Cheeseheads and Steeler Nation members, we’re on your side, even if the Patriots lost. A lot of New Englanders may not be cheering as lustily as the residents of Green Bay and Pittsburgh are, but we’re still watching. After all, it is the Super Bowl. May the best team win.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to more important matters. What are you eating on Super Bowl Sunday? Of course, the big game is the reason for the day, but let’s call it like it is. The Super Bowl is as much about food as it is about football. Whether you’re cooking up a batch of your famous buffalo chicken wings, or you’re preparing a chili so powerful it’ll cut your heating oil bill in half, you’re almost certainly making something special on Feb. 6.
Whatever you’re making almost certainly involves ingredients that most other days of the year would make your cardiologist pass out. Cheese. Sausage. Beer. Butter. Large amounts of carbohydrates and fat. Basically, the things that makes life worth living. And seeing as the two teams that are playing come from places synonymous with all those foods, we’ve selected four recipes that are representative of Green Bay and Pittsburgh.
From Pittsburgh comes the Devonshire Sandwich, a regional delicacy first served in the 1930s. According to an article published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette back in 2001, Frank Blandi, the inventor of the sandwich, opened his first restaurant, The Stratford, in Pittsburgh in 1934. It’s an open-faced sandwich that combines turkey and bacon with a rich cheese sauce topping, baked until bubbling. Health food, it’s not. A once-a-year treat? You betcha.
Pittsburgh is a town famous for its large Polish population, and what says Polish food more than pierogis? Forgo the frozen, boxed varieties at the supermarket and try making your own. It’s an ambitious project, sure, but you’ll impress your Super Bowl guests, and they’ll undoubtedly be far superior to anything store-bought. The traditional filling is composed of potato, onion and cheese, but you can get creative with scallions, bacon or other additions.
As for Green Bay, Wisc. — well, they don’t call them Cheeseheads for nothing. Wisconsin leads the nation in cheese production, and it is the second overall in the nation in milk and butter production. Go all out with the cheesy goodness and try making a smooth, creamy cheese soup that combines cheddar cheese, beer and sausage into one glorious package.
Of course, the other big Wisconsin food is bratwurst, a beloved sausage brought to the Midwest by the massive influx of German immigrants in the 19th century. An iconic Wisconsin food — an iconic American food, really — is the Beer Brat, in which the sausage in poached in beer, with butter and onions. Served on a bun, and perhaps slathered with some good mustard and you’ve got yourself some ultimate Super Bowl food.
Like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July, the Super Bowl is one of those days where you’ll be forgiven if you indulge. Whether you’re a Packers fan, a Steelers fan, or a resigned Patriots fan, you know you’ll be gathering around the TV this Sunday with family, friends and food.
Frank Blandi’s Devonshire Sandwich
6 thick slices bread
1 pound bacon, cooked crisp
1 pound turkey breast
For Cheese Sauce:
¾ stick butter
1 cup flour
¼ pound grated cheddar cheese
1 pint chicken broth
1 pint hot milk
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter in a deep pan and add flour, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and stir. Add hot milk and stir. Add cheese, salt and pepper, and stir. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat, stirring constantly for 20 minutes. Whip sauce with wire whisk until smooth.
Place bread slices in a casserole dish and top each with three slices of bacon and five slices of turkey. Cover completely with cheese sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Recipe courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pierogies with Potato, Onions and Cheese
Makes approx. 30 pierogies
3 cups flour
2 tablespoon butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup water, as needed
4 large potatoes
¼ cup sour cream, plus more for dipping
1 large, finely chopped sweet onion
1 teaspoon butter
½ to 1 cup Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Chopped bacon, parsley, scallions, garlic and-or chives (optional)
To make the dough: Mix flour and salt in a big bowl. Make a hole in flour and put in eggs and butter. Begin to mix, slowly adding water as needed until it makes stiff dough. Knead thoroughly. Leave dough in bowl, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide into two halves, and roll each half out into a 1/8-inch thickness. Using knife, cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass that has a 3- to 4-inch diameter cut circles in dough. Set aside.
For filling: Boil potatoes until soft, and mash with salt and pepper and sour cream. While potatoes are still hot, add cheese and mix thoroughly; use more cheese if you want it really cheesy. Saute onions in butter until translucent. Mix onions into potato mixture. Optionally, you can add bacon, parsley, scallions, garlic or chives into mixture, to taste.
Take the pre-cut dough circles, and place a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture in the center. Fold the dough over and seal edges.
To cook, put a large pot of water on to boil. Drop pierogies into the water; they are done when they float to the top. Serve with sour cream.
Alternately, you can pan-fry or deep-fry the pierogies, after you’ve boiled them.
Wisconsin Cheddary Beer Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
8 ounce package fresh cabbage, shredded for coleslaw
¼ cup flour
Two 10-ounce cans chicken stock
½ cup beer
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups half-and-half, heated
2 cups Wisconsin sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage, cut into bite-size chunks
Melt butter in large, heavy saucepan. Add onion and cabbage. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until vegetables are translucent. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add broth, beer and mustard. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add hot half-and-half, Wisconsin sharp Cheddar cheese and sausage. Warm gently until heated through and cheese melts.
Recipe courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
6 bratwurst sausages
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 large sweet onion, sliced
Half can or bottle of good beer
6 hoagie rolls
Heat half the oil or butter in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy stockpot and brown the brats until golden brown. Remove to a platter. Add the rest of the oil or butter and add onions, and stir until onions are fully coated and softened. Add bratwurst back in, along with the beer, and cook over medium heat until beer has cooked down to syrup. Serve a brat, some onions, the beer sauce and mustard, optionally, on a hoagie roll.
Recipe courtesy of homecooking.about.com.