The kids were disappointed because for the first time in a long time, we had to stay home for the Super Bowl.
Feeling their pain, I made a deal with them. Plan the menu. I’ll execute it.
So they did their part.
The menu included a cover page and three distinct sections. On the cover, you will note the team logos, the fields, complete with goalposts, and what I can only assume are characters from Among Us, one near a bench and the other dropping the ball. SUS!
The ‘Appetizer’ section called for french fries, pigs in a blanket, chips and veggies with dip. Simple enough.
The ‘Main Meals’ section was setting the stage for chili, chicken wings and ribs. You will note the NFL simplified logo, a red square and the Pepsi logo, with a chicken wing in the middle.
For dessert, cake and ice cream and a Tom Brady-style under-inflated football.
I got to work.
The chips selection was secured early. Here was the line-up:
Que Pasa Organic Corn Chips are our go-to Corn Chips these days, either for dips, nachos or salad. We like them because they are not too salty, because their size is generous and, most importantly, they are quite sturdy. Goes great with my Smoked Salsa! Ms. Waffle’s pick was Miss Vickie’s Spicy Dill Pickle. MV’s SDP was introduced in October as a Costco exclusive, before being part of a massive recall of Miss Vickie’s products for the extra shattered-glass flavouring. The Dill Pickle hits you first and the heat builds as you snack on them. Great pick.
The Waffle Jr. went for a classic, the Ruffles Regular. Salty, Ridgy, Oily goodness. Can’t go wrong, even if it can get boring over time. I selected Dunn’s Old Fashioned Barbecue. Another Costo exclusive, this is a new flavour for Dunn’s – they have released Dill Pickle in the past. These are delicious, a nice barbecue spicyness to them, a hint of sweetness. A good crunch too. Speaking of crunch, Mini-Waffle got Ruffles’ Ketchup Double Crunch. Double Crunch is right – these have quite the crunch. If you can’t stand hearing people munch, don’t buy these for your guests. Flavour-wise, they packed a punch, but I thought they were too sweet.
The kids had also asked for Pretzels, but I thought I’d go the extra-mile with peanut-butter stuffed Pretzels from Kirkland. And, for good measure, a bowl of Wonderful Pistachios, roasted and salted. I am healthy that way.
Next, I had to get the ribs going. I had two slabs of St-Louis, which I prepped and seasoned with a very basic rub: garlic salt, smoked paprika and ground black pepper.
I then proceeded to smoke them for 7 hours with Tabasco Wood Chips.
I finished them with half a bottle of Nicastro’s BBQ sauce. That’s right, Nicastro’s!
While the ribs were going, I got started on my Chili.
As a base, I used Mark Bittman’s Chili non Carne recipe.
Starting with dry red kidney beans, simmered for 90 minutes in water, along with a whole onion. I drained the beans and reserved the cooking liquid. While the beans were cooking, I sauteed a pound of ground brisket with onions and some bell peppers, along with some chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Then I combined everything together, added some home-canned tomatoes and a cup of leftover turkey chili. I simmered slowly for a couple of hours.
For the wings, I used Bulk Barn’s Smoked Applewood Seasoning as a dry marinade. After a few hours in the fridge, I baked them, because I am healthy that way. The Waffle Jr. loves the flavor and doesn’t do saucy wings, so that was that.
Thus the main meals were ready to go.
The appetizers were next. Veggies, including home-grown carrots, served with a sour-cream-avocado-salsa-blue-cheese dip. I threw some St-Arneault frozen fries in the over.
Ms. Waffle made the dough for the pigs in a blanket, found on the interwebs. She claims she knew it would be authentic given it called for margerine and not butter. It turned out great, better than when she uses Pillsbury croissant dough. The piggies were Hygrade’s cocktail weiners. Served with ketchup, mustard, mayo. Boom!
We were ready for kickoff! I grabbed a plate of protein and sat down to enjoy the game.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the dessert part.
Ms. Waffle made some Ganache Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with buttercream icing. She decided that orange was going to be the primary colour, no doubt showing her preference for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. That, and the fact that she had a bunch ready to be used from Mini-Waffle’s birthday cake. With a scoop of Coaticook’s vanilla ice cream, they were delicious.
We had a great party. Despite the game!