Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday- from a foodies point of view...

Very exciting- two posts in one day. However my last post covered only the restaurants I have had the pleasure of going to recently, and not food that I have made.

I thought the best way to begin to talk about my own creations was to start with Super Bowl Sunday. Within my circles of friends, I am known as the girl who brings too much food to a party. Most people bring chips and dip and beer, I bring an entire spread. I do this because if I only cook for myself, well Ill have to go to the gym a lot more then I do, but if I can try out my ideas on my friends...well I get the joy of cooking-which is truly, my greatest joy, and they reap the benefits of having lots of food at their parties.

This past Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, the fight to the end between the Patriots and the Giants, was no exception. I was headed to a party hosted by Giants fans, and since I knew that I would already be at odds with the boys, I figured Id bring some signature dishes to make up for it.

I started off with guacamole. I have been instructed by many of my friends that I am not allowed at this point to attend a party without bringing my home made guacamole. So I do. Honestly- I love to make it. I think that it is very therapeutic to sit in my kitchen, mash avocados, and then dice up the rest of the ingredients. To the avocados I blend in chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, cilantro, crushed garlic, lime juice, and jalapeños to taste. Then I sprinkle in a bit of salt to bring out the natural flavors. Now I am incredibly critical of my own food, and I have to admit-this batch was not up to my standards. I personally believe it didn’t have enough kick to it- the jalapeños were rather mild I imagine. However I was told that it was fantastic- so I suppose that everyone’s taste buds do not need to be in agreement. Additionally, the large container of it that I brought with me was gone by the end of the night, so I felt good about that.

My second contribution I was really excited about. I wanted to make mini steak and cheese sandwiches-I figured football = meat so why not find the best finger food possible? I ran into several road blocks. First- every grocery store I went to throughout the week previous was out of shaved steak...I have NO idea what was going on. One place I talked to simply said they don’t carry it in the winter. I find that odd- are people grilling shaved steak? Why would it be a bigger sell in the summer than the winter? My questions remain un answered. So I picked up some tips and decided they would have to do. I also picked up ciabatta rolls figuring that they would stand up well to the cheese sauce I was concocting. And I decided on green peppers and yellow onions. Sunday morning I marinated the steak in garlic oil, pepper, salt and chili powder to give it a unique taste. I then made the cheese sauce by combining flour and butter in a small sauce pan, adding milk to thin it, and then adding cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, and at the end- crumbles of gorgonzola cheese. The flavors came together to create a slightly tangy, flavor robust sauce. Honestly-it was delicious. I cooked up the steak on the stove top (though wouldn’t grilling it have been fantastic?) and then I sautéed peppers and onions. Later, when put together on the ciabatta bread- it made a very nice sandwich. The tips, though not authentic to a cheese steak, were moist and flavorful, and accepted the cheese sauce well. I was quite pleased with it as a dish and will definitely be adding it to my repertoire.

My final attempt were good in concept- poor in execution. I decided to make potato skins- which are always a crowd favorite-however I think it would have been better had I made them at the party location. Bringing them over already cooked was not my best idea. However, the idea was tasty. I made a traditional cheddar cheese and bacon (I forgot the olives-that one was supposed to have black olives on it- sorry!) and I decided to do carmelized onions and brie as well. These are the ones that suffered the most by the cab ride over to the party. However-though they did not LOOK very appealing (yummy squashed potatos) they tasted great. That could be a personal opinion as I happy to eat brie on almost everything, but they were enjoyable.

So those were my contributions to a fantastic Super Bowl party...even though the Patriots lost- the company was fantastic and the margarita machine was appreciated.

Finally -
D- brownies containing peppermint patties or twix...un real. A true gem. Wow.
A- Jambalaya...wow. That stuff was AWESOME

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