Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Week 12: Philly Cheese Steaks and Fries

I can’t remember the last time I was so content.  The Patriots are dominating, I got to see the Virginia side of the family, I shopped 'til Dan dropped on Friday, we picked out and trimmed our tree AND THE CELTICS WILL BE BACK FOR CHRISTMAS!.  It’s been an exciting two weeks.

The Kansas City game made me happy. Brady had 234 yards and a pair of TD’s to Gronk.  The Defense also stepped up for the second week in a row with two interceptions by Kyle Arrington.  Dan was at the game, and the picture below is from his seats.  

It’s not actually his picture.  I had to ask Kayla for one since Dan didn’t bother to take any.  Nice seats huh?  Thank You Mr. Kuchar and Regular Kuchar for the seats and Thank You Kayla for the photo.  While Dan didn’t photo-document his trip to Foxboro, he did take mental notes which he has graciously agreed to share with myself and all 8 of my followers :)

So I went to Monday Night Football at Gillette, even though Laura and I had to get up before dawn the next day to drive to Virginia.  I'm not going to tell you I was too hungover to drive. I'm not going to tell you that it was pretty either. I played through the pain, and so did Laura.
The best way to sum up the night, is with this equation:
Monday Night Football + Beer + A shot + Baked Beans + Steak tips = Pepto Bismol + an ugly odor in the car for 10 hours on Tuesday
Highlight of the night:  A friend of a friend, back on furlough from Afghanistan, told gnarly war stories during the tailgate session.  Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say this about the strangest story he told us:  On Thursdays in Afghanistan, those who practice the local religion believe that God's back turned to all terrestrial affairs all day, every Thursday.  And so from sunup to sundown, they can sin without recourse and I'm told that things get very, very weird amongst Afghani men in the community.  I'd say more but you can google it.  Either way, If I were the Chiefs coach I'd still name any Afghani off the street over Palko at quarterback.

I can't believe he was able to get furlough, gnarly and terrestrial all in the same paragraph. The man has skills.

Moving on.

The Philly game has left me ecstatic.  Brady had another phenomenal performance with 361 yards and 3 TDs.  2 of these went to my fave Wes Welker and 1 went to Gronk, who made Dream Team Leader Asomugha look amateur. BJGE even chipped in with another 2 rushing TD’s and 44 yards.  (I already admitted he was Okay, what more do you want!) Dan and I obviously used this match up as an excuse for homemade Philly Cheesesteaks and we had 5 Spice Fries on the side.

5 Spice Fries

  • 3 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Chinese 5 Spice
  • Cayenne Pepper

1. Wash and slice potatoes into wedges.  Soak in Ice Water for 30 minutes, then drain and let dry.
2. Preheat oven to 425
3. Coat Potato wedges with Vegetable oil and cover in Chinese 5 spice and Cayenne and mix. I don’t measure the spices, I just make sure there is a good amount on each wedge.  If not, I add more and mix again. I would start with about 1 teaspoon of 5 spice and ½ teaspoon of Cayenne, but you will probably add more.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, flipping halfway.

Philly Cheese Steaks

  • 2 Martins Hoagie Rolls
  • 1 Lb Rib Eye Steak
  • ½ Cup Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 4 Ounces Velveeta
  • ¼ teaspoon Celery Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ Cup Shredded Cheddar

1. Slightly freeze beef and cut into thin strips.
2. In a Pan, melt butter and mix in flour. Cook 2 minutes and add millk and spices.  Whisk together over medium heat until thickened.  Slowly add velveeta until creamy.  If more cheese is needed, add ½ Cup Shredded Cheddar.
3. In a large pan, sear beef and immediately add broth to make an au jus.
4. Place meat in sub roll and top with cheese.
*Dan and I added Peppers/Onions to ours, ‘cause that’s how we roll. :)

Happy Cooking!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 11: A BBQ Bonanza

Tyler Palko?!?!?! 

Nice headband buddy.  

This is absolute bullshit.  There are only 2 reasons to get excited for a Kansas City game.  

Number 1: The food.  Anyone who doesn’t like BBQ can stop reading my blog right now because they obviously suck at life.

Number 2: Matt Cassel.  Cassel is the only NFL quarterback to have never started a college game.   The poor man played behind The Great Carson Palmer and the Great Big Joke Matt Leinart at USC.  He then rode the bench for 3 full seasons as Tom Brady’s backup before getting to start in 2008 after Brady injured both is ACL and MCL against none other than the Kansas City Chiefs.  Although we didn’t win any titles that year, Cassel did get us into the playoffs.  Not to shabby for a Backup.

