Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Big Game

SP and I aren't huge football fans, but we couldn't avoid The Big Game so we decided to embrace it by making lots of fun food throughout the day. We started with queso dip and tortilla chips:

... that, sadly, was downright awful. I bought RoTel with the hopes of using it to make queso, but I didn't want to use Velvetta or other processed cheese product, so I used a combo of cheddar and Monterey Jack. Unfortunately the undrained can of RoTel mixed with the regular cheese resulted in a soupy mess. I tried straining it, but as SP pointed out, all the flavor was removed along with the liquid. Not a good start to our day of eating, but we plowed ahead with jalapeno poppers:

... deep fried and served with ranch dressing. These were just frozen poppers, nothing homemade, but they really hit the spot, especially because they were deep fried. Later on in the day I made calamari:

... that we had with marinara sauce. Always a winner, even though they didn't get golden brown. I think I need a real batter instead of just flour. We ended the day with a copycat recipe for Chili's Shanghai Wings:

... that were surprisingly similar to the ones we ate a Chili's a few weeks ago when we needed a quick bite before a friend's son's play. I haven't eaten at a Chili's in over a decade, so I was pleasantly surprised by how good the Shanghai Wings were. Sweet and tangy, SP was a huge fan of these and they were a nice change of pace from our usual Frank's version. Of course these weren't really "wings" since they're made with boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks, but they were delicious nonetheless.
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  1. The chicken wings and calamari look awesome - I'd finish them off in one sitting (or at least try)! :D

  2. Your jalepeno poppers and calamari look perfect! I am so bad with frying I could never pull it off. It all looks great, though! Looked like you all had a great time!

  3. Katie #1- Thanks! We love good calamari and wings. :)

    Katie #2 - Thanks. I was really pleased with how the fried stuff came out.

  4. HC -

    Rotel is awesome if used in the following recipe.

    Fry and drain 1 lb of Jimmy Dean Original Sausage (it has to be JD). Toss in 2 blocks of cream cheese and melt. Add 1 can original Rotel and stir. If its still really thick add some heavy cream or milk to thin it out. It is my husband's favorite with tortilla chips. It is always a hit at any gathering. Keep it warm in a crock pot if you're serving a crowd.

    This is the only way I use Rotel.


    P.S. - Thanks for motivating me to post. I've been a slacker since my family came to visit.

  5. Jessy - I'm just glad you're OK! :) After not seeing anything from you in almost a month I got worried.

    That recipe sounds awesome! I'll have to remember that for next time we want a snack. I have another can of Rotel in the pantry.

  6. That's funny about the queso. I'll tell you a secret, you have to use some American or Velveeta cheese otherwise it separates. Most Texans just mix Velveeta and Rotel tomatoes, but I have been using Jane Butel's recipe for years, which uses American and other cheeses.

    Chile con Queso

    1/3 cup oil
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup evaporated milk
    3/4 cup chopped red-ripe tomato
    1 pound process American cheese, cut in cubes
    1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
    1/4 cup finely minced fresh or pickled jalapeno chilies with juice (or to taste)

    Heat oil in a heavy saucepan, fondue pot or chafing dish. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is clear. Then stir in flour. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and cook until mixture is thickened then stir in tomato, cheeses, and jalapenos. Cook stirring about 5 minutes or until cheeses are melted and flavors are will blended. Taste and adjust hotness. Makes 2 cups.

    From Jane Butel’s Hotter than Hell
    By Jane Butel


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