Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Super Bowl Recipes that Will Make You Feel Like a Champ... Even if Your Last Name is Manning

I'm a big fan of any excuse to cook a bunch of food, drink and watch sports.

And since football is my absolute favorite sport, in true "I may have gone overboard" fashion, I decided to make a boatload of food to shove in my face while rooting on two teams that aren't mine.

Yeah... my beloved Packers sat at home on the couch. Whomp whomp whomp. And my gripes with the offensive line, atrocious play calling, and incredibly-special special teams will be saved for another blog.

It's time for nomcity.

I was hoping people would come over and watch the game (*cough*helpmeeateverythingImade*cough*), but alas...it was only Chris and me, and since sharing is caring, and diabetes and heart disease are better shared with someone you love, here are some of this year's football food recipes.

Shredded Chicken Nachos
I know, I know...you don't really need a recipe for nachos, but I wanted to share with ya'll the method to my madness and the following plate of nachos that will make you want to dive head first into your plate of cheesy, crunchy, spicy, meat like you're a kindergartner in a ball pit.

Tortilla Chips (eyeball it)
1 sm. can sliced olives (drained)
banana peppers (drained)
2 shredded chicken breasts (recipe follows - you'll need chicken breasts, salsa, and a packet of taco seasoning)
1 sm. yellow onion, diced
2 sm. tomatoes, seeded and diced
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips
3 green onions, sliced thinly

1. To make the shredded chicken, place a chicken breast in a crockpot and top with a jar of salsa and a packet of taco seasoning. Put on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8 hours.  When done, shred using forks.  Remove meat from sauce and drain excess juice.

2. Layer tortillas on an oven safe cookie sheet.  Top with shredded meat, sliced olives, banana peppers and onions.  Top with a layer of cheese, then add another layer of the tortillas, meat, and veggies. This picture is all ready for the second layer of a heart attack.

3. Pop in a preheated 425° oven until cheese is bubbly and melted.  Top with additional olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, shredded chicken, and onions...or whatever veggie you have left.  Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or anything else your little heart desires.

Crab Rangoon
One of my absolute favorite things in this world is Crab Rangoon.  I love crab (even the fake stuff - don't judge).  Cream cheese, fried fabuousness...I mean..how can you go wrong?  So I dreamed up the following recipe and have been tweaking it a bit since I started making the fried pillows of heaven and gloriousness.

2 8 oz. packages imitation crab meat (The real stuff would be better, but a lady's on a budget here)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
3 scallions
juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
3 T. mayo
2 T. minced garlic
1 package Won-Ton Wrappers
Vegetable Oil (for frying)

1. Dice crab meat into small pieces and add to a bowl.  The goal here is to be able to put the meat in a won ton wrapper, so make sure the things you dice are small enough to fit in the wrapper without blowing it to smithereens.

2. Thinly slice the whites and greens of 3 scallions. Add to the bowl with crab. Add cream cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper, Worcestershire, mayo, and garlic.   (Note:  I didn't add all of these at first - it was about halfway through the recipe that I thought "What if..." and loved the addition.  See? That's why cooking is so great - feel an inspiration? BAM!  Change it up.)

3. Time to get messy - combine the mix in the bowl so all of the ingredients are good and incorporated.

4. For the won-tons, take half of the package and place them on a plate covered with a damp paper towel.  Cover the won-tons with another damp paper towel. Place the remaining half package in a baggie and reserve in the refrigerator.  (You don't want your won tons to dry out - they'll crack and be impossible to work with)
5. There are a couple of ways you can package up your Crab Rangoons.  To start, take a won-ton wrapper and place it on your cutting board, place approximately 1 T. of the filling in the center of the won-ton and brush all sides with water.

One method is to create Won-Ton packages.  Fold wrapper over the filling, forming a triangle, press all sides to seal, then press two of the triangle ends together.

Orrrr you can make a cute little purse! Gather up all corners and bring to the center, pinching together to form a sealed delicious Crab Rangoon-vuitton.

6. If you're making these bad boys ahead of time, spray with a little vegetable oil, cover with a damp paper towel, and pop in the fridge until ready to use.

7. To fry,  heat oil to 350-375° and fry in small batches until golden brown (about 3 minutes each).  For a healthier option (hah...really though, you're eating cream cheese and fake crab), bake in a preheated 425° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon and Cheese Potato Chips
Another no-brainer recipe I suppose, but I wanted to include it anyway.  I first had these chips at The Barn, the bar that was in the apartment community where I lived in Columbus.  It was probably one of my favorite bars in Columbus not only because I could literally stumble back to my apartment after drinking, but because they have "$4 You Call It" drinks on Thursdays, live bands on the weekends, and for residents - a gym downstairs, and a pool was right out back.  Seriously. I was in love.

