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"The Sloppy Jessica is appropriately named. It takes a look at the Sloppy Joe, and says, 'No. Not sloppy enough. We gotta add mac and cheese. No, I'm not done, you think that's sloppy enough? Not after you've had it between two French bread pizzas. Yeah, that's it.' The sandwich itself is a torpedo headed at high-velocity toward the sinking dinghy of an abandoned diet, as depicted with reckless abandon by Chelsea Peretti [from 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine']. In fact, the sandwich can only be properly consumed when yelling 'I gave up so easy!' to jealous friends and coworkers." — Andrew Rea, creator of viral YouTube series "Binging With Babish"
This recipe makes 4 cups chili, 5 cups mac and cheese, and 2 French bread pizzas.
Adapted from Binging with Babish by Andrew Rea. Copyright © 2019 by Andrew Rea. Used with permission by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
For the Chili, heat a small sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the ancho chiles and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 1 minute, then add the boiling water. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
Transfer the anchos and their soaking liquid to a blender. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, and chipotle. Blend on high speed or until the spice paste is smooth, about 1 minute.
In a large high-walled skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a bowl and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the spice paste, beef, and tomatoes and their juices to the pan. Stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables have softened and the flavors have developed, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and keep warm until ready to use.
For the Mac and Cheese, in a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it melts and the foaming subsides, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until the smell of raw flour dissipates, about 30 seconds. While whisking continuously, slowly stream in the milk, making sure to whisk apart any clumps that form. Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a bare simmer. Add the mustard powder, hot sauce, and cheeses and cook, whisking continuously, until the cheese has melted and been incorporated. Reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss until evenly coated. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to use.
For the French Bread Pizza, in a large high-walled skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add both canned tomatoes and their juices, oregano, and basil and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook at a bare simmer until the flavors have mellowed and the pizza sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Without cutting all the way through the loaf, split the French bread lengthwise and open it up like a book. Lay the bread split-sides up on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half the mozzarella over the top and spread 1 ½ cups of the pizza sauce evenly over the cheese. (Reserve the remaining sauce for another use or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.) Top with the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and browned in spots. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To assemble the sandwich, place the chili and mac and cheese in a large bowl and toss to combine. Pile the mixture onto the French bread pizza, close the sandwich, and cut into 8 even pieces. Consume at your own risk.