But Alas, Cassel managed to injure himself, handing the game over to Tyler Palko.  


Before we get to the food (oh the delicious food!) I want to talk about something very important.  Last night’s American Music Awards.  They were awful.  It opened with rap’s #1 Hot Mess Nicki Minaj, (is it just me or does she look like Helena Bonham Carter’s long lost daugher? ) and it never improved.  Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Inglesias, Joe Jonas, Lionel Ritchie... What is it, 2005? The only amusing part to the AMA’s was  when I walked into the kitchen and looked back just in time to see Dan take a flying leap off the loveseat and over the coffee table to steal control of the remote.  Now that is a man with moves like Mick Jagger.

Back to the food.  Dan is going to tonight’s game and as much as I love food, making 8 lbs of it for myself didn’t seem like the best idea.  Instead we made it one day early and invited the Lesperances over for a little Sunday Funday action.  Erica made these incredible BBQ Chicken Tartlets.  For the recipe, hop on over to

Kansas City Beef Brisket

5-8 Lbs Beef Brisket, trimmed
4 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
2 teaspoons Meat Tenderizer
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper
2 teaspoons Celery Salt
2 teaspoons Onion Salt
2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
2 teaspoons Nutmeg
2 teaspoons Paprika
⅓ Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire

1. Trim Meat.
2. Season meat with Liquid Smoke, Tenderizer, Salt, Pepper, Celery Salt, Onion Salt and Garlic Salt. Wrap in foil and let sit overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 275.  Season with the remaining ingredients and wrap in foil.  (Wrap well, the Brisket will dry out if there are any holes).  Bake for 5 hours.

OB Baked Beans

53 Ounces Pork and Beans (Extra Large Can) Thoroughly rinsed and drained.
6 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
⅓ Cup Light Brown Sugar
⅓ Cup Molasses
1 Onion, caramelized and diced
2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ teaspoon Celery Salt
1 Cup Zesty BBQ Sauce
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and diced


1. Combine all in a 3 quart casserole and bake, covered, for 75 minutes on 325 OR combine in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week 10: A Rexican Rout

“Yeah, we got no chance.” - Rex Ryan, East Rutherford, NJ, 11/13/11.

Granted, he said this after the game and he was referencing the Jet’s chances of winning the division, but I don’t let little details like those spoil my good time.  In Lauraworld, he confirmed the well known rumor that the Jets do, in fact, suck.

The Pats annihilated the Jets and took over the top spot in the division with Brady pulling down a 3 TD/329 yard game and claiming several new records.

- 40th game with over 300 yards, tied for 8th place with Joe Montana
- Tied with Drew Brees as the only players with 3,000 yards in the first 9 games of the season.
- Teamed up with Belichick to break Don Schula and Dan Marino's record as the winningest Coach/QB team since 1966 with 117 wins.

Add to all this the fact that Sanchez was sacked 5 times (Shout out to Andre Carter!) and Ochocinco decided to earn a small percentage of his paycheck and the game was almost too good to watch.  Almost. :)

For our time honored tradition of creating our Game Menu based on our opponents or their hometown, we used the two people most responsible for the Jets suckiness, Sexy Rexy and his spicy food loving companion, QB Mark Sanchez.  In case you, the reader, haven’t personally spent hours researching the favorite foods of people you hope never to meet, let me assure you that I found numerous articles regarding Sexy Rexy’s love of Mexican and his former 7,000 calorie a day diet.  (In his defense, he has since shed a person or two from around his middle.)  Apparently he loves it so much the team has dubbed it “Rexican Food.”  Mark Sanchez was even easier to research since he wore a Taco Bell hat on Hard Knocks and has admitted to a love affair with their Chicken Burrito.  In honor of these two we created our own version of Taco Bell’s Chicken Burrito and paired it with some Chili Lime Corn.

OB Chicken Burrito
Lime Marinated Chicken with Mexican Rice and Homemade Avocado Ranch Sauce

Lime Chicken

  • ½ Cup Lime Juice
  • 6 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne Powder
  • 8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

1. Combine all ingredients and let sit overnight.  Grill or Bake chicken until done.  

Avocado Ranch Sauce/Dip

  • 16 Ounces Sour Cream
  • 8 Ounces Low Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
  • ¾ teaspoon Hot Sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 2 Avocados, peeled and pitted

1. In a food processor, mix Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Ranch, Hot Sauce, Garlic Salt and Celery Salt.  Transfer to a bowl and mash in Avocados.  Chill until serving.

