
3-4 telera or bolillo rolls
Butter (for toasting the rolls)
1 c shredded cheese (cheddar or a Mexican blend work fine; Chihuahua or queso fresco would be primo)
GUACAMOLE (intentional all caps)

Heat the oil in a skillet until shimmering and add the chopped poblanos, adobo, some salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the peppers have a nice blister on them and remove from the pan/set aside.

In the same pan, cook the turkey over medium heat until nice and browned, 10-15 minutes. (The original recipe calls for chorizo instead of turkey, and that’s probably a delicious alternative. Ground beef would be an obvious winner too.) Drain any excess fat from the pan, and add your salsa. I typically use around 75% of a full jar, but not the whole damn thing – I assure you, it’s still sloppy that way. Simmer this for 5 minutes.

On to construction: slice and butter your rolls, toasting lightly so the insides get slightly crisp and golden. Sure, you could save a few minutes and skip toasting altogether but that’s like settling for a cup of greek yogurt when you could actually have a god damn banana split with extra hot fudge. Your taste buds deserve to be indulged.

Spread guac on the inside of the top roll and top with some poblanos. Then spoon some sloppy meat on the  bottom half and cover with cheese – you must keep these two ingredients close for ultimate melting and gooeyness.

Don’t cut this in half because it’s just too sloppy. Bite in and let it fall apart naturally because this is real life (and real life is so much more interesting than brunch.)

 

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