Tag Archives: game day

Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsWhen I think back on the Super Bowl parties of my youth (and since I am Texan, there were a lot), I don’t remember who played or much else, except for the food. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (probably on Friday): I don’t care about football or the Super Bowl at all, but I *love* football food. If it’s rich, salty, creamy, cheesy, meaty and/or buttery, and can be used to distract me from a sporting event in which I’m uninterested, I. am. in.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsSometimes when I am bored, I tune out and think about recipes. That said, you won’t be surprised to learn that the idea for these Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets popped into my head during the last Super Bowl.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsThese are the sorts of things I think about instead of thinking about things that are actually important. I mean, *someone* has to think about the game day food, right? No? Just me? Anyway…Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets are exactly what they sound like: classic pigs in blankets (aka cocktail wieners wrapped in yeast dough), made with puff pastry. Miniature hotdogs wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry? Sign me up!Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsThese little morsels are super easy to make. Start by rolling out a sheet of puff pastry. I like to use Rough Puff, but any all-butter puff pastry will do.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsSpread a thin layer of dijon mustard over the top and then slice the pastry into strips. Wrap each strip around a cocktail wiener…Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets…then brush them all with egg wash and sprinkle them with poppyseeds and/or sesame seeds. This is purely for aesthetics, but I like the added texture it provides.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsBake the pigs in blankets for 15 minutes at 450F. The pastry will be gorgeous and golden when they’re done.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsServe ‘em with ketchup and more dijon mustard, or any condiment you like. Make sure to hoard a few for yourself before putting them on your Super Bowl table though because they’ll disappear before you know it, especially if I’m invited.Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets
makes about 40 pieces

Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For assembly:
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) prepared dijon mustard
1.5 packages cocktail weiners (about 30 per package)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon poppyseeds (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

For serving (optional):
ketchup
mustard

Make Rough Puff Pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Assemble the pigs in blankets. Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Use a large, sharp knife to trim any uneven edges. Brush surface of the dough with dijon mustard.

Use a floured chef’s knife to slice the sheet of dough in half lengthwise, and then into 3/4-inch thick strips. Working with one strip at a time, place a cocktail wiener at one end and roll it toward the other end, so that most of the wiener is coiled in dough. Place each piece, dough ends down, on prepared pans. Repeat until you run out of strips, chilling dough for 15 minutes if it becomes warm or soft.

Make an egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Use a pastry brush to brush all exposed dough. Sprinkle with poppy and/or sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake pigs in blankets for 15-17 minutes or until pastry is golden. Let cool a few minutes on pans before removing to a serving platter.

Serve with ketchup and/or mustard, if desired. Pigs in blankets are best the day they are made. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Note:

You may use frozen all-butter puff pastry instead. Thaw according to package directions and begin the recipe at the paragraph that begins “Preheat oven to 450F.”Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-Up

The Super Bowl is coming up in just over a week and…

Well, to be honest, football just isn’t my thing. But Justin Timberlake and game day food are definitely my things. If it’s salty, crunchy, cheesy, made with Frank’s Red Hot, or is basically just a giant cookie, I. am. in.

The archives are loaded with big game-worthy recipes, but I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up a few of my favorites to give you a little Super Bowl party inspiration!

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpGuacamole
I have never once brought guacamole to a party and gone home with leftovers. Not once. I make damn good guacamole, y’all. I don’t have some magical secret ingredient or any crazy methods—just buy good, ripe avocados and taste, taste, taste. Follow the recipe, adjust for salt and lime, and use sturdy chips. I promise you won’t have any leftovers.

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpChorizo Cornbread {Gluten-Free}
Cornbread is pretty perfect all on its own, but I love this version. Slightly sweet and studded with salty chorizo, this cornbread makes an excellent soup side. And speaking of chorizo…

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpBeef & Chorizo Chili
I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Super Bowl party that didn’t have some sort of chili on the menu. This Beef & Chorizo version was a happy accident that became a favorite 🙂

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpBuffalo Chicken Biscuits
Buffalo chicken is a game day classic! Instead of making traditional wings, shred it up and serve it on cream biscuits—everyone loves sliders! Don’t forget the bleu cheese and celery sticks 🙂

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpCaramelized Mushroom Tostadas
Who could say no to crispy tostadas loaded with sweet & earthy caramelized mushrooms, quick-pickled red onion, a swipe of guacamole, and salty cotija cheese?! This combination of textures and flavors is guaranteed to be a hit with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike 🙂 Need them to be vegan? Just skip the cheese.

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpUltimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
If you’re into chocolate and peanut butter, this is the dessert for you! These cocoa brownies are topped with a layer of peanut butter cream and studded with miniature peanut butter cups, Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chips, and peanuts—so freaking good.

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpBrown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
As Julia Child once said “A party without cake is just a meeting.” I’m not sure that a Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is exactly what she had in mind, but it fits the bill on Super Bowl Sunday! This simple dessert is easier than making a batch of cookies and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Friday Favorites: Game Day Round-UpWill you be serving any of these dishes next Sunday? Let me know on Instagram!

