As if you need to read another post about Super Bowl Sunday… I have to admit, at the very moment I’m writing this, I have absolutely no idea who’s even playing. K I know, my brother’s must be so proud!
At any rate, Superbowl Sunday has ALWAYS been a part of my life. For many years, it almost always fell on my birthday or my birthday party was held on the same day. Two birds, one stone! Good looking out, mom!
Recently, a dear friend asked me what sorts of foods and snacks I might be serving up this Super Bowl. As a child, and nearly every adult year I recall, the foods that are most synonymous with this day, besides the cake and ice cream, are chili and nachos with cheese!
Over the years the recipes have changed. For many years the chili was vegan (aka I was a broke college kid and beans are cheap). While other years it may have been made with turkey or beef.
Souper Bowl 2016 will in some ways most closely resemble the way I first noshed on this warm and spicy dish. Only, dressed up with a few super food add ins to tickle the taste buds and stoke my metabolic fire.
Photo cred: http://www.fromaway.com
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try your hand.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 ½ pounds ground venison (deer meat)
• 1 ½ cups finely chopped onions
• 1 ½ cups finely chopped celery and carrot
• 1 ½ tablespoons finely minced garlic cloves
• 1 cup red wine (and an ounce or so for the chef to enjoy all the commercials)
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons chili powder (we add a pinch of dried habanero or jalapeno, from the garden for a little more heat)
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon (yes, cinnamon)
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cups frozen corn kernels from the summer harvest
• 1 cup roasted green peppers, peeled, seeded & chopped into medium dice
• 1 cup roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded & chopped into medium dice
• 1- 2 quarts canned tomatoes
• 1 small can tomato paste
• 1 ½- 3 cups dried beans (I prefer a blend of kidney, pinto, and black – soaked at least 36 hours)
• 2 tablespoons coco powder
• ½ cup left over coffee
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• Salt and pepper
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a large stockpot, add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Then add the meat to the pot and cook until it’s no longer pink and it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the wine to the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce it by about half. Put in the cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and bay leaves and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add the corn, peppers, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Put in the Super Bowl MVP and antioxidant rich cocoa powder, coffee and the WV maple syrup. Continue to simmer for a few minutes, to gently combine all of the flavors.
Season to taste with a dash of salt and grind of pepper.
SOME ADDITIONAL NOTES:
Meat is optional. Although some wouldn’t call it ‘chili’ if it didn’t have meat, it will have nearly the same flavor and will satisfy vegetarian guests if omitted. I’ve made this dish many times with the ancient grain, quinoa, providing nearly the same texture and protein content as the ground meat. Have a bar of fresh toppings for the chili like cilantro, limes, coconut cream, avocado or diced green onions to add a contrast of color and to entice your guests.
As for the nachos, I’m not crazy about cheese these days and neither is my belly. Not to mention the lack of nutrients in the blandly colored dish. This year, I’ll be serving up a rendition on this Epicurious concoction and will be making a few recipe tweaks of my own. Ensuring most of what’s ‘loaded’ on the nachos are local and organic ingredients when possible, and that the chips are a variety of non-GMO corn tortillas so that they’re not a total calorie bomb.
Photo cred: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/
While I’ve yet to try it, I might just give this Butternut-Queso a go as well.
Beyond that I’m sure I’ll whip up another batch of Cauliflower Buffalo bites as I have in years past.
I’ll probably also serve nutrient dense versions of classic staples like:
Spinach artichoke dip and double up on the spinach and artichoke and swap the weird ingredients you might spy in the store bought stuff for real ones.
Homemade ranch for dunking various veggies in will also grace the table.
WV Smoked trout dip from a recent ice fishing adventure will most likely make an appearance.
Beverages will abound, but a sparkling water with seasonal grapefruit from Texas will certainly be showcased (vodka or gin may be added at guests discretion).
Hot toddy’s using white pine and freshly bottled maple syrup (be on the look out for a future post) will also be an option for guests. Maybe a knob of Kentucky’s finest bourbon will even make a halftime appearance.
I’m curious to know, #1-Who’s playing? #2-What do you plan to serve? #3-What are your tricks for pleasing your guests while keeping your dishes penalty free?