Football Foodie Contest Kickoff

Monday, 22 January, 2018
Football Foodie

Our Football Foodie Contest officially kicked off this Sunday! Doctor Glodowski and Alan enjoyed watching their Red Zone Football and eating food as they awaited input on next week's menu. Here's a recap of their day:

Though recovering from our Panther’s loss Thursday night, we know the show must go on.

Looks like there are a couple of interesting games on tap this weekend. The way this season is going, as they say, “on any given Sunday…”

The teams we drew for this past Sunday (10/15) were the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles. So those are the two cities that we chose our food from.

Red Zone, which shows snippets of all the games being played is particularly good for Justin and me (and perhaps for many of you, as well). Because of our life paths, each of us roots for several teams. We have an especially difficult time when these teams play each other. Both Justin and I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and began our football lives as NY Giant fans. But life has a way of moving one around. So, Justin supports the Giants, The Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco Forty-Niners. After the Giants, I moved to the New England Patriots. We are now, of course, both Panther fans, and bleed Carolina Blue. Red Zone will show us the best plays from all our teams’ games.

But for now, and for food, we’re looking to the Colts and the Eagles. One note to add this week. My wife is away for the weekend, and we’re on our own. I am not a cook, so we’re going simple, and I’m invoking a Mulligan. In our context, a Mulligan means buying appropriate prepared food linked to our pick cities from an outside source, such as a restaurant or market.

A perfect example is one of this week’s teams -- the Eagles. The Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwich is certainly the signature dish from the City of Brotherly Love. There are a bunch of good recipes for this specialty, one of which we’ll share. But it would require stepping away from the TV for half an hour, and that would be a disaster. I’ll be buying Philly Cheese steak sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s instead (which was recommended by a couple of Philadelphia natives I know), and then using it to make a Philly Cheese Steak Salad.

According to Philadelphia's official tourism website, South Philadelphia hot dog vendor Pat Olivieri invented the cheesesteak in the 1930s. According to the legend, he decided to grill some beef from the butcher and put it on an Italian roll. A cab driver caught a whiff and asked for a steak sandwich.

football foodie Doctor GWord spread rapidly through the cabbie rumor mill, and drivers from all over the city soon visited Olivieri for steak sandwiches. Olivieri eventually opened up Pat's King of Steaks on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue. Philadelphia Magazine says cheese was added to the mix in the '40s by Pat's manager Joe Lorenza.

But what's an iconic figure in the City of Brotherly Love without a fierce, but friendly, rivalry?

Geno's Steaks, located on the north side of the corner of 9th and Passyunk, was started in 1966. When Joey Vento saw the name "GINO" painted on a broken door in the back of his shop, he changed the "I" to an "E," and the cheesesteak joint became Geno's. Some believe that Vento was actually the first to put the cheese in cheesesteak.

Regardless, Pat's versus Geno's is the Yankees versus Mets of the Philadelphia food scene, and you are most likely going to end up picking sides and defending your choice.

Here we go.

Philadelphia Cheesesteak

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, or French bread or 2 large hoagie or sub rolls
  • 1⁄2 lb deli roast beef , (very rare, sliced wafer thin, or you can use a frozen rib-eye roast shaved on an electric slicer)
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 lb provolone cheese, thinly sliced, OR, according to some partisans Cheese Wiz
  • 1 extra-virgin olive oil, for grilling
  • 1 salt
  • 1 marinara sauce (optional topping)
  • 1 black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a griddle or a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  2. When hot, cover bottom with olive oil.
  3. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until carmelized, which will take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Then, push the mixture off to one side of the griddle.
  6. Add the meat to the hot part of the griddle.
  7. Cook, continuously flipping the meat over and slightly chopping the meat into slightly smaller pieces with 2 spatulas, until the meat is not pink, which should take about 2 minutes.
  8. Mix the meat and the carmelized onions and bell pepper together.
  9. Divide into 2 portions, and top both portions with the cheese to melt.
  10. If using Italian or French bread, cut the bread in half, crosswise, and slice lengthwise to open for the 2 sandwiches.
  11. Hollow out some of the soft white bread part from inside and place face down on top of the meat and cheese.
  12. When the cheese is melted, and with 1 or 2 spatulas, flip the sandwiches over and add topping, such as marinara sauce or ketchup, if desired, and serve immediately.

Recipe originally inspired by Food.com with 5-star rating

But, as I said, making this would take me away from the game, so we’re buying the sandwiches and using them this way…

Buy the sandwiches, bring them home and remove the bread. Refrigerate the meat and such until needed. About five minutes before eating, warm the sandwich ingredients in a medium oven. Meanwhile, divide a bag of readymade salad mix evenly between 2 bowls. Divide the hot mixture evenly over the bowls of salad, and serve immediately. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw in a couple of tomato slices.

football foodie AlanIndianapolis was harder. The web said the favorite food was fried pickles (I don’t believe it). But I kept hunting, and one recipe jumped off the screen…

Justin’s Hoosier Daddy Chili. With a name like that, how could I not choose it as an accompaniment to the cheesesteak.

According to a couple of sources, it was developed by Justin Swarens of Sellersburg, Indiana. Unfortunately, Justin’s origin and fate has been obscured by the mists of the web. But here’s his recipe.

Justin’s Hoosier Daddy Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained (optional)

Directions

  1. Crumble the ground beef into a soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Drain off most of the grease. Add onion, red pepper flakes, and half of the cumin; cook and stir until onion is tender.
  2. Pour in the tomato soup, chicken broth, and crushed tomatoes. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in the beans, and season with remaining cumin and cayenne pepper; simmer for another 30 minutes. Now enjoy.

The recipe can be found at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/84475/justins-hoosier-daddy-chili/

A note: this was a little on the hot side for me, so you can add a couple of teaspoons of sugar or equivalent sweetener to cut the heat (or reduce the chili).

A note on the foraging for the beer from Philadelphia and Indianapolis: Searching locally for beers from these cities was generally unsuccessful. I went to or called beer and wine shops. Many stores have their beers arranged by the type of beer, IPA, Belgian ale, Seasonal, etc, and by country, but not by cities. I was able to find many breweries from Philadelphia and Indianapolis but could not find those breweries’ products in our local stores. Everyone I spoke with was very friendly and helpful, even suggesting going to other stores than their own. I went or called Totally Wine, Pharmacy Bottle and Beverage, Triangle Wine and Great Grapes. Found a brewery from Easton, PA, Weyerbacher, the Merry Monks which was close to Philadelphia. Since I could not find the Indianapolis beer, we went with Sam Adams Octoberfest. Can’t go wrong there. Next week are the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cleveland Browns. Any thoughts?

Next Week’s Teams: Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns