Tuesday Dinner: Sloppy Cho-Joes

Remember those Manwich commercials from the 1980s? The ads in between episodes of Double Dare, G.I. Joe and Funhouse were the reason I always wanted my parents to make Manwich for dinner. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t. There was meat, bread, a vaguely tomatoesque red sauce from a can, and the woman in the commercial said it was easy. What could be wrong? I pined for Manwich throughout my childhood.

When I finally got to college and had my own kitchen, I decided to consummate my Manwich love affair. You know, for all of the garbage my parents fed me, I have to actually thank them for not slopping this crap in front of us. It is awful. It’s meatloaf diarrhea, though if you think about sloppy joes are just runny meatloaf sandwiches.


This is totally a case of “if I knew then what I know now.” I would never offer my child a Manwich or anything close to it, not that she would eat it. All of that said, the genius J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats caught my eye with his sloppy chorizo joes recipe. I mean, chorizo, right?

I made a couple of tweaks from Kenji’s original, but the spirit of the original lives here.


WHAT WORKED: Chorizo. I need to make a batch of homemade, but Nichols Supermarket is filling the void for now.

WHAT DIDN’T: My iPad really isn’t working for updating this blog. It takes twice as long, I can’t use photos from my DSLR, and the WordPress app stinks. The new laptop hopefully arrived before the weekend. Sigh…

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: You know? I never asked what she thought. Her and The Kid had a big day of summer fun and dinner time was the stage for those stories. That said, I thought it was pretty good.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: It could, but I would rather do it with homemade.


Sloppy Cho-Joes
Inspired by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s original at Serious Eats

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 red onion, diced finely
  • 1 medium poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 lb. chorizo, fresh, not cured, and removed from casings
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 soft hamburger buns
  • Sliced avocado


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and pepper, toss to coat in the oil, and sauté for 10 minutes. The veggies should be soft and beginning to brown.


Add the chorizo to the pan and begin breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon or whisk. Stir frequently to blend with the veggies and brown evenly. Cook five minutes, then add the sugar and tomatoes. Stir and continue cooking at medium-high heat until the liquid reduces, about 7 or 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with avocado slices on hamburger rolls.



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