Mexican Rice

  • 8 Ounces Tomatoes, Cored and Chopped
  • 1 Small White Onion, chopped
  • 2 Jalapenos, minced, divided
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Lime

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Process the Tomato and Onion in a food processor until smooth.  Reserve 1 ½ cups and discard the remaining mix.
3. Rinse Rice in a strainer.
4. Warm oil and cook rice for 6-8 minutes.  Reduce heat.
5. Add Garlic and ⅔ of Jalapenos, cook 2 minutes.  Stir in Broth, Tomato Mix, Paste and salt.  Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil
6. Cover pan and bake 30 - 35 minutes, stirring after 15. Stir in cilantro and last ⅓ of the jalapeno before serving.  Serve with Lime Wedges.

Chili Lime Corn

  • 16 oz Corn
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • ½ - 1 Tablespoon Mayo
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cook corn according to package if frozen.  If Fresh, cut off cob and saute.
2. Stir in Mayo and Lime Juice.  Stir in Chili Powder, the Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Happy Cooking!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 9: Beer Pretzels, Eli Manning Sandwiches and Spicy Chips.

Well, we lost.  Again.  I still love you Wes Welker.  And you Matt Light (kick their stinkin' asses Matty!).  But... that’s about it.  I never thought I would watch a game where the Patriots reduced themselves to throwing lateral plays.  It’s straight up embarrassing.

If there is a silver lining to today’s loss - it’s that I got to listen to Dan yell “Jackwagon!” about a million times.  I don’t even know what a Jackwagon is, but I know I giggle a little every time he yells it.  The Refs are Jackwagons.  The Giants are Jackwagons.  And most of all, the members of the Patriots Defense are all Jackwagons.  

For our game against the New York Giants, we made Beer Pretzels, Sandwiches inspired by Park & Sixth Comfort Food’s Eli Manning Sandwich (Hoboken, NY) and Homemade Spicy Chips and Dip.

Beer Pretzels

  • ¼ Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast, ¼ oz
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Brown Ale (room temp)
  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Hot Water
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Mustard for Dipping
1. Place warm water in a lg. bowl, sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 5 min.
2. Add sugar, oil, 3/4 tsp. salt, ale and enough flour to make soft dough. (add 3 3/4 cups first, then see if you need more. You can always incorporate more while kneading)
3. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 6-8 min., or until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly greased bowl and cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60 min.
4. Punch dough down. Divide into 12 pieces.
5. Roll each piece into a rope, about 12” long
6. Shape rope into pretzels.
7. Combine hot water and soda in a shallow container or a pie plate. Dip pretzels into solution and place on lightly greased baking sheet.
8. Cover pretzels loosely and let rise in WARM place for 15-20 min.
9. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. (use more salt if desired). Then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
10. Bake in preheated 425F oven until lightly golden, about 15 min.
11. Brush with melted butter. Serve with mustard.
*Note - these are BEER PRETZELS.  Not pretzels that you could cover in Cinnamon and Sugar or buy at the Mall.

Spicy Potato Chips

  • 4 Russet Potatoes, unpeeled
  • Salted Ice Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Using a Mandolin, slice potatoes thin.  Rinse and let sit in Salted Ice Water for 30 minutes.  Drain and Pat dry.
2. If Frying: Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside.  Warm oil to 375 and cook in batches for 3-4 minutes each.  Sprinkle with spices after removing from oil.
3. If Baking, toss Olive Oil and Spices with Potato slices in a large bowl.  Preheat oven to 400.  Spread in an even layer and cook 10 minutes, flip and 5 minutes more.

Beau Monde Dip

  • 1 Cup Fat Free Green Yogurt
  • ½ Cup Light Sour Cream
  • ½ Cup Mayo
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Dill
  • 2 teaspoons Beau Monde
  • ⅓ Cup Green Onion, chopped
1. Combine and chill at least 1 hour

Garlic Horseradish Mayo

  • ⅓ Cup Mayo
  • Splash Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
1. Combine and chill for 1 hour.

The (OB version of...) Eli Manning Sandwich

  • 2 Sub Rolls
  • 8-10 Slices Roast Beef
  • 1 Onion, Caramelized
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Horseradish Mayo
  • 5 Slices Provolone
1. Spread Mayo on both sides of sub rolls.  Line the insides with Provolone and melt in the oven.  Add Roast Beef and Caramelized onions to the sandwich.  Serve warm.

Happy Cooking!