Super Bowl food done right: Delicious, economical, easy

Dry-rubbed ribs, queso, MAPLE corn bread, and black-eyed pea salad: Lots of comfort in a few simple steps

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When it's a big game, the Oscars, the Olympics, or just an epic movie, the folks around my house love to cluster around the TV with some great food. 

And when it's the Super Bowl, you've got to make it a meal. So, herewith, is a fantastic way to turn economical baby back ribs, cornbread, and a salad into a real crowd-pleaser. No matter whether the Patriots or the Eagles win on Super Bowl Sunday, you'll be the real winner. 

Dry Rub Ribs

For 3 racks of baby back ribs (approximately eight pounds total). Because cooking takes 6-7 hours, start this well in advance. 

So much to love here. Including that mystery sauce. (All will be revealed.)

So much to love here. Including that mystery sauce. (All will be revealed.)

If you don't want to do this for a large crowd, you can make this in your EuroCAST grill pan with fewer ribs. But Super Bowl means big crowds, so get out your cookie sheet.

INGREDIENTS

Mix well in a large bowl:

  • 6 T. kosher salt
  • 3 T. black pepper fine ground
  • 3 T. ground cumin
  • 3 T. Baharat spice 

Set aside for later:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

PROCEDURE

  1. Pat ribs dry with paper towels and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. 
  2. Rub spices mix over front and back. 
  3. Cover with foil loosely. You want to create a tent but crimp the sides so the moisture stays in. Put two sheets of foil in the bottom the bottom overlapped, then two sheets on the top crimped together. 
  4. This is a slow-cooking dream. Cook in the oven at 200F for 6-7 hours. 
  5. At hour 6 or so, or when the meat is visibly falling off the bone, uncover the top and sprinkle the 1/2 C brown sugar on top. 
  6. Continue cooking uncovered for 30 minutes. 

You could, if so desired (and always follow these kinds of desire), enjoy with your favorite sauce. 

If only we had a delicious, rib-friendly sauce to recommend. 

I'll look into that for you, stay tuned. (Yes, this is a hint of good things to come from our team.)

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Maple cornbread

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Cornbread done right is extraordinary. Choose best-quality cornmeal. 

INGREDIENTS

Mixed in a bowl:

  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1 large egg

For the pan: 

  • 1/4 cup corn oil
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PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients plus the egg above. Blend well. 
  3. Heat your EuroCAST skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of corn oil to pan. 
  5. Working quickly, pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. 
  6. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes on the stove top to create a crisp bum. 
  7. Remove that handle of your EuroCAST skillet.
  8. Move to the preheated oven to finish cooking.
  9. Cook 20 minutes or until the top is set. 
  10. Remove from oven and pour 1 cup maple syrup over the top. The syrup will sink into the cake, much to the delight of everyone.

Rice and black eyed pea salad

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Again on the theme of easy, delicious, and good quantities for the people you're having over: a salad that will look and taste indulgent. Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl, toss, and serve with the dressing on the side. 

INGREDIENTS

Parsley stems. Extra crunch and no waste!

Parsley stems. Extra crunch and no waste!

  • 2 cups cooked rice (basmati, short grain brown rice -- whatever you love)
  • 2 cans drained and rinsed black eyed peas
  • 1 small can diced chiles
  • 2 carrots sliced wafer-thin on the diagonal 
  • 1 small red onion, diced 
  • 2 scallions chopped fine
  • 4 T. finely diced parsley stems 
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley 
  • Pinch salt black pepper to taste


FOR THE DRESSING

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice and zest of one lemon 
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 T. sesame seeds 

Mix and let chill until serving. You can never make too much of this dressing. And it's fast to make up more in case you run out. 

Queso Fundido

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I have a dozen ways I make this dish, but I really love the one put out by our friends at Bon Appétit.

If you want to try my twist on it, just omit the tomatoes and (wait for it, you're going to love this if you love heat as much as I do): Use blistered shishitos and jalapeños, chopped roughly, on top. I also leave out the lager and replace it with an equivalent amount of good quality chicken stock. 

See the pic.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces coarsely grated mild yellow cheddar
  • 8 ounces coarsely grated Monterey Jack
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 4-ounce link fresh chorizo or hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup lager
  • Tortilla chips

PROCEDURE

Scan down to the cheese step ... this is something you could do ahead and let the cheese stand at room temperature for a while (no more than 30 minutes, please).

  1. Make a casual salsa by mixing tomato, chile, and oregano in a small bowl. Season with salt; let salsa stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook chorizo in a medium saucepan over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until it begins to render, about 1 minute. Add onion and continue cooking until chorizo is cooked and onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss cheeses with flour in a medium bowl.
  4. Transfer chorizo mixture to a small bowl.
  5. Return saucepan to heat. Add lager if you like, or the chicken stock (as I like it); simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits. Whisking constantly with a EuroCAST-safe whisk, add cheese mixture a 1/4-cup at a time, making sure it's smooth between additions.
  6. Stir in chorizo mixture.
  7. To reheat, warm skillet with queso fundido over medium heat; stir until melted and bubbly.
  8. Using a slotted spoon to let the released moisture fall away, spoon salsa over queso.

Serve in skillet with a basket of tortilla chips on the side.

Scout and Remo. My daily kitchen companions and good-boy bone-getters. Here they await my OK that it's time for a treat. 

Scout and Remo. My daily kitchen companions and good-boy bone-getters. Here they await my OK that it's time for a treat. 

 

 

Paul WardComment