Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sacrilege

Of all the Super Bowl parties I've attended; after all of the myriad munchies and assorted appetizers we'd made and eaten, do we dare?  Did we have the guts to truly mix it up?  Could we...should something actually different.? We could, we should, we did, and it was awesome.  We went.....meatless on Super Bowl Sunday.  Sacrilege!

We didn't do it in the name of a noble cause or for health reasons in particular (though my last triglyceride count from a few months ago might dictate it should be).  Frankly, we have just been exploring more and more meatless options.  I have and will probably always love my bacon.  That said, my intrigue for the many things you can do without meat has peaked a bit lately.  It just hard to imagine abandoning my beloved Buffalo wings.

I explored some options and picked some things that leaned slightly more toward the healthy side, but that hopefully didn't feel like simply gnawing on a raw vegetable all day.  We picked four items and all were largely successful, though my least favorite was a bit surprising...

Pan-Fried Caramelized Onion Dip - this was from an Ina Garten recipe and sounded amazing.  We both love caramelized onions after all and this was Ina, who has never steered us wrong...ever.  I did find it odd that the onions were merely sliced into 1/8 inch rounds as opposed to diced, but we followed the recipe.  The always enticing aroma of caramelizing onions was the sensory highlight of the experience to be sure.  In the end, the result was satisfying enough, but not my favorite.  It appears I am in the minority as this recipe had over 500 five-star ratings online.  I just didn't dig the onion "strings" in the dip; I would dice them if I did this again.  We felt the result needed more oomph as well, and added salt and a bit of creole seasoning (my new go-to fix is Tony Chachere), but I was never completely sold on it.  I wouldn't steer anyone away as again, it appears many people dig it.  I just probably wouldn't make it again for us.  The recipe is here.

Avocado Hummus- The K-Man scored this beauty from his Pinterest page.  Creamy and spicy with avocado, white beans, fresh lime and cayenne; so freakin' easy and seriously good.  Served with tortilla chips or pretzels or veggies or pretty much whatever.  Original recipe from The Lovely Cupboard site.

"Fried Pickles" and Cilantro Garlic Ranch Dip - Fried pickles are a newish bad food I enjoy and they are typically deep-fried with a side of ranch dressing.  This version were actually baked in a panko breading with Worcestershire, creole seasoning and hot sauce.  Served with a cool, creamy cilantro garlic ranch, these babies were a new favorite snack.  The recipe for these came via Keith's Pinterest page also and originated from The Vanilla Tulip.

Homemade Soft Pretzels - These bad boys from Alton Brown were absolutely the runaway hit.  We followed the recipe step by step and only made one change: we used melted butter in place of egg yolk for brushing on before they came out of the oven.  These were so warm, soft, chewy and gratifying we made two salted and one with cinnamon-sugar.  Our first time making pretzels was an unqualified success.  Even more so with beer mustard (the salty ones, that is).  The recipe can be found here.

So that was our meatless Super Bowl Sunday.  No themes this year as I really didn't care who won since neither the Chiefs nor the Steelers were involved.  Both Seattle and Denver are big craft beer towns though, so I drank one in their honor.  It just happened to be a KC-bred Tank 7.



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