Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week 4: Caprese Bites, Buffalo Wings and Kielbasa Sauerkraut Balls

What a second half!  Looks like the return of the refs was good luck for Bill Belichick, who now has 194 career wins, moving him into 8th place in that category. 

The Patriots snapped their losing streak this week, absolutely killing the Buffalo Bills in a 52-28 blowout.  The first half, and even the beginning of the third quarter, had me biting my nails as Buffalo and New England went back and forth with Buffalo amassing a 14 point lead with 11 minutes to go in the Third Quarter. Then all hell broke loose.  And by Hell, I mean Tom Brady.   The Patriots scored 6 TD’s in a row and 45 points total in the second half, the most in franchise history.   Brady went 22-46 for 320 yards, Ridley had 2 TD’s, Welker had 9 catches for 129 yards and Gronkowski chipped in with 5 catches for 104 yards.  Add to that the defensive plays of Ninkovich and Devin McCourty, who had 2 interceptions, and the Patriots were almost unstoppable in the second half. 

Rather than having a Margherita Pizza like we did last time we played Buffalo, we used most of the same ingredients to have little Caprese Bites.  

Caprese Bites

24 Cherry Tomatoes, washed and halved
8 Basil Leaves, cut into thirds
14 Cubes Fresh Mozzarella
Kens Italian Dressing (Or Olive Oil)
Balsamic Vinegar

1. For each toothpick, slide on one half cherry tomato, ⅓ leaf basil, 1 cube Mozzarella and the second half of the tomato.  
2. When all the ingredients have been used, drizzle first with Kens Italian Dressing then lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Serve immediately or let sit in refrigerator until ready to eat.
We used this Baked Buffalo Wing Recipe last time we played, but we loved it so much we made it again.  

Baked Buffalo Wings

¾ Cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Cayenne
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
20 Chicken Wings
½ Cup melted Butter
½ Cup Hot Pepper Sauce (such as Frank's RedHot®)

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt in a large ziploc bag and mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a small bowl. Dip the wings into the butter mixture, and place back on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

I got this recipe for Kielbasa Sauerkraut Balls from my friend Lillian Russo.  Lillian writes her own blog, My Recipe Journey, which can be found here:

Kielbasa Sauerkraut Balls

1 Pkg Hillshire Farms Kielbasa, diced
½ Large Onion, minced
1 Can Sauerkraut, rinsed and chopped
1 8oz Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
2 Cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1 Large Egg, beaten
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
Yellow Mustard

1. In a large skillet, cook Onions and Kielbasa in 1 Tbsp Oil until onions are soft. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Combine Kielbasa and Onion mixture with Sauerkraut, Cream Cheese and Cayenne Pepper.  Mix well and chill for 2 hours in refrigerator.
3. Once chilled, roll mixture into 1” balls.  Dip into Egg then Breadcrumbs.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 and serve with Yellow Mustard. 

Happy Cooking!

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