The NFL Regular Season came to end last night when the Cincinnati Bengals rather than showing up in the freezing cold for a meaningless game decided to take the night off to go see the tree in Rockefeller Center & to see who survived the plane crash on Desperate Housewives. That’s all well & good but what does that have to do with cooking or food you may ask. Well that’s certainly a good question and I am just the man to answer it for you.
Super Bowl Sunday or as I prefer to refer to the spectacle, SuperDuperBowl Sunday, is virtually an unofficial national holiday. Friends & Family gather in front of large screen TV’s with piles of food in front of them or on the buffet by the kitchen while they watch the game, the commercials and the myriad of illegal 100 square pools & various other sundry sidebets they have going. The game itself is invariably remembered more often for the commercials & food than it is for the final score so it has been my goal ever since I learned how to cook for myself (thanks Mom) to have a more than impressive spread available during the viewing of the game.
Now when it comes to planning the menu, I begin as soon as the SuperDuperBowl is over. What worked ? What didn’t ? What did I hear about in the days after the game that other people had that I want to have ? What have I tried t other parties or restaurants that could be fun to twist ? What city is hosting the SuperDuperBowl ? And of course, which two teams are playing in the big game because we need to make sure that we have some regional respresentation in the cuisine. So let’s look at this year’s teams and let’s see where we might be headed since I need to start planning NOW !!!
New Orleans Saints – crawfish pies, alligator chili – 2 dishes that have made the menu in the past – we could see some beignets this year too
Minnesota Vikings – hmmmm – deep fried walleye cubes ? deep fried snickers ? Lutefisk ? (I hope the vikings lose)
Dallas Cowboys – something tex-mex or maybe bbq, perhaps the Texas Crabgrass will reappear on the menu
Arizona Cardinals – Phoenix…..ummmmm……I’ll get back to you on this one
Green Bay Packers – Cheese, cheese dip, port wine cheese & crackers, a stilton perchance ?
Philadelphia Eagles – no cheesesteaks, no cream cheese, going to have to think on this one
Indianapolis Colts – ummmmm – I know they celebrate with Milk at the Indy 500
San Diego Chargers – some hawaiian fusion, seafood, maybe a mexican influence while keeping it light or perhaps a zoo platter of exotic meats
New England Patriots – clam chowder ? a lobster roll ? baked beans ?
Cincinnati Bengals – they tell me that chili is big in Cincy so maybe I tie in my gator chili if they play the Saints
New York J-E-T-S jetsjetsjets – bagels with a schmeer ? hot pastrami sliders ? dirty water dogs ? street meat ?
Baltimore Ravens – Crab cakes or crab dip – could tie in with the Texas Crabgrass though I would shoot myself if I had to sit through Baltimore & Dallas in the SuperDuperBowl.
And of course, since the game is in Miami this year, we need to do something with a cuban influence to it.
I have also already decided that I have to try and recreate the Tennessee Tailpipes from Fat Annie’s Truck Stop in NYC and I will obviously make my honey orange hicken wings too along with a tray or two of corn muffins and mini sundaes in phyllo dough cups (a MUST according to the swamprats). Those are givens.
So that’s What’s Cooking Behind The Shades for now. Please help me fill in my culinary blanks and give me some other suggestions too. I am open to try just about anything…..once.
(this blog also appears at allrecipes.com)