Tonawanda News

May 19, 2013

Sloppy Joes are always a hit with the kids, even gluten-free

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — It’s always encouraging to meet readers who tell me they like the simplicity of my recipes. If I ever worry about not being “foodie” enough — as witnessed by the lack of imported truffles or pink peppercorns in my recipes — I remember that most people just want real food they can make in a real kitchen and get on the table quickly. 

This recipe is for one of the most un-foodie recipes: sloppy joes.

Sloppy joes were one of my go-to meals when my boys were growing up. It was quick, inexpensive and everyone loved them. The only problem was they were so darn sloppy.  

I would cringe when the boys would pick up a sandwich and all that sloppiness would run down their little arms, onto the placemats and eventually the floor. They were thrilled — as was the dog.

So I decided to give this weeknight staple a makeover and make them not-so-sloppy. I encased my sloppy joe filling in gluten-free bread pockets. Since my boys and my hubby always liked their sloppy joes with cheese, I put cheese into the dough.

The verdict? My hubby wolfed down two before I could snap a photo. And since he has the palate of an 8-year-old boy, I say that’s a giant thumbs up for a quick, kid-friendly meal.

Gluten-free not-so-sloppy joes

3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

1 cup finely chopped onions (1 small onion)

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (1/2 large pepper)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound lean ground sirloin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder

2 tablespoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup ketchup

1 (7.5-ounce) package all-purpose, gluten-free bread mix

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3 large eggs (divided)

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and green pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add ground sirloin and break it up with a spatula. Cook until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well. Add ketchup and cook until heated through. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine bread mix with cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, two eggs, and 1/4 cup water. Mix with a fork until combined. The mixture will be lumpy. Dump mixture onto clean work surface and knead until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Cut into eight equal pieces and roll them into balls. 

Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface. Flatten one of the balls, top with another piece of paper and roll into a 6-inch circle. Place about ⅓ cup Sloppy Joe mixture onto half of the circle, leaving a ½ inch border. Fold the other half of dough over the filling, press edges together, sealing well. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Whisk remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush tops of dough with mixture. Let dry for a minute, brush again and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crusts are golden brown.

Makes eight.

Carol Kicinski is a gluten-free cook, magazine editor and blog writer. Find more of her recipes at www.simplygluten-free.com.

Carol Kicinski is a gluten-free cook, magazine editor and blog writer. Find more of her recipes at www.simplygluten-free.com.