The potatoes are not only crispy, they're covered in cheese and bacon and if that wasn't enough to make you get a cardiologist on the phone, they also come with sour cream and barbecue sauce.

Since we already had so much food, I decided to just use one super large russet.  Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your needs and the mouths you're feeding.

Russet Potatoe(s)
3 strips Bacon
1/2 c. Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 Scallion, thinly sliced
Sour Cream (for dipping)
Barbecue Sauce (for dipping)
Vegetable Oil

1. Cook your bacon and slice into thin strips.  I cooked mine on a baking rack on an aluminum foil lined sheet tray at 425° for 24 minutes, flipping the bacon halfway through.

 2. Peel your potato and slice, using a mandoline, set on the "Medium Slice" thickness.  I love my mandoline - I received it as a gift and it's such a handy tool to have. If you don't have one, that's ok...just slice slice slice.

3. Place your sliced potatoes in a bowl of water.  The water will help remove the pesky starch from the potatoes and allow you to achieve maximum awesome-crispyness in your chips.  Let your potatoes soak for at least an hour, but if you forget about them and they soak for several hours, that's ok, too.

4. When you're ready to fry up your potatoes, drain them and pat dry.  Heat oil to 300°.  Add potatoes, a small batch at a time, about 3-4 minutes each batch. You don't want to get them golden brown, you're just blanching them at this point.  Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels.

5. Now crank up the heat in your oil to 375°.  Again, in small batches, fry your potatoes, getting them good and crispy.  When browned, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season.

6. Now time to layer the potato-sexyness!  In an oven safe dish, spread a layer of your drained potato chips out.  Add your bacon strips and cheese. Pop into a preheated 425° oven and let the cheese get bubbly and melty.  Remove and garnish with the chopped scallions.  Serve with ramekins of sour cream and barbecue sauce.

Hot Wings that Won't Burn Your Face Off 
As a note, I almost typed the title "waaaaaangs" in an attempt to be funny.  And then I read why I typed outloud, and after giggling about "wangs", I decided to delete it all and not be funny for now.  Oh well.

I'm not a big fan of buffalo wings because the sauce bothers me. I just don't like the tang of a Frank's Red Hot Sauce.  Chris requested these, and since I know the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, Chicken wings it is.   I know I made Sriracha Honey Ginger Wings previously, but those were baked. I wanted to try my hand at frying some wings.

Ingredients For The Dredge
1 package chicken wings (1 - 1/2 pounds)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
3 c. flour (divided)
1 c. corn meal
2 Dried Ancho Chiles steeped in water
1/4 c. chopped, dried ancho chiles
1 1/2 c.Milk (I use almond milk since I don't have regular cow's milk in my home)
6 T. Garlic Powder (divided)
Vegetable Oil (for frying)

Ingredients for the Sauce
3 T. chopped, hydrated ancho chiles
1/2 c. tomato sauce
2 T. garlic powder
3 T. honey
1 T. sherry vinegar
1/3 c. Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. cold butter

1. Trim off the wing tips of your chicken.
2. For the wet dredge, combine half of the flour and garlic powder, salt, pepper, half of the dried ancho chiles, almond milk, and ancho chile steeping water.

3. For the dry dredge, combine remaining flour and garlic power, salt, pepper, corn meal and remaining dried ancho chiles.

4. Coat chicken in wet dredge, rubbing the mixture into the meat and transfer to the dry. Coat well and shake of excess.

5. You can skip this step if you're not a fan of super-breaded wings.  Since I like a lot of crunch on my chicken, I decided to give the chicken another pass through through the wet and dry.

6. Heat oil to 375°.  Drop chicken, a small amount at a time into the hot oil, allowing chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165°.
7. For the sauce, combine all ingredients except the butter into a small saucepan.  Heat until simmering and reduce heat. Allow to combine, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Shortly before service, add cold butter and stir to combine.
Why wait until the last minute to add your butter? And why cold butter? Too much heat will cause the butterfat in yo butter to separate and leak out. Basically the molecules in the butter don't like to play nice with other molecules and since you don't have an emulsifier in your sauce, shit gets weird.  Just add it at the end.  (psssst....you can also add mustard powder as an emulsifying agent).

8. Remove chicken and allow to rest on paper towels to drain grease.  Place chicken in a bowl and drizzle sauce around the edge of chicken.  Toss to coat and serve on a platter with celery.

Those were a lot of recipes for this week - phew!   And Chris and I had so much food I really should have brought the leftovers into work the next day and shoved them all in front of people's faces. 

But hey... it was an occasion to make tons of food and drink non-light beer.  After all, the Super Bowl comes around only once a year.... and after experiencing Seattle's Defense, I'm sure Peyton is pretty ok about that.

Sorry, Peyton.


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