This post is brought to you by a dear Food Shenanigans friend, Tim Gager.
Super Bowl Party — itâ€™s about friends and food. Some people like the commercials, some get into the game. And beer? Thatâ€™s basic, Heineken? Pabst? It doesnâ€™t matter much unless youâ€™re Dennis Hopper:
For the past twenty years Iâ€™ve had a party for the Super Bowl, unless the Patriots (my team) are playing, then I go to other peopleâ€™s parties so I donâ€™t miss any of the game. My get-togethers started humbly with only beer and hard liquor. Years II to III, featured such treats as Jenos Pizza Rolls and Wieners in Wrappers. If I were old enough my party for the Jets-Colts would have looked like this:
I guarantee it.
But, damn, Iâ€™ve grown up. Invited this year is Michelle (writer of Food Shenanigans!) and her husband Dave along with six other people I love. Iâ€™ve already fantasized that after the party Michelleâ€™ll just post â€œI quit, Timâ€™s too goodâ€ on her blog. Maybe sheâ€™ll say something nice after. [Ed. Note: This is certainly possible, but my ego likely won't allow it!]
This year here is the menu:
1 pound crab meat, jumbo, lump or back-fin
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 small onion, grated
1/2 tablespoon mustard powder
18 Ritz crackers, crumbled
1. Combine all ingredients except the crackers. Add crackers crumbs in as close to sautÃ©ing as possible so that they crab cakes donâ€™t get too moist from the other ingredients. Form into patties the size of hamburger patties.
2. SautÃ© in frying pan over medium-to-high heat in butter, 10 minutes per side. Make sure that itâ€™s crispy outside but moist and juicy inside.
3. A simple tartar sauce to accompany the crab cakes can be made by mixing mayonnaise, grated onion and lemon juice.
These are the best crab cakes. I cannot order crab cakes out at any restaurants anymore because honestly, they are not as good as these. I also have a lot of really nice positive associations involving cooking these as a main course. (Yes, they got me laid). For a twist shake a few drips of chipotle tabasco in the tartar sauce.
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Timothy Gagerâ€™s crusty Twist
24 lg. sea scallops (about 2 lbs.)
12 slices bacon
Rinse scallops with running cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut each bacon slice crosswise in half; wrap each half around a scallop, securing with a toothpick. Sprinkle scallops lightly with seasoned pepper. Chop almonds using a food processor or hit them with a hammer inside a zip-lock bag.
Preheat broiler. Place scallops on rack in broiling pan, with bacon facing the heating element. Broil 8 to 10 minutes until scallops turn opaque throughout, using tongs to turn scallops frequently so bacon will brown evenly on all sides. Submerge bacon wrapped scallops in butter and roll in almond pieces.
When I cook I know what ingredients go well together. Crusting the usual scallops wrapped in bacon is just enough extra care that people will say, â€œOh, wow.â€ The scallops Iâ€™m going to use are fresh off the boat from Mitura Fishing Corporation. Fresh Scallops, no poisons or salt water baths which distributor of scallops use to plump them up. Only the best and freshest come from The Halina M [pictured on right].
1 lb Italian sausage
4-5 cloves fresh garlic or about 1/3 cup minced from a jar
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
3 8-oz cans tomato sauce
~2 tbsp oregano
~1 tbsp basil
2 bay leaves or about 2 tsp crushed
~1 tsp sugar
1 cup water
simmer for at least 2 hours uncovered
16-oz tub ricotta
~1 tbsp oregano
~1 tsp salt
~2 tsp pepper
2 8-oz packages Sargento six-cheese Italian blend (or a whole lot of mozzarella and about a third as much parmesan)
1 pkg lasagna noodles (no-boil is the best)
325 for 45 minutes uncovered; let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Timothy Gagerâ€™s Meat or Vegetarian Chili
Half a Butternut Squash or One pound of ground beef and One pound of cooked steak
One can kidney beans drained
One large can of whole tomatoes
Two medium green peppers
Two medium to large onions
Â½ tablespoon of ground black pepper
Â¼ tablespoon of chili powder.
If using meat: Brown the meat, drain. Then add canned tomatoes, drained kidney beans, large chopped onions and peppers, cooked steak pepper and chili powder. Simmer for 90 minutes.
For vegetarian: donâ€™t use or add the meat. Duh. Add the squash fifteen minutes before serving. If you add it too early it will break into tiny or become invisible and overwhelm the chili.
Timothy Gager is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry. He loves to cook and will often have multiple foodgasms. He lives on www.timothygager.com