Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Big Game Recipe Roundup Part 1

I'd call this post "Super Bowl Recipe Roundup Part 1" but after a brief part of my marketing career spent dealing with professional sports teams and their governing league offices I think I'll steer clear and stick with nebulous things like "Big Game" and "American Professional Football Playoff Championship"! (Unlike the guy who tried to trademark Harbowl.)

Few American holidays bring out crazy, simple, dopey and (occasionally) delicious recipes like our American Professional Football Playoff Championship. And don't kid yourself. This weekend's Big Game Between Competing Teams is a holiday.

Even my five-year-old has caught a case of Ravens Fever, though I believe we can cure the ailment with Deer Antler Spray and hologram patches if necessary. (Kidding! Kidding! I kid because I love!)

She was even quite concerned about my ability to make nachos "like Mommy makes". I assured her that I was very capable of placing a pie plate of chips and cheese under a broiler and insisted this was "not my first rodeo", to put it mildly.

Some of my favorite of these easy appetizer recipes come from the test kitchens at various snack conglomerates that are probably owned by some multi-national arms manufacturer.

Take Gridiron Party Pizzas, for instance. Who wouldn't be stoked if their buddy called up and said, "Hey friend! Come on over for The Championship Battle Between The Teams Coached By Those Two Brothers! I'm whipping up some Gridiron Party Pizzas!"

Gridiron Party Pizzas sound awesome. And filling. I'm picturing a giant, rectangular dough gridiron with sausage end zones spelling out "Ravens" and "Niners", mozzarella yardage markers and a pepperoni mid-field.

If my friend told me they were making Gridiron Party Pizzas I would skip breakfast and lunch.

And then I'd get to their house, find a tray of crackers topped with a dab of tomato sauce, a smattering of cheese and a wee pepperoni slice. Then I'd kick them in the nuts and go to Taco Bell where I'd wait patiently for the launch of Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.

Okay, so maybe the Gridiron Party Pizzas aren't going to fill you up but I bet some delicious pulled pork sliders would. (And when did "sliders" become the all-encompassing term for "mini-sandwich"? It's like anything that has melted cheese, onions and peppers being labeled a "Philly". Stop it.)

I'm pretty comfortable with my homemade pulled pork recipe, which I usually bust out every summer for a gathering with pals. But there's a lot of time, effort and TLC involved in the process, not to mention the cost of 20-some pounds of boneless pork shoulder, vats of pig dip and bowls of rub. In other words, I'm not making it for the Super Bowl Televised Commercial Showacse to Decide Playoff Winner.

But that doesn't mean I'm above scouring the web for new twists and easier preparations than the all-day process I'm used to. Which was why Southern Living's Easy Barbecue Sliders caught my eye when it popped up in my mailbox.

Easy? Great. Barbecue? Awesome. Sliders? Sigh.

After checking out the recipe I hope nobody actually got paid to develop it for the magazine. The aforementioned Gridiron Party Pizzas are more difficult to whip up and in terms of effort these sliders rank just above opening a pre-fab tub of French Onion Dip. There are no reviews at the site because I think most people would be embarrassed to admit they had dumped some packed BBQ on a bun.

More recipes tomorrow!

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