Recipes: A Southwestern Buffet for a Houston, Texas, Superbowl Day

football

I must confess,  I have always enjoyed playing football more than watching it.  Football was a big deal in my hometown.  I think most of the school-age, able-bodied males were on our school’s team.

It seemed to me that there was a social hierarchy of sorts on our football teams. In stead of shirts and skins, our team appeared to be divided up between the spindly and the timber legged.  The town’s kids were usually on offense in a backfield position.  There they could avoid contact and injury by being protected by the barn cleaning, rock picking country types. If you were a farm boy it rarely mattered how far you could throw a pass or run a football, chances were that you would find yourself on defense or in the offensive line.

Special teams were a mixed bag that took on life of their own. This group of fine young men was usually made up of the younger brothers of farm boys.  These normally easy going guys were used to taking a pounding.  Once that uniform was on they knew no fear. One of my favorite high school football memories was made by the youngest son from a family of boys who was our punter.  He was a farm neighbor of ours and I had hunted ducks with him many times.  For lack of a better name, I will call him Goober.

During this particular play, Goober’s center hiked the ball right over his head. Goober had been sent out there to punt and he was determined to fulfill his mission. So, he punt kicked the oncoming rusher right in the stomach.   The “woof” could be heard all over the field.

Thankfully the opposing play was not injured. I am pretty sure the refs insisted that Goober not return to the football field for the remainder of the game.  He was cheered like a returning war hero by his teammates and hometown crowd as he left the field.  When asked why he kicked the guy, Goober said that he had to kick something and the guy was there.  Thankfully he did not take that attitude when we were hunting together and the ducks didn’t show up.

The best football games from my youth were not played in town on a regulation-sized field, but were played on our farm’s football field.  Our front yard was a huge rectangle. Many neighborhood football games were played on that lawn. We didn’t even have to quit when it became dark outside, because our farm yard light lit the whole thing up.  The goal lines were trees.  A big elm tree to the north and a small box elder tree to the south in front of the grainery. Both trees and the grainery are gone now.

Some of the best athletes in our school were either my brothers, cousins or neighbors. Many a weekend found us playing no-pads, no-refs, no-whiner tackle football. For quite a few years I was only allowed to watch the big boys play, because I was too small and wheezy.

It wasn’t long before I was playing football with the boys.  Once my asthma improved, I had grown up, and filled out some….I was asked to participate.

One of the last football games that I ever played in our yard took place a couple of days before I was to start college.  As fate would have it, I was an offensive end.  As I sprinted at a dead run out to catch a long pass, the tip of my foot went right into a gopher hole and down I went.  It was quite obvious that, at best, I had just severely sprained my ankle.

I hobbled off to the house for ice and before long my whole foot and ankle were purple. The next morning the situation had not improved and a visit was paid to our family doctor–Dr. Schnell.  The foot and ankle were wrapped and I was instructed that I had to use crutches.

My cousin had wanted crutches so badly that for years she tried to break her own leg. Here I was living her dream, and I did not want to be on crutches. Not ever! Especially not on my first day at a new school. To me crutches were attention grabbing ugly instruments of arm pit torture. Worse yet, they are a complete failure as a fashion statement and never match any outfit.

The next morning, I got up and did my best to meet the challenge of coordinating clothes, color, and crutches. Then, I rode with my brother to college for my first day of higher education.

Freshman orientation was being held in the gym, which was sunken and there were a lot of steps to get down to it.  There I stood at the top of the stairs leaning on my crutches and holding onto my books trying to figure out how to successfully complete the journey into that required educational abyss. Without warning a couple of football players scooped up me, my crutches and books and carried us down.  Their football brawn clearly was put to practical good use and was greatly appreciated.

With only days to go until kick-off, it is time find recipes, complete a menu and purchase groceries for Superbowl Sunday.  Since the game is in Texas, my menu choices lean towards Mexican fare.  I hope that you enjoy these recipes and this Sunday’s game!

BEVERAGES:

mexican-punch-orange-sherbet

Fruit Punch Ole’

1 quart fresh orange juice
1-6 ounce can of frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed and made with water
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup tequila
1/2 cup triple sec
1 quart club soda, chilled
1 pint orange sherbet

In a very large punch bowl combine orange juice, pineapple juice concentrate made with water, lemon juice, tequila and triple sec. Mix well and chill.  When ready to serve, stir in club soda and put scoops of sherbet in to float.

