Well, the most exciting holidays in the near future are Groundhog Day on February 2nd and the Super Bowl on February 4th. Groundhog Day does not inspire many culinary ideas.
If you have children, you can try creating snacks from cupcakes or pigs-in-blankets or donuts to simulate the emergence of Punxsutawney Phil, or alternatively create a "dirt pie" with pudding and crumbs. If interested, see Google. The Groundhog Day site is fabulous, though, at www.groundhog.org. They have a recipe for Groundhog Cookies in their Celebrate section.
Obviously, the Super Bowl is synonymous with food, and even though our Falcons aren't in it this year, we can still choose the Bears or the Colts and have a good time. Alton Brown has submitted this delicious recipe called "Slacker Jacks" for a party snack. I've also included a fantastic recipe for Chile-Rubbed Sirloin and Chile Nachos. I'll be making both of these for my party.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2006
See this recipe on air Monday Jan. 29 at 7:00 PM ET/PT.
3 ounces popped popcorn, approximately 3 quarts 1 cup salted peanuts 4 ounces unsalted butter 16 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 2 cups 1/4 cup dark corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray as well and set aside.
Combine the popcorn and peanuts in a large mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla and stir until combined. Heat the mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F, approximately 10 minutes.
Pour the syrup over the popcorn and stir to combine. You will need to work quickly because the syrup hardens rapidly. Spread the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Cool completely.
Break into pieces and serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
Chile-Rubbed Sirloin and Green Chile Nachos
Recipe courtesy Kate Heyhoe, Macho Nachos, Clarkson Potter, 2003
The inspiration for these ultra-macho nachos comes from a diner in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where I was served an enormous platter of charcoal grilled steak blanketed with fire-roasted green chiles and sharp cheese. Now I make the same dish at home, cooking up enough steak for leftovers to enjoy as nachos the next day.
Green Chile Nachos: 4 to 5 ounces corn tortilla chips 8 ounces shredded Monterey jack (about 3 cups) 1/2 cup canned roasted green chilies, or 2 roasted and peeled green chiles, diced 1 recipe Chile-Rubbed Sirloin, diced, recipe follows 3 ounces shredded 4 or 6 Italian blend cheese(about 1 cup) Avocado Crema, recipe follows Finely sliced lettuce and chopped onion, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F or preheat the broiler, with the rack positioned about 7 inches from the top of the oven or the heat source.
Assemble the nachos: Arrange the chips on a 12 by 18-inch baking sheet or ovenproof platter. Top each chip with a layer of Monterey Jack, followed in order by the chiles, sirloin, and cheese blend.
Bake the nachos for 5 to 7 minutes, or broil, until the cheese is soft and bubbly.
Before serving, squeeze streaks of Avocado Crema and Chipotle Mayonnaise, to taste, over the nachos, if using, and garnish with lettuce and onions.
Chile-Rubbed Sirloin: 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground red chile 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 3/4 pound sirloin steak 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon soy sauce (recommended: Kikkoman)
In a small bowl, combine the salt, chile, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, and pepper. Rub the steak all over with the mix. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Heat a grill or the broiler until very hot. Rub the steak all over with the olive oil and soy sauce. Grill or broil the steak very close to the heat, about 3 minutes per side, until medium rare. Set aside for 10 minutes before slicing or dicing.
Yield: 1 steak Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Ease of Preparation: easy
Avocado Crema: 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed 1/2 cup buttermilk 3 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 1/2 limes) 1/4 cup sour cream 1/2 teaspoon salt
Puree all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Funnel into a squeeze bottle. The mixture should be thin enough to streak easily. If not, add a few drips more lime juice or buttermilk. Plug the top of the nozzle with a toothpick and chill until read to use. The mixture will keep for 2 days refrigerated.
Yield: 1 1/3 cup Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Easy of preparation: easy
Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts
Feb. 4 at Dolphin Stadium, Miami
Kickoff 6:25 p.m. on CBS
Have a great time!
- Rebecca C.