recipe: stuporbowl faves

Normally, when you see the typical Super Bowl grub it is predictable finger foods that truly reflect the breath of diversity of culinary impressions that make up the breath of the American melting pot. For me, the Superbowl has always been a time to really bring out some unique and special creations which I adapt from year to year depending on what I’m typically cooking around that time and some of my more all-time faves blended together to share with my friends. Despite the lack of a big party this year, I would have broke out the following experiments to share among friends, I came back from my hike down at the Jersey Shore to bring together these dishes to enjoy during the game. These are comfort foods to me, and in as such, the represent some of my favorite interpretations of food as I enjoy it. During the game, I was sharing thoughts with my fellow blogger Bobby (you can see the eclectic conversation we had: nyphillycombine.wordpress.com but let me give you a quick taste of what you’re in for “you know it’s bad when they have to say, “and we’ll have the kickoff when we come back, we promise”… duh, maybe if pregame analysis didn’t being at 11AM!”)

There are a couple of courses to the SB meal so scroll through them

Beer and Cheese Soup
Anyone can bust out the canned quesso or some cheese wiz and then try and ‘doctor it up’ into something, but why go though the hassle when you can have it done right the first time and really bring some flavor to the party. Besides… beer and cheese, c’mon you totally weren’t going to do that with the canned crap anyhow!

Ingreds:
butter
flour
milk (or heavy cream)
onion
garlic
chipolte pepper
celery
extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
beer (a nice amber lager or light ale works best)
stock (pork is preferable, beef will work too)
chorizo sausage (pref portuguese charise, however a linguica will work too)
soup pot

Tip:
the liquids are going to be done in parts so please note the beer will be used throughout the recipe to maintain consistency so the final amount will vary. The beer and stock when combine will be about 1:1 to 2:1 beer to stock. The creme should be about 2:1 to the beer and stock to creme (the creme really is just to help set the roux as the thickener like making cheese sauces)

How:
Very finely dice the onion, pepper, celery and garlic and dice the chroizo (cut small pieces not big slices)
Add the butter and the flour to the pot (1:1) and allow to begin to combine over low heat
Once combined add the veggies and continue to work the mixture until the veggies soften and the roux to begin to brown
Do not let the roux or the veggies burn, but allow the roux to get to between a dark blond and light brick color while the veggies begin to break down
Add chorizo and the creme and combine until the creme is integrated with the roux to form a mother sauce
Add the beer and stock mixture and the cheese and stir lightly to combine
Bring the mixture up to a boil and immediately back down to a simmer stirring constantly
Allow to simmer watching the consistency so it remains thick and rich, do not allow the mixture to burn to the bottom (heat is too high) or begin to chuck (heat might be too low)… add beer as necessary during simmering to maintain consistency.
When the soup is ready there should be almost no veggies left to feel in the soup (you can use a blender to thin them out if absolutely necessary) and it should be a creamy and rich combination with balanced flavors
Serve with finely chopped flat leaf parsley and additional grated cheese as desired

Note:
I actually have made this without the charise and with veggie stock, so it is possible to do it other ways, but the charise and pork stock make a nice pairing to the cheese. I’ve also done this with a blended cheese mixture, so feel free to experiment with the cheeses as long as they maintain the consistency of the soup.

Pork and Poblano Chili
Nachos ‘supreme’ are so cliche and chili and chips can be pretty plain (besides, the kidney beans make the beer drinking guests fart more). This isn’t my chili verde recipe, but the color and the flavors will definitely turn more than a few heads and tantalize a few tastebuds who probably had one too many hamburger helpers lately.

Ingreds:
onion
poblano peppers
green jalipino or other hot pepper
celery
garlic
bay leaf
cubed pork (very small cubes)
andouile sausage
green chili powder (ancho or other red will work too)
cumin
white pepper
rosemary
beer (a nice amber lager or light ale works best)
olive oil
flour
stock pot

Tips:
because this is a poblano chili, you will need about 2:1 poblano to the rest of your veggies. it isn’t supposed to be super hot. Most poblanos are fairly mild so if you have a batch of mild ones, use the jalipino to give it some bit, otherwise, if you have good, bold polbanos, let them do their business alone. I strongly suggest charring the polblano too to bring out the earthy flavor and really give the dish some depth. Take the whole cooking process SLOW. Like most long cook meals, you can do 30 minutes cook time, but trust me, 3 hours is a much better minimum, set it up and after the first 15 minutes of cooking just check it at regular intervals and go about the rest of your business.