Makes just over a gallon.

This recipe can be found in the cookbook, Classic Southwest Cooking, Classic Southwest Recipes Authentic Family Favorites by Sheryn R. Jones

Spanish Coffee

3/4 cup kahlua
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 cups of hot brewed coffee
Whipped cream
Chocolate curls

Stir Kahlua and sugar into hot coffee.  Pour into four coffee mugs and top each with a dollop of whipped cream.  Garnish with chocolate curls.

This recipe can be found in the cookbook, Classic Southwest Cooking, Classic Southwest Recipes Authentic Family Favorites by Sheryn R. Jones

Russian Hot Chocolate

1 fluid ounce vanilla flavored vodka
3/4 fluid ounce amaretto liqueur
1 cup of hot chocolate

Into a mug of hot chocolate add the vanilla vodka and amaretto.  Stir to blend.  Top with whipping cream.

APPETIZERS:

dip

Pico De Gallo

8-10 Roma tomatoes (seeded and diced)
1 medium-sized red onion (finely diced)
1 jalapeno pepper (to control heat remove seeds and finely dice)
2 medium-sized cloves of garlic (finely minced)
juice of one lime
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a medium-sized bowl combine diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno pepper and minced garlic. Mix together.  Add cilantro, sale, pepper, olive oil and lime juice.  Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Tipsy Chili Con Queso Dip

2-10 ounce packages of Velveeta cheese, cubed
1-10 ounce can of diced green chilies (mild, medium or hot)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 can of beer, divided
1-4 ounce can of taco sauce

In a double boiler on low-medium heat, melt cheese.  Stir constantly to prevent scorching

When cheese has melted, add green chilies, onion, 1/4 cup beer and taco sauce.  Stir until combined.  Thin cheese with beer until your dip is the desired consistency. Drink the rest of the beer.

Serve dip warm with chips.

This recipe can be found in the cookbook, Classic Southwest Cooking, Classic Southwest Recipes Authentic Family Favorites by Sheryn R. Jones

Many Layer Taco Dip

1 package of taco seasoning mix
1- 16 ounce can of refried black beans
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1-16 ounce container of sour cream
1-16 ounce far of salsa
4-5 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 large white onion, finely diced
1 can  black olives, drained and sliced
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

In a small mixing bowl combine until smooth the taco mix and refried beans.  Spread the mixture onto a large platter or into a 9 X 13 pan.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl with an electric hand-mixer combine sour cream, cream cheese and diced onions. Spread over bean layer. Top with an even layer of salsa.  Garnish with additional layers of diced tomatoes, bell peppers and black olives.  Top with Cheddar cheese.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with chips.

Spicy Cheese Ball

1-8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup of crumbled blue cheese
1-1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup onion, minced
1-1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
dash of cayenne pepper
Parsley, finely chopped

In a medium-sized mixing bowl add cream cheese, onions and Worcestershire sauce. Blend together with an electric hand-mixer on low.  Beat at medium speed until fluffy.  Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Cover and chill for at least eight hours.

When chilled shape the mixture into the shape of a football. Roll in parsley until covered. Place on a serving plate.  Cover and chill for two hours or until firm.

Serve with small crisp crackers.

This recipe comes from the home of my mother-in- law Lois Turgeon

Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip

2 cans artichokes, drained and chopped
2/3 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups of Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 Tablespoon sugar
Pinch of garlic powder

In a large mixing bowling combine ingredients together.  Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly hot.

Serve with crackers.

This recipe comes from the home of Shawn Peterson. 


ENTREES:

buffalo

Buffalo Wing Ring

Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup of Blue Cheese

Mix together in a small bowl and chill.

Bread:
4 Tablespoons onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter

4 to 4-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 packages yeast

1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

In a frying pan saute onions in butter, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients together.

In a small bowl use a microwave to slowly heat water and milk to a temperature of 110 degrees.  If you don’t have a thermometer, your milk and water solution should be about lukewarm.  If it gets too hot, it will kill your yeast and your bread will not rise.

