Because one of the best food days of the year is coming to us on Sunday.
The Super Bowl. One day where entertaining isn't so much defined by a tasteful, balanced menu, but instead is about comfort food, old school favorites, and potluck style. It's about "the more, the merrier" with regard to both people and food (I've talked about my love of tailgating for similar reasons). And that attitude might get a little exhausting after a while, but because it's a special occasion, and a pretty unique one at that, it's such a fun day.
PS I purposely haven't mentioned football because the day is about different things to everyone. I think it's clear where my allegiance lies :)
Sloppy Joes, to me, are such a throwback thing that should never have gone out of style. They're like tater tots, but hipsters haven't made them cool again yet. They're so fun, so sloppy, and so easy for a quick dinner or party food that will leave you with great leftovers. They remind me of thick chili sauce but with a unique flavor that is less chili and more tomato, vinegar, and spice. The ketchup and mustard aren't overt, but they provide a depth of flavor to the sauce that feels like it's been coming together for a lot longer than about 20 minutes.
Sloppy Joe sliders
Yields about 12 sliders
1 lb ground beef
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 T (heaping) tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ cup ketchup
3 T yellow mustard
½ cup water - could add a little more if you think you need it
1 T apple cider vinegar
1-2 T or more Worcestershire, to taste
Few generous dashes good hot sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh slider buns (and butter for toasting, if you’d like) - I like King's Hawaiian or brioche
Diced red onion or shredded cheese for serving, if you'd like
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. When ground beef is cooked through, add in bell pepper and continue to cook (stirring occasionally) until pepper is soft. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Add in garlic and ground spices, and cook for another minute or two until fragrant. Stir in ketchup, mustard, and water, and lower heat to low. Let the mixture simmer a bit as you keep stirring it, adding in the vinegar, Worcestershire, and hot sauce and salt/pepper to taste. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until flavors have melded and the consistency is right. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary (for more heat, more salt, more Worcestershire, or even a spoonful of brown sugar if you want to sweeten things up at all). Serve right away on slider buns (toasted or broiled, with butter of course, if you’d like) with a sprinkling of diced red onion and/or cheese. If making ahead (I think it’s even better this way), store in the fridge and reheat when ready to serve (heat in a saucepan over medium low with a little water added to it and a lid on).
PS: click the "party foods" tag below for other good Super Bowl options!