How:
Coarsely chop onion, poblano peppers, jalipino celery and garlic and place it in a large stock pot
1:1 oil and flour should be added to the pot and set the heat to medium, stirring constantly so the veggies begin to soften and the roux begins to form
Dust the pork with the cumin, white pepper, chili powder, crushed rosemary and white pepper
Once the roux begins to darken and take on a tan to redish color and the veggies are softened add the cubed pork and sliced sausage
Keep the whole mixure moving lightly and slowly sear off the pork and sausage
Once the pork and sausage have seared off add the beer to the mixture, reseason with the cumin, while pepper, chili powder, crushed rosemary and white pepper, add the bay leaf
Bring up to a boil and then immediately back down to a very very low simmer
Allow to simmer and reseason as necessary till the meat is almost ready to fall apart with a fork and the sauce is thick and rich from redection and the roux
Nicest to finally serve with chips and let people dig in or with collard lined bowls with shredded cheese, shredded poblano peppers and cilanro

Catfish Cakes
So, you wanted to serve chicken fingers. Ahem, lame! C’mon really? Deep fried, breaded chicken with a collage of lame “dipping” sauces? I’m not only Portuguese and grew up with spectacular codfish cakes, but I grew up in MD and have an inherent love of crab cakes. This recipe combines what I love of both into an invention that encompasses another great white fish for the experience. Trust me, it’ll turn a head and it’s not the greezy serve of those bock bocks you were gonna serve

What:
Catfish filets
whole black pepper corns
rosemary
cumin
garlic
house spice
cilantro
corn meal
large skillet

Tips:
Fresh, fresh, fresh… catfish can be realy cheap and not even the farm raised ones, but go with what you can get and it’ll really add to the experience the fresher it is. Also, for “dipping” sauces, there are a tonne of great ones, from a garlic and clarified butter, to a nice coarse ground mustard, to a chili paste, to molassase and then some… the house spice, which is a lynchpin in this recipe, could be anything from say a storebought blackening seasoning to your own personal house spice, but it is a mixture or combination of the flavors you “love” and that’s what is most important.

How:
Cut up the catfish filets into pieces (I strongly suggest not buying “catfish bits” on sale, you’ll spend too much time removing skin and “fat” and not enjoy the experience, trust me, nice fresh filets will go a long long way)
In your deep skillet put garlic, the bay leaf, rosemary and the pepper corns and bring up to a boil with water that covers at least 1/3 the depth
Once the aroma begins to exude, add the catfish filet and let it poach till it’s just about flaking
Set the fish aside and once “cooled” crumble it in a large mixing bown with rosemary, cumin, garlic, fresh cilantro and house spice to the corn meal and then coat the fish totally pressing it together against itself as necessary into palm sized balls
Keep the skillet super hot and then re-add the coated catfish
Do not let the catfish to burn to the dry skillet, keep the pan moving and the catfish searing over the high heat rolling through the pan
If necessary add a little bit of oil the the skillet to keep from burning and let the coating begin to brown before removing from heat

Note:
If necessary, you can add a nice heavy starchy mashed potato to the mixture, boil it cubed into small pieces with the fish and then mash it and combine it with the flaked fish at the same time as the spices before you hit the high heat. You may actually need a light coating of oil if you use the potato, but you’ll have to feel out your pan to decide. The potato will strech the same amount of fish twice as far, but do not over potato and for every one you add per big filet remember to reduce the corn meal by the same amount or you’ll have a dry starchy mess.

Hush Puppies
No no, not those shoes you hated as a kid, and i’m sure, if not positive that this recipe is probably a last choice but it’s designed to be a good pairing to the rest of these ideas… remember, i suck at making dough and other baking goods and I’m not typically a fryer guy either, but this, could be worth it, if you can figure out my stupidity

What:
1/2 cup finely grated veggies (onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic in “equal” parts)
flat leaf parsley
2 cups sifted fine stone ground corn meal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
cold water
mixing bowl
deep skillet
oil

How:
fill skillet 1/2 deep with oil and bring up to under a simmer, no more than 375 degrees
Stir corn meal, sugar, soda together in mixing bowl
Add egg, shredded veggies and parsley and buttermilk and beat until frothy in mixing bowl
Pour wet ingreds into dry and stir lightly to mix in bowl
Add just enough of the cold water to make dough a good dropping – the dough should hold its shape in the palm of your hand
Drop by palmfulls into hot oil, keep turning until golden brown on all sides

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About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
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