Since I started this blog, I have been experimenting with classics and this is the most recent dish I have re-discovered. Sloppy joes were a staple at my home while I was growing up. You all know what I am talking about. Ground hamburger cooked with onions, simmered in savory and slightly sweet tomato sauce all piled high on a crusty hamburger bun. They were messy and delicious and I loved them. When I made them for dinner this week, I decided to venture off the beaten path just a little bit. First off I used ground turkey, it is a lot better for you and trust me you and your family won’t be able to taste the difference. Second, I made my own sloppy joe sauce, which is easier than you might think. Third, I like the flavor of the whole wheat hamburger buns with this better than the traditional white bread. Finally, since I was saving some calories by using ground turkey and a whole wheat bun, I figured I could afford to throw some homemade cheese sauce on top and let me tell you it was probably one of the most delicious ideas I have had.
A basic cheese sauce recipe is a good thing to have in your repertoire. I have found a variety of uses for it including dips, topping for broccoli but especially sandwiches. For this recipe I used the same cheese sauce that I used for my Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches.
I served these with my Homemade Potato Chips and Ryan and I devoured them. Just be sure to have a lot of napkins handy, they are called sloppy joes for a reason.
In a bowl whisk together tomato sauce, white wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, granulated garlic, ground mustard, cayenne, brown sugar and salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions and ground turkey until brown and cooked through. (Note: Unlike hamburger, there is no real need to strain the fat from the turkey, there will not be much at all.)
Add tomato mixture to the pan, stir to combined. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low and allow to cook 30-40 minutes, or until sauce reduces and is thick. (Note: Mixture should not be overly saucy. The meat will be coated in the sauce, but you won't have sauce dripping from the spoon when you scoop up the mixture.)
While the meat mixture is cooking, make the cheese sauce. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. When butter has melted, whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk. Stir in cream cheese and shredded cheddar and cook until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat your broiler. Toast the hamburger buns.
Scoop the turkey mixture onto the bun, top with cheese sauce. Serve.