Sunday, February 1, 2009

Game On!

If you're not nailed to the television for the Super Bowl today, perhaps this post won't be your favorite. Likewise if you're not rooting for the Steelers, I'm not sure you're in the right place. ;))

Today I sit 300 miles from Pittsburgh and all the fever that envelopes the city and nearly all of western PA whenever their team goes to the big game. My daughter, who attends college there, said the restaurant where she works is closing at 6 today. In fact, most businesses will, as well. There's no point staying open - no one is out. If they're not glued to a television, they've claimed their spot at the local watering hole for game time. Kids in the area will enjoy a two-hour delay tomorrow morning. School districts know - they'll be up late tonight. Most of the area is swathed in black and gold and everyone from Gramma on down to newborns are wearing the colors and waving the towels.

I miss it. Alas, I'm not anywhere near the rallies and the excitement. I'm here in Philly, where the only mention of the game is a cursory "In sports, the Steelers and Cardinals will play in the Super Bowl. Locally, no games are scheduled." Thanks. Thanks for the support.

At any rate, I'm five hours from the best tailgate parties on the planet, but that doesn't mean I'm not eating! I've already made my chili. My guacamole (recipe below) is in the fridge. I'm even making cheese un-steaks. The food, to me, is as important as the game (or the commercials).

My guac is one I created after eating what I still believe is the best ever at my wedding reception. Since the caterer refused to give up her secret recipe, I began experimenting, trying to hit on the perfect combo. While hers is now a distant memory, mine has won a few rave reviews. The secret (and yes, I share my secrets) - corn and roasted red peppers.

Because the chips I use have plenty of salt already, I cut down on how much I put into this. You won't miss it.

Guacamole Heaven

2-4 hass avocados
1/4 cup diced onion
2/3 cup frozen corn
2 roasted red peppers (I use jarred)
2 Tbs. sliced jalepeno rings (again, I use jarred ones)
1/4 tsp. ancho chili pepper (McCormick's)
1 Tbl. butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
garlic powder

Heat skillet (I usually start with a small amount of oil, then add the butter) and melt butter. Add chili pepper powder, garlic powder, jalepeno rings and then corn. Saute until corn is cooked, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Add onion to the skillet and saute until it's clear, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Hollow out the avocados into a bowl. If you like, dice them. I don't. I use the "random slice" method, which means I just stab at it until it looks smaller. Dice the red peppers and add to the avacado. Add the corn mixture and the onion. Stir until mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cool in the fridge. Serve with tortilla chips.

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