The Weekend Gourmet: It's Tailgating Time! #SundaySupper Football Food...Featuring Italian Sloppy Joes F

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Tailgating Time! #SundaySupper Football Food...Featuring Italian Sloppy Joes

In addition to cooking...and eating...I have some other activities that I enjoy! When I'm not in the kitchen cooking, I love to travel, listen to music, go to the movies...and watch sports!! I'm a HUGE fan of Houston sports teams, especially the Texans football team. Although we're living four hours away in San Antonio now, we tune in every weekend to cheer for Arian Foster, Matt Schaub, and the Bulls on Parade defense!! Of course, food is big part of the equation too. That's why I was so excited to take part in this week's #SundaySupper event, which focuses on game day food. Whether your party is indoors in front of the TV like ours...or tailgating outside of the stadium...we've got some really great recipes to share with you today!!

My contribution to the festivities is an Italian spin on one of Michael's favorite comfort foods: sloppy joes. There's something about sloppy joes that brings back nostalgic childhood memories, and this Italian cousin brings the classic sandwich a slightly different flavor profile. The filling is very reminiscent of a bolognese sauce. It's stuffed into a wheat bun, along with some sliced mozzarella cheese. Make sure to provide plenty of napkins on the side...because they're not called "sloppy" for nothing, friends!

Italian Sloppy Joes
adapted from Food Network's website

Step 1: Add 1 tbs. olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add the following ingredients: 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, 2-3 cloves grated or minced garlic, and 1/2 cup chopped onion. Cook until the meat is brown, stirring to combine the two meats.


Step 2: Add the following ingredients to the skillet: 3-4 chopped basil leaves, 1/4 cup red wine, one can Italian diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup milk, a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce.


Step 3: Add 3 tbs. tomato paste to the pan and stir into the sauce. This is the secret ingredient to this dish, so please don't leave it out! My sloppy joe mixture seemed like it wasn't thick enough, so I added the tomato paste. That made the filling the perfect consistency for my sloppy joes. To serve, place slices of mozzarella cheese inside your bun of choice. Add the sloppy joe mixture to the bun and serve. With LOTS of napkins!


We really enjoyed these sandwiches! They're a little spicy from the red pepper flakes, and the gooey mozzarella cheese provides a protective layer between the sloppy joe filling and the bread to prevent them from becoming too soggy. These sandwiches are exactly what I want in game day food: easy to make, delish to eat, and something that will appeal to kids of all ages! This would also make a fantastic weeknight dinner for your family...each batch makes about six hearty sandwiches.

Be sure to join us for a live Twitter chat to discuss tailgating food tips and tricks...the fun starts at 700 EST. In the meantime, I hope you'll visit my fellow #SundaySupper participants to check out their favorite game day snacks, sips,  and other foods!


The Lineup
Pre Game Warm-ups:
On the Sidelines:
Main Events:
Overtime:
From the Cooler:
Wine Pairings by Wine Everyday
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71 comments:

  1. Oh man, I was just craving sloppy joes and I'm making them tomorrow! Yours looks absolutely fantastic!

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    1. Thanks...they are really good! Since it's two of us, I have half of the filling in the freezer for later this week.

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  2. Oh my goodness I am totally going to be making these today, too! They look amazing!

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    1. We really enjoyed them...and I know what's in these since they're from scratch. The canned stuff is full of preservatives and mystery stuff.

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  3. Yummy! I don't mind it is "sloppy". I love the idea to go with mozzarella cheese (my favorite). Awesome!

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    1. It's gooey, and it also helps keep the bottom of the bun from going soggy!

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  4. I would probably have to eat this sandwich with a knife and fork or I would wind up wearing a lot of it. Sounds really yummy!

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    1. You're more ladylike than I am...I just dug in and kept lots of napkins nearby!

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  5. YUM - looks great. I love a sloppy sandwich! Bring on the napkins!! It feels good to have football back - I love the thought of football on TV, leaves gently falling, soup (or sloppy joes) simmering on the stove and cooler air blowing in the windows. Enjoy your Sunday, Wendy!

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    1. Tracy...you should join the #SundaySupper group! Your blog is a really good fit, and the group is so supportive!! These are really good...and any leftover filling would be good with pasta or polenta too!!

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  6. I haven't made sloppy joes in a while. I like the addition of cheese!

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    1. Well...cheese DOES make everything just a bit better!

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  7. Sloppy Joes go perfect with tailgate parties! Sounds yummy, Wendy!

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    1. When I saw this recipe, I had to try it...I love fun tweaks of traditional foods!

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  8. Whoa! That is quite a sandwich, and such a yummy twist on the traditional Sloppy Joe!

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    1. Feel free to use ground turkey, or sub in ground veal for the pork. Omit the red pepper flakes if you don't do spicy...it's pretty flexible. I'm thinking provolone would be good too!

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  9. No one will walk away from this tailgate hungry!! Packed with flavor!

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    1. I removed some of the fluffy insides from my buns to make room for more of the meat filling. That helps make them extra hearty.

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  10. It might be sloppy but it looks soooo good! Happy sunday!

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    1. The fresh basil is a key...and the tomato paste is ESSENTIAL! Together, they give this filling a really hearty flavor.

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  11. I love you despite your love for the Texans. ;)

    These look SO sloppilicious and delicious!

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    1. Ha...I'm a Houston gal through and through, even if I do live in San Antonio now! These are a bit messy, but that's part of the fun to me!!

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  12. It wouldn't be a tailgating party without the sloppy joe's! Glad you brought them to our party!

