Week three of Friday Football Foodie training camp. You have made Pizza Loaves and Buffalo Chicken Dips and you think you are ready to move on to something a bit more challenging. We’re not quite there yet. The theme is still simple-assembly finger foods. Why?
Because everyone needs the framework for a play that can be used when adversity strikes: the vegetarians.
As a good host, you want to make your home welcoming to everyone, and that includes making snacks that all of your guests will enjoy. (Offering them the sides of celery to your wings does not count as a “dish”.)
If you are a vegetarian going to watch the game at a friend’s place, don’t assume that if the grill is going that there will be Gardenburgers. Show up prepared. (Vegans, I love you, but you’re on your own on football days. Come over any day of the week and I will feed you. But game days? You’re getting the box of Tofutti Cuties I always keep in the freezer and liking it.)
Mexican Pinwheels, Mary Pickfords, and “Might Be New to You” Product Reviews: Morningstar Farms Mini-Corn Dogs and Buffalo Wings.
You will need…
8 flour tortillas, burrito size
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened (Don’t heat it, just let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. Or as long as it takes you to unpack the groceries, grab a drink, let the dog out, check the answering machine, and find the channel that Tony Kornheiser is not on.)
1/3 cup mayonnaise (If you want to go light mayo here, I am sure you can.)
1/2 cup salsa (I heartily endorse Santa Barbara Company’s Fire Roasted Chili.)
5-7 green onions (If your chives from last week’s Buffalo Chicken Dip are still good, use those instead.)
1 7 oz can of green chilies, drained
2 4.25 oz cans sliced black olives, drained (Or one. I love olives any shape or form, so I tend to use more.)
Really, this is the type of recipe you can call your own audibles. I’ve added black beans, jalapenos, roasted corn, cilantro, and tomatoes, all with really good results. The only thing I would say as you head to the line is make sure you’ve got everything chopped fairly fine, as you will need to roll these pinwheels tightly.
Drain all your canned ingredients and blend together with the softened cream cheese and mayo.
Mix in your salsa, green onions, and whatever else you little Mannings decided to add.
Once it is a complete mess, (much like when Dallas Clark doesn’t hear the call), it is time for the next play.
Spread a thin layer over each tortilla.
Tightly spiral each shell with care. Think Elway tight.
Refrigerate for at least one hour. The longer they chill, the easier the next step will be. If you plan on leaving them overnight, (which you totally can do), wrap the pinwheels in plastic so they don’t become as dry as the Raiders’ playoff hopes. Much like how Al Davis sleeps. In plastic. Or something funnier.
When ready, slice into one inch sections. The ends tend to not have as much filling, so if you are like me, you don’t want to serve those pieces to your guests. The upside is that they are perfect “chef snacks” in the kitchen while no one is looking.
Serve with salsa and guacamole. The tray you see here is about a third of what that batch makes, so plan on either stuffing everyone or having leftovers. Just because they are vegetarians doesn’t mean you can’t send them home with doggie bags.
This is one of those great fate ideas. I already knew I wanted to do all vegetarian friendly items for this FFF, but didn’t have any thoughts on a drink. Still too hot for beer in my mind. Didn’t feel like going to BevMo for anything I was out of at the bar. (Which really, is just gin at the moment.) I knew I had a lot of rum to get rid of, and some pineapple juice… Ah ha! Mary Pickfords!
But how do I relate her to sports? Or this theme? Help me, mighty Google Borg… Yes! Mary Pickford was a vegetarian!
You will need…
Measure out equal parts rum and pineapple juice and pour into a shaker with ice.
Add a touch of grenadine. I used the clear one just for this purpose, so I could keep an eye of how “pink” it became. It should look like the inside of a grapefruit, not the pink of a sorority girl’s Matt Leinart “lady’s” jersey.
Shake and serve over ice.
Decide that the glass does not look “full”, and add more rum.
Add more pineapple juice to assuage your guilt for adding more rum. Add all the Maraschino cherries your little heart desires.
Take one sip, wonder how that little curly-haired waif Mary Pickford managed to take over Hollywood with this strong of a drink, and try to remember if it was her or her brother who was in “Brown of Harvard”, the 1920’s football and rowing film. (Possibly the greatest of sports combinations since cross-country skiing and rifle.)
“Might Be New to You” Product Reviews: Morningstar Farms Mini-Corn Dogs and Buffalo Wings
You do not have to be a vegetarian to eat these products.
I repeat; you do not have to be a vegetarian to eat these products.
I have served these to the manliest of meat eating men, and they have not complained one bit. To be honest? The first time I put these out on football day, (last year when I gave up meat for 8 months), no one noticed the difference until I told them they were vegetarian “meat free” snacks. No one was disgusted, no one was horrified, and everyone kept on eating. I think one person looked down at the Buffalo nugget in their hand and gave a surprised, “Really?” and then popped the rest of it into their mouth.
So do not feel bad about serving these to both your meat eating and vegetarian friends. If the carnivores don’t like it, tell them to have another beer, dip their corn dog in spicy mustard, and quit sounding like that crybaby Joe Buck already.
Next Week: The benefit of living in the Pacific Time Zone – The Football Brunch
Many of you FFF fans have sent in pictures of your creations from these recipes, along with a few ideas for upcoming posts. Please keep them coming! Email me at tswladies [at] gmail.com I’ve already got at least two new ones, Hot Beef Dip and Stuffed Banana Peppers, I cannot wait to make.