Saturday, February 4, 2012

SSC Super Bowl Edition II: Malt, Meat & Melted Cheese!

I wish I liked foot ball, but I don’t, so I wont pretend to care about the Super Bowl. I do however, care about snack food and beer a great deal. What I love the most is the opportunity to stuff my face while most of the party guests are preoccupied.

To be honest, I’m not even going to a Super Bowl party this year, I am stuck at work selling the football life water that is beer to my thirsty customers, but I will be thinking of all of you, and your snacking needs. For this edition of Super Sanity Club the girls and I have put together a variety of party foods for you football lovers, and you lovers of football lovers alike. Also, in accordance with this most special of days, thought I would include a more in-depth beer section. Enjoy!

- Phoebe

Mick's Shrimp & Sausage JAMBALAYA!
This recipe is taken partly from the Louisiana World Expo Cookbook,
partly from watching my maternal grandmother (Nana Robitaille, eh?) and partly from my own experiments.

Small package of bacon 1 package of either andouille (an-DOO-ee) sausage or Italian hot sausage 2 lbs of large shrimp
(I usually use fresh shrimp and shell and devein them myself but, if you’re in a hurry, use the pre-cooked shrimp but make sure you pinch off the tails)
Olive oil
One chopped onion
One chopped green pepper (small)
Two or three chopped celery sticks
1-2 tbsps minced garlic (I buy jar of garlic it’s faster/easier)
Cayenne pepper Chili powder Parsley Rice
2 cups chicken stock
fresh parsley
One large can of tomatoes with basil
(I use Tuttorrosso brand, either crushed or the whole large plum tomatoes which I chop into chunks in the pan)
Cajun spices (optional—there are various kinds in most supermarkets)
Salt and pepper

Start drinking (only if of legal age and not driving) and put on some good Cajun music, (Beau Soliel works for me!)

Put 4 or 5 strips of bacon in a large skillet and cook until well done, then crumble or chop into small pieces. Drain off most of the melted fat. Put bacon bits aside.

Chop sausage into small (bite-size) pieces and put in skillet in which you cooked the bacon. I cook sausage til it begins to brown. Remove sausage with slotted spoon. Set aside. Add a little olive oil to sausage drippings (hey, ain’t no one said this was heart-healthy), put in about a tbsp of minced garlic and in that saute onions, pepper, celery, and about a quarter-cup of parsley.

Put sautéed veggies plus bacon bits and sausage into a large pot and pour in the crushed tomatoes including all the liquid in the can. (At this point I usually add another cup of chicken stock or maybe even a small can of crushed tomatoes and garlic.) Mix this up a bit, bring to a slow boil and immediately reduce to a low simmer. Simmer covered over very low heat about 30 mins stirring occasionally.

While main pot is simmering, cook shrimp in large skillet (you might want to hit them with salt, pepper and any of the many so-called “Cajun spices.”) Add shrimp to the main pot. Stir. Add and stir in chili powder and cayenne. The amount depends on your taste/tolerance for spicy foods. I’d say the wussy quantities would be a teaspoon of chili powder and maybe a quarter teaspoon of the cayenne, but you can kick it up from there to Total Nuclear as taste dictates.

Cook a cup or two of rice and add to main pot. This should give you roughly enough jambalaya for about 12 to 15 servings.

Christa's Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip
This might just be the easiest dip ever. I'm almost a little embarrassed that it involves a shit ton of processed cheese but in the name of deliciousness I will make exceptions!

8oz package of Velveta or other processed cheese
8oz package of cream cheese
1 tbsp chopped garlic
3 scallions
1/2 can beer (12 fl oz)
6 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

1 large round pumpernickel (or other dark/hearty) bread or a heat proof serving dish
soft or hard pretzels (I used Super Pretzels), hearty bread

In a saucepan saute chopped garlic with a small amount of butter or cooking spray, about 1 minute. Chop scallions and add to pot. Saute another minute. Cube processed cheese and cream cheese and add to pot. While mixture is melting add beer and stir. When mixture is smooth, sprinkle in bacon and stir. Remove from heat.

Serve in a heat proof dish or a hollowed out round bread. Serve with soft or hard pretzels or some kind of hearty bread.

Jamie's Buffalo Chicken Dip*
3 or 4 Chicken breasts
2 blocks of 8oz cream cheese
16 oz Ranch dressing (1 large bottle)
12 oz Franks Red Hot Original (buffalo) sauce (1 bottle) 1 pkg. shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, crackers or celery

Boil chicken breasts and let cool. Once cooled, shred chicken into very fine strings. Mix shredded chicken with 12oz (1 bottle) of Franks Red Hot Sauce. In a medium pan, heat ranch dressing and cream cheese until melted. Mix the chicken mixture with the dressing/cheese mixture. Pour into casserole dish.

Cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until hot through, then spread cheddar cheese on top. Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Let cool (a little) before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers and celery. The Scoops Tortilla chips worked the best!

*If you want to go the healthier route, use to low fat cream cheese, ranch dressing, and cheddar.

Emily's Awesome Guacamole!
We know we've given you this more than once but it's a fantastic, simple standby recipe for almost any party occasion. Find it on our SSC: Texican/Mexican Edition!

Booze Pairings
If you have been tasked with getting the beer for your party, and your friends are fans of craft beer, have I made the list for you! If you're not into fancy-smancy beers just grab a good old 30 rack of Bud or Bud Light from your local family owned liquor store (not Whole Foods). There is no shame in that!

I've suggested a variety of beers from all across the flavor spectrum. Something light: a pale Lager or a Pilsner, something wheaty: a Hefewiesen (Hehe, always makes me think of Christa), something medium dark: a malty amber or hoppy like a pale ale or IPA, and some deep and dark: porter, or stout. Also, because this is the FUCKING SUPER BOWL, let’s keep the spirit alive and keep it all American!

- Phoebe

Your Lighter Beer: Mama’s Yella Pills, Dales Pale Ale
Pours active a golden body with an everlasting white fluffy head. It has an aroma of spicy hops, dirty grass, and has a slight citrusy background. With mellow flavors of citrus, light lemon, spicy hop bitterness, and alight zest, it is also light in body with a medium prickly carbonation. It's refreshing, the light zest is a nice touch, and it is true to the pilsner style.

Your Wheat Beer:Heinnieweisse Weissebier, Pork Slap
I like to call this beer an acquired taste. It has mixed reviews on but I happen to enjoy it quite a bit. The beer pours decently with a nice hazy golden straw color, a nice white head, and some lacing on the glass.

The beer smells a bit sour, but I really like that and it has a nice yeasty, wheat scent up front followed by a lemon zest smell on the back end. The tastes is something distinct to American wheat beers. It has a mild lemon zest taste up front with a wheat finish. The mouthfeel is not overwhelming as the beer is decently carbonated, light bodied, and leaves you with a mildly bitter finish.

Your IPA or Amber: Berkshire Brewing Company,
Lost Sailor IPA

This beer is great for both hop-heads and more mellow IPA enjoyers alike. It pours a nice deep gold color with a billowing white head and big bubbles. The head sticks around for a while. It has a musty, earthy hop aroma with a smidge of honey and biscuits. Maybe even freshly baked white bread aroma too.

The taste starts out a bit like a chocolate like malt flavor. It has a little hint of earthy and floral hops. The bitterness is all at the tail end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. One of my favorite things about this beer is that it is entirely organic, unpasteurized, and completely preservative free! My absolute favorite thing about this beer is that it comes in a gowler. There is nothing like sharing a jug of booze with your buddies!

Your Dark Beer: Mayflower Porter
I love a nice heavy beer to go with all this meaty goodness. The Mayflower Porter has been my go to port all year at the good old Wine Gallery, where I work. With the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl this year, what's better then a hint of American history with Mayflower? The beer is dark brown, nearing black, with a quarter inch of beige head. The aroma brings roasted malt in the English style, toffee, dark fruits and hints of chocolate. The flavor brings toasted malt, roast, alcohol, toffee to mind. Delicious! It's medium to light bodied and overall, very drinkable and tasty.

Quick suggestion: Get a crate of water. Your guests will appreciate it after all that salty food and beer. Also, you'll avoid party goers awkwardly asking for a glass of water, or feeling totally full of food because it seems like beer is the only option. Allowing your guest to just grab water themselves the the easiest option, plus it lessens the cleanup.

Christa, Phoebe & all the fine folks of SSC!

Looking for even more awesome Super Bowl party recipes?
Check out last year's Super Bowl post here!

About Phoebe

Phoebe is comedian, and wine shop manager, who is also somehow pursuing a masters degree in clinical social work. Though she has no real food credits on her resume, she's well versed in wine and food pairing. She was raised on farm fresh food in Maine, learned about Asian cooking during her time in Thailand, became a seafood fanatic living in Newport RI, and is now well on her way to becoming a full fledged foodie/functioning alcoholic in Boston.

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