Pittsburgh Steelers Mac-n-Cheese

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-on-plate

Pittsburgh Kielbasa and Bacon Braised Cabbage Mac-n-Cheese

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Christopher Bonfili of Avenue B

5501 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Continuing with the football theme, this is the recipe that I make for Danielle’s team.  The first time I made this it was such a hit with everyone.  Even though there is a lot of work involved, this recipe makes a ton, and I even cut the original recipe in half.  You will have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day, and believe me, it gets even better after it sits.

The list of ingredients is long and diverse, and you may look at it and be discouraged or think that some of those things do not go together.  Stick with the plan and you will be pleasantly surprised.  You will need a large skillet, a casserole dish, a pot, several bowls and three hours to soak your cabbage before you can even start cooking this dish, but it is so worth it.  Avenue B’s Chef Bonfili came up with this recipe, which is a nod to the Polish heritage of Pittsburgh.  As you take a bite, you are bombarded with so many different flavors.  It is Polish comfort food at its best.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1/2 head green cabbage

1 pound elbow macaroni

6 strips bacon, chopped

1/2 large Spanish onion, diced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 pound Kielbasa, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar, shredded

1/8 cup Tabasco (If you don’t like spicy food, this is a lot of Tabasco.  Tone it down a little if you must, but don’t remove it totally.)

1 1/2 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper

Topping

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, snipped

3 green onions, sliced

 

Directions

1. Dice cabbage and soak in cold water for 3 hours.

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-cabbage

2. Preheat oven to 350°F .

3. Cook elbow macaroni until al dente, drain.

4. Spray a large skillet with Pam and saute sliced Kielbasa until the edges are blistered.  Remove Kielbasa.

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-Kielbasa

5. Cook bacon in the large skillet til done, remove bacon but leave the fat in the skillet.

6. Saute onions in the bacon fat until they are translucent.  Drain the cabbage and add it to the skillet.  Stir.

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-raw-cabbage

7. Mix together the vinegar and sugar.  Add the mixture to the skillet, stir,  and reduce the heat.  Cover the skillet and cook on low until the cabbage is tender.

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-braised-cabbage

8. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, Kielbasa, bacon, braised cabbage, cream, cheeses, tabasco and honey.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Season with salt and pepper and mix again.

9. Spray a large casserole dish with Pam and transfer the mixture into it.  Cover the dish with foil and bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-before-topping

10. Mix Panko breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, and green onions together in a small bowl.

11. Remove foil from pan after 30 minutes and sprinkle Panko mixture over top of casserole.  Bake uncovered until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Pittsburgh-Kielbasa-and-Bacon-Braised-Cabbage-Mac-n-Cheese-with-topping

Countdown to Football Season

Countdown-to-Football-Season-the-spread

Back, Back, Back, Back Ribs by Chris Berman and Texas Caviar by Gale Sayers

Adapted from The NFL Family Cookbook, published by SMITHMARK Publishers, New York, NY

Well it is finally here, that time of year that all of us sports fans live for, football season.  College football kicks off next week, and the NFL kicks off the week after that.  Whether you are tailgating, watching a game with friends, or screaming at the tv with 100 other patrons in a sports bar, one thing is for sure…there will be food.

Countdown-to-Football-Season-ribs

If you are planning a football party, know this; there must be food before the game, snacks for during the game, something special brought out at half time, and a little dessert to nibble on throughout the day.  I always try to make as much food ahead of time as possible and have Mark operate the grill so that I’m free to watch all the pre-game stuff, and visit with the guests.

Pasta-Salad-salad-in-a-bowl

Two of the following recipes come from The NFL Family Cookbook.  The first recipe is Back, Back, Back, Back Ribs from Chris Berman, the humorous ESPN sportscaster who is so well-known for giving the players funny nicknames in his broadcasts.  The second recipe is Texas Caviar from the legendary NFL Hall of Fame Running Back, Gale Sayers.

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Ribs and Brats, along with the Pasta Salad are great for eating before the game.  Texas Caviar with tortilla chips can be munched on all during the game, along with a veggie tray that includes your favorite dip.  Make some Chili in a crock pot and have all the fixin’s (shredded cheese, chopped onion, crackers, macaroni, etc.) ready before the game starts, then at halftime you can serve a great Chili Bar with very little effort.  Peanut Butter Cookies and Buckeyes are yummy at any time and will be gone before you know it, so make extras.  Here’s hoping your team has a great season…and Go Bucs!  Enjoy!

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Football Party Menu

  • Ribs
  • Brats
  • Pasta Salad
  • Halftime Chili Bar
  • Texas Caviar
  • Veggie Tray
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Buckeyes

Buckeyes-buckeyes-on-pan

 

Baby Back Ribs Ingredients

6 pounds baby back pork ribs (each rack is about 3 pounds)

32 oz. ketchup

1/3 onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke

1 Tablespoon Louisiana pepper sauce

Countdown-to-Football-Season-BBQ-sauce-ingredients

Directions

1. Set up your gas grill for indirect cooking with the setting on low.  Cook the racks of ribs for about 2 1/2 hours.

2. After 1 1/2 hours prepare the BBQ sauce. Bring the sauce to a low boil and then simmer for about 1 hour.

Countdown-to-Football-Season-BBQ-sauce-on-grill

3.  Brush the BBQ sauce on the ribs and cook over a medium, direct heat for about 5 minutes. Flip the ribs, brush on some more BBQ sauce, and cook on the other side over the direct heat for about 5 minutes or until the ribs are browned to your liking.  Keep basting the ribs with sauce and move them to the back of the grill ( indirect) if necessary to allow the sauce to cook in to the ribs.

