Turkey Sloppy Joes

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I never understood “Sloppy Joe”. Was it made by someone years ago who was just too lazy to form the ground beef into patties? I remember when I first tried it and took my first almost bite. I say almost because the minute I picked it up half of the sandwich ended up on my plate. The bun fell apart in my hands and no matter how hard I tried to place the meat back in the bun it was too late. I just used a fork instead. Okay, so I tried it again as an adult and even though they do still have a tendency to escape the buns, my hands are bigger now and I can manage to hold them together better. Besides these are just so darn good that I don’t mind being a bit messy.

I use ground turkey for this recipe and pack it full with flavor. Adding the coleslaw with the peanuts gives it a crunch and an added dimension especially when the dressing from the slaw gets into the meat!


6 servings

1 cup mayonnaise + 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice

¼ cup cilantro, loosely packed and chopped coarsely
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup Virginia peanuts
6 cups cabbage, shredded

Mix together mayonnaise, olive oil,  lime juice, cilantro, kosher salt, cayenne pepper and peanuts. Pour it over the cabbage and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for one hour. The coleslaw can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days in an air tight container. It tastes even better the longer it chills.
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup onion , minced
4 scallions, chopped
1-½ pounds dark turkey meat, ground
½ cup ketchup
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup corn
2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
1 jalapeno , seeded and chopped small
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup water
4 slices Monterey Jack Cheese
4 whole wheat buns


Turn the broiler to High

Heat a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet for one minute, add the oil, onion and scallions, saute for 3 minutes then add the turkey meat. Use a metal spatula to break the meat apart. Saute for 10 to 12 minutes or until the turkey starts to caramelize. Stir in ketchup, corn, beans, chipotle, jalapeno, brown sugar, Dijon mustard and cumin. Add water, simmer 5 minutes.

Toast whole wheat buns lightly. Pull some of the bread out of the bottom to make a hole for the sloppy Joe to sit in.
Spoon 1/2 cup each of sloppy Joe and pour it into the bottom of the buns,  top each with a slice of cheese. Place under the broiler for 15 to 20 seconds or until the cheese starts to melt. (Don’t walk away from broiler)

Remove from the oven and place each sloppy Joe in an individual plate.  Top with coleslaw then place the top of the bun on top!
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