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Hey Sloppy Joe (Where Ya Goin’ With That Bun In Your Hand)

turkey sloppy joe mushrooms peppers onions cashew whiz fried egg
“I’m goin’ way down south, way down where I can be free!”

Theme song by Charlotte Gainsbourg “Hey Joe” from Hey Joe
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Much like my feelings about “California Dreamin'”, I am a fan of Hendrix’s original for “Hey Joe”, but prefer some of the covers over the original. In researching the theme song for this recipe, I found a brilliant soulful Wilson Pickett cover that is heartbreaking. There’s the bombastic organ-driven Deep Purple cover that is so very very Deep Purple. Popa Chubby goes for the faux Hendrix white boy blues vibe. Even The Offspring take a swing with their trademark Party Bro Pop Punk sound. Ultimately, I went with this creepy as hell Charlotte Gainsbourg version. Whisper sung with dirge-like instrumentation, it distills the lover’s rage of the original into a kind of grindhouse horror soundtrack. Perfect for eating a sandwich in the dark on a stormy night. 

I’m actually shocked I did not think of this recipe name during my professional cooking days. It’s possibly one of the worst music food puns to date and definitely the longest. It also would fit basically any type of sloppy joe. This just happens to be ground turkey because I’m trying to reduce my red meat consumption. Ground turkey’s inherent lack of any real flavor makes it a perfect canvas for the sauciness of a sloppy joe. The mushroom adds volume and meatiness to the dish.

The sloppy joe of my youth was Manwich with yellow mustard and pickle chips on a hamburger bun. This adult version has some nods to that childhood sandwich but only barely. I’ve kept the yellow mustard because I honestly believe it’s the best mustard on a sandwich. Those store-bought pickle chips got swapped for homemade pickled red cabbage to add crunch and acid. 

Then I went WAY off the childhood rails. I have recently been deep diving into vegan cooking. One of my new obsessions is cashew whiz. It’s a sauce made with raw cashews and nutritional yeast that has a vague resemblance to a cheese sauce. I’m not interested in it as a cheese substitute (because there is no substitute for cheese), I just dig it for the kind of creamy flavor punch it adds to dishes. Definitely easier to whip up than a cheese sauce and the recipe below is a perfect base to add flavor variations especially nacho whiz. I know it’s a bit odd to put vegan sauce on a turkey sloppy joe, but the heart wants what it wants.

Finally, and this was for no other reason than I could, I finished with a fried egg. I am firmly camp Sunny Side Up & Crispy AF. I love a bright yellow runny yolk. If there are a few egg crispies around the edge, it’s perfection to me. It makes for an almost impossible “pick it up to eat it” experience but what a glorious delicious mess it becomes.

Turkey sloppy joe, red pepper, poblano, jalapeno, onions, yellow mustard, cashew whiz, pickled red cabbage & a fried egg on a bulkie roll
Makes 6 – 8 sandwiches

Turkey Sloppy Joe (see recipe below)
Pickled Red Cabbage (see recipe below)
Cashew Whiz (see recipe below)
Yellow mustard
Fried egg
Bulkie roll (or Kaiser roll or a couple of slices of hearty bread – something that will stand up to the sauciness)

Toast your chosen bread. Place some mustard on the bottom and top buns. Spoon the sloppy joe onto the bottom bun. Drizzle on cashew whiz. Top with pickled cabbage. Finish with a sunny-side-up fried egg. Grab a ton of napkins and enjoy!

For the sauce
1 1/4 cups crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

For the meat & veg
1 pound ground turkey
8-ounces cremini mushroom, diced
1 red pepper, sliced into thin matchsticks
1 poblano, sliced into thin matchsticks
1 sweet onion, diced medium
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

To make the sauce
Place all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer while prepping meat and vegetables.

Prepare the meat and vegetables
In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add red pepper and poblano continue to saute until peppers are tender. Add the mushrooms. Saute mushrooms until tender and releasing their juices. Add the ground turkey and cook until there is no visible pink meat.

Add the sauce to the skillet and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the skillet, leaving the lid slightly ajar for steam to escape, and simmer until thick and saucy.

Makes about a quart

1/2 medium head of red cabbage, sliced thin
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 cup of water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds

Place cabbage and onion in a large bowl and toss to combine. Put water, cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard seeds in a heavy bottom pan. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Pour boiling brine over cabbage and onion and stir to coat. Cover and let sit on the counter for two hours. Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup cashew nuts, raw
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cups of water

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. For a thicker cheese, use less water. For a thinner salad dressing consistency, use a little more water. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Posted in bushwick, cashew whiz, comfort food, cooking, food, foodmusic, music, musicfood, put an egg on it, recipe, sandwich, ugly delicious


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