Beef & Chorizo Chili

Beef & Chorizo ChiliAs I’ve mentioned many times, I do not care for football. Bores me to tears. Please don’t make me watch it.

All that said, yes, I do want to come to your Super Bowl party. I have no idea who’s playing whom (nor do I care), but I am very much interested in what snacks you’ll be serving. Oh yes, I love game day food. Chips, guacamole, salsa, buffalo chicken, weirdly delicious Double Chocolate Fritos Cookies–whatever you’ve got on the buffet table, I. am. interested.

Beef & Chorizo ChiliChili is arguably the ultimate game day food. Spicy, meaty, and good with just about anything (especially this Southern-Style Cornbread), it’s a total crowd pleaser. Chili can be made a million different ways, but this version, made with beef and chorizo, is my favorite. It came to be on a fridge-cleaning night three years ago, and its combination of unusual ingredients really make it something special. In this chili, you’ll find:

  • Mushrooms. Here they provide a little nutrition and also infuse the chili with their meaty umami flavor, just like they do in my Bolognese. Have mushroom haters in your family? Don’t fret–they’re diced small here and browned to the point that they blend in with everything else.
  • Cocoa Powder. It’s used as part of the spice blend in this chili, along with the usual cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne. This small dose of cocoa will not make your finished product taste like chocolate–it’s just there for a little depth.
  • Soy Sauce. Like the mushrooms, the soy sauce is here for its umami flavor. It’s also here to even out the flavor, and precludes the need for any extra seasoning.

Beef & Chorizo ChiliThose ingredients might sound strange, but when they come together with the beef, chorizo, and aromatics, they make some seriously amazing chili. One thing you won’t find in this recipe? Beans. They’re not traditionally a part of chili (in my native Texas, at least). I won’t tell anybody if you add a can or two of drained, rinsed pinto beans though. I am all for anything that keeps me from having to make a side dish.

Beef & Chorizo ChiliLooking for more game day food? Check out my Guacamole, Restaurant-Style Salsa, Artichoke Dip, Buffalo Chicken Biscuits, and Ultimate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies!

Beef & Chorizo Chili
serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound fresh raw chorizo, removed from casings
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, diced small
1 large white onion, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 chipotles in adobo, minced + 1 Tbsp of the sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cups + 2 Tbsp water, divided
1 Tbsp corn meal
grated cheddar cheese, for serving

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown beef and chorizo, breaking them up as necessary, until very brown (about 20 minutes). Remove the meat to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving two tablespoons of fat in the pan.

Add mushrooms to the pan and brown, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. Do not burn. Remove to a plate.

Add onion and red bell pepper to the pot and brown for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium. Return meat and mushrooms to the pot. Stir in cumin, chili powder, oregano, cocoa powder, and cayenne. Add tomato paste and stir to coat. Allow everything to cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add beef broth. Bring the pot to a boil before reducing the heat. Allow chili to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir occasionally.

Add chipotle adobo sauce, soy sauce, and 2 cups of water. Allow chili to continue simmering until liquid has reduced by half, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal and 2 tablespoons of water. Once chili has reduced, stir in cornmeal mixture and cook for an additional five minutes, until thickened slightly. Remove pot from heat.

Serve chili in shallow bowls. Top with grated cheddar cheese, if desired. Leftover chili will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Beef & Chorizo Chili

My Favorite Guacamole

 Does anything say game day more than chips and dip? Maybe like…wings, but for the purposes of this blog, let’s go with “no.” You simply can’t have game day without chips and dip! I mean, when it comes down to it, everybody’s mostly there for the food, am I right?!

I mentioned yesterday that football isn’t my thing, but that won’t discourage me from accepting an invitation for a Super Bowl party. Ohhhh no. I’ve got a strategy.

I’ll come over and make nice during the pre-game show, and then while everyone else is yelling at the TV about first downs and safeties, I’ll be in the back demolishing the guacamole I brought for “everyone.” And by “everyone,” I mean “you may all have two bites and the rest is for me, okay?” 

You see, I make ridiculous guacamole. There’s nothing fancy about it–it’s just some vegetables mashed together–but everywhere I take it, it becomes a hit. My friend, David, insists that I make the best guacamole in the world. I don’t know about the world, but how about the best in the four block span between our apartments?

Maybe just my block?

Just my building? Yeah, that sounds reasonable. Let’s go with that.

So, what makes this recipe such a crowd pleaser? It’s all made to taste. Since vegetables are seasonal, and this entire recipe relies on fresh vegetables, the stellar recipe I made in April can taste very blah come October. So taste, taste, taste. 

Start with ripe avocados. They should have a little give when you press the skin lightly with your fingers. If they are super squishy, back away–the insides are probably black and watery. Gross. So grab three ripe avocados. Pit them and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Then dice half a small onion and add that too. You may use red or white here, but red tends to have a stronger flavor. If raw onion isn’t your favorite thing, go for the white variety. Me though? I like raw onion on everything.

