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Super Bowl XXXXXXXX: Take it or leave it?



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Cowboys Stadium Super Bowl XLV
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La Belle Cuisine


Super Bowl XXXXXXXX: Take it or leave it?
(Okay. So I do not write a new Super Bowl piece every year.
The principles remain the same, no?)

 Am I a football fan? Not exactly. I do, however, know the difference between a touchdown and a home run. Whoever gets the most first
downs wins, right? Yes, I try to keep up, but once the Saints are out
of the running, I seem to lose interest.
What can I say? (Things were
different last year! How 'bout dem Saints, y'all?!?!? Who dat say
who dat???) It is nonetheless quite clear to me that those of you
who are Football Fans to the Max are counting the days now.

This is AMERICA. The Super Bowl is a Big Deal. A Very Big Deal. It deserves to be celebrated, does it not? But of course! Therefore, Super
Bowl parties have become part of the American Way of Life. Like the
World Series, and mom, and apple pie!

As fate would have it, even if I were a more dedicated football aficionado, circumstances prevent my throwing any kind of party at this point in time.
In no way does this sad fact prevent me from giving said celebration some serious thought. If not for me and mine, then for you and yours, dear LBC fans... Carpe diem, and all that jazz.

So what kind of bash would I throw? KISS. Keep it simple Sam (or Sally,
or Silly, whatever…), right? Right! The attention will be on the TV screen. And let’s face it, football is, by and large, more of a guy thing than a chick thing, is it not? (Please. No hate mail from devoted female football fans or anti-football males, okay? Sheesh.) All I’m saying is that in my very humble opinion this is not the occasion for Quiche Lorraine, Chateaubriand,
soufflés, crème brûlée, Napoleons, or High Tea.

What we need here is not chick food (you'll pardon the expression) but offerings in the stick-to-your ribs category. Such as? Hearty appetites welcome Italian fare, no?. How about lasagne, or a huge pot of spaghetti
and meat balls
? A pasta buffet, perhaps, including Mario Batali's Baked
Pasta with Ricotta and Ham
, or Isabella's Baked Manicotti? Or perhaps
Stracotto (Pot Roast Pasta)? Deep Dish Pizza? Mangia, mangia, mangia...

If you prefer something warming and substantial but less filling, just go
for a Souper Bowl party. Do we have soup recipes or what?!? If you
want to narrow it down a tad, you might opt for chili or gumbo.

In New Orleans, you can bet your Mardi Gras beads we'll be indulging
in seafood. New Orleans
Boiled Shrimp with garlic bread! A huge pot of
jambalaya or Crawfish Étouffée. Mercy, mercy, mercy. And surely you
want to consider THE New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp recipe. Mais oui, cher...to die for! Trust me... And don't forget the napkins!

If you really want to KISS, just bake a ham, roast a turkey, or pot a
roast, and surround them with assorted breads and condiments. Throw
in a huge bowl of
potato salad. This is not so difficult. Piece of cake.

Oh yeah, speaking of which - dessert. KISS. Brownies. Cookies. Pound
. My favorite chocolate cake. Or set up a do-it-yourself ice cream
sundae bar. Everybody loves ice cream, even in the winter! YUM!

What if you just want to do the munchies thang rather than a meal?
No prob. Set out an assortment of antipasti and/or tapas. Or maybe
a variety of cold cuts, crudités, cheese, olives, and fresh fruit along
with Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts and baskets of assorted bread and
crackers. How about some Cheesy Retro Stuff?
And remember: When in doubt, dip! (Don't forget the libations...)

Here's what I'm going to have, party or not:

Citrus-Marinated Shrimp
Gourmet December 1985

3 thin lemon slices
2 bay leaves
1 pound (about 32) unshelled shrimp
1/4 cup ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced [or more, to taste]
1/2 cup vegetable [or olive] oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1 orange, sliced thin
1 white [or red] onion, sliced thin
Lettuce leaves for lining the plates

In a saucepan combine the lemon slices, bay leaves, 1/2 cup water, a pinch
of salt, and a pinch of pepper and bring the water to a boil. Add the shrimp and boil them, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are pink and just
firm to the touch. Drain the shrimp in a colander, refresh them under cold water, and shell and devein them.
In a bowl combine the ketchup, garlic, oil, lemon juice, sugar, celery seeds, mustard seeds, Tabasco, orange, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss
the shrimp with the marinade and chill the mixture, covered, for 24 hours. Drain the shrimp and arrange them on the lettuce leaves on serving plates. Serves 4 as a first course. [Or, just triple the recipe, toss the shrimp into a huge bowl, and supply lots of toothpicks for spearing and napkins.]


If none of the suggestions above turns you on, see the links below. Seems
to me that if throwing a party is your thing, this is a terrific excuse. If you
are invited to a Super Bowl party, you may as well go. Maybe the food
will be terrific! Why not take just take the Super Bowl, right? God bless America! It makes sense to enjoy the feast while you can. After all, Ash Wednesday is coming...

Get the idea? Go Dolphins!


Super Bowl Party Ideas:
Game Day Sandwiches
NFL Team Potato Skins
Quick, Easy, Yummy!
Super Bowl Tidbits
Super Bowl Bash, New Orleans Style
Sugar Bowl Tailgating
Cajun Chicken Morsels
Cajun Popcorn (Paul Prudhomme)
Cajun Trail Mix
Chili-Baked Ribs
Chili, Prize-Winning
Commander's Pickled Shrimp
Famous New Orleans Marinated
Shrimp (Olivia Manning)

Grilled Bratwurst
Holy Guacamole!
Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot Wings
Inge's Jaegerfrikadellen
Louisiana Oyster and Sausage
Bake (Emeril)

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with
Jezebel Sauce

New Orleans Po' Boys
Pepper Biscuits with Cheddar Pecan Spread
Piri Piri Beef on a Stick (Emeril)
Pizza Plenty
Quintessential Quesadillas
Salsa Collection
Southern Sausage Balls
Ultimate Nachos
Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts


Until next time, remember... Be well, stay safe, enjoy your freedom.
And please. do not take anything for granted! Count your blessings.
Express your gratitude. Relax. Play ball!



"It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love,
are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think
of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I
am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the
love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and
fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one."

~ M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating icon icon



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