Friday, January 20, 2012

Football Food Returns (Kinda)

It's football playoffs. For those of you who still care. My season ended. We're not talking about it.

We're midway though the hockey season as far as I'm concerned. (I watch so much NHL on the Fly at this point that I go to bed at night with foreign born player names running through my head. Which is basically all of them because Canada is a foreign country. (They spell defense and offense wrong.) (Oh, and if someone can explain why Saskatchewan accents sound like they're from Finland, I'd appreciate that. Perplexes me.))

But I wanted to tell you about an addicting recipe. One that is not mine but is stupid easy (as per usual) and your friends will enjoy if you want to trot something out for the inevitable Super Bowl party, whether the 49ers make it or not.*

*I do not care. I can't tell you how much I don't care. I haven't proclaimed my apathy to others, I'll let people enjoy it, but don't try to make me join in. Rarely does anyone join in my obsessive and unhealthy relationship with LSU, so don't try and convert me to the 49ers. My grandfather, who had season tickets back when the team played at Kezar, and my family who retains possession of those 20 yard line, ten rows back seats several years after his death, would be disappointed that I don't care. But I don't. And you can't make me. Pro football is not, and never will be, college football. Until there are $2 plastic cups of soda, a hidden flask of bourbon snuck into a stadium, marching bands, and better colors, I'm not interested. (The Titans, Panthers, and Jaguars all have essentially interchangeable, and awful, colors. WHY IS THAT?) Or a pro team gives me a job. Then I'll care. I own exactly no red and gold and haven't since I was a little kid. My dad raised me on Giants baseball. My hometown allegiance lies there. (I'm feeling really contrarian lately. I'm not sorry for this, but I'll acknowledge it.)

If you want me to care I will say this: Eli Manning was a jackass prima donna when he was at Ole Miss, Manning face is one of the best things ever, and watching Eli eat grass the way he did when LSU played him back when we were both in college is fine with me. There. I'm now rooting against the New York Giants. You happy?

Just because I don't care much doesn't mean I don't love amazing finger food to celebrate football watching. This recipe comes from Sarah Sprague and her 28 Days of Super Bowl Recipes. So it's not really my recipe and I'm not telling you how to cook anything. But still! Try it anyway! The Super Bowl is the number one excuse for all of us to gorge ourselves on the most decadent junk foods around. This one hits some of my favorite food groups: cheese and melty.

She gives us  Smoky Habenero Jalapeno Popper Bread. It. Is. Amazing. Go click the link, read, and then come back here. She has pretty pictures!

You done? Okay. Let me tell you how I modified it a bit:

1. I am lazy. Shredding cheese sucks, even though I think block Tilamook sharp cheddar is better than most things in the world. I was also hustling to get this made before that game last Monday that will not be spoken about so: bags of shredded cheese work just fine.

2. In addition to that, I'm not a huge fan of smoke flavored things unless we're using actual smoke to cook meat. So I eschewed the smoked cheddar part of her recipe and went with 8 oz shredded bag of sharp cheddar in addition to the Monterey Jack, which you do need because it's meltier than cheddar. Plus: you're then only buying 2 kinds of cheese and not 3 and if you're anything like me you can't have cheese in the house because you will eat it all. As Liz Lemon sang, "Working on my nighhhht cheese!"

3. Her recipe called for what seemed like a lot of peppers. I only used one habenero and 2 jalapenos. I could have used one more jalapeno for crunch, as they don't throw off a lot of heat but I thought that mine came out with the perfect amount of kick.

4. For whatever reason, and I used the "low fat" cream cheese, like the asshole who orders a diet coke with their McDonald's, which might have made a difference, the texture of the mixture was too dry to really be spreadable when I used her recommended amount of cream cheese so I used all 8 oz (one package) of cream cheese which seemed to work fine. I might have split the difference and gone for 6, but I was being rushed. Point is: you might need to add a bit more cream cheese to get a more spreadable mixture.

5.  I am a Ranch apostle. I love it. I call buffalo wings a "ranch delivery system". That said, this recipe with the cheesy and the melty and the mild heat really doesn't need a ranch dipping sauce. But I wouldn't fault you if you wanted one, either.

It does freeze really well, as she suggests, should you have leftovers, and makes a great snack. I just got home from the gym and heated a quarter up and accidentally ate it all by myself. It's great to negate your work outs completely right after you do them. So very full of the self loathing.

She's also doing a whole guacamole series right now too, which you should check out. I thought about submitting mine because it's kind of legendary but a) I couldn't face rejection if she didn't like it and b) I need something to make me feel all time extra super special so I refuse to share my recipe, clutching it close to my chest much like I'm sure Golem holds the rink (hockey brain typo!) ring. (Reference I'm making without knowing the story/ever seeing the movies.)

Anyway, I strongly endorse you try this recipe and bring it to a party. People will think you slaved over it but you didn't. It's like jalapeno poppers but so much easier. And with the added carbs of bread so that's awesome. But seriously, so good. Would nom nom nom more except it would require yet another trip to the gym and as it's raining here, I'm kinda gymed out for the day. 

Oh! Warning, because I know you guys: after you cut up peppers, wash your hands really really really well. Maybe even twice. And do not touch anything in the vicinity of your face for a bit, mkay? Nothing burns quite like rubbing your eye after cutting peppers. Or so I've heard. 

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