1. Instead of using ground beef, use some stew meat, or cubed meat for a chunkier, more rustic concoction. Throw it into the crockpot with onions and tomato sauce/ketchup and herbs of your liking. Use a little extra sauce than you normally would to cook the cubed meat more...
2. Add some corn and/or black beans before you are ready to serve. Not too much - it's a sloppy joe, not a chili.
3. Instead of potato chips try roasted parmesan potatoes. Billy said to NOT wash the potatoes and cut them into wedges. Throw them into a bowl with a little oil (olive or your choosing) garlic powder, pepper and parmesan cheese (salt isn't needed because of the parmesan cheese). Toss these all together and then line them up, point side up, on a cookie sheet with parchment paper - all separated and not touching each other. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown. If you want them crispy he said about 4 minutes longer after they are golden brown.
4. Do the same thing with cauliflower. Cut up your caulifower and toss with oil, garlic powder and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees and add the parmesan cheese AFTER they are golden brown and out of the oven. (Be careful when opening the oven door Billy said, there will be lots of steam!
Billy also had some recommendations for appetizers during the holidays. He said that pigs in a blanket are the most popular appetizer. Or cows in a blanket, your choice... He suggested getting some really good hot dogs, some puff pastry from the freezer section... wrap a hot dog once with the puff pastry and seal it with a little egg wash. Bake and serve with mustard.
Billy's best advice for ANY cooking around the holidays - DON'T COOK STUFF THAT YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO! KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Chef Billy also gave us a little sneak peak into cooking trends for 2008 - he said it's the year of the meatball. EVERYONE LOVES MEATBALLS. Or non-meat vegetarian alternative balls. mmm.....meatballs.....
what are you making for the holidays?