Thank you Adam Sandler.
Now whenever we make Sloppy Joes for dinner we sing a chorus or two from his song “Lunch Lady Land.”
This timeless classic seems to have fallen out of favor with the average household and who knows if they even serve it for hot lunch at school anymore. But we like it around this house and honestly it is a great way to use up and stretch ingredients.
We often have partial pounds of ground beef hanging around due to the fact that my husband likes to pinch off enough from a package to make a quick burger for lunch sometimes. Okay a lot of times. So that leaves odd amounts; like not quite a 1/2 lb.
That was the case recently one late night. I opened the fridge and saw the burger. Noticed we had some buns on the counter. Celery and onion in the crisper. And of course a can of my favorite brand of Sloppy Joe sauce in the pantry.
We were in business.
But then I saw the mushrooms and decided to chop up 4-5 of those rather large baby bellas. That would kinda stretch the burger with substance and flavor. Than I decided “why open that can when I have the stuff to make it from scratch.” I would rather keep that can of Sloppy Joe sauce on hand for an emergency batch of my favorite childhood recipe: American Chop Suey.
So I browned the beef, the peeled and diced celery, some diced onion and chopped mushrooms together. I added a hefty dose of smoky paprika, Emeril’s Essence, salt and pepper. I added in a 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and a wallop of ketchup for good measure and a little sweetness. I let that simmer and thicken while I toasted the buns with butter and garlic powder.
And of course…isn’t everything better with cheese?