It’s not enough to open a bag of chips for your fall football viewing. Don’t you want to make each game a culinary event?
There are so many great choices.
You can start simply with a bowl of pimento cheese dip. This is a Southern gem of a treat. Spicy and creamy, it goes great on any cracker, and pairs great with ice cold beer. But it’s not bad with wine or even bourbon.
Up your game with chili, either traditional with meat or vegetarian with beans and veggies. It’s easy to make ahead.
Pepperoni Pizza Dip looks like you put in a lot of effort. It delivers on great flavor with an Italian flair.
Sure to please are pigs in blankets but you have to serve those warm. You can make them up and store in the fridge before the game starts so you don’t miss a big play while you roll them out.
No list would be complete without chicken wings.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped red or white onion
2 cans corn, drained (or 3½ cups frozen corn, defrosted)
2 teaspoons ground cumin, optional
1 tablespoon chili powder, optional
2 teaspoons dry oregano, optional
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cans beans, drained and rinsed (see note)
Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pan on top of the stove or in a slow cooker. Add the onions, stir to combine with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the drained corn and cook for another five minutes. Occasionally stir the vegetables.
Sprinkle the cooked vegetables with the spices. Stir to mix in evenly. Add the tomatoes and all the beans. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally.
Serve over cooked rice (preferably brown rice) or in a baked potato.
Note: Use black, kidney, pinto, cannelloni or any bean combination you like.
Makes about 9 cups.
Shared by nutritionist Mary Flynn in The Providence Journal 2013.
Blake’s Tavern’s Knucklehead Chili
1¼ pound ground beef
1¼ pound flank steak
5 teaspoons chili powder, divided
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
1 teaspoon paprika, divided
3 teaspoons cumin, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces smoky barbecue sauce of your choosing
3 peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
3 ounces tomato paste
¼ cup beef bouillon (make with cube according to package)
¼ cup honey
12 ounces crushed tomatoes
12 ounces ground whole tomatoes
12 ounces kidney beans
Cook ground beef in skillet. Drain grease and set aside meat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season the flank steak with mixture of 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and the barbecue sauce. Bake in baking dish for about an hour, until meat temperature is around 155 degrees. Cut into cubes and put aside.
In a stock pot, combine peppers, onions, tomato paste, bouillon, honey, 4 teaspoons chili powder, 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper, ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon paprika and 2 teaspoons cumin. Simmer on low heat until peppers and onions are soft. Then add crushed tomatoes and ground whole tomatoes. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add ground beef and cooked flank steak to stock pot.
Simmer on low for one hour.
Drain can of kidney beans and add beans to cook at the end for 10 minutes.
Makes 20 servings.
From Blake’s Tavern and the Providence Journal archives 2003
Backyard Food Company Wings
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds small chicken wings
Vegetable oil for frying
Backyard Food Company Apple Butter, or similar product
Combine flour and seasonings in a large container. Place wings in container and dredge until they’re evenly coated.
Take a large skillet with a cover, use preferred oil and fill the bottom of the pan with enough oil to coat the pan. Place heat on high until oil is hot, then lower to medium heat. Place wings in pan then cover for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, flip the wings and cover for 4 minutes, then take cover off. Cook for another 4 minutes.
Remove from pan onto a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
To make Apple Butter wings: Place wings in a tossing bowl, add 2 spoons of apple butter with a sprinkle of sea salt and toss. Great for kids.
To make a wing veggie dip: Combine 8 ounces whipped cream cheese with half a jar of Backyard Food Co. Jalapeño Relish, Sweet Red Pepper Relish or Hot Red Pepper Relish or similar product.
Use a fork to mix. Stir and serve.
From Backyard Food Company
Pimento Cheese Dip
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated with a food processor or hand-grater (not pre-grated)
¼ cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces, pulled into several pieces)
Scant 1½ cup jarred pimento or roasted red peppers (from a 7-ounce jar) finely diced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, Hellmann’s or any high-quality store-bought mayonnaise
½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chili flakes over the cheddar cheese. Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1½ minutes.
Transfer the pimento cheese to a jar, plastic container or bowl, cover tightly and store in the fridge. Pimento cheese keeps in the fridge about 1 week.
Makes about 1½ cups.
From 2017 Journal archives, adapted from cookbook authors Matt and Ted Lee, The New York Times
Pigs in Blankets
All-purpose flour, for surface
2 sheets puff pastry (about 1 pound), preferably all-butter
Honey Dijon mustard
18 fully cooked sausages (each about 5 inches long), such as frankfurters, Andouille, or chicken sausages
1 large egg, beaten
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling (optional)
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling (optional)
Mustards, such as brown or whole-grain, for serving (optional)
On a lightly floured work surface, roll each pastry sheet out into a 12-inch square, then cut into 4-inch squares. Lightly brush lower half of each square with mustard, center a sausage on mustard-coated edge, and brush top inch with egg. Roll sausages in pastry, pressing seams to tightly seal. Brush tops with egg, then sprinkle with poppy seeds or flaky salt. Cut each at an angle into thirds. Freeze pigs in blankets, uncovered, on a parchment-lined baking sheet until firm.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place frozen pigs in blankets 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with mustards.
From Martha Stewart
Pepperoni Pizza Dip
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
⅛ cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
1 stick pepperoni, 3¾ diced and ¼ sliced in circles (or buy packaged)
½ cup pizza or marinara sauce4 basil leaves
Garlic knots or crackers, see note
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, ⅛ cup Romano cheese, 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, diced pepperoni. Layer on the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with pizza sauce.
Next, add remaining shredded mozzarella, grated Romano cheese, and sliced pepperoni.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until hot and golden brown on top.
Garnish with sliced basil leaves and serve with garlic knots.
Note: You can make your own garlic knots using pizza dough. Separate dough into long strands like bread sticks. Tie them into knots and bake at 350 degrees until done or golden brown. Then toss with melted butter, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add other pizza toppings or mix-ins to this recipe as desired.
Makes 5 servings
From Small Bites, Providence Journal, 2019.