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    1. Thanks, Isabel...I like to vary what our football-watching food is. I do chili dogs, gumbo (once it cools off in Texas), and sometimes burgers. Depends on what we're in the mood for...but we always have gameday munchies...

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  13. I know some guys around here that would love these!

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    1. I wonder why sloppy joes are so appealing to guys?!?!? I've never met one who didn't love them!

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  14. Yum!!! These sounds so good! Looks also like a perfect weeknight dinner :)

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    1. Yes...I think they would be perfect to whip up after a busy day at work!

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  15. My daughter asked me to make her sloppy joe's last weekend! This is the perfect recipe! Thanks! See you tonight at #SundaySupper on twitter @fromagechick!

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    1. I hope you give this a try...it's a bit different than standard sloppy joes, but it is really good!

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  16. It has been so long since I had sloppy joes, and your recipe sounds wonderful. It is meant to rain a lot this week so I think some comfort food is in order.

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    1. This is definitely comforting if you ate sloppy joe's growing up as a kid! I think that's why hubby likes them so much...

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  17. WOW, this looks goods! That soft bun with the gooey mozzarella holding in the ultra-saucy meat...I'm literally drooling at my keyboard!

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    1. Give it a try...it's really fun! I bought whole wheat buns that split at the top rather than a bun...and it really worked out well. Here in San Antonio, they call them bolillos...they are 4 for $1, so I used them a lot for sandwiches.

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  18. Mmmm... .good and SLOPPY! Just like it should be! Can't wait to try this spin on our normal sloppy joes. Bring on the napkins!

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    1. The cheese layer does help keep the filling inside, but it's still a little messy! Like buffalo wings and ribs, it goes with the territory...luckily, the payoff is good!

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  19. Such a wonderful looking sandwich and I love the Italian flavors!!

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    1. Thanks...if you like bolognese, you'll like this. The flavor profile is very similar.

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  20. These look amazing and I could even serve on a gluten free roll!

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    1. For sure...do you make them, or do you buy them ready-made?

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  21. These are right up my alley for anytime!!

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    1. Yeah...I can see myself whipping these up after a busy day in the office. They take about 30 minutes start to finish, including chopping time.

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  22. Oh, bring it on - these look amazing! I would happily sit and enjoy one of these as fuel for the big game. Delicious!

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    1. Yeah..it's kind of a deconstructed meatball hero! Trying to decide how to serve the leftovers since we're trying to avoid excess bread right now. Whole-wheat penne, polenta?

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  23. I love sloppy joes! totally reminds me of growing up, being young and messy, got to love that :) yum!!!

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    1. Getting messy and licking your fingers is half the fun...just don't invite people to the party who you don't mind seeing you becoming one with your food!

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  24. What a yummy twist on regular sloppy joes! Perfect for tailgating!

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    1. I love nothing more than taking something traditional and tweaking it a bit in a fun way!

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  25. Oh, I think my family would love these more than the ordinary sloppy Joes! What a fantastic adaptation! Happy #SundaySupper to you!

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    1. Thanks, Lizzy...the best thing about these is that I know exactly what ingredients I put in them. Nothing beats homemade...

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  26. Sloppy Joes are great for almost any occasion. I love the Italian twist to these.

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    1. They were a big hit with hubby...he had two. I had one...and there's a package of the meat in the freezer for one night this week.

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  27. I'm going to be craving these delicious looking sloppy joes all day; they look scrumptious. Happy #SS!

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    1. Whip up a batch and let me know what you think!

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  28. Wendy, I'm totally craving your Italian Sloppy Joes! So moist, with robust flavor.
    Such a genius idea with the Italian spices, and the mozzarella cheese. The only thing I would leave out is the 1/4 cup of milk and increase the 1/4 cup of red wine to 1/2 cup.

    Just don't like to mix milk and wine...ever since from about a long time ago, a young woman guest of ours at an Italian dinner mixed her red wine with milk, and we were all so 'flabbergasted'...she simply replied "I drink milk with all my meals"...since that day, I cannot picture the two mixed together!
    What a hit these sloppy joes would be at my dinner table with everyone...thanks for sharing...xoxo

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    1. You could do that...but maybe add a smidge more tomato paste to make sure it's thick enough!

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  29. Love the twist on this classic recipe. Perfect for gameday!

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    1. They were a big hit at my house...I can't wait to make them again!

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  30. Wow Wendy, this looks great! I also love football (and I'm always a huge fan of sloppy joes!) I'm not going to Foodbuzz this year, but we should get together soon. I can't wait to hear about your job!

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    1. Yes...once I'm settled in my new job, I'm planning a trip to Con 'Olio in Austin...

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  31. ooh , everytime I see your pics I get hungry ! These look fab ! My family loves sloppy joe's. just don't make it as much at home. Maybe will give this a shot :)

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    1. This was my first time to make them from scratch, and I liked that I could control the ingredients. To save some calories, use ground turkey in place of the pork.

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  32. I haven't had a sloppy joe in AGES! Yours looks great--can't wait to try it now!

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    1. They are messy...but fun! I really enjoyed these...

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  33. How I love a good sloppy Joe! so messy gets all in your face and you need a millions napkins but I love it. Love your recipe!

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    1. Thanks...the Italian twist is fun, and I always love a layer of cheese!

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  34. Would you believe that i've NEVER had a sloppy joe in my entire life? i don't know why, but i haven't! might have to change that soon - these look wonderful!

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    1. No time like the present...give this a try, and I think you'll enjoy it!

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  35. Craving for some right now although its only 9.45 am!!!Love the awesome flavors here and cannot wait to try :)

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  36. These look great!

    Jamie @ www.mamamommymom.com

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