Get Your Game On

I Red Dot‘ll say this briefly, football is NOT my thing. I did play powderpuff in high school; it was fierce, and it was fun! However, today my one appreciation of this sport (that seems at times to have placed itself annoyingly at the center of attention on every occasion) is the fare. And, Super Sunday is the only day I will give the game my attention. And by attention I mean, culinary participation. These are the players:

Football Fare

HOMEMADE FRENCH ONION DIP
4 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce, such as Tobasco, to taste
cut raw vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot, and cauliflower, for serving

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onions, and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown. Transfer onions to a strainer set over a bowl to drain and cool.

Reserve 1/3 cup of the onions for garnish and place the remaining onions in a food processor and puree until smooth; add mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, and puree until smooth again. Transfer to a bowl, top with the rest of the onions and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with fresh vegetables.

Do Ahead: Start to finish, 2-3 days ahead.

MUSTARD ROASTED CHICKEN
4 bone-in, skin-on thighs and 4 bone-in, skin-on drumsticks
1/2 cup yellow or Dijon mustard
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 garlic cloves, peeled
a small handful fresh thyme leaves
zest of one lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400F and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and buttermilk. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour the mustard-buttermilk mixture overtop. Toss to coat.

Place the garlic, thyme, lemon zest, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the garlic is finely minced. Add the breadcrumbs and olive oil, and pulse a few times to moisten the breadcrumbs, Pour the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl or onto a large plate–something with sides is best.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Dip each piece of chicken (skin-side down only) into the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken on the sheet pan, crumb-side up. After one or two pieces have been dipped, the crumb mixture might not adhere to the chicken as well. Just use your hands to press the remaining crumbs onto the chicken pieces.

Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Check on the chicken. If necessary, cook another five minutes or until the crumbs are browned. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

BAKED HAM AND SWISS
12 brioche dinner rolls
1 lb deli ham, shaved
1 lb Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 stick butter
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons of poppy seeds
1 oinion, chopped

Heat oven to 350F. Melt butter in a saucepan and mix in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion and poppy seed. Simmer for several minutes.

Cut the entire pack of rolls in half, horizontally (keeping all top and bottom halves intact). In a greased 9×13 pan, place bottom half of rolls and spread 1/3 of the onion mixture over the bottom of the rolls followed by the ham and then cheese.

Replace the tops of the rolls and spread the remaining onion mixture over top. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes and, once finished, separate for serving.

Do Ahead: Chop the onion.

CORN CHOWDER
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 small celelry stalk, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, combine the corn and the chicken stock in another saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture should become very think.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half; stir it into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Just before serving, cut the remaining stick of butter into large chunks. Add it to enrich the soup, stirring until the butter melts.

Do Ahead: 1 day ahead, complete all the steps before cutting in the remaining stick of butter. Let cool slightly and transfer to an airtight container to keep in the fridge until 30ish minutes before serving. Reheat the chowder on the stove top then add the butter in large chunks, stirring until the butter melts.

CRISPY BAKED GREEN BEAN FRIES
1/2 lb green beans
1 cup flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1 egg
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425F. Blanch the beans in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes and immediately remove them to an ice bath.

To prepare beans, gather three bowls. In the first bowl, combine the flour and spices. In the second bowl, combine the milk and egg, whisking to combine. In the third and final bowl, place the panko and season with salt and pepper. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and whisk into the milk/egg mixture.

Pat the beans dry and dredge in the flour mixture, then into the milk/egg mixture, and finally into the panko to coat. Arrange the beans in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Prepare all of the beans in that manner. Lightly spray beans with olive oil spray.

Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Do Ahead: The beans can be blanched 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

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