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Weekday dinner inspiration: Chipotle Sloppy Joes

Mon | Easter redux

You've got ham. You've got hard-boiled eggs (though they may be slightly pink and green from dye seeping through cracks.) If the eggs are edible (and that means you stored them in the refrigerator, not a basket), then tonight is the night to eat them. Make a Chef's Salad to use your Easter leftovers.

Tues | Spicy Joes

Kicked-up Chipotle Sloppy Joes (recipe below) and tangy coleslaw make for a winning combo on a busy weeknight. Prepare the sloppy mix Monday night and let the flavors meld overnight in the fridge.

Wed | Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken Tabbouleh Salad starts with a box kit and ends with a big round of applause. Find a mix for this Middle Eastern bulgur and parsley salad (Near East makes a version) and follow the directions to prepare, then add shredded chicken and feta cheese. Serve with toasted pita bread. Great leftovers for workday lunches.

Thurs | Fresh stuff

Roasted Tomato and Shrimp Cappellini will get dinner on the table fast. Start the sauce first because the super-thin pasta is ready in just a few minutes. In a large skillet, saute garlic and minced onion in extra-virgin olive oil. Toss in a basket of grape tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes, then toss the pasta in boiling water. Add peeled shrimp to the tomato mixture. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Dinner, done.

Fri | Grill marks

Grill whatever looks good and affordable tonight — steak, chicken, pork chops — and serve with big steamed artichokes. At our house, we serve them with two dipping sauces, melted butter or mayonnaise. A Caesar salad completes the meal. For a video lesson on how to prepare artichokes, go to food.tampabay.com.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>MODERATE

Chipotle Sloppy Joes

Cooking spray

2 1/2 cups sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 teaspoon sauce and 1 chili from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

1 pound ground sirloin

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

5 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

Chop and set aside 1 chipotle chili with teaspoon of sauce. Reserve remainder of can for another use.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper to pan; saute 2 minutes. Stir in chopped chipotle chili, adobo sauce, tomato paste and next 3 ingredients (through tomato sauce); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture over bottom half of each bun and top evenly with onions and top half of bun.

Plate with pickle chips and a simple slaw. To make the slaw, combine 1/3 cup canola-based mayonnaise, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 3 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw, tossing well to combine.

Serves 5.

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Chipotle Sloppy Joes

04/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:30am]
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