Add warm water mixture to dry ingredients.  Add onions.  Mix together until combined, then knead until smooth.  Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Filling:
2 cups of cooked chicken
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce or barbecue sauce
1/2 cup Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

On a lightly floured surface roll dough out into a large rectangle like you would to make a jelly roll.  Be careful not to roll so thin that you get holes in your dough. I would keep the dough about 1/2 thick.  Spread chicken filling over dough leaving about an inch wide margin around the edges.  Top with the cheeses.

Roll up and seal the edges.  Shape into a ring. Place on a greased cookie sheet with sides. Brush top and sides of bread ring with beaten egg.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until nicely browned.

Remove from oven and transfer to serving platter. Slice and serve with dipping sauce.

mexican-lasagna-01

Mexican Lasagna

Grease a 9 X 13 pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:
1 pound of ground beef or shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 can of mild diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup of water
1 envelope of taco seasoning.
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14-1/2 ounce) can of Mexican diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can of refried pinto beans
3 cups of shredded Mexican cheese blend
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas

In a large skillet, cook ground beef, green pepper, chilies and onion until meat is completely browned and cooked.  (If using cooked shredded chicken, put a tablespoon of oil in the skillet.  Cook green pepper, chili pepper and onion until onion is translucent. Add cooked shredded chicken. Heat  chicken up thoroughly.)  Drain off juices and grease.  Add water and taco seasoning.  Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.  Simmer for one minute.  Stir in black beans and tomatoes.  Return to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

Place two tortilla in the greased 9 X 13 pan.  Spread with half of the refried pinto beans. Top beans with half of the meat mixture.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese.  Repeat layers ending with two tortillas on top. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.  (I usually bake mine for about 45-50 minutes and remove the foil for the last 10 minutes so the cheese well brown.)

Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Cut into serving-sized pieces.

Yield: 9 servings.

Tamale Hotdish is another great game day entree with southwestern flair.

DESSERTS:

pie

Margarita Pie is outstanding. To serve a crowd double the recipe and make this dessert in a 9 X 13 pan.

8 or 9 inch pie tin

Margarita Pie

Crust:
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 ½ cups pretzels, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine butter, pretzels and sugar in pie plate press down to form crust and freeze,

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Filling:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condense milk
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1/3 fresh lime juice
1 ½ ounces of tequila
1 ounce of triple sec
2 eggs whites

In medium mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, sugar, lime juice, tequila and triple sec and mix well.

In a metal or glass bowl beat egg whites until slightly stiff and fold them into egg-sugar mixture. Spoon mixture. Spoon mixture into graham cracker crust. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Let pie cool.

Topping:
½ cup whipping cream, whipped
¼ cup sugar
Lime slices

In a small bowl, whip cream until it holds peaks.Fold sugar into whipped cream and spread over cooled pie. Chill pie several hours before serving. Garnish each piece of pie with then lime slice.

brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Brownies:
1 box of brownie mix that uses oil, eggs and water
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl make brownie mix according to package directions.  When completely combined add vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir until combined

Pour batter into a greased 9 X 13 pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Watch carefully. The brownies are done when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Cookie Dough Filling: (Egg Free)
1 cup salted butter at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup  milk
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Topping:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In a medium-sized bowl use and electric hand mixer to combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix until smooth and fluffy.  Add milk and vanilla.  Mix until combined. Stir in flour until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread cookie dough over cooled brownies.  Top with remaining chocolate chips.  Press chips down into dough. Refrigerate until the dough is very firm. Usually a couple of hours. You can speed this process up by putting the bars in the freezer.

Use a sharp knife to cut brownies into 2-inch squares. Have a paper towel and glass of water nearby to clean off knife, should it become sticky.

brownie_revel_bars

Fudge Revel Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 X 13 pan. 

Dough:
1 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of quick cook rolled oats

In a large mixing bowl with and electric hand mixer cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and blend until smooth.

Filling:
2 Tablespoons butter
1-14 ounce can of sweeten condensed milk
1-12 ounce package of chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

In a small saucepan on low heat melt the two Tablespoons of butter.  Add sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Add vanilla. Stir.

Evenly spread 2/3 of the dough in the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Spread hot filling over the dough.  Drop remaining dough on top of the filling using a teaspoon.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the bars begin to brown.

Removed from oven and let cool.  Cut into squares and serve.

This recipe comes from the kitchen of my mother Carole Larson. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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