Cooking On A Budget: Game Day - Get Crocked

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Game Day - Get Crocked

Sunday Super Bowl parties should be fun. Another fun theme idea is to have you and your guests make dishes that can be kept warm in a crock pot. You will need a power strip or two for all of the crock pot dishes that can be set up on the buffet table.
So if your guest asks what they can bring, explain the theme of the day and offer up some of the suggestions below.

Sausage and Cannelini Bean Stew (Inexpensive Recipes Page)
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo (Dinner Recipes Page)
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (follow above recipe - replace shrimp with chicken)
Shrimp Jambalaya (posted 11/20/11 - see Archives)
Kicken Chicken (posted 1/5/12)
Penne Pasta with Sausage and Pink Sauce (posted 12/16/11)
Spicy Beef Teriyaki Stir Fry (posted 1/4/12)

Cream of Broccoli Soup
New England Clam Chowder
Rhode Island Clam Chowder w/Oyster Crackers
Kielbasa with Sauerkraut, Onions and Caraway Seeds
Bratwurst with Braised Red Cabbage and Apple Cider Sauce
Cheese Fondue with Crispy Garlic Bread and Veggies

You probably have your own recipes for chowder or soup - or one of your guests may have a recipe they love. Let's "tackle" some of the remaining dishes!

The Kielbasa dish is easy.  I like the texture when the kielbasa is browned up on a grill or in a frying pan. I like adding diced and sauteed onions in with the sauerkraut and just a very light sprinkling of caraway seeds, some black pepper and just a wee bit of salt.  The kielbasa can be sliced and added in the sauerkraut and kept warm in the crock pot.

Bratwurst and Braised Red Cabbage - buy a small head of cabbage and slice it on the thin side. Melt some butter in a dutch oven and saute the cabbage with some finely chopped shallot. Keep stirring and wilting the cabbage down and deglaze the pan with a 2 cups of Apple Cider, 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, salt and pepper and just a hint of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. You get heat, sweet and a balance of acidity to the dish. Add in the Bratwurst (or Knockwurst) and simmer away.  If you need to, add in some more apple cider.

The Cheese Fondue is a fun idea as well. You can make a fondue with any kind of cheese you like.  The cheese you select has to have good melting qualities. Cheddar, Gruyere and Emmentaler cheeses are good examples.  Emmentaler has a nutty sweet flavor and is imported from Switzerland.  Gruyere, also a Swiss imported cheese (from France also), is a bit sharper in flavor.  Cheddar of course can be mild, sharp or extra sharp.
Have some skewers on hand and some crusty bread and vegetables for dipping.
A classic fondue starts out with butter and flour to make a roux. Melt butter 1 tbsp. in a sauce pot over medium low heat and add in 1 tbsp. all purpose flour. Keep stirring and cook out the flour taste - about 5 minutes.
Next add in 1 cup of warm white wine (slowly) and keep whisking the mixture until there are no lumps. Add in cubes of cheese a few at a time and keep whisking until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. If you are looking for a balance of flavor I would recommend equal amounts of 3 cheeses - about 8 ounces of each. Make sure the wine you use is one that you would drink - never use one from a grocery store shelf!

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