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Sensational Super Bowl Spread

I’m not much of a football fan so it’s ironic the Super Bowl always falls right around my birthday—I’m born on the third.  However, when my editor asked me to do a story on Super Bowl food this year, the romantic within me thought: Dickens—as this piece would tell a food tale of two cities each distinct in flavor.

Seattle is recognized for its Pacific Northwestern cuisine and of course its coffee—the home of Starbucks.  Locals on the popular urban guide site, Yelp, have called it the teriyaki capital, with over a hundred teriyaki joints in the city.  It has been known to be Seattle’s fast-food as you can be sure to find one in any strip mall advertising $5.99 specials.  Hands-down, the Emerald City is known for its fresh seafood markets filled with the quintessential Dungeness crab, and Pacific wild salmon.  But there is one iconic dish to come out of Seattle known as the Seattle dog.  Step aside Chicago, this Polish sausage on a toasty bun is smothered in onions and topped with cream cheese.  It’s savory, sweet, with just a touch of zing from the cream cheese.

And just over 1,300 miles to The Rockies, Southwestern cuisines reigns supreme.  Known for their pork green chili, Coloradans each have their own recipe.  Verde smothers almost anything in Denver from fries, to rellenos, to enchiladas—entrees are swimming.  I’m sure this year the city wishes that their chili wasn’t paradigmatically green, but achieving a blue color with food—well that’s a coin toss between freshness and radioactive.  The Mile High City is known for man food such as buffalo and Rocky Mountain Oysters.  I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, Colorado waters are not brackish.  But these oysters, also known as prairie oysters in Canada, tendergroins in Montana, cowboy caviar, swinging beef, and calf fires, are delicacies—another means to replenish after wrestling black bear. 

How do these two cities stack up when it comes to food?  Much like they do in football is what I’ve been told—the number one defense and offense in the league—that’s right, I can be taught.  Here are my takes on some of the iconic dishes from these Super Bowl battling cities so that you may cheer from your belly—and I don’t mean with a painted letter.

 Seattle Seahawks Menu

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

With Seattle being known for their teriyaki joints I wanted to make sure it made the menu.  Teriyaki now a cuisine in and of itself was derived from a cooking technique in Japan from the 17th century.  And it was Americanized as the recipe evolved when it was first introduced by the early Japanese in Hawaii.

  • 2 dozen (approximately 3 pounds) chicken wings, rinsed and dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

 For sauce:

  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup hoison sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon, ginger, grated

Directions

  1. Combine teriyaki sauce ingredients and simmer in a saucepan until thickened.  Allow to cool and marinade chicken wings in 1/3 of the sauce for at least an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Allow chicken to get to room temperature.  Remove from marinade, pat excess marinade from chicken and arrange on baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes until crisp.
  4. Toss chicken in teriyaki sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.

  

Crab Cake Sliders

 Shellfish is a huge deal in Seattle, especially Dungeness crab.  While I love my crab whole ready for me to pick, crab cake form may be more manageable for your guests.  You may not be able to find Dungeness crab or crab meat where you are, so I made this recipe using jumbo lump blue crab meat.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon pepper
  • Cooking spray

For Aioli

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 1-2 cups arugula
  • 4-6 hamburger buns, toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients and gently toss.  If your mixture happens to be too wet, combine more bread crumbs.  Form patties.
  3. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange crab cakes, leaving at least 2 inches between each cake.  Cook for 20 minutes or until golden.
  4. Combine all ingredients for aioli and set aside.
  5. Assemble sandwich by spreading aioli on both buns, layer crab cake, and arugula.

 

Apple Cherry Pie

There are many varieties of apples that come from Seattle, but Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Cripps Pink, and Cameo count for the majority of the crop.  10-12 billion apples come out of Washington State a year which account for half the apples grown in the United States.  Washington is also known for Rainer cherries which are the most delicate of the cherries hail a bit on the expensive side, but are worth every penny.  This recipe is a favorite of mine from Chef Emeril Lagasse 

  • 3 large sweet, firm apples, such as Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 pieces 
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen pitted cherries, rinsed well 
  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1 cup rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
  • 1 unbaked pie crust, for a 9 or 10-inch deep dish baking pan 
  • Vanilla ice cream, as accompaniment

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cherries, walnuts, granulated sugar, orange juice, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and cornstarch and toss well to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. Blend the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Line a 9 or 10-inch deep baking dish with pie crust and pour in the fruit mixture. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until bubbly, apples are tender, the top is golden brown, and the pie crust is browned, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream on top.

  

Denver Broncos Menu

Mile High Pork Green Chile

If anyone knows how to warm up, people from Denver do.  Here’s my take on their iconic green chile recipe.  Feel free to test your heat tolerance with this dish.  Got leftovers after the big game?  Smother it on a Denver omelet, made with ham, green peppers, and onions the following day for a hearty breakfast. 

  • 1 pound pork shoulder, 
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cans (10 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 1 can (32 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3-4 fresh roasted green chiles or 1 can (8 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 3-5 jalapeño peppers, diced with seeds
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced with seeds 

Tortillas, crushed
Shredded cheese

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

Note: For less heat, remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers

 

Directions

1. Brown pork on all sides in oil over medium high heat. Add cumin, chile powder, chipotles, oregano, garlic, onion and broth.

2. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Crush tomatoes with potato masher in another pan. To tomatoes and their juice, add tomato paste, green chiles and jalapeños. Combine tomato and pork mixtures.

3. About a half hour before serving, place cream cheese in a bowl and stir a few teaspoons of chile.  Add back cream cheese-chile sauce back to chile.

4. Top with shredded cheese and tortillas.

 

Branco Burgers 

If you’ve never worked with ground bison meat, treat it just like ground beef.  Its flavor isn’t too gamey and because of that I call it an “entry level” alternative meat when I entertain with it.  While having 70-90% less fat than beef it is still packed with flavor.  Coloradans have learned to do almost everything outside all through the, so do these burgers justice and fire up the man-stove.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 5 lbs bison meat, ground
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped finely
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • ½ cup barbeque sauce (recipe follows)
  • 4-6 whole wheat buns
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 4-6 slices of sharp cheddar

For Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1-3 chipotles in adobo*
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Note:  Adjust heat factor by removing seeds and membranes

Directions

  1. Heat oil and caramelize onions.  Set aside.
  2. Mix meat and seasonings thoroughly and form patties.  Make a depression in the middle of the burger with your thumb so that when they cook, they are flat on top.
  3. For barbeque sauce, combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a simmer and refrigerate. 
  4. Grill patties to preferred doneness, melting cheddar on top.
  5. Slather buns with mayonnaise and toast.  The mayonnaise gives a nice richness to the bun.
  6. Assemble burger with patty, top with barbeque sauce, and onions.

 

Peach Cobbler Mound Cake

This recipe is for a traditional peach cobbler dump cake, but I call it a “mound” cake as I don’t feel the word “dump” should be used with food.  Colorado peaches from Palisade, give Georgia peaches a run for their money.  Have never tried them?  You don’t know what you’re missing.

  • 2 cans (16 ounces) peaches
  • 1 package cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream  

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Pour peaches into a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan
  3. Cover with the dry cake mix and press down firmly.
  4. Top with butter and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Whip cinnamon, sugar, and cream in a cool bowl to form whipping cream.
  6. Serve in slices with a healthy dollop of whipped cream.