Tropical Sloppy Joes from Trader Todd's

August 3, 2010 (PRESS RELEASE)

You might not be able to make it to Key West this summer, but you can bring a tropical taste to your table with a little help from Trader Todd's. The north side restaurant has come up with a recipe for Sloppy Joes, Island-style. The traditional elements of the family favorite are all there; ground beef, sautéed onion, green peppers and garlic along with all of the seasonings. What takes these sandwiches to the next level is what's added to the mix at the end of the cooking process: coconut milk and pineapple juice.

"We wanted to take the classic recipe and put our own spin on it," says Cliff Hagerman, General Manger of Trader Todd's. "By staying true to our tiki roots we have come up with a Sloppy Joe sandwich that really stands out from the crowd."

Trader Todd's is sharing the recipes for Tropical Sloppy Joes, as well as Fruit-steamed Ribs, Pulled Pork and Key Lime Pie. You can make them at home, or try them at Trader Todd's, 3216 N. Sheffield), Chicago. For reservations or more information, call (773) 975-8383 or visit

Tropical Sloppy Joes

  • 5 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 Green Pepper diced
  • 1 Big Onion (2 medium onions) diced
  • 2 Tomatoes diced
  • 1 oz Oregano
  • 1 Jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 cup Crushed Pineapple with Juice
  • 2 tbsp of Coco Lopez
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 gallon of Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 oz Cilantro

  1. Sauté the ground beef until it is browned and drain the excess fat from the pan
  2. While the beef is browning dice the peppers, garlic, tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos into medium cubes and sauté in a separate pan until onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Combine the cooked veggies with the ground beef and add ketchup and seasonings.
  4. While the mixture is simmering add the Coco Lopez and pineapple.
  5. Let simmer and serve!

Trader Todd's Fruit Smoked Ribs:

  • 6 full slabs of quality baby back ribs
  • Celery Salt to Taste
  • Granulated Garlic to Taste
  • Cajun Seasoning Salt to Taste
  • 1 Bunch of Celery
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Oranges

  1. Start with 6 full slabs of quality baby back ribs
  2. Rub with celery salt, granulated garlic and Cajun seasoning
  3. Arrange ribs in a row, tilted on their side lengthwise, in a deep roasting pan
  4. Top ribs with thickly chopped celery, onions, and slices of oranges and pineapples
  5. Fill pan with one inch of water
  6. Cover entirely with foil
  7. Place in oven for 2 hours at 500?
  8. Once roasted remove from pan, slather with barbeque sauce
  9. Finish off on grill for a couple minutes and plate

Pulled Pork
Pork Shoulder -- approx 10 pounds

For vegetable and fruit bed:

  • One medium Onion
  • Half bunch of Celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • Two mediums Florida oranges
  • 1/3 whole pineapple

For sauté to combine with pork:

  • One medium onion
  • 1 Tbsp diced garlic

Spices and Barbeque sauce to taste

1. In a shallow roasting pan place a bed of coarsely chopped celery, onion, carrots along with thick slices of oranges and pineapple (with peels), add 1/2 inch of water to the pan.

2. Rub pork shoulder with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and other spices to taste. Rest pork shoulder on top of bed of vegetables and fruit. Cover with foil.

3. Place in preheated oven for 5 hours at 375 degrees.

4. Trim fat after cooking and then hand pull the pork. Mix shredded pork with sautéed onion and garlic, then combine with barbeque sauce of your choice.

5. Serve on sesame seeded bun.

Key Lime Pie

For the crust

  • 16 oz graham cracker crust
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 8 oz clarified butter

1.Combine ingredients in a food processor and press into 9" pie pan and bake at 350 degrees until the edge is brown (about 12 -15 minutes).

For the filling

  • 6 oz sugar
  • 6 oz of key lime juice
  • 7whole eggs
  • 5 yolks
  • 1/2 pound of butter

1. In double boiler, wisk together the lime juice, sugar, eggs and egg yolks.

2. Once these ingredients start to thicken slowly add the butter stirring constantly and slowly at this point with a rubber spatula (to avoid metallic taste).

3. Once all butter is added continue stirring for another 3 minutes.

4. Pour into pie crust and cool overnight.

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