Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Miami Vice Sloppy Joes: Super Bowl Food

I’m on vacation visiting family in Florida. No, I am not here for the Super Bowl. Football is not my passion but delicious ethnic fare is.

One thing we don’t get too much of in the desert is Puerto Rican or Cuban cuisine.

My brother who is a marvelous cook made me Cuban Sloppy Joes, Plantain Chips, and Mojo (mo-ho) Sauce. And many thanks to Rachel Ray who made it look so easy.

We grew up eating sloppy joes on white hamburger buns. Mom usually made french fries to go with it. They always tasted better the next day providing there was any leftover. Hence, sloppy joes is one of my favorite childhood foods and this recipe takes that memory and combines it with one of my favorite cuisines.

Rachel Ray moves it up a notch (sorry Emeril) by drizzling a garlicky-cumin sauce (Mojo) over the sandwich and plantain fries. The Cuban sloppy joes was served on a Cuban baguette with kosher dill pickle spears on the bun. The pickles added a nice crunch.

In Florida he was able to buy the plantains frozen in the grocery store (Publix) freezer uner the “ethnic” section. That wouldn’t fly in Arizona but in Florida it does. The plantains (banana) were then sauteed in some oil.

This recipe would easily be doubled for a crowd and served with beer or rustic red wine.

  1. I love sloppy Joes garnished with cole slaw. The cool creaminess of the cole slaw with the hot spiciness of the sloppy Joe is a great combination.

    A lot of my food memories are from elementary school where we had a hot noon meal in the cafeteria each day for 35 cents. Extra milk was 2 cents. Those were the days.

    Anyway, that is probably where I learned this combination as sloppy joes were a regular item on the menu.

    The cooks in the cafeteria never seemed to get creative in coming up with different combinations — every sloppy Joe meal had the same side items. I can’t remember the ones for sloppy Joes, but I do remember that chili was always served with cheese cubes, peanut butter sandwiches, celery and carrot sticks.

    My brothers and I still talk about this every time we get together for a Super Bowl or family gathering. Food memories are indeed strong.

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