ImageNot many people today can picture going to or watching a football game without thinking about the food that goes with the game. The Game Day or Tailgate Spread for any game (and especially for me) is usually a well thought out menu that combines local flavors & preferences with a healthy dose of Game Day traditions. That is why when RITZ asked for help in coming up with New York inspired Game Day recipes for the biggest Game Day of the year, I jumped at the chance.

I may live in New Jersey but I have worked in New York for most of my professional life and one constant has always been that when a client comes to visit from out of town, we all go eat at a steakhouse. New York has some of the finest steakhouses in the country so with that in mind, it made sense to me to see what kind of a steakhouse inspired Game Day Bite we could come up with using RITZ Crackers. It was then that I suddenly remembered an ad I used to hear on the radio every morning as I drove to the train where the owner of a very famous steakhouse said that you could always find him in the kitchen with his spoon in the creamed spinach. It was in that instant that the concept for RITZ Steakhouse Bites was born, a RITZ Cracker with a spoonful of creamed spinach on it, topped by a slice of steak & a drizzle of Béarnaise Sauce. It’s a classic New York steakhouse taste in just a single bite.

Now when it comes to cooking, I have always been a fairly straightforward kind of cook who does well with the basics. To put it into football terminology, I am a “3 yards & a cloud of dust” kind of chef so putting a little razzle dazzle into my kitchen playbook could have been somewhat daunting but it wasn’t and if I can make them, so can you. First I’ll give you recipe and then I’ll give you a few tips on how to make it so you’ll be dancing in the end zone with your guests on Game Day.

RITZ Steakhouse Bites


Creamed Spinach:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (6 ounce) package baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch of black pepper


Béarnaise Sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup melted butter

18 RITZ Crackers

3 ounces thinly sliced, cooked beef tenderloin, but into bite-sized pieces



Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add spinach and cover for 1 minute to steam. Uncover and stir spinach until it is wilted. Drain spinach, dry between paper towels, and chop. Melt butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for a minute. Add heavy cream and nutmeg; stir to combine. Add chopped spinach and combine thoroughly. Remove from heat when spinach is creamy. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a separate sauté pan; add shallots and white wine vinegar. Cook until all liquid has evaporated, about a minute. Remove from the pan; set aside to cool.


Add egg yolk and lemon juice to blender; slowly blend in half cup of melted butter until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour into shallots mixture. Stir in chopped fresh tarragon.


To assemble bites, place about 1-1/2 teaspoons creamed spinach on top of a RITZ Cracker. Place a slice of steak on top of the creamed spinach, then drizzle with about 1-1/2 teaspoon béarnaise sauce over the steak

Now for some of those tips I promised. Creamed Spinach is really quite easy and the baby spinach leaves will wilt quickly. Do pat dry the spinach after you have let it drain for a little while in order to make sure you don’t have too much excess moisture. If you don’t have fresh spinach, frozen will work but it really needs to drain. You can always add more butter or cream and keep a lemon handy to brighten it a little with a quick squeeze rather than adding more salt.

Trust me, Béarnaise Sauce is easier to make than it is to spell. The hardest part is separating the eggs. I have found that despite the small batch being made, that it is much better to use a blender than it is to use a small food processor. The one time I used a food processor, the sauce came out a little thin.

Tenderloin or Filet Mignon are the true New York Steakhouse steaks that you want to use for these Game Day Bites on the biggest of Game Days but slices of any cut of steak will actually do if you make sure the slices are thin enough to chew easily.

Now there are a great many more New York inspired RITZ Game Day Bites recipes by other Allrecipes Allstars and by RITZ for you to try & enjoy. They can all be accessed by visiting the RITZ Recipe Collection or Game Day Hub on

And in my next blog we are going to do just that. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has come up with one of their own RITZ inspired Game Day Bites recipe (RITZ Country Fried Ribs with Zesty Buttermilk Ranch Dressing) and I am going to make them because BBQ was made for Football and Football was made for BBQ.

Bring a taste of New York to your Game Day parties with RITZ Crackers and be sure to follow all of the RITZ Game Day Bites action on Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest by using & following the hashtag #RITZNYBlitz

I participated in a campaign on behalf of RITZ Crackers. I received a sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

I am an Allrecipes Allstar brand ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not
compensated for my work with

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews
on Behind The Shades. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of DOUG MATTHEWS.


January 8, 2014 · 2:21 pm

6 responses to “Introducing RITZ STEAKHOUSE BITES

  1. Great post Doug! Love the recipe and can’t wait to try it. I love game day for the fact that I LOVE to cook and eat the food. 😉

  2. Pingback: NYC, Me and RITZ Hazelnut Gelato Sandwiches - The 7up Experience

  3. Pingback: Time for the Big Game with RITZ | Country Girl Gourmet

  4. Pingback: UPDATE~~NYC, Me and RITZ with an Allstar Round-Up - The 7up Experience

  5. Pingback: Behind The Shades...

  6. Pingback: RITZ Spicy Asian Wings | Life Tastes Good

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s