One of the new things I have decided to do with Goth Panda is a series on quick, vegetarian weeknight dinners. I have a bunch of recipes I make frequently that are good enough to share. This will maybe provide an answer to the question I still frequently get asked: “But what do you eat?”
This vegetarian sloppy joe recipe was originally from Rachael Ray, but I have modified it to make it a little beanier and saucier, and a little less spicy. Feel free to add more spices, or to top it will hot sauce for more kick. I don’t think I have ever finished it in 30 minutes or less, but it doesn’t take any longer than 45. The chopping of the vegetables is the most time consuming for me. After that, there is not much more work to be done.
You could probably substitute cooked lentils for the black beans here, although I haven’t tried it yet. That might solve the problem of actually being able to eat it as a sandwich, since the filling tends to fall out. I usually eat them open-faced, with a fork.
RR suggests you top them with pickles and cilantro. I have never heard of pickles on top of sloppy joes, but I tried it on this recipes, and I actually like it. I do not add cilantro, though. Cilantro and I are not friends.
The one thing I do in advance that makes this recipe not so weeknight friendly is make my own sandwich rolls. These are Peter Reinhart’s Official Hoagie Rolls, and I usually bake up a batch the weekend before I plan to make these. Then I freeze them until the night before.
Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
adapted from Rachael Ray
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 (15.5-ounce) can black beans. drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt and several twists of freshly-ground pepper
1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce or vinegar, any kind
4-5 crusty rolls
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. To the hot oil. add the jalapenos, bell pepper, onions, and garlic and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Fold in the black beans, chili powder, and coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire or vinegar and simmer the mixture for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Squeeze the lime juice into the pan and stir. Serve the joe mixture on buns with chopped pickles and cilantro to top.
Hoagie and Cheesesteak Rolls
hardly adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday
Makes 10 seven-inch rolls or 5 foot-long rolls
5-1/3 cups (24 oz / 680 g) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons (0.5 oz / 14 g) salt, or 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon (0.5 oz / 14 g) sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons (0.5 oz /14 g) barley malt syrup or 3/4 teaspoon (0.17 oz / 5 g) diastatic malt powder (optional)
1 egg (1.75 oz / 50 g)
3 tablespoons (1.5 oz/ 43 g) vegetable oil
1 cup (8 oz / 227 g) lukewarm water (about 95 degrees F or 35 degrees C)
1/2 c plus 2 tablespoons (5 oz / 142 g) lukewarm milk, any kind (about 95 degrees F or 35 degrees C)
2-1/4 teaspoons (0.25 oz / 7 g) instant yeast
In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. If you are using diastatic malt powder, add it here. In a separate bowl, whisk the malt syrup (if using), egg, and oil together. Separately, combine the water and milk, then whisk in the instant yeast until it is dissolved.
Add the oil mixture and the water mixture to the dry ingredients. Using the dough hook, mix on the lowest speed (or continue mixing by hand) for four minutes to form a coarse ball of dough. Let the dough rest for five minutes.
Mix for two minutes more on medium-low speed or by hand, adjusting with flour or water as needed to form a smooth, tacky, but not sticky dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for one minute, working in flour or water as needed. Form the dough into a ball.
Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then immediately put it in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 4 days. (If you plan to bake the dough in batches over different days, you can portion the dough and place it into two or more oiled bowls at this stage.)
ON BAKING DAY
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the cold dough into 4-ounce (113 g) pieces for 7-inch rolls or 8-(227 g) pieces for foot-long rolls. Flatten each piece of dough with your
hand, then form it into a 4-inch torpedo shape, or a 7-inch torpedo shape for foot-long rolls, like a batard. Let each piece of dough rest as you move on to the other pieces. When you return to the first torpedo, gently roll it back and forth to extend it out to about 7 inches, or 13 inches for a foot-long roll. The roll should have only a very slight taper at the ends. Place the rolls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat with about 2 inches between the rolls (it may take 2 pans if you bake the entire batch). The
rolls may shrink back as you pan them. Mist the tops of the rolls with spray oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap, then let the dough rise at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Remove the plastic wrap from the rolls. Continue to proof the dough for another 15 minutes, uncovered. The dough will rise only slightly – not more than 11/2 times its original size.
Use a sharp serrated knife or razor blade to cut a slit down the center of each roll, about 1/4 inch deep and about 3-1/2 inches long (or 8 inches for foot-long rolls). Let the dough proof for 15 minutes after you make the cuts. Place a steam pan in the oven (a cast-iron frying pan or sheet pan works just fine) and preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
Transfer the rolls to the oven, pour 1 cup of hot water into the steam pan, then lower the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C).
Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, until the rolls are a light golden brown and their internal temperature is 190°F (S8°C) in the center.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.