Monday, December 16, 2013

Deep Dish Sloppy Joe Pizza

Slice of Sloppy Joe Pizza
So, I finally got around to jumping on the bandwagon and trying one of those fantastic recipes that's always making the rounds on Pinterest. (You know, instead of just bookmarking it, promising myself I'd give a whirl, and then not actually doing it like usual.) It was a recipe for deep dish sloppy joe pizza from The Hopeless Housewife. 

Anyone who knows Seth and I personally also knows how we feel about comfort foods like pizza, burgers, sloppy joes, or pretty much anything else in that neighborhood. Meal ideas that are easy, quick, and convenient are even better. Even though we work at home, we often get really busy with work and other things. Plus, we're freelancers, so recipes that are economical and yield at least a couple of meals for the both of us are even more appreciated. This recipe really covered all the bases in a big, big way. If you like comfort food as well, you should really do yourself a favor and give this a try sometime.

I did make some changes to the original recipe I linked to above though. For one thing, I didn't make my sloppy joe mixture from scratch (although I'm sure that would be absolutely delicious). I used a pound of ground turkey and a can of Manwich sauce. I also added one small sauteed white onion and a sliced serrano chili for a little extra kick. 

The serrano added an especially nice dimension to the flavor. It almost made it taste a bit like Italian sausage, actually. I originally just added it because one of our Facebook friends decided to share her pepper harvest with us and sent us habaneros, serranos, and ghost chilis to try, so I figured... why not. The unique flavor of the serrano added so much though that I think I'll be doing that from now on. I would certainly recommend it to anyone else. Serranos would be awesome added to meatballs, meatloaf, or lasagna as well.

The finished pie... minus one slice.
I also decided to eliminate the use of the skillet and the broiler for the sake of my own convenience. What I did instead was spray the insides of a round, oven-safe dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 450 while I cooked the Manwich mixture for the filling. Once I had my pizza dough made, I formed it to the inside of the baking dish with my fingers (using plenty of extra flour to keep it from being sticky) and precooked the dough for a little while -- about 7 minutes -- until it was bubbly and nice just as specified in the original recipe. 

Once everything was ready, I piled the entire pound of sloppy joe mixture onto the crust and topped the whole thing liberally with a combination of mozzarella and asiago cheeses. I do mean liberally, so don't skimp on the cheese if you want to get the most out of this awesome recipe. Then pop your whole concoction back in the oven to bake. It's ready when the cheese is all bubbly and toasty on top just like in the pictures. We had ours in for about 15 minutes, so you can start there. Watch it closely though, as I'm sure ideal cooking times vary from oven to oven.

The results were really something pretty special. I mean... I expected to like this, but I don't know that I was expecting to be blown away by how absolutely delicious it was. Really, a little creativity and thinking outside the box transformed two easy, everyday staples that it's possible to become thoroughly sick of -- pizza and sloppy joes -- into something that I'd actually happily serve to guests, assuming they were into comfort food. 

I'm saying this as someone who has never really liked deep dish pizzas very much, too. Normally I can't stand thick crust on pizza and the deep dish varieties tend to be really soggy more often than not. That didn't happen with this. Precooking the crust seemed to seal it a bit and prevent that trademark sog from occurring. We were actually able to pick up our slices and eat them as we would normal pizza slices despite the fact that each was positively loaded with sloppy joe filling and cheese. We also got two whole meals out of this for two people.

It was just really, really good on every level possible and I'm looking forward to experimenting with other versions of this same concept -- deep dish taco pizza, Bolognese-style deep dish pizza, and so forth. The possibilities are endless!
Post a Comment