Big Game Eats
Posted on February 5th, 2024
The Big Game is Sunday, 11 February 2024 and while it is not officially a National Holiday it has all the components of one:
- National Pride
- Unification (at least for your team!)
This year let’s look at some classics with a few updates for diversity and ease of home preparation.
- WINGS ditch the fryer in favor the grill. A light toss in seasoned potato starch will add crispness you crave without the added calories and mess. Shake things up with whole wings instead of the traditional drumettes and flats; notch the joint from the inside to stretch them out straight. Better plate coverage and slower eating. And get wild with the sauces, even if a bit of sauteed garlic in the traditional hot sauce. Offer a “dipping bar” of three or more sauces or rubs. Celery and bleu cheese for sure and some jicama and daikon radish to go with the Mexican and Asian dips.
- BURGERS help guests customize by diversifying toppings in a post-COVID self-serve area and offer plain and cheesed versions of your burger either batch cooked or cook-to-flow. This prevents every item from becoming a “special order”. Operational tip: put cheese on the bottom and leave the top burger bare to receive the condiments. This accomplishes two wonderful benefits for guest delight: bottom bun stays dry from the cheesy moisture barrier AND the top bun is easily removed to dress as desired.
- HOT DOGS are technically a sandwich. Chicagoans have known this for a very long time. In addition to cheese sauce, onion-in-sauce, sauerkraut, chili, and other cooked condiments add sandwich fillings that go with anything. BLT? Sure! Avocado and Salsa? Why wouldn’t you? Make it a “special”
with Russian dressing and coleslaw. Feel free to split and stuff as well. Remember: pigs-in-a-blanket count.
- CHILI with beans or a Texas bowl-of-red, this stew is versatile and has “hang-time”. Toppings are a must but what about using the chili as a topping? Too easy? Maybe. And still fun! Stuff into mini pita, lettuce wraps, and bake into phyllo cups.
- SPUDS skins, tots, fries, mashed potato bar (regular, sweet, and garlic smashed reds) are ready to cross-merchandise with your plethora of toppings. And the extra starch with give guests energy for cheering!
- CHARCUTERIE which is French for I’d love a sandwich, but I have no bread. Cured meats and cheeses with pickled and brined accompaniments are a winning team.
- DIPS spinach and artichoke (hot or cold), 7- or 9-layer, queso, salsa, bean dip, hummus, even French onion. Use different textures of bread, crostini, chips, even matzoh for dip conveyance. OK, some crudité, too…if you’re feeling a touch guilty regarding the above.
- PIZZA please leave this one traditional. NO pineapple allowed!
- SWEETS individuals for sure: brownies, cookies, ice cream novelties. 2-point conversion for teaching the proper way to eat cupcakes.
Whatever you choose, plan your menu in advance and stay focused. Organize serving equipment on Saturday and be mindful of heat management on and in your cooking surfaces. Most of all, organize that you will be finished with preparations by kickoff so that you can enjoy the Big Game, too!
Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?