Kickoff Your Football Party with 3 Awesome Dishes You Can Cook At Home
It’s that time of year again and everyone loves football! While its a blast watching the game at the stadium, the vast majority of us spend time huddled around the television in the comfort of our own homes. Every game is special though and food it always shared when family and friends come together. As part of our continuing Cooking At Home segment, we wanted to bring you some unique tailgating dishes that are simple to prepare that will and your guests will enjoy while watching the big game.
One of my favorite dishes to cook for games is Buffalo Shrimp. While I could do this on the grill, I choose to cook this is the oven because shrimp cook so fast by cooking them in the oven it gives some time for the heat from the wing sauce to infuse into the shrimp. Grab some regular wing sauce from the grocery store of your preferred caliber of heat (is there any other than hot?). Shrimp are normally frozen in a bag so I cut the top of the bag off and then set it in the sink and fill it with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot, because it disrupts the flavor of the shrimp. Put the shrimp in the oven at 350° or just long enough to get them started cooking. Take the pan out, put it on the stove top and sit a bowl of hot sauce next to it and start dipping each piece of shrimp into the bowl. Put the shrimp back in for about five minutes and then pull them out and do it again once more, placing the shrimp back on the pan with the side of the shrimp that was facing down previously now facing up. Finally, when the shrimp look like they’re about done place a small piece of pepperjack cheese on top and let it melt.
I am also a sucker for Chicken Nachos. Take boneless, skinless chicken breasts and beat them flat with a mallet. This helps cook more evenly, especially on the grill.cooking the chicken on the grill because it gives you a nice flavor that you can still taste in the nachos when you serve them. I like to use a Charbroil Electric Grill that uses infrared cooking because it lets me control the temperature precisely and keeps the meat juicy and tender. Melanie likes to marinate the meat for 4-8 hours also in a Teriyaki-based sauce, while I prefer using wing sauce or a dijon mustard and olive oil mix. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder while cooking. Once you’ve finished cooking the chicken, cut into small strips of 2-3 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick. Set your nachos one-by-one on a pan and place the chicken on each nacho individually. I know a lot of people will just spread nachos out and then throw chicken all over them but we like to do it this way better. You decide how you prefer and do whatever you and your guests will enjoy. Place some grated cheese on top of each piece. We prefer Hoffman’s Sharp Cheddar normally, but feel free to use a pepperjack or any other cheese of your choosing. Once the cheese is melted, use a spoon and place a small amount of sour cream on top of the cheese and, if you are so inclined add a jalapeño from Phickles.
Soft Beef Tacos
Of course, these are just pre-game or in-game snacks – now we get to the meal of Soft Beef Tacos. Brown 2 pounds of ground beef. Dice 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 Vidalia onion and cook the peppers and onions covered to help hold in their juices and natural flavor. Don’t let them get dry, so add a little olive oil or water to prevent that. Once they’ve cooked thoroughly, you can tell because the onions will become translucent, mix them in with your browned ground beef. Let them cook together for 10-15 on low adding add a taco sauce. I like one that I get from Kroger from Frontera. It says its mild but THEY LIE. Its perfect hot and on the meat I cook for Melanie, I only use just a little. Once that has cooked together for about 15 minutes, you’re ready to serve. Heat the soft tacos shells 3-5 a time by putting a damp paper towel on a plate and placing 3-5 tacos in the microwave at full power for 25 seconds. Put some sour cream on them, add shredded luttuce and the meat and then top it off with a generous application of mozzarella cheese.
Good to go! It’s game time! Guten appetit!