Who loves a good sandwich? I know I sure do. That’s why I was delighted when Alison Lewis asked me to review her newly published cookbook; 400 Best Sandwich Recipes. As soon as I received it, I knew it would become one of my go-to kitchen favorites. With everything from the classic club and sloppy joe, to international flavors you might not have thought to put together on your own (think Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich containing pork, radishes and pickled carrots), to an extensive list of condiment recipes, this book has it all. She even throws in a handful of dessert sandwiches that are guaranteed to get your sweet tooth dancing. The best part is that the majority of recipes are quick, easy and healthy. Definitely my variety of cookbook.
Some of the recipes that caught my eye for future meals include:
- Huevos Rancheros Wraps (that’s right, there’s a whole chapter on breakfast sandwiches too)
- Grilled Pear, Walnut and Goat Cheese Panini (did someone say goat cheese? I’m so there)
- Vietnamese Pork Wraps (if you could see the mouthwatering picture of this beauty, you’d be running to the store for this book as we speak)
- Chocolate Turtle Panini (uh yea. Enough said.)
After flipping through the book a few times, the first recipe that I simply had to cook up were the homemade sloppy joes. I realize they aren’t terribly sexy or trendy, but darn if they aren’t a tried and true all around delicious sandwich. I haven’t had a sloppy joe in years and they positively scream childhood to me. Just try and tell me you don’t have happy memories of a tomato soaked sandwich somewhere in your childhood.
To put together a quick and delicious sloppy joe you’ll start out by browning up a pound of ground beef along with some garlic, peppers, and onions. I am not a huge red meat eater so I substituted ground turkey in it’s place.
Cook the meat until no pink remains and then add in some tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, worcestershire, a pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of hot pepper sauce.
Food Storage Tip: Seeing as this recipe calls for a mere tablespoon of tomato paste, I thought I’d share a quick tip for dealing with all that leftover paste. Grab up a piece of waxed paper and spoon the remaining can into tablespoon sized portions on half your sheet. Fold the other half of your sheet over the top and gently press down. Now grab up a gallon sized freezer bag and pop those dollops inside. Store in the freezer and when you need a tablespoon of tomato paste you just grab the bag and peel off a portion. Pretty neat, yea?
Once you’ve added the above ingredients, turn the heat down to low and let it cook down until it’s a bit thickened; about 10-15 minutes. At this point you can add in some salt and pepper to suit your tastes and the filling is ready to go. I also toasted my bun in the oven with a light spread of butter on one side and a slice of Wisconsin cheese on the other.
Simple, family friendly, healthy, and quick. If that doesn’t qualify on your list of 4oo best sandwich recipes than I don’t know what does.
Homemade Sloppy Joes
Total Time: 30 min
Excerpted from 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission.
1 Pound Lean Ground Beef (I subbed ground turkey)
1/4 Cup Onion, Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
2 tsp Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
4 Hamburger Buns
Brown the ground beef along with the onion, bell pepper and garlic on medium heat.
Cook the meat until no pink remains and then add in the tomato sauce, tomato paste. worcestershire, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce.
Turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add in salt and pepper as desired.
Serve in toasted buns (I added a light spread of butter and a slice of cheese to mine as well).