You’ve got a giant screen ready for the game, and now it’s time to give your taste buds the hi-def treatment as well. With just a little extra time you can go above and beyond standard party fare with these amazing recipes that will prove victorious in the eats department, no matter which team takes the title. The only problem: You may have trouble getting your guests to leave!
Spicy Stuffed Peppers
8 Hungarian hot peppers 1½ pounds pork sausage (with the casing removed) 2 cups jarred tomato sauce 8 fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 375°F. Light coals in a charcoal grill for a medium-hot fire. Butter an 8 by 11-inch baking dish. Cut the tops off of the peppers and spoon out any seeds. Divide the sausage into 8 equal portions and spoon it into the peppers to fill them. Pour the sauce into the prepared baking dish. Grill the peppers to char them on the outside, about 2 minutes per side. Remove them from the grill and lay the peppers on top of the sauce. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 150°F. Divide among plates, spoon some tomato sauce on top, and garnish each with a basil leaf.
Italian Braised Beef with Root Vegetables
Meat and vegetables: 3 pounds rump roast Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 onion, coarsely chopped 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup red wine 2 cups Yia Yia’s Sunday Sauce (see below) 2 bay leaves
Yia Yia’s Sunday Sauce: ¼ cup olive oil 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced 6 garlic cloves, sliced 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste 2 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice 1 cup dry white wine 2 pounds meaty beef bones 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
For meat and vegetables: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper, as much as a day in advance. (Cover and refrigerate it if doing so and take the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil is on the verge of smoking, sear the meat, about 2 minutes on each side. Move the meat to the side (or remove it from the pot altogether if necessary), and add the carrot, onion, and celery root. Brown the vegetables, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer. Add the wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Add the tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, and the bay leaves (and the pot roast if you removed it). Bring the liquid to a simmer and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 3 hours, basting the meat occasionally during this time. Discard the bay leaves before serving. The meat can be removed to a cutting board and sliced if you’re serving individual plates, or the meat can be pulled apart with a couple of forks right in the pot at the table and served with plenty of the sauce and vegetables.
For sauce: Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook until everything is soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Squeeze the tomatoes one by one into the pan, pulverizing them by hand, and pour in their juice, too. Add the wine, beef bones, bay leaf, oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to its lowest possible setting, and continue to cook for 8 hours. The sauce should reduce by about one third. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Remove the bones and bay leaf. If not using right away, let the sauce cool, then cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
Donut Holes with Spicy Hot Chocolate Sauce
Donuts: 1 cup water 2 vanilla beans, split 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup butter 1 cup flour 2 eggs 1/4 cup sugar 2 tbsp cinnamon
Hot chocolate: 12 ounces heavy cream 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate 2 tbsp honey 1/2 tsp chipotle powder Pinch of salt
For donuts: Bring water and vanilla beans to boil. Remove from heat and scrape vanilla beans, adding seeds back to pan. Place sugar, butter and salt in water and bring back to simmer. Add flour and stir vigorously with a spoon until smooth and batter releases itself from side of pan. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 minute. Stir in 2 eggs. Heat oil to 350 degrees and spoon in batter 1 teaspoon at a time. Fry till golden brown. Remove from oil and toss with sugar and cinnamon. Serve with spicy hot chocolate for dipping.
For hot chocolate: Heat cream to a simmer. Whisk in remaining ingredients until chocolate is melted. Place in fondue pot and serve with donuts.
Gin Fizz cocktail 2 oz gin 1/2 oz lemon 1/2 oz lime 1 oz simple syrup 1 oz cream 1 egg white pinch of salt soda water
Combine all ingredients except soda water in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 1 minute. Pour in tall glass, top with soda water and serve.
Renowned in the culinary world and adored in his hometown of Cleveland, Michael is the chef and owner at the critically acclaimed Lola and Lolita in Cleveland, chef and partner of Roast in Detroit, chef and owner of Bar Symon in Avon Lake, Ohio, BSpot in Chargin, Ohio and Bar Symon and B-Spot in Cleveland. The Culinary Institute of America graduate competed on The Next Iron Chef i n 2007 and won, securing his place as an Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America . He released his first cookbook Michael Symon’s Live to Cook in October 2009. In July 2010, Michael’s instructional cooking series, How to Cook Like an Iron Chef premiered on Cooking Channel and in October 2010, Michael joins season three of The Next Iron Chef , as a first-time judge.