Next, dice up a couple of fresh jalapeños. If you are sensitive to heat, remove the seeds and ribs with a spoon. Then, dice it up. Regardless of how spicy you like your guacamole, it’s a good idea to taste a tiny piece of the jalapeño before adding it to the bowl. If it’s crazy-burn-your-tongue-off hot, maybe only add one full pepper. If it’s mild, go ahead and add two. The batch pictured has two whole large jalapeños, one with seeds and ribs, one without. Oh, and a quick reminder to always wash your hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers. And for the love of everything, don’t touch your face! I made that mistake in 2011, and it took an hour to stop burning 😁

Don’t be like me. 

 Anyway, mince up some garlic and add it to the bowl. I like two whole cloves, but if you’re sensitive to raw garlic, only add one. Squeeze in the juice of a lime and sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then, grab a potato masher or a fork and mash the living daylights out of everything until it’s to your desired consistency. Fold in some chopped cilantro and taste and adjust. Need more heat? Add more jalapeño! Need more lime? Squeeze another one! Not salty enough? I usually end up adding an additional 1/4 teaspoon, keeping in mind that the chips are salty too. Then put it in a cute bowl and serve it with tortilla chips. 

I know many people like their guacamole with diced tomatoes. I do too, but the February tomatoes I saw at the market yesterday were just too sad to use. If you find some that look good, by all means, use them! I recommend using two or three medium tomatoes that have been seeded. Just dice them the same size as the onion and jalapeños.

So, this weekend, make this guacamole and bring it to your Super Bowl party. It may not be the best in the whole world, but it’ll be the best at your get-together 😊 

Need more game day food? Check out my Artichoke Dip, Restaurant-Style Salsa, and Double Chocolate Fritos Cookies!

Classic Guacamole
makes about four cups

3 large ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 small red or white onion, diced small
1-2 jalapeños, diced small (ribs and seeds removed, optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, plus more to taste.
1/4-1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
tortilla chips, for serving

In a large bowl, combine avocados, diced onion and jalapeño, minced garlic, lime juice, and salt. Use a potato masher or fork to thoroughly mash all ingredients together. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in cilantro. Transfer guacamole to a serving bowl, and serve immediately with tortilla chips. 

Double Chocolate Fritos Cookies

 I love being from Texas. I do. I love barbecue and big skies and Willie Nelson and Texas Rangers baseball. I would wear cowboy boots every single day if they weren’t so quickly destroyed by the streets of New York. May my busted Noconas rest peacefully in the back of the closet.

But the one thing that I’m really supposed to love almost as much as God and family? The one thing that Texans love so much that there’s an Emmy-winning TV series about it? Football? I can’t stand it. Total snoozefest for me. My parents and sister-in-law live for it, but I just can’t get into it. As such, I have no clue who is playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday, except that it’s not Tom Brady. Sorry, Boston friends 😭

But for everything I don’t understand about football, the one thing I love is the food. Platter after platter of salty, starchy, cheesy everything? Now that’s my kind of Sunday evening. But for all the wings and pizza and artichoke dip, I often find a distinct lack of dessert. Not that dessert is necessary after all that heavy food, but come on. The Super Bowl is supposed to be a celebration, right?! And celebrations demand dessert! Or at least they do in my kitchen. 

Enter these Double Chocolate Fritos Cookies. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. These cookies contain both chocolate and Fritos. If you’ve never tried chasing Fritos with chocolate chips, you are missing out. The salty, crunchy corn chips with sweet, melty chocolate are to. die. for. These cookies have a soft chocolate cookie base that has the taste and texture of fudgy brownies–make sure to try one warm from the oven! The cookie itself and the super melty chocolate chips…just do it. And the Fritos! They soften just slightly from the moisture in the cookie dough, but they retain a lot of crunch. They add so much chewy texture to these cookies! Their signature saltiness is somewhat masked by all the chocolate, but that’s easily remedied with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Yum.

This recipe is super simple to put together, and it makes a lot of cookies (four dozen). If that seems like too many for your get together, let me say this: they will get eaten. Trust me. After the smorgasbord of cheese that is game day food, these sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy chocolate cookies will be a welcome end to the party. No matter who gets the trophy on Sunday, these Double Chocolate Fritos Cookies will definitely be winners 😊 

 Double Chocolate Fritos Cookies
makes about four dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar*, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups lightly crushed Fritos
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling*

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Beat in eggs followed by vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three installments, mixing after each addition. Fold in Fritos and semisweet chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 90 minutes or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake 8-9 minutes, or until the cookies look just slightly underdone. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.


Notes:

1. Do not use Dutch process cocoa powder.
2. Light brown sugar may be substituted.
3. I use Trader Joe’s Pyramid Salt.