This column is definitely about food, and there is a certain annual game that football enthusiasts look forward to, as do foodies and television advertisement watchers -- the NFLChampionship.
Since this column is being written prior to showdown between Baltimore and San Francisco I chose to give you plenty of time to contemplate the menu.
So, here are some great menu ideas to develop before kickoff.
Smoked Buffalo Wings
This dish turned out awesome, a home run. I mean, a touchdown.
Normal Buffalo wings are great on their own, but we took these to another level and infused them with hickory flavor by smoking them, and it didn't take much time at all.
Here's how you do it. Set up the kettle grill with indirect heat. You can sprinkle hickory chips on hot coals (75 percent grey) or better yet, if you have access to a hickory log, use the log to isolate the hots coals to one side of the grill. The smoldering wood will add the smoky flavor.
I cut the wings into pieces and then tossed them in olive oil. This keeps them from sticking. I then placed them on cookie cooling racks. One was low and the other had extended legs, so I had two layers. I placed them on the side of the grill that is not directly over the coals. Put the lid on and let them bake for 20 minutes or so.
The wings should have a golden color to them after 20 minutes. Bring them in and place them in the oven on the same cookie racks. The oven should be preheated to 380 degrees. Let them bake until the skin is a little crunchy, but the meat is still moist. You don't want chicken jerky. Roast for about 15 minutes, but keep your eye on them. The top layer will bake quicker than the lower layer.
Toss them in the authentic wing sauce and serve with Liz's homemade bleu cheese dressing, carrots and celery. The best of the smoky south and Buffalo brought together. Yum.
1/3 cup of butter
½ cup Franks Hot Sauce (more if you want it spicier)
3 Tbs white wine vinegar
Bring to a low boil over medium heat. (Recipe good for 3 lbs of wings)
I am embarrassed to be presenting this recipe, but all I know is that they always disappear at parties.
Therefore, I owe it to my readers to present the facts. I love these things, and they are so simple.
Basically, combine the peppers, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and olives (everything listed other than the tortillas) in a bowl. Mix them well. Simply spread a thin layer of the spread over a whole wheat tortilla. If you want it spicy, sprinkle all over with some hot sauce. Roll the tortilla like a jelly roll and wrap it in cellophane. Allow to chill overnight. Cut into ½ inch thick pieces and serve with salsa. The recipe makes about 12 dozen awesome pieces of delicious goodness.
1 package whole wheat tortillas
1 - 2 ¼ oz can chopped black olives
1 ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
8 oz. Cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 4 oz can chopped green chillies, drained
Liz's Awesome Bleu Cheese Dressing
Okay, shoot straight with me. Were you actually contemplating buying store bought bleu cheese “dressing” to serve with those delicious smoked Buffalo wings? Seriously? I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
If you don't like bleu cheese dressing, I challenge you, in fact I beg you to try this. It will make you a believer. It is light and fresh, and the bleu cheese is more of a background flavor. It is nothing like the store bought stuff. C'mon, would I lie to you?
1 Cup of Real Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup of Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Onion
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Parsley
1/8 Cup of Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
2 Teaspoons of White Wine Vinegar
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Mix all ingredients together and chill overnight.
Liz's Touchdown Brownies
There has to be something sweet, and this certainly qualifies. It's kind of like athletes
on steroids, but in a good way.
1 – 23 oz. pkg. brownie mix
¾ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup butterscotch chips
10 caramels, each cut into quarters
½ cup pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan. In a large bowl, combine first four
ingredients and mix thoroughly. Mix in the chips, caramels and pecans. Pour into greased backing pan and bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely.
½ cup room temperature butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup evaporated milk
4 cups powdered sugar
Mix these ingredients together until smooth. Spread on brownie which has cooled.
Yard Line Frosting
This is optional, but in my opinion, VERY important.
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of water
Mix well and pout into a ziplock plastic bag. Snip a small portion off of one corner. Squeeze icing through the opening and make your yardage lines on the frosting.
I have videos posted at www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay. Just search my page for “smoked Buffalo wings,” “mexican pinwheels” and “bleu cheese dressing.”
Sorry, you are on your own on the brownies. Enjoy the big game!
---Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQMyWay.com.