Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl Food Blogging Adventure

Let's start with the obvious - the quicker we can leave that behind the better.

We did not make it. 

The Steelers lost the game and the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. Congratulations.

How I feel?
I feel just like my Steelers gear on the apartment floor looks like - crumpled, tired, exhausted, sad. 

There are some things about the game I like to forget:

- The 2nd touchdown of the Packers, which simply should not have happened. We used to have the world's best defense, right?

- Shaun Suisham missing that 52-yard-field goal (that IS a big distance). Poor boy! He is GREAT anyway and I hope to have him staying with the Steelers for a long time.
- A depressing number of overthrown, overrun and dropped balls

What I WILL remember is that the Steelers may not have played their best game (definitely not), but they were fighting with great spirit and tried to make it happen until the time was over. So chin up and focus on the season 2011 / 2012. There will be a 7th Super Bowl win in a not too far future!

But now let's go ty my personal adventure.

When I was planning for the Super Bowl I had the idea to invite some friends over for a pregame dinner.
And once I had decided about what to cook, I thought I could this make my premiere as a food blogger. It is not that I want my blog going that path. There are so many people who do that with a lot of passion and knowledge that there is really no need for a part time hobby chef like me becoming a permanent food blogger. 
But I like to do it as an experiment and as little tribute to some people in my social media community l really adore like @BurghGourmand, @ginadee, @DianaBaur, @michellefabio and some more - all of them very talented and inspirational people when it comes to food. Check out their blogs and websites (just click on the Twitter names - all are linking).

So what did I cook? I went for two classics:
- Mac'n'Cheese
- Tacos with chili con carne filling and melted cheese

I have to admit: I do not like Mac'n'Cheese. I am lactose intolereant and so I have to take Lactase pills to eat the stuff without killing myself and I don't know ... . It is just not my piece of the cake. But that changed now with the recipe of Andrea from "Off her cork" .

Please check out her fantastic recipe for Super Bowl Mac'n'Cheese here. I loved it, all my guests loved it. It's easy to do and really delicious.

So let's get started. These are the groceries for the dinner:

At first I set up my work space. In the picture you see the love of my kitchen life: Two of my four pieces set of Japanese knives.

I used the knives to get my preperation work done. You will see the cheese in the picture. That is a good Cheddar from the cheese shop rasped by me mixed with "Pepperjack" for the Mac'n'Cheese. The thing is only that I could not get any American Pepperjack. My solution: Rasped Gouda spiced with Croatian "Vegeta Pikant". That worked well.

I started with the taco filling. Here are the ingrediences for the tacos:

- 12 taco shells
- 350 g ground beef
- One small red and one small green pepper chopped (I needed chopped peppers for the other dish as well and so I used two red, one yellow and one green pepper for both together)
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 hand full of cherry tomatoes - I used red and yellow once because they are tasty and pretty
- 1 cup of barbecue beans
- 1 package Taco seasoning
- 1 some bits of Jalapeno
- 1 small glass of mild salsa
- 150 g rasped cheese (Gouda)
- Salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic salt, water

For the dip:
- sour cream
- pepper, salt and a drop of Tabasco

First I sauted the peppers and the onion. I love that scent!

Then I added the ground beef and then a little later the taco seasoning followed by some water (150 ml), the beans, the salsa and at the very end the tomatoes and Jalapenos. When it tasted right I turned off the heat and put it away to focus on the Mac'n'Cheese.

I followed the instructions in Andrea's recipe step by step and they turned out to be absolutely precise.
When I added the beer it smelled a bit odd. I was scared since I wasn't sure if there might be a difference between the dark German beer I used and the beer in the recipe which would influence the taste maybe in a bad way.

And when I tasted the sauce at some point it seemed to be a bit bitter. So I wasn't too cofident that I would be able to create the wonderful dish on Andrea's picture. But when I added the final ingrediences and most important slowly stired in the cheese the sauce became better and better and when it was ready to join the pasta it was already very good.

Just like in the recipe I kept some cheese for the topping and put the Mac'n'Cheese in the oven. In the next step I took the taco shells and filled them with my chili con carne and topped the filling with some rasped cheese.

When I was done the Mac'n'Cheese was ready to add the final cheese topping. For the last couple of minutes the tacos and the Mac'n'Cheese went together in the oven to melt the cheese and get a golden crust.

And finally - the food was ready to serve:

My guests loved both dishes and the diner was a great success. A small portion of Mac'n'Cheese was left over, when we went off to see the game. That one I warmed up today and it was the PERFECT Super Bowl hangover dinner.


  1. Lookin' good! I love visiting your blog, by the way.