Every season, I give the same speech to kickoff Super Bowl month, much like I give the same speech to kickoff the Football Foodie season in August. Why the same speech? Why do teams still listen to “Eye of the Tiger” thirty years later? Why do people still talk about Vince Lombardi’s Super Bowl II speech? Or quote Bear Bryant? Tradition. Because it fits. Because none one remembers that after Tom Landry said, “A winner never stops trying” he said, “to get the the front of the deli line.”
So with a few edits, this is this year’s Football Foodie Super Bowl snack speech.
Did you honestly think you could prepare for the Super Bowl in just a couple of days? Did you say to yourself, “Well, I guess since New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl I could just use this old Hurricane mix I had laying around the house.” Or even, “But I need to get my Pro Bowl party out of the way first! And the Senior Bowl! I cannot even begin to think about my Super Bowl party until next week.”
WELL SUCK IT UP BECAUSE THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU CAN EAT LIKE A PIG UNTIL NEXT SEPTEMBER. You either start planning and cooking now or you will be stuck fighting some I-don’t-care-football-but-maybe-I-will-get-laid-if-I-get-out-of-the-house douchecake in an American Apparel hoodie over the last bag of Cool Ranch Doritos at the Silver Lake Vons next Saturday.
“But Sarah, I was going to make a giant muffaletta or a pot of gumbo for my Super Bowl party. That should feed everyone.” Great. What do you feed everyone for the remaining five hours of your party? If your main course is the game, then what is your halftime show? What are your funny commercials that require you to share 3D glasses with six of your friends and sixty of their filthy 3D thumbprints? Are you ready for people to start rooting through your drawers looking for more snacks? You need to have many, many, supporting dishes for the Super Bowl. For every Matty Ice, there are several lineman there to block for him, and for every Peyton Manning dive to the ground, there are several lineman to throw under the bus for not blocking for him! This is a team sport and your Super Bowl spread needs to reflect that just one or two dishes do not make a buffet.
Are you willing to go to a Super Bowl party and run the risk of them not having enough snacks? And no, showing up with a six-pack of beer is not enough. That’s about a bottle a beer an hour JUST FOR YOURSELF, so no, you did not bring anything to share. So you will sack up and make at least one item to bring to the party. You are a grown-up who can bring at least a covered dish to your friend’s house.
In years past I’ve spread out the recipes over a month for the 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes (or as my pal Smokey calls it, the “football snack advent calendar”), but since the Football Foodie has moved to a new home and I don’t want to wear out our welcome, this year it’s the Month of Super Bowl Recipes, with posts on Wednesday and Friday for your game planning needs.
This year’s snack line-up is a good mix of mains, small bites and sides. Dishes that can be made in advance, cooked the day-of or even tossed together minutes before of the game. Snacks that you’ll love almost as much as the playoffs.
Super Bowl Recipe Month! Skirt Steak Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions And Gorgonzola Sauce, Salt & Pepper Biscuit Bites and a Giant Cherry Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie.
To the recipes!
Skirt Steak Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions And Gorgonzola Sauce
I love this sandwich. It’s that simple. Meaty skirt steak, rich caramelized onions, salty gorgonzola sauce and peppery arugula on a chewy roll. It’s sandwich made watching football and yelling at the Texans to stop BLOWING WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THEIRS UGH WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU HOUSTON DID YOU NOT GET ENOUGH HUGS IN DECEMBER I DON’T WANT TO CHEER FOR THE COLTS IF YOU LOSE.
You will need:
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a touch more for your grill or grill pan.
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk, preferably at least 1% or 2% milk fat
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
1-2 cups arugula
Kosher salt and pepper
6 ciabatta rolls, sliced for sandwiches
Peel and slice the yellow onion into rings. In a large skillet, melt together the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions with a pinch of kosher salt. Saute until the onions start to soften and reduce the heat to medium-low, then continue to cook until they start caramelize, but not entirely broken down into an onion jelly. You want to keep some of the bite of the onion for your sandwich, but with just a hint of sweet to foil the saltiness of the gorgonzola sauce. Stir often, and if your onions start to stick to the pain, deglaze the pan with a bit of water and continue to cook.
While that’s going, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the flour. Whisk together the flour and butter for a couple of minutes until the the flour has toasted a bit, thickened and you have a small bit of roux. Add in 3/4 cup milk, still whisking as to keep the sauce smooth and bring to a boil, then reducing the heat and simmering until thickened. Stir in the gorgonzola cheese with a small bit of a cracked pepper and melt, removing from heat as soon as the cheese has been melted.
