Cheeseheads Rejoice ! The Anthem has been botched. The commercials have been watched. The Half Time Show has shown
which super group is really nothing more than a very generous mixing board. The food has been consumed. The time has expired and the confetti cannons have been fired. The Green Bay Packers have taken the Lombardi Trophy back home to the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau
Field with a thrilling 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday. For Steelers fans there is always “next year”. (A phrase that I am sure Buffalo Bills fans got awfully tired of hearing a while back when they lost 4 Super Bowls in a row).
And that can only mean one thing, it time for the Super Bowl XLV Menu Review. What worked ? What didn’t ? Who got the MVP & the trip to Disney World and who got the bench & a trip to the showers ? And which dish just never made it to the game ?
- This rock solid favorite once again anchored the buffet table during the game. We had two alligator “virgins” try it and they both were converts. This may have been the best batch I ever cooked up and that includes the time that What’s Cooking ? came
to tape. (and how did you do dragonfly22 – I am dying to know)
HONEY CHICKEN WINGS – These had a hot sticky sweetness to them that
matched the golden color that low & slow in the oven gave them. The chicken was just about falling off the bone. I can’t remember the last time I screwed these up.
BABY BACK RIBS – I put these in a pan with some orange juice & maple
syrup, covered them tight with foil and let them cook at 275 for a couple of hours. A second saucing during the last uncovered half hour gave them a little more flavor. The meat was again falling off the bone but I think I might have liked them a little firmer.
By the time I got done slicing, the rib bowl was starting to resemble a pile of pulled pork. Not the best I have ever done but a good solid contender.
CHEDDAR BACON DEVILED EGGS – These get better every time I make them.
I threw in a slice of bacon for each egg and shredded a lot more cheddar then I needed. Mayo, Spicy Brown Mustard, a dash or two of Hot Sauce and a sprinkle of Paprika and these bad boys looked like they were on steroids. The filling was just overflowing out
of the eggs and my deviled egg loving daughter was in heaven.
HAM BARBECUE CRESCENTS – having never made or tasted Pittsburgh BBQ
before I wasn’t sure what to expect. (I wasn’t however surprised to see so much ketchup in the recipe considering which company is based in ) I was pleasantly surprised by the sauce I started to put it all together. It reminded me a little bit of baked beans
and when the ham got mixed in, it really started to come together. I probably should have cooked it down a bit more than I did because it was a little runny and difficult to roll on the crescent dough with the shredded swiss. Once I got it rolled up into two
separate rolls, I wrapped them one more time in parchment before throwing them into the freezer for a couple of hours. Just before game time, I pulled them out and sliced them into rounds. A distraction due to the kids coming home early meant they stayed in
the oven a few minutes longer than intended so they had a little char on the edges but that added to their character. I will definitely continue to experiment & mash up recipes with these rollups.
CRAWFISH & CORN NACHO SCOOPS – This sounded so good in theory but
in practice, it probably was my biggest failure/disappointment. The original recipe that I was freestyling off of called for crab & mayonnaise but I wasn’t making a dip so I left out the mayo. I also added some cilantro, green onion & diced red pepper so it
looked great when I scooped it into the nacho scoops but I think that key lime juice I used made the scoops soggy and the jack cheese wasn’t enough of a binder. I think what I really needed to use was something more like a cilantro lime cream sauce or a white
fish taco sauce. This idea has tremendous potential and I think the next time I try it, we will be singing it’s praises and making little statues in the backyard in it’s honor.
BASIL ROASTED RED PEPPER JACK CORN MUFFINS
– the picture at the bottom says it all for this idea. Clearly a visual masterpiece as well as being a taste great sensation. The pepperjack cheese gives it a little bite and they can almost be a side
dish on their very own.
CHERRY BALSAMIC DUCK WITH SPINACH & GOAT CHEESE PANINIS – TOUCHDOWN
!!! MVP !!! THIS IS GOING TO DISNEY WORLD !!! FAR & AWAY THE CROWD FAVORITE !!! The only change I would make on this sandwich (and I am going to submit it to AR in the very near future) is to make sure I used duck breast. By the time I got to Shop Rite, they
only had duck leg quarters left and while good, I think shredded duck breast would have made the Panini that much better.
EGGS BENEDICT WITH KEY LIME HOLLANDAISE – This was the No-Show. I
just plain ran out of time. Every time I thought about getting them going, something else needed my attention. Combine that with the family coming home early thus throwing off the feng shui of my kitchen and this plan was toast. In a small consolation, they
have been requested for Sunday breakfast this week. We shall see.
SWEET POTATO FRIES – I didn’t screw them up but they didn’t impress
either. Probably my best effort to date but still severely lacking in the eyes of this particular chef. One of these years I will treat them with the respect they deserve or I will get that bag of Ore-Ida sweet potato fries and just tell everyone they were
MOM’S BLONDIES – she must have been watching because they were great.
Not quite as cakey as I remember hers being but still god enough to cause catfights in the office yesterday when I didn’t bring in enough of them to share. Thank you all for your kind words in your comments too. That made making them feel even a little more
special. In a side note, they were the first dish made on Sunday and the last dish served.
and finally –
MINI SUNDAE BAR WITH PHYLLO CUPS – ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles and no limit on how many mommy & daddy say you can eat. Can you say awesomeness ? I bought some Neapolitan Ice Cream to
make sure I had every base covered plus I had some Mint Chocolate Chip for me on the side. A great way to end the meal.
Combine all of that with 4 out of combo 5 bets made in Las Vegas paying off (I didn’t get any money down on Christina Aguilera and the National Anthem but I would have bet
the under) and it made for a fun game for all involved.
So what worked for you ? What didn’t ? Did you go to anyone’s party and find a platter of something you wanted to smuggle home under your jersey ? Was there something you
took a bite off and then immediately looked to see if anyone would notice if you stuffed it into the seat cushions ?
And come back next time when we try to get out of the habit of writing sports related food blogs and get back to writing food related blogs about nothing.