Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Southern Comfort

All dressed up and ready for the game. Waddya mean, the Jets are out?

It's game time! The Super Bowl. All I can say is THANK YOU to the powers that be that the Jets did not make it this year. Otherwise my home would be in an INSANE frenzy of excitement and expectation. I really could not manage that. Instead we will watch the game in a civilized manner with minimal name calling, cursing and crying. No one's voice will be hoarse the next day from hysterical screaming and cheering at the television screen. My husband and children roll their eyes at me because I don't GET the concept of wearing the exact same clothes and sitting in the exact same position as you did when the last crucial game was won. All I can say is THANK YOU Jets for not quite making it this year and I wish you all the best next year.

Super bowl parties are a great excuse to get together on a cold day and eat junk food. Where does a wine drinking vegetarian fit into all this you may ask? Well, they are invited to the party too. Who says vegetarians don't have gross, unhealthy foods of their own to contribute to the pot luck?
Everything you need to get the party started.

A few years ago I catered a party where I was specifically asked to make pimento cheese for the Southern birthday boy. What the heck is that? It was explained as a mushy mess of cheese and pimentos that means the absolute universe to anyone who grew up on the stuff. Oh, ok. I made a batch and was horrified, but served it anyway.
The finished product. Not so pretty.

The leftovers ended up in my fridge and a few weeks later I pulled it out and tasted it. Boy was that stuff GOOD!! It had improved with age and I couldn't get enough of it. Ah HA!! Perfect yucky party food! I have made a batch for Sunday and I thought I would try it as a canape, putting a dollop on cut-out rounds of toast and sticking it in the toaster oven for a minute. Doesn't a toaster oven seem like the perfect Super Bowl party cooking tool?
Yeah team!

Pimento Cheese Canapes
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup of Mayo
8oz. *Pimentos, minced
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. Bourbon

8 slices of bread cut into rounds or quarters
1 Tbs. canola oil

for the cheese: Mix the first five ingredients and store in fridge for up to six weeks. serve as a dip or spread

for the canapes: brush the bread with the oil and toast till crispy and golden. Add a dollop of the pimento cheese on top and put in the toaster oven till cheese begins to melt and bubble.
Serves 8

*Full disclosure: When I first made pimento cheese I said "what's up with PIMENTO"?  I mean, does it have to be pimento? Why not some other kind of pepper? I was told that PIMENTO IS ESSENTIAL! Well ok, but, I made mine with hot pickled peppers called Piri Piri. And I liked it! The peppers give some heat and the pickling provides the tang. I'm just saying. Experiment.

Hmmmm. Sounds Interesting. Perhaps I should give it a try. My initial reaction is probably what Deb's was at first - call it "skepticism". But Deb, if you sing its praises, then it can't be bad! What attracts me to this recipe is that you don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it! Seems like a crowd-pleaser to me! Sounds like something you could even heat up in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips (what Super Bowl Party would be complete without tortilla chips?)

I personally will be watching the game at a friend's house with several other couples. I figure that the women will be drinking wine and the men will be gulping down beer and eating wings. Of course, there will be a lot of different things to eat, so I wouldn't pair a wine with any single item. And, on Game Day, I definitely don't want anything too "serious" or complex. I just want a simple, fun, easy drinking wine, a wine that I would enjoy at a barbeque perhaps. I will probably bring a nice jammy Zinfandel for all to enjoy. (Seghesio, Ravenswood, Rosenblum). If you are planning to drink white, again, just a simple wine - Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay perhaps. When I choose wines for a large, informal gathering like a Super Bowl party, I want to make sure the wines are not too "out there", and that my choices are ones that will appeal to everyone. I save my "off the beaten path" wines for smaller gatherings where the attendees really appreciate, or want to experiment and learn about wine.

But, after all, it is the Super Bowl. There's always beer as an option...

1 comment:

  1. Love how you elevated the mundane. Looks so much more appetizing as a canape.


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