Now it’s time to prep your skirt steak. What I have found over the years is that once you unfold your skirt steak, you’ll have thin sections and thicker sections that need slightly different cooking times. No more than a minute or two difference, but as we all know from grilling beef that difference between a minute or two is pretty important. So I tend to cut my skirt steak keeping with the grain into more manageable sections. This is also pretty helpful when you’re using a large double-burner stove top grill where their are hotter sections for the thicker pieces of meat and the middle section is perfect for the thinner cuts. Once you have your beef ready, generously salt and pepper both sides of your skirt steak.
Heat your grill, large grill pan or even a cast iron skillet, to medium-high heat and brush with a small amount olive oil. Cook the skirt steak for 3-6 minutes on each side depending on how thick the piece of meat is and how rare you like your beef. I tend to like my meat nearly bloody rare, but it’s not for everyone so as always, keep your guests in mind while cooking.
Once all your beef has been grilled, remove from the heat and allow to rest for at least 5-6 minutes. After your meat has rested, slice.
Build your sandwiches by stacking a few slices of skirt steak on the bottom of the roll, topping with a bit of onion, the gorgonzola sauce and a small handful of arugula.
Salt & Pepper Biscuit Bites
This is an update on a recipe I posted a couple of years ago, Rosemary, Chive and Cheese Biscuit Bites, which is one of my dream items snack items served for free like beer nuts if I were to ever have own sports bar. Over the summer when I was in New York City, I stopped at a bakery that served pepper and Manchego biscotti. I loved the combination and realized this would be a perfect change to the small biscuits I already loved. The result is an addicting snack item which are better for settling a stomach full of beer and soda than chips.
You may be worried that the small dough ball won’t make that many biscuit bites, but this recipe yields about five dozen of these savory little treats. If you’re having a large party, the recipe is easily doubled or even tripled.
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon course sea salt
1 cup flour
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cold
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) Manchego cheese
Biscuits and crisps like these are pretty forgiving, so if you want to add more cheese, more herbs or even a dash of paprika or cayenne, feel free to play around a bit.
Using a coffee grinder/spice grinder or in a very strong small food processor, pulse together the salt and pepper until it becomes course powder.
In a large bowl, cut together the butter, flour, salt and pepper with either a pastry blender or with two knives until the dough starts to granulate and take on a “sand” like consistency. Add in the Manchego cand sour cream.
Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut together until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Once combined, using your clean hands (why I need to remind you to wash your hands while cooking is beyond me, but every cookbook always says “clean hands” so maybe people are not as clean as I think they are), form into a ball.
Wrap in plastic or wax paper and let the dough chill for at least thirty minutes. You can also make this dough the day before baking and keep it chilled in the fridge. If making ahead of time, I recommend rubbing the dough ball with about a teaspoon of vegetable oil so it does not dry out. Even if you are wrapping it in plastic, the moisture tends to get out somehow if left alone for more than a few hours.
Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350º.
Break the dough into teaspoon-sized flattened balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350º until they start to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves 6-8 as a snack.
Giant Cherry Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
During the regular season, I rarely make desserts or sweets for football. Even after nearly ten hours of games, it never seems like dessert time out here in Pacific Time. But during the Super Bowl when you have a few hours extra of just hanging around and socializing, you’re going to want a dessert.
By using dried cherries which typically are very tart in this recipe helps cut through the sweetness of the dough and the chocolate chips. You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar depending on how rich you like your cookies. Feel free to reduce the amount of chocolate chips because I used a heavy-hand with the chocolate when developing this recipe since people tend to like more chocolate than less chocolate, but not everyone likes a lot of chocolate in their cookies. (Weirdos and Seahawks fans would be my guess.)
If you don’t have a 10-inch cast iron skillet, bake in a 10 inch cake pan. It won’t get the nice crust on the edge, but it still works.
2 1/4 all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (soft)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
Vegetable shortening or cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350º.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar either by hand or with a mixer until completely combined. Add in vanilla extract and the egg to the butter mixture and blend until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture while beating and turn until the dough comes together. Fold in the chocolate chips and dried chopped cherries.
Oil a ten-inch cast iron skillet with either vegetable shortening or cooking spray, even if you have a well-seasoned pan so you have an easy release of the cookie.
Press the cookie dough into the skillet until even around the pan.
Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick pushed in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 20-30 minutes. The cookie will keep cooking and crisping a bit in the pan while firming the cooking. (Don’t worry! It’s still a very soft cookie!)
Once cool enough to handle, slide a knife around the edge of the cookie and remove with either a spatula or a very quick flip.
Slice with a knife into wedges and serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.
Serves 8-12 depending on slicing.
I want more like this!
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