Every time there’s a get together in my neighborhood, I’m amazed at the amount of yummy food people bring to share. I lucked out and moved into a subdivision with lots of people who enjoy cooking and sharing their wares. Quite the opposite of the bridge parties my mother used to host in the 70s when people brought Triscuits with wine cheese spread.
This year’s Super Bowl party was no exception. When I arrived at the Sanchez’s, I took one look at the buffet table crammed with delicious dishes and thought, “I gotta post this!” Of course, I didn’t have my camera, but I had my phone. And I ran all the pics through Instagram’s 1977 filter, so it’s like a bridge party at my mom’s, but with great food!
Carlos Sanchez’s Cuban Steak Sandwiches
Carlos has already proven himself to be a great cook (See: A Cuban New Year), so it was no surprise when he whipped up these delicious steak sandwiches. He sort of wings the recipe, so here it is, to the best of his knowledge.
Marinate a few pounds of skirt steak overnight in Cuban Mojo and a little Worcestershire sauce. Cook on medium high heat for 8 minutes per side. Slice and place on Cuban bread. Top with smoked provolone and shoestring potatoes. Roast and skin a red, yellow and orange bell pepper. Puree with oregano, salt, pepper, roasted garlic (about 8 cloves) and half a sweet onion. Spread sauce on the top piece of Cuban bread. Please on top of sandwich and bake in a 350-degree oven to toast it a bit.
Deb Ferretti’s Super “Not Low Fat” Mac & Cheese
I first tasted some of Deb’s food at our neighborhood’s progressive dinner party. We were on the entrée team together, and I think she made three dishes, all yummy. She is also the neighborhood cake pop queen and makes holiday pops, birthday pops, you name it, for her kids and their friends. The mac & cheese she made for the Super Bowl was rich and delicious and enjoyed by parents and kids alike.
1 lb rigatoni pasta
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 quart heavy cream
Add salt to a pot of water until the water tastes almost like seawater. Boil rigatoni in salt water until al dente. Drain and DO NOT RINSE pasta. Place cooked pasta in a mixing bowl with the quart of heavy cream, 1/3 of the cheddar cheese, 1/3 of the Monterey jack cheese and 1/2 the parmesan. Mix. Check for taste – if you salted the water enough, you shouldn’t need to add anything else. Put pasta mixture into a 9×13 pan and top with remaining cheese. Chill the dish for a few hours for sauce to thicken. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbly.
Jonathan Laird’s Venison Chili
Jonathan and his wife Rebecca hosted a trivia night at our pool one summer and proved to be way smarter than most of us. And they cook! The flavors in this venison chili were spot on. I almost licked my bowl. The venison was given to him by a friend, so I’m not sure how much he had, but I’d assume 2 pounds or so would work.
In a medium pan, sauté minced garlic and olive oil over medium heat. Add one can of enchilada sauce. Prep a crockpot with one can of enchilada sauce and one bottle of dark ale. Place on low heat. Separately, combine 1/2 cup chili powder with 1/4 cup minced onion, 1/8 cup cumin, some parsley, oregano, white pepper, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper and basil. Mix well and adjust to your liking. Rub the spices into the venison by hand and add to sauté pan for about two minutes. Transfer sauté pan mixture to the crockpot for about 5 hours on low heat. Add dark red kidney beans and diced tomatoes at the end.
Michelle O’Shaughnessy’s Buffalo Dip
Cook and shred 2 chicken breasts. Combine with a block of cream cheese, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, a bottle of buffalo sauce and half bottle of blue cheese dressing. Mix well. Heat in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Stir well. Serve with celery and Frito scoops.
Robert Warlick’s Chicken Wings
Robert and his wife Meredith live across the street from me. They host a Christmas party every other year that is off the hook. Robert also has access to a big smoker and does great barbeque (I smell another blog post coming…). His wing recipe is adapted from Alton Brown. It’s healthier than your typical chicken wing recipe.
Put 12 wings in a steam basket and steam for 10 minutes. This melts off the fat. Put in the fridge for one hour. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Flip and cook for 20 minutes more. If you cook in small batches and eat right out of the oven they are fantastic. Putting them under foil causes them to steam more and lose crispiness. Toss wings with sauce. Robert’s sauce: Franks Cayenne Pepper Sauce, lots of garlic, half a cup of honey. Heat to combine.
And here’s what’s left of my contribution. Bacon wrapped weenies. Always a crowd pleaser. Take a package of lil’ smokies, a package of bacon and a cup of brown sugar. Cut the bacon into thirds. Wrap each weenie with a 1/3 strip of bacon. Place on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. For the dipping sauce: thoroughly mix ¼ cup mayo (I use Dukes), ¼ cup barbeque sauce and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.