Well team, I must say, I was very impressed with the response to Week One of the Friday Football Foodie Training Camp. The general response was overwhelming, and a few fine readers took the time to send in photos of your very own Pizza Loaves.
With that type of enthusiasm, I really think we have a real shot of making the playoffs here.
But we cannot go into the season without trying out some new plays. The Pizza Loaf is a good go-to running play, but you’re also going to need a new quick 15-yard slant pass because last year? You dropped the ball every time you pulled out a bag of Funions instead of going for something a little more substantive.
We’re trying out something new this week, a menu that with a little fine tuning, could become our next 3 and 8 play.
Friday Football Foodie – Buffalo Chicken Dip, Stoli Blueberri Fizz, and New Snack Review of the Week: Pringles Select Sweet Potato Chips
You will need…
2 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
3/4-1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese (Or white cheddar, or mozzarella, or whatever you have handy, aside of maybe gouda)
1/2 cup blue cheese (optional)
fresh chives or green onions to taste
3/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce Original (Yes, the Original. They make a buffalo style sauce, but there is no need for “soybean oil and buttery flavoring” when you have next…)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped garlic – really – use as much or as little garlic as you like.
2 cups shredded chicken
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
A note about the chicken – The easiest way to get two cups of shredded chicken is to use the chicken in a can. But unless you’re making a casserole that also involves a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, you’re going to for fresher chicken. For the same price as two cans of chicken, you can pick up a roasted 2 pound chicken in the deli, which will be fall-off-the-bone moist and give you tastier results. (The dip is the Ravens and you just got Willis McGahee and released Jamal Lewis.)
If you already have chicken at home, either bake or poach two to three chicken breasts and then shred those with a fork.
Saute garlic over medium low heat. (If you opted out of the garlic, skip this step and just melt down your butter. Do not scald it and make it turn brown rookie, or you’ll be on clean up patrol.)
Add chicken and Red Hot sauce and heat throughly. Now, if you want more kick here, feel free to use more hot sauce or give it a couple of dashes of “Dave’s Super Hot Melt Your Toes Off Sauce.” Since this was the first time I made this dish, I didn’t want to get too fancy and just used the Frank’s Red Hot. I thought it was spicy enough, but there is always some jerk at a party who says “Needs more heat,” as if one can prove the size of their stones by how hot food is. Keep a special bottle of “Mega Hot Death” on the side for them to use, and know that they’ll regret the extra heat in the morning.
Layer into casserole dish. I made a mistake here. I should have used a larger – maybe a 9 x 13 inch – dish here. This is training camp and it is okay to make a mistake now, but you better believe when it is game time, I will use a shallower dish.
Give your skillet a quick clean off, or use a second skillet.
Melt cream cheese over medium-low heat. I am not kidding about the “low” in the description. Any hotter and you’re going to burn the cheese. Resist dipping bagels into pan or suddenly making cream cheese wontons.
Reduce heat and add blue cheese dressing. Work quickly! No burning the mixture!
Add chives/green onions. Just so you can say you had your greens for the day.
Pour over chicken. Again, looking at the reel, I really should have used a larger dish and spread out the coverage more.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling at the edges, and then add your cheese on top. If you add it any sooner, it will form a hard crust on top, and no one needs to have to struggle with a dip when it is already a struggle to watch Nate Washington drop the ball. Again.
Bake 15-20 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Serve with crackers and crudite. Another training camp mistake. Most of the recipes for this dip I read suggested serving the dip with the Chicken in a Biskit crackers. Never, ever again will I allow that much salty food on to the field at one time. You cannot go for the long run when you are retaining 17 gallons of water. It’s a hardy dip, and works well with the celery. Need to scout out less salty crackers or chips for the next time.
Do not let one person hog the whole dip. Especially when that person is going to get bored with pre-season games early and go and play golf instead.
Not bad for a first try. It was actually was a fantastic dip, saltiness of crackers and too deep to handle mistakes aside. But this is why we train in the first place.
Stoli Blueberri Fizz
You will need…
Muddle blueberries at the bottom of a glass with either a muddler or a fork.
Add ice and a generous pour of Stoli Blueberri – not seen here as I don’t need you people judging me. Conversely, if you do not consume alcohol, just double up on the ginger ale and used more blueberries in the muddling step so you get the same fruit taste.
Add about a shot (2 ounces) of ginger ale. Just enough for a light fizz in the drink.
Fill the rest of the way with lemonade. I was as shocked as you were that there was still room in the glass.
Garnish with more blueberries, to give yourself the appearance of getting in a full serving of fruit.
Enjoy. While not quite as potent as the Watermelon Slushees, they still have a little bit of a punch so two before game time will have you good and ready to go.
New Snack Review of the Week: Pringles Select Sweet Potato Chips
Sometimes it is nice to have something soothing and sweet to go along with the spicy and hot, and cinnamon sweet potato chips are the perfect foil to the Buffalo Chicken Dip. These sweet chips are light in texture, and at 150 calories for 28 chips, (although the 9 grams of fat is a little high), it’s not a bad alternative to say, actual candy.
NEXT WEEK – TBD – PROBABLY INVOLVES CORN DOGS