Sloppy Joes

 Did anyone see that episode of The Next Food Network Star when Kelsey, one of the shows contestants, made Sloppy Joes? It was a few seasons (& years) ago but basically, Martha Stewart was the guest judge & she snubbed Kelsey for making them! First of all, the challenge was to create a packaged food product or something like that. Not a formal, 4 course meal so no need to snub. Second, seriously Martha?!? She acted like she had never & would never want to eat a Sloppy Joe. Well, just imagine my surprise when I was thumbing through one of my old Everyday Food magazines (produced by Martha Stewart herself!) the other day & found a Sloppy Joe recipe! HA! Martha DOES like Sloppy Joes...or at least her Food Magazine does! It was in the September 2005 issue. I like to go back to old magazines, looking for new recipes that I may have over looked or forgotten about. Anyways, I personally don't have much experience with Sloppy Joes either. I'm sure my mom made them once or twice when I was a kid, but I think it was out of can & during my 'I don't eat meat' phase. But they looked like they could be really tasty! So I researched a few recipes & decided to make them MY way. On crusty garlic bread with cheese!! They were delish! You are going to love this recipe!
(For the Filling)
1 lb lean Ground Beef
1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 small-medium Green Bell Pepper, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
8 oz Tomato Sauce
6 oz Tomato Paste
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Yellow Mustard (the old fashioned hot dog type)
1/2 tsp dried Chili Powder
1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
2 tsp tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 oz Warm Water
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Thinly Slices of Cheese to top (Mozzarella or Provolone)

(For the Garlic Bread)
1 large French Bread Loaf
1 stick of Butter, softened to room temperature
2-3 cloves of Garlic minced
1 small bundle of fresh Parsley, chopped
In a large chef's pan or sauce pan, saute the ground beef over medium/ high heat. Season the meat with salt & pepper.
 Add the chopped onion & pepper to the meat once it starts to brown.
 Continue to cook until the meat is fully cooked & veggies are soft.
 Add the rest of the ingredients, except the balsamic vinegar, & stir to incorporate. You can certainly add more chili powder & spice this up with some red pepper flake or hot sauce, if you like a little heat in your food. I'm cooking for a 4 year old, so I play it safe. ;)
 Cover the pot & let the sauce simmer on low while you prepare the garlic bread.
 You want to use a fresh, French loaf that's not too hard & crusty or it will be to tough to bite through. Slice the loaf in half, the horizontally.
 Combine the softened stick of butter with the minced garlic & chopped parsley in a bowl.
 Spread the garlic butter evenly on both sides of your bread.  Place on a sheet pan & toast in the oven, open face until it starts to brown, about 10-15 minutes.
 While the bread is in the oven, take the lid off your filling. If it is too thin, turn up the heat & let it cook until the sauce reduces & thickens. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (I just did a swirl of the pan) & stir to incorporate.
 Pull the bread out of the oven- Yummmm! Garlic Bread!
 Check your filling, adjust seasoning if needed. Then put the bread back together & slice into desired serving size.
 Fill with the hot filling & immediate top with cheese. I used provolone, but use what ever your favorite cheese is!
 This was little Hannah's sandwich- she loved it! But be ware- this is definitely one of those kind of meals where you should let the little ones eat naked!
 I made my Homemade Potato Chips with them. 
 I really wanted to call these something other than 'Sloppy Joes'. But after eating them, I knew. The name just fits, deliciously perfect! :)
 So messy....but SO good! 
This recipe makes enough for 6 good sized Sloppy Joes.

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