Countdown-to-Football-Season-ribs-on-the-grill

 

Texas Caviar Ingredients

2-14 oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained

1 -15 oz. can white hominy, drained

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (I used the tame jalapenos)

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped or snipped (cilantro would work well in this recipe, too)

1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing

 

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine the black-eyed peas and hominy.

Countdown-to-Football-Season-peas-and-hominy

2. Add the tomatoes, green onions, and garlic.  Mix well.

3. Add the green pepper and jalapeno peppers, onion and parsley (or cilantro).  Toss well.

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4. Pour the salad dressing over the vegetables and toss gently to coat well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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5. Drain, and serve with tortilla chips.

Wraps

Wraps-on-plate-with-apples

Recipe courtesy of the Commissary Deli at RAF Chicksands AB, England

Back in the early 90’s, while we were stationed at RAF Chicksands AB, England, I happened to be at the commissary deli counter one day when someone was picking up a party tray.  Unlike the usual party tray of folded meat and sliced yellow and white American cheese, this one was different.  It was so colorful and eye-catching, lying on a bed of curly lettuce.

I had never heard of a wrap before, and after seeing how pretty they looked, I was hooked; I had to know how to make one.  So I snagged a pen from my purse and spent the next ten minutes picking the brain of the girl working at the deli counter.  When I left the commissary that day I had all the ingredients necessary to make these wraps, and a sketched diagram of the placement of each element.

Tortillas come in lots of flavors and you can put nearly anything in a wrap.  Substitute leftover chicken, pork, or beef and the veggies of your choice for a quick weekday dinner.  You may even decide to have a warm wrap and fillings instead of a cold one.  If so, just place the tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and nuke for 30-45 seconds before filling them.

All these years later and we almost always have the ham and turkey wraps because they are still our favorite.  Every time I make them I have to make extras because Mark wants them for lunch the next day.  These wraps are wonderful party fare because all the work can be done the day before.  They are also great for after-school snacks or served during halftime of a football game.  However, they are especially nice served with fresh berries or peaches on a lazy summer day.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 package large tortillas (I used sun-dried tomato flavored)

1 8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened

dried chives or Italian seasoning (to flavor the cream cheese)

1/2 pound sliced cheese of choice

1-2 pounds meat of choice (if using deli meats, have them shaved as they look better in a wrap and you can stretch them further)

about 10 baby carrots, sliced thin, longways

3 green onions, chopped

1 head iceberg lettuce

 

Directions

1. Prepare the veggies and have all your ingredients layed out in front of you.  It is best if you work on one wrap at a time.  Mix the cream cheese and herbs of choice.

Wraps-tortilla

2. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture over the entire tortilla.

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3. Referring to the picture, place the sliced cheese on one side only of the tortilla about 1/4 of the way around.  Cut the cheese in half if necessary.

Wraps-with-cheese

4. Place about 2 good handfuls of meat on top of the cheese.

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5. Place carrot slices down the length of the meat.  Sprinkle chopped green onions over the meat.

Wraps-with-carrots-and-onions

6. Place a thick layer of iceberg lettuce on top of everything.

Wraps-with-lettuce

7. Tightly roll up the tortilla.  Slice the wrap into sections.  Serve cut-side up.

Wraps-on-plate-with-apples

Maple Pork Chops

Maple-Pork-Chops-and-a-Gooseberry-Patch-Cookbook-Giveaway-dinner

Recipe courtesy of 101 Farmhouse Favorites

by Gooseberry Patch

 

It’s almost grillin’ time again and this recipe is easy and very tasty. Just put your chops in the fridge in the morning and they will be marinated perfectly by dinner time.  Enjoy!  

Ingredients

1/2 cup maple syrup
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 pork chops

 

Directions 

Maple-Pork-Chops-and-a-Gooseberry-Patch-Cookbook-Giveaway-marinade

1. Whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce, and garlic; reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture.

 

Maple-Pork-Chops-and-a-Gooseberry-Patch-Cookbook-Giveaway-chops-in-bag

2. Place pork chops in a large Ziploc bag.  Pour remaining mixture over the chops.  Seal the bag and then knead the bag so that all the chops are coated with the mixture.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes-overnight ( I marinated mine for 7 hours ).

 

Maple-Pork-Chops-and-a-Gooseberry-Patch-Cookbook-Giveaway-chops-in-bag-with-marinade

3. Remove chops from the Ziploc bag and discard the marinade from the bag.  Place chops on the grill and cook about 6 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.

 

Maple-Pork-Chops-and-a-Gooseberry-Patch-Cookbook-Giveaway-dinner

4. Drizzle pork chops with the reserved syrup mixture before serving.