The Super Bowl is probably the most famous & most celebrated unofficial American Holiday on the calendar. It is being contested this coming Sunday between the American Football Conference Champion Baltimore Ravens & the National Football Conference Champion San Francisco 49ers and it is being celebrated by millions & millions of people not only across the United States but across the globe. Some will be watching for the game and some will be watching the commercials and others will be watching to see if they won their 100 square Super Bowl pool. No matter why or where they are watching, there will be one common thread running through every gathering or viewing party…
And that is where I come in. The Super Bowl is my day to go nuts in the kitchen. My wife & children clear out soon after breakfast and come home just before kickoff. When they leave, I am a mess. When they come home, the kitchen is a mess. The food however is plentiful despite the fact that I am really only feeding an army of five. I realize that most serious football fans wouldn’t want their family around for the game but my favorite team hasn’t made it to the final game of the season since 1999 (Go Broncos !) so for me, the food is more important. All that being said, let’s see what is tentatively on the menu this year and please remember, all dishes are subject to change at the whim of the chef.
Alligator Chili – this recipe has been on the menu for seven or eight years now and was a gameday inspiration that grew out of my wife’s pregnancy cravings back in 1997 but that is another blog for another time. Alligator does not taste like chicken but has more of a pork like quality to it. It’s also incredibly lean meat. Speaking of lean, neither myself or the host of “What’s Cooking ?” were terribly lean when a video was shot on how to make Alligator Chili but we are both much better now.
Honey Orange Chicken Wings featuring Uncle Dougie’s Chicken Wing Marinade – This recipe not only features my favorite chicken wing marinade on the planet but it also uses wingettes because that is what my family likes more than other chicken wing (tip or no tip). I marinate a couple of pounds of wingettes in a combination of Uncle Dougie’s, Orange Juice, Honey, Mustard & Key Lime Juice. I then bake them low & slow until the glaze is almost sticky and the meat is falling off the bones. ( http://www.originaluncledougies.com/ )
Game Day Mac & Mex – This is a recipe I came up with recently in regard to a challenge put forth by Sargento Shredded Cheese. This time, instead of making it in a large pan, I am going to spoon big scoops into individual muffin tins and top them with a dollop of salsa as they go into the oven. These will either be really good or really easy to throw at the chef.
Cheddar Bacon Deviled Eggs – the name pretty much says it all though this year, I’ll add some Bacon Salt to a recipe that includes bacon, shredded cheddar, mustard, hot sauce & a dusting of smoked paprika. This is always Daughter # 2’s favorite dish.
I always try to make a dish that represents each of the two teams in the big game and this year is no different.
Shredded Asian Duck Legs (San Francisco – in a nod to Chinatown) – the concept is here but now we have to see about the execution. I am thinking of a plum sauce or a hoisin sauce or a sweet chili sauce with the shredded duck and all served inside little phyllo cups. This dish will get more thought & scrutiny the closer we get to Sunday. Any suggestions ?
Creole Crab and Corn Chowder (Baltimore) – this dish will also probably be played with and altered (look for crawfish to somehow enter the mix) before kickoff but like I said two weeks ago, I wanted something that said both Baltimore & New Orleans since I wanted the Ravens to beat the Patriots. (and yes, that is why I picked MANHATTAN clam chowder to represent the patriots)
Baby Back Ribs – I’ll do some low & slow in the oven with a mild dry rub on them just in case my anticipated trading of chili for ribs doesn’t come off during the pregame show. I’ll go mild because my son will be the one who will eat the most of these and he likes to gnaw on the rib bones like the animal that he is. I can’t gnaw on the bones until we finish off all of my dental work so that looks more like the 2014 or 2015 Super Bowl for me. Ribs are a Super Bowl standard and have to be made or obtained but there must be some in the house.
Dip with Sour Cream & Key Lime Greek Yogurt – okay, that’s a bit wide open and fairly non-descript but over the years I have collected a good quantity of hot sauces and I have also acquired a good number of specialized dip mixes that either call for sour cream or mayonnaise as their main ingredient. Over those same numbers of years, first plain yogurt, then plain greek yogurt came into vogue as something to mix into a dip. I am going to take it one step further this year and try to use Key Lime Greek Yogurt. I’ll have a better idea come Saturday when I dive into the pantry to see what I have and what might work.
My Wife’s Guacamole – I won’t even begin to try and duplicate the goodness of her guacamole. It’s a very simple recipe that I don’t know and wouldn’t even begin to try to make. This is her responsibility and she will bang it out after they get back from the movies just before kickoff. I think my daughter Caty has it as a personal recipe in her recipe box but I haven’t checked and I am not sure if I can.
Key Lime & Blackberry Bread Pudding – I tried this 2 weeks ago with a Blackberry Rum Sauce and while it was well received, it needed some tweaks to be better. I’ll make those tweaks this Sunday and then maybe we will have a recipe that can be submitted for publication. I have thought about changing the blackberries to blueberries and a blueberry syrup drizzle but I like the sour counterpoint of the blackberries with the sweetness of the key lime just a little bit better.
And finally, Mom’s Blondies – the only recipe I have ever submitted to Allrecipes.com that got rejected as being too similar to another recipe on the site and that happened back in the late 1990’s. They are brown sugar & chocolate chip goodness that you can make with or without the nuts I like to make them as a tribute to Mom since she always made sure that we had a tray every Super Bowl Sunday when we were growing up.
So there you have it, that’s my line-up for Sunday’s big game. Things could change based on availability at the grocer and whatever whim takes me that day. It could also change based on your suggestions or ideas. Now if you want to follow my progress on Sunday, the best way to do it is to follow me on Twitter (@swampynomo) or you can wait for the blog that recaps my successes and failures.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the actual game. San Francisco has a quarterback that can explode with his arm or his legs and a very opportunistic defense. Baltimore has the most boring quarterback in the NFL but boring or not, the kid wins. The Ravens also have the extra motivation of this being Ray Lewis’ final game. I think it will be an exciting game and if everything goes as planned, the final score will be Baltimore 27 San Francisco 23 and I will have won my 100 square Super Bowl Pool.