Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is usually more about friends and food for me. I'm not a football fan, so this is the time to put together a great meal and pig out.

M. made his famous chili in two incarnations: meat and vegetarian. The veggie version has tofu as the "meat" and J. taught him a cool trick. Buy super-firm tofu, freeze it, then crumble it into bits with your hands. It'll look a lot like ground meat. Heck, I couldn't tell and if I didn't already know it was tofu, I would have believed it was meat. Appearance and texture were right on with ground meat.

Between the tofu and the extra beans, the vegetarian version is almost heartier than the meat version. Both had a nice kick, thanks to one habañero and one jalapeño split between both pots.

M. made cornbread, but I didn't take a picture of it. It disappeared too quickly! I made sweet corn tomalito, which I sheepishly admit is a knock-off of the Chevy's side dish. What? I like the stuff. Here's a great recipe for it:

Sweet Corn Tomalito

I accidentally left it in the steamer for far longer than 60 minutes and it still turned out great. Once the water was boiling and steam was generated, I turned the heat down pretty low.

Corn, beans, tofu, and meat are pretty heavy stuff, so a chopped salad lightened it up. This is definitely day of chain restaurant knock-offs, because I modeled the salad after Claim Jumper's Barbeque Chicken Salad. I omitted the chicken, black beans, and tortilla strips (which people could add since we had them on the table with salsa and queso), but there was a finely chopped mix of cabbage, lettuce, jicama, tomato, corn, cilantro, and scallions. It was topped with BBQ ranch, which I like with 3 parts ranch with 1 part BBQ sauce.

D. had his own list of side dishes he wanted, which started with jalapeño poppers from Costco. They're breaded, hollowed-out jalapeños filled with cream cheese. I'm not a fan of copious amounts of cream cheese, so I didn't have more than a bite.

He made pigs-in-a-blanket with kielbasa and Italian sausage. A portion of either would be wrapped in puff pastry, then baked for 20 minutes. Yum!

Fried chicken with our usual chicken recipe.

The chicken is brined in mixture of buttermilk, lots of kosher salt, and a bay leaf the night before. Before it's fried, it's dredged in flour mixed with cayenne pepper and dried herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary... many herbs work). Each piece is fried for 5 minutes, then baked for half an hour. As always, D. does a fantastic job with the fried chicken.

We kept dessert simple with brownies from a mix, chocolate cut-out cookies, and coffee-walnut cookies from Alice Medrich's Pure Desserts. Alice Medrich's recipe was ridiculously and fabulously easy: pulse walnuts, coffee grounds, and flour together in a food processor. Then, butter is pulsed into the mixture. Add splashes of brandy and vanilla. That's it. The dough is pulsed until it balls up, then it's rolled into a log and refrigerated overnight. Before baking, the log is sliced and a whole coffee bean is pressed into the center.

The chocolate cut-out cookies were from Bon Appetit's December '07 issue. I made some for gift baskets before the holidays and froze half the dough for later use. The cookies turned out fabulous after a month in the freezer.

Royal icing and sprinkles made for a decorate-your-own cookie station. The food was fantastic, but the company really made the party. Thank you to our guests!

1 bites:

MetroSD said...

Thank you to our hosts, the consummate entertainers!!

1 bites