In America, the Super Bowl is pretty much a holiday. In fact as a kid, growing up I felt they should always cancel school the next morning because you were up so late (I still believe that anyone who is a fan of the winning team should be a “free pass” off of work the next morning!). Football is about an American as you can get, and it’s literally a holiday in this house. We probably spend more time planning and cooking for this party than Thanksgiving. So, it’s time for you to step up your game as well.
There is no better way to learn how to make new food options than with a professional chef. On Tuesday, I got to attend a private event with Chef Josh Capon (six-time Burger Bash winner!) and owner of five different restaurants right here in NYC. Listen when the guy who wins best burger as many times as the Steelers have Super Bowls win is doing a live demo on tailgating and party foods, YOU GO.
Did I mention his sous chef just happened to be Jerry O’Connell? Oh, and yes that’s Kristen Taekman who came with me from the Real Housewives of New York. Yeah, it was a really boring learning session.
So, What’s On The Menu?
I had a chance to sit down after the show with Chef C and asked him how he gets his own kids to eat new foods and participate in the kitchen. He said starting early and just letting them experience it help them open up to new things. Let them chop, stir and pour. When they are a part of the process, they’re more likely to actually TRY it. You can download and view ALL recipes here.
According to Jerry, these need trademarked because they’re the next big thing. In fact, I believe he even compared them to a sexual experience when I sat down to chat with him. Not only are these DELICIOUS, they’re relatively easy to make – and EAT! – for everyone. No longer will anyone ever make fun of me for leaving “too much meat” on the bone by making them this way. All you need? A good butcher knife to chop of the ends of the bones, and a deep fryer. Don’t worry – JC Penney has you covered here as well (and it’s on sale right now for only $40!). And according to Chef C, you don’t HAVE to clean them out every time – store them away with the oil (he uses Canola) just like you would your crock pot.
In fact, these were so good, Jerry had a hard time deciding what he loved more – the lollipops or me. haha Get the recipe here.
Green Dragon Shrimp Skewers
Personally I think one of the easiest foods to cook is shrimp. It’s really hard to overcook it, as it turns a bring pink color once ready (raw shrimp is a gray/blueish color). When you find a new way to throw a shrimp on the barbie, you go for it. Kids LOVE food on a stick. Trust me. All your really need is an indoor grill, right? It’s possible – in fact you can grab a cast iron grill pan right here, and make these shrimps late like summer in the country right in the middle of winter in NYC. My favorite part of this recipe? Cilantro. That’s what gives it the dark green color, and as Chef C says, anyone who doesn’t love cilantro isn’t really living. 🙂 Get the recipe here.
Roasted Filet Mignon Cheesesteaks
Cheesesteaks may be a legend from the OTHER side of Pennsylvania, but even in Pittsburgh we love a good sammie, especially ones we can make at home. Roasting meat isn’t as hard as one might think – it’s more in how much you let it rest. Getting a chunk of meat, you’ll want to sear it for a few minutes on each side, and then throw in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. While your meat is cooking, you can start those caramelized onions in the electric skillet. I think one of the best mentions Chef C made here was the use of an electric skillet. Literally I went back to my childhood days of camping in the pop-up camper. We ALWAYS had the electric skillet (only $30!) going in there, so if we can cook with in in a pop-up, you can cook with in in your NYC tiny kitchen. Get the recipe here.
Some extra tips from Chef C:
- DO NOT PUT SALT IN A MARINADE. Salt pulls out flavor not adds, if you throw it in, it will counteract what you’re trying to attempt – get the flavoring to soak into your meat! Just add salt to food right before you serve it.
- Let your meat “rest.” One of the worst things you can do is cut into your meat right out of the oven or pan. Letting it rest allows it to cool and soak in it’s juices so when you cut into it they don’t all spill out onto our cutting board, and keep your food tasting best.
- Use a real skillet. “Nonstick pans are only good for omelets, ” says Chef C. Using a cast iron skillet will hold the flavor and get a better consistency of heat. To clean them, you don’t soap them out, you use a paper towel afterwards, and make sure to re-coat it with a food grade oil like you would your wood cutting boards.