In case you have been locked up in the attic or perhaps stuck in front of your television watching a DOWNTOWN ABBEY marathon, I have a little bit of news to share with you. The Super Bowl is going to be played this weekend in Indianapolis and the New England Patriots are playing the New York Giants. Amazing how little things like that can sneak up on you, isn’t it ?
So what does that mean for the rest of us ? Super Bowl Parties and Game Day Menus – that’s what it means. I have seen some blogs here and some buzzes there asking about what to make so I thought that it was once again time for me to share my pre-game menu. This is still the planning stage and there will be some late additions & subtractions and not every dish will make the cut but this is the list that I will start working off of over the next few days.
Now for those of you who don’t know or remember, I have a standing agreement with my wife & kids on Super Bowl Sunday. After breakfast, they leave and don’t come back until an hour or so before kickoff. That leaves me the whole day to do some last minute shopping, some prepping and a whole lot of cooking. Based on past experiences there will be something that is new & great, there will be something that falls flat on it’s face, there will be something that was never on the menu to begin with and there will be plenty of leftovers to supplement dinner with for the next week or so. With all that in mind, let’s review the Game Day Menu items that are currently under consideration.
ALLIGATOR CHILI – this dish first made an appearance at the 2006 Super Bowl and is a stone cold lock to be made again this year. In fact, my order of fresh gator meat is on it’s way from www.cajungrocer.com as we type.
– blatant plug to watch the “What’s Cooking ?” video I shot with Michael Ketchum where we actually made some of the chili.
BASIC CORN MUFFINS – I make them almost every time I make the chili. I’ll most likely make mini-muffins
HONEY LIME CHICKEN WINGS – my wife requested a different spin on chicken wings this year so rather than use my wing sauce/orange juice/key lime mustard/honey mixture, I’m going to try the recipe that popped up on the Recipe of the Day the other day. I will most likely bake instead of fry too since I am being so health conscious these days. (I’ll also probably sneak some tequila into the marinade for a little extra kick)
RIBS OR MINI LAMB CHOPS – this request comes from my 6 year old who just loves to gnaw meat off of a bone. I swear he was a wolf in a past life based on the way he growls at me when he is eating and when we are wrestling. In either case, it will be a very straight forward preparation with virtually no sauce or seasoning. Just the way he likes them. (I’ll also boil some corn on the cob for him – he makes cartoon crows look like slackers when it comes to eating corn on the cob)
CHEDDAR BACON DEVILED EGGS – shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, mustard, hot sauce, salt & pepper with a dash of smoked paprika for color at the end. Always a favorite and I can never make too much of these.
TEXAS CRABGRASS – this crab & spinach dip has been a favorite of mine for some time and it has been the base & inspiration for many a tangential dip – I have a tendency to free style. I am already thinking of how to change this one and I am thinking about adding some scallops so it is more of a crab & scallop dish. (It’s faceless too – I may have to do it just for that reason alone)
COCONUT CHILI CRAWFISH CUPS – this one came to me two weeks ago from the bottom of the culinary rut I was in and it was the game day MVP. I saw a bottle for Frank’s Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce in my fridge and a light went off. (In my head – not the fridge – I changed that one last week) It’s 1lb of crawfish tails lightly sautéed in some butter, salt & pepper and then mixed with sweet chili sauce and a handful or two of dried coconut flakes. Then you put a small scoop of cream cheese (I used Neufchatel for the healthy aspect) in the bottom of each phyllo cup and then piled the crawfish mixture on top. Into the oven for no more than 10 minutes at 350 to brown the cups and melt the cream cheese a little and they are good to go. (I would post a picture at this point but I don’t know how to in the middle of a blog so you will have to go to the bottom to see them)
PEAR GORGONZOLA PIZZA – now this is another recent Recipe of the Day that caught my eye. Whether I make it or even follow the recipe is up for debate. I do have a frozen pizza crust in the basement freezer that I could use but I have to admit that I am already thinking of changing this one to more of a Cheddar Apple Horseradish Flatbread. I did something like it 3 years ago for New Year’s Eve but I was using crispy cornbread crackers as my base back then.
FISH TACO or PANINI STYLE SANDWICH – I usually have one of the other. Last year I made a Cherry Balsamic Duck & Spinach Panini with Goat Cheese that was out of this world so I may have to go Fish Taco this year. Of course I did some really awesome chicken thighs in a very citrusy way that could make me think chicken taco. I don’t know. This one has me a bit perplexed.
FRIED/SCRAMBLED EGGS BENEDICT – Long Shot. I’ll admit it. Eggs Benny made last year’s pre-game menu and then never got dressed for the game. I did make this two weeks ago for the conference championship games but I used Thomas’ new corn English muffins, Canadian bacon, both fried & scrambled eggs, some leftover crawfish from the cups above and a cheese sauce that was actually reduced Cheesy Veggie Soup ( http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cheesy-veggie-soup/detail.aspx ). They were great but I’m just not sure if I really need them. If I do make them, I have to figure out a way to make a mango cream sauce instead. (Picture at the bottom)
GUACAMOLE – is being handled by Caty24 (thanks to all for your great comments & encouragement on her first blog last week – APPLE PIE FOR BREAKFAST) She will be making my wife’s version of Guacamole.
BLUEBERRY PIE – my wife is going to make a blueberry pie. She’s never made one before but the success that she has had these past 2 weeks making apple pie has emboldened her to try and with blueberries being somewhat of a New England treat it can count as our Patriots entry.
CINNAMON RAISIN BAGEL BREAD PUDDING – Bagels, how much more New York can you get ? I suppose I could go find a place that is making Blue Bagels for the game (Blue Crust Pizza too) but I’m not a Giants fan. I’m thinking that maybe I mix in some Empire (StateBuilding) Apples and make it a truly New York dish. I haven’t researched any bread pudding recipes yet but I am sure I can one that will allow me to switch in bagels for bread.
So that is the Game Plan for the Super Bowl Menu for now. All items (well not the gator chili or the crawfish cups) are subject to possible change and as always, I am more than open to any suggestions or helpful hints you may have for me. Thanks in advance for your help.
Come back next time when we talk about Super Bowl Food, Super Bowl Commercials and the Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring a headliner who has been around as long as that bottle of mustard in the back of a non-cooking bachelor’s fridge because Lord knows, I am not going to want to talk about the game. (I don’t like either team just in case you didn’t already know that)