Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Philly cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

So far, it's been a very busy week, preparing for my trip to west coast tomorrow.  That's right, I'm headed to Los Angeles for a long weekend!  I'm far too excited to focus on anything for more than a few minutes (V.A.D.D. = vacation attention deficit disorder), be it work or TV shows.  Heck, I've even become a big fan of circuit training at the gym this week because I can jump from one exercise to the next.

My serious case of V.A.D.D. has even affected my cooking.  No matter how delicious the final product, I just can't find it in me to stand in the kitchen for 45 or even 30 minutes preparing dinner.  Thank goodness I had some great shortcut dinners planned that cut corners on time but don't skimp on flava'.

On Monday, I shared a easy peasy salmon marinade with you.  But today I've got a real doozy for you.  A fast and healthy twist on a classic keystone state sandwich: Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes!

It was a man meal that made Matt grinning from ear to ear.  (Say that five times fast.)  All of the ingredients you'd expect in a traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich but with a twist.

Honey wheat English muffins (my latest obsession -- love these!), lean ground sirloin, chopped green peppers and onions, and sliced provolone cheese.

By taking a little time on Sunday to chop the pepper and onion, I skipped prep and dove right into cooking.  Popped some mushrooms tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper into the oven to roast before getting to the main dish.  I love roasting because it's so hands-off and gives you the freedom to do other things, like sauteeing green peppers and onions.

I ask you this: are there many better smells than this combo?  Very few, if any, folks.  Matt claims his super smeller caught whiffs of this as far as the elevator on our floor!

Browning my new favorite ground meat -- ground sirloin.  I don't know why I've waited so long to buy this stuff, but man oh man is it good.  It's the king of all ground beef!

While the stovetop did the work for me, I pulled out the mushrooms and toasted up some English muffins:

And then it was time to assemble, which took about as much time as cooking to this point.  What can I say, sloppy joes earned their name for a reason.  That ground sirloin was all over the plate!  A slice of provolone cheese before topping with the other side of the muffin and dinner was r-e-a-d-y.

Incredible flavors from the peppers and onions permeated the lean ground sirloin between crunchy buns.  Those famous nooks and crannies were the perfect match for what was inside, catching pieces here and there.  No need for fatty meats in this sandwich.  And the provolone cheese (which melted and oozed as I ate) tied the whole thing together.  After all, this was a new-age cheesesteak, but without the guilt-inducing gloopy mysterious orange cheese "sauce."

Say hello to my new favorite sloppy joe!  And yours, too.  You've gooooooooootta try this.

One year ago: Broccoli potato cheddar soup
Two years ago: Snickerdoodles

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
(inspired by but greatly adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe)
-serves 4

A few notes: I simplified this recipe a great deal, using sliced cheese rather than making a cheese sauce. I also went with the steakhouse theme and roasted mushrooms (25 minutes at 425 degrees F, tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper) on the side for a hearty and surprisingly healthy manly meal.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 white onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 pound ground sirloin
Sliced provolone cheese
Sandwich buns of your choice (I used English muffins)

In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, peppers and onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium high and add ground sirloin, breaking up and browning meat, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Drain excess fat/liquid from pan.

Toast buns, if desired.  Divide meat among

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