Smoky Sloppy Joes with Green Chiles and Greek Yogurt Slaw.
Talk about throwing it back.
Um, I have news.
Like life altering news. Hell-has-almost-froze-over news.
Are you ready?
I like bread and butter pickles now. (I’ll give you a moment.)
In fact, I love them.
In fact again, I’m craving them!
(In fact one more time, I’m not pregnant.)
So this is a really huge thing. I mean, if you’ve been reading for five minutes then you already know that I’m a crazy pickle lover. All things tart and briney and vinegary YES, but especially pickles. And up until now… those pickles had to be dill.
I don’t even think I knew that another version of pickles existed until I was at my cousins house, took a bite of one and was like WHAAAAT IS THIS because it definitely came out of a bread and butter jar. I was about ten years old by the way. This wasn’t last week or anything.
(Also can you please tell me: are they called bread and butter because you are supposed to place them on buttered bread? I mean, that just sounds good.)
That pickle moment scarred me for life in the same way that twinkies and the crispy fried wonton strips at Chinese restaurants did. (don’t ask.) I never could just reach into a pickle jar with wild abandon, having after that moment, make sure that every pickle that touched my lips was dill and only dill.
And yes I know, this could be going downhill really quickly depending on your maturity level. Anyhoooo.
A few weeks ago, they just… sounded good. “They” being the bread and butter pickles, which is seemingly impossible considering I didn’t remember much of what they tasted like other than terrible horrible very bad things.
I bought a jar. I took a bite of one riiiiiight before it landed on this sloppy joe. Not bad.
But then. I piled a few on top of my sloppy joe. And that was just the end.
I now have a full on obsession with bread and butter pickles and they’ve graced every sandwich I’ve eaten since. And will. Forever and ever! Because I say so.
No, but really. Why was I missing out? I’m actually kind of depressed that I went about twenty years hating on them and refusing to taste one.
Oh oh oh! But the throwback part. The actual sloppy joe part! The meat of the post, if you will.
I’m sorry. No more.
We didn’t grow up eating a ton of sloppy joes and we definitely didn’t grow up eating homemade ones. I think shortly after Eddie and I were married, I made a version but it was once and only once. However, last year at this time, when I was really pregnant and moving and traveling a bunch for my book and just craving some comfort food and nostalgia and all that jazz, I couldn’t get sloppy joes out of my brain.
I made them one night for dinner and my mom happened to be there. I don’t think we spoke a word as we inhaled each bite. Because wow… they tasted GREAT. I’ve been making them ever since but it seemed ridiculous to tell you about them.
And then I started making them with a slaw. And then, the pickles.
And THEN. It was like, you had to know. I couldn’t hold it in.
So here’s the deal.
The sloppy joe is a combo of ground beef and turkey, ‘cause that’s just the way we like it. It has lots of green chiles AND roasted red peppers in there, which makes it totally 2015.
I made a super delicious, somewhat-tangy Greek yogurt slaw with napa cabbage that goes right on top of the sweet and smoky situation.
I brushed melted butter on the buns, because what else are you supposed to do with melted butter and fresh buns? Please note that this is also such a fabulous decadence that only happens once every so often in life. Meaning you should do it.
And I studded the whole darn thing with those pickles because I couldn’t help it. I don’t know what it means that the current sandwich of my dreams rings in with a strong 1987 bell, but it is what it is.
- 3 green chiles
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound ground turkey, I use 94% lean
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/4 cups tomato puree
- buttered buns for serving
- bread and butter pickles
- 1 head napa cabbage, sliced
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
To roast the green chiles and red pepper, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub the peppers with a bit of olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast until the outside skins begin to blister and char, about 30 minutes. Remove the peppers and place them in a resealable plastic bag for 20 minutes to steam. (To shorten this process, you can grill or roast the peppers over your gas stovetop until charred, then steam in the resealable bag.)
Once the peppers have “steamed” in the bag, remove the blistered skin. Slice off the tops and remove the seeds (unless you want tons of heat), then dice the peppers.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onion, roasted peppers and garlic. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 to 6 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add in the turkey and beef with the salt and pepper, using a wooden spoon to break it apart and combine it. Cook until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika and brown sugar. Stir in the tomato puree, Worcestershire and apple cider vinegar. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Taste and adjust to your preferences – more salt or pepper, more sugar if it’s too tangy, more vinegar if it’s too sweet.
To serve. spoon the mixture between buns that are layered with the slaw and bread and butter pickles.
In a large bowl, toss together the cabbages, carrots and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until the mixture comes together. Pour the dressing over the slaw, tossing well to coat.