We are officially in the thick of the season! Football season that is. And it is both heating up and winding down at the same time. Rats and thank goodness! What?
January brings great football with the playoffs. It also brings the perfect opportunity to get together with friends and watch the games. And eat “bar food”. Ah yes, friends gathered, fried food, cold beer, goopy dips, and loads of chips. That’s January football for you. Our bodies are so covered up in turtle necks and sweaters with the cold weather, and spring break (gasp!! swim suit season) is far off. Who cares what we eat? Bring on the wings!
As a card carrying foodie, I love all types of foods. Some folks accuse me, with a look down their nose and a nostril flaring sneer, of being a health nut. Others stand back with a nod of respect while I nibble (snarf down) a pile of wings. And I even lick my fingers, to many (non foodie) companions chagrin! A foodie’s reputation varies with the crowd. And that’s ok. Foodie’s, although a bit snobbish, fit in with all food crowds!
You want football food? It’s all about dips, dabbles, and a little bit of spice! Let your football gathering shine with favorites from the region as well as from your home town! When gathering for sporting events one can really stretch the culinary wings! Anything goes, so go for it.
I attended a national football game tail gate party at the stadium prior to the game. The party was catered by folks brought in from the opposing teams fan club, so food served was indicative of that region. Fabulous! Very she she foofoo lala. Very high brow. But that is not a complaint. It was amazing food. My football get togethers at home are a little less structured and a whole lot of fun. Well…that said I can be a bit pretentious with my food too. I admit that I am a total snob when it comes to hotdogs.
I was born and raised in Chicago, went to college in the midwest, and now call the south my home. So of course my last football get together reflected my hometown roots. I served brats fresh off the grill, and had Chicago style hotdogs. I had an easel set up by the food. I placed a large “tutorial” on the easel. I was determined to teach these wonderful warm southern folks how to build an authentic Chicago style hotdog.
What’s a Chicago style hot dog? A hot dog with mustard, relish, tomatoes, peppers, and celery salt are amongst the toppings. It is loaded on and must be loaded in the correct order. On a poppy seed bun. Thus, the tutorial. And a true Chicagoan will never ever put ketchup on their hot dog. Chicagoans are purists with their dogs. Layered just right. Mustard is a must, ketchup..never!
Have some fun. I serve Chicago style food at my football gatherings, add some southern favorites, but mix in some healthy flavorful options as well. Recipes and food ideas are everywhere for a football or Superbowl party. So own it! Own your food, own your hometown roots, own your fun! Take the opportunity to let your roots shine. Show your food passion. It doesn’t have to be all fried foods and fatty dips. Sure that is ok, but you can also keep your food healthy and super clean if you so choose. Make some Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Its easy! Here you go:
- 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 2-3 T. Tahini
- 1 4 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drain and dry peppers on paper towels
- 2 T. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Simply blend the ingredients in a blender or food processor. This is best made ahead of time and chilled. Serve with low salt baked pita chips. This is packed with flavor and a healthy source of vegetable protein.
Now make some super fresh salsa from scratch. And be creative. Start with:
- 5 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 vidalia onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers
- 2 T. lime juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Throw all these ingredients in a bowl. Then add, if you so choose:
- Black beans, rinsed
- A variety of other peppers chopped
- Fresh or canned corn (if canned, rinse, drain then add)
These are two very easy recipes to prepare and serve. Have some fun and personalize your food. Make sure to have a dish or two reflecting your hometown or favorite foods. Have fun food, but keep the focus on family, football, and fellowship!