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Moose on Fire: Super Bowl Party Foods – Grill Wins

February 4th, 2010 · No Comments

Let the good times roll! (Sorry, can’t help ourselves. We love the underdogs, and since it’s the Saints’ first trip here, we hope they win!)

Spicy Beef Recipe Great for Super Bowl Party

By Debbie Moose, Columnist

Of course, we’re watching the Super Bowl in Miami this Sunday, with the New Orleans Saints playing the Indianapolis Colts. It’s the time for grillmeisters to bring their A-games for those big Super Bowl parties.

Forget the trite

Now is not the time to get lazy, to foist soggy take-out wings and gelatinous bowls of dip on your cherished friends. A lot of “fans” don’t even care about the game, but just come for the food — and the commercials.

As a host, you have got to step it up, people. Now is the time!

Munchies, followed by the Big Feed

For a night-long Super Bowl feed, I like to put out finger food or munchies for the whole game, then offer more substantial chow and side dishes around halftime. You want recipes that can be done ahead of time, so you don’t miss a minute of the commercials, or ah, game –  but can still impress your friends.

Have it Your Way

The first recipe, from my cookbook Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home is really versatile. It can be prepared a day ahead either on the grill or atop the stove. And it can be served as sandwiches or a hearty, elegant salad. You can spice it up for the fire-mouths in your group, or leave it mild for the bigger crowd. How’s that for some play options?

The second recipe, from the same book, is a do-ahead munchie that’s different from the boring chip-and-dip routine. Make extra – they go down quick with good beer.

Double Play Spicy Beef

For beef:

  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin

For sauce:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 pound Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved

For serving: Sandwich rolls (for sandwiches), or salad greens, tomatoes and onions (for steak salads)

In a small bowl, combine the thyme, marjoram, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper and the paprika. Rub the mixture into the beef and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

To grill, prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking and oil the grate. Place the meat on the grill and cook, turning frequently to cook it evenly and prevent the rub from burning. Cook the beef to medium-rare, 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. When done, remove the beef to a cutting board and let rest.

To cook  indoors, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the beef, turning to brown on all sides, until it reaches medium-rare, 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. When done, remove the beef to a cutting board and let rest.

While the beef rests, prepare the sauce: Combine the lemon juice, horseradish, chives, sour cream, remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate if preparing the night before serving.

If preparing the beef the night before, let the beef cool, then wrap it, whole, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, slice the beef very thinly and serve.  (The key is thin slices to pile up.)

To serve as sandwiches: Place slices on hearty rolls, top with sauce and Parmesan.

To serve as a steak salad: Toss greens, chopped tomatoes and onion rings lightly with a red wine vinaigrette, then top with slices of beef and Parmesan; drizzle with sauce to taste.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Rosemary-Garlic Pecans

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in the rosemary, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Place the pecans in a large bowl, then pour the butter mixture over the pecans and toss to coat the nuts thoroughly.

Spread the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed nonstick baking sheet (or coat a regular baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray). Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until the pecans are crisp and fragrant but not dark.

Let the nuts cool completely on the baking sheet, then store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

(Above recipes from Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home by Debbie Moose, Harvard Common Press, 2007)


Debbie Moose, a food writer and cookbook author from Raleigh, NC, writes about cooking outdoors for JanNorris.com. Check out her cookbooks: Potato Salad: 65 Recipes from Classic to Cool; Wings: More Than 50 High-Flying Recipes for America’s Favorite Snack; Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home; and Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy. Find out what else Debbie is cooking on her blog, Moose Munchies, at her web site, debbiemoose.com.

Tags: Moose on Fire: A Gal and a Grill

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