When I made the recipe, I used my Pizza Sauce recipe and multiplied it by 4, used sandwich buns instead of French Bread, and used an Italian Cheese Blend instead of the mozzarella as this was what I had on hand.
The more I thought about the method used in the recipe; the more I got to thinking, which is not a good thing sometimes, why not use the same method with other fillings such as taco or sloppy joes. So I did.
I am also thinking that the fillings could be cooled and put in the buns with the cheese, wrapped, and put in freezer bags, frozen and reheated from the frozen state. I have some of the Guinea Grinders in the freezer right now to test that out.
Update: The already filled buns did not work out as well as I had hoped. The sandwiches took too long to reheat. For Plan B I put about 1/4 cup of the filling into zip-top snack bags, then put them into a freezer bag. I hollowed out the buns and froze them separately. I then removed the filling and a bun from the freezer, put the filling in a small bowl and heated briefly in the microwave. I put the filling in the bun, topped with cheese, wrapped in foil and put in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. This worked much better and will still allow me to heat one or two sandwiches at a time.
I can get sandwich buns like the ones shown in the photo above for $1.00 a package at my local bakery outlet stores. These have various names: stadium, outdoor, hoagie, etc. While the filling is cooking, hollow out a trough in both halves of the buns as shown above. I use a grapefruit spoon to do this, but it isn’t necessary. Be careful not to go through the bottom or top of the bun. Frugal tip: spread the hollowed-out bread on a baking sheet and let dry to make dry bread crumbs.
Fill the trough in the bottom with your filling (about 1/4-1/3 c.) and top with the grated cheese (about 2 T.)
Fold the top of the bun over the filling. Cut a square of aluminum foil and wrap bun with it. Bake in a 375 degree oven 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Below are the recipes I used to make the Taco and Sloppy Joe Grinders. Feel free to use your favorite recipes if you have them. It may be necessary to reduce the liquid called for in a Sloppy Joe recipe. I cook the seasoning with the ground beef for 5 minutes after adding them and simmer the filling 30 minutes before using. I think I get a more flavorful product that way. The Taco Grinder filling can be topped with ripe olives before adding the cheese if desired.
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
Taco Seasoning (this is adapted from The Thrifty Cook, Farm Journal Books, 1974)
1 T. instant minced onion
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. chili powder
3/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. crushed dried red pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
3/4 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. dried oregano leaves
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 c. water
Grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Heat a large skillet until hot, add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up beef as it cooks. Drain fat it necessary. Combine taco seasoning mix in a small bowl and mix well. Add to ground beef, mix well and let cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce. Measure water and use to rinse out tomato sauce can. Add to skillet. Mix well. Simmer 30 minutes. Using 1/4-1/3 c. fill sandwich buns as shown above. Top with cheese. This will fill 6-8 buns.
Sloppy Joe Grinders
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red pepper (or can be green for more authentic Sloppy Joes)
Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix (this is adapted from The Thrifty Cook, Farm Journal Books, 1974)
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
3/4 t. sugar
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. celery seeds
1/2 t. chili powder
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. ketchup
Heat a large skillet until hot. Add ground beef, onion, and red pepper. Cook until browned, breaking up ground beef as it cooks. Drain fat if necessary. Combine Sloppy Joe Seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix well. Add to ground beef mixture, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste. Fill tomato paste can with water and use a small spatula to get the last of the tomato paste. Add to ground beef and mix well. Add an additional 1/4-1/2 c. water, brown sugar, and ketchup. Mix well and simmer 30 minutes. Using 1/4-1/3 c. fill sandwich buns as shown above. Since Sloppy Joes don’t typically have cheese added, cheese would be optional.
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