Straightening out Sloppy Joe

I have much to report! I’m back from a NYC vacation, where I mostly ate my way through Midtown, and I have a post or two coming about that edible experience. But wait, there’s more! I heard Paula Deen speak about her start in the cookbook publishing world at the Paramount, and I am writing that post as well. But first! A family meal made from the ashes (OK, not literally ashes) of a failed family meal.

A few months back, I made Sloppy Joes in my crockpot. It seemed like such a good idea, because we like chopped BBQ beef sandwiches in our house, and how is that really so different? And yet, it appears to be very different, because none of us loved the Sloppy Joe. It could have been the recipe, but I suspect it’s the palates. And you know how it is with crockpot recipes—I had a lot leftover. I froze three 12-ounce portions and tried not to look at them when I opened the freezer. But today, a cold front was coming and I felt like making something a little more substantial, since Texas has been so dang hot this year. There must be a good way I can adapt these Sloppy Joes! Chili didn’t seem wise—I needed to make it less recognizable to my consumers. So, I opted for a kind of southwest Chili-Cheese Casserole, and it turned out GREAT! In fact, I only have about a cup left. I only remembered to take a picture after I served it to the kids.

Luckily, I can make it at least 2 more times and it is unbelievably easy now that I have the base of it prepared. Next time you make Sloppy Joes, consider transforming it into this meal the next day.

Southwest Chili-Cheese Casserole

Great for: quick family dinner

Prep: 2 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

6-8 ounces uncooked pasta (I used egg noodles)

1C frozen corn

1 8-ounce can Rotel

1.5C Sloppy Joe

Shredded Mexican Cheese (amount varies)

DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta, drain and add to a large skillet, on medium heat.

Add corn, Rotel and Sloppy Joe and heat through. Reduce to low/simmer/warm.

Add cheese. I sprinkled enough to cover it, then mixed it, then covered it again. My single goal is to make this appealing to my children. After they have locked into liking it, I can cut back on some of the cheese for future editions.

Cover, and serve when cheese is completely melted. Will keep on low for a good while. Serves 4-6, depending on what else you are serving.

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