This week, TSW has a bye and I’m calling the plays on the Friday Football Foodie.
It might be heresy to some to include vegetable matter in their football food plans that a) doesn’t come on top of a pizza or b) doesn’t accompany a bratwurst, but I cannot have a party without putting out veggies and dip. Besides, you’re getting a jump on the “eat veggies and fruit for the rest of the week” edict that usually comes with the FFF.
Not to worry, though: There’s no cooking — just chopping and stirring — and the Drink of the Week doubles as dessert!
For the Cucumber-Feta Dip, you’ll need:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (You can use the full-fat kind, but I always have the 2% on hand — don’t bother using the skim, though. It’s vile.)
1 big clove of garlic, peeled
4 oz feta (Don’t be lazy, crumble your own)
6 inches of cucumber (I like English cucmbers because they have better flavor and fewer seeds)
Mayo (USE REAL MAYO!)
An acid (I like rice wine vinegar, but you can use red wine or white balsamic or lemon juice — whatever you have)
And a secret surprise ingredient to be revealed later!
You’ll need a couple cooking implements too: A sieve and a Microplane. If you don’t have a Microplane, what the hell is wrong with you? I’m constantly trying to come up with uses for mine.
Grate the clove of garlic into the yogurt. Using the Microplane for this yields tiny, consistent little pieces of garlic — it’s almost a puree. This is important because you’re eating the garlic raw, and nobody likes a big hunk of garlic burning their mouth. If you don’t have a Microplane, you can grate the garlic on the small holes of a box grater or put it through a garlic press. Or if your knife skills are good, you can mince it really small. (Showoff.)
Chop the feta up into little pieces.
Now it’s time for the super special secret ingredient! Are you ready for some…
…MINT?! Yep, mint. Don’t worry, it’s not going to make the dip sweet. In fact, the mint adds a nice fresh pepperiness that cuts through the salty feta and the creamy yogurt. All your rowdy friends will love it.
Add 3 tablespoons of chopped mint and the chopped-up feta to the yogurt and garlic, and stir. If the mixture looks a little stiff now, don’t worry. It will loosen up when you add the cucumber, mayo and vinegar. Put this to the side while you tackle the cucumbers.
Peel, de-seed, and chop the cucumber. The original recipe for this dip says to shred the cucumber on a box grater, but I hate dipping a bagel chip or a carrot into this dip and seeing long, mucusy strands of cucumber hanging from whatever I’m about to put in my mouth. Blech.
This next step is very important! VERY! Don’t be tempted to skip it! Otherwise you’ll have runny dip that won’t cling nicely to your pretzel stick or broccoli floret! Nobody wants that!
Put the cucumber pieces into the sieve and salt them. Use more salt than you think is necessary. Like, 2-3 tablespoons of salt. Mix everything around so all the cucumber pieces get salt all over them. This step draws the excess water out of the cucumber. Don’t worry about the dip being overly salty, though, because you’re going to rinse the cucumbers later.
Leave the cucumber pieces alone for a while so they drain. Be patient! Go watch the Inside the NFL on the Tivo.
Oh, Marino. [sigh]
Now that you’ve killed a good 40 minutes in silent reverie of Dan Marino, go check on the cucumber. It should have given up a few tablespoons of liquid.
Rinse the cucumber off thoroughly with cold water.
Spread the cucumber pieces out on a paper towel on a clean dishrag. Roll everything up like a cigar and squeeze the crap out of it to wring out the excess liquid. A LOT of liquid will come out, and that’s OK. You want the cucumber as dry as you can get it.
Be sure to do this over the sink. It sounds obvious, but it bears mentioning because my roommate has been known to drain a can of beans over the kitchen counter, getting that icky, goopy bean liquid everywhere.
Add the little jade-green bits of cucumber to the dip.
Now comes the subjective part. Taste the dip. Does it need a bit of extra creaminess? Does it need some more zip? Add the mayo and vinegar to taste. This batch needed a bit of both, so I added a tablespoon of the rice wine vinegar and a tablespoon of mayo to the dip.
Garnish the dip with a dinky piece of mint and serve with crunchy dippers: pretzels, carrots, leaves of bitter Belgian endive and lightly steamed asparagus are all good choices. Fix yourself an easy cocktail. Can’t get much easier than bourbon and Coke.
Drink of the week: PUDDING SHOTS!
I first encountered PUDDING SHOTS! (always punctuated as such) at a Halloween party in 2005. A girl dressed as a slutty Dorothy came up to me and my friends clutching a baggie full of medicine cups and spoons, and said, “Here, eat these!” We loved the smushy, boozy, chocolatey, creamy mixture so much that we asked the girl if we could have the rest of the bag. The rest is history. I make these whenever I get an opportunity. It’s funny how the PUDDING SHOTS! always seem to disappear. People always complain about mixing booze and dairy, but if it worked for The Dude (and my mom, who doesn’t drink, but will devour these) it’s good enough for you.
For a double recipe of PUDDING SHOTS!, you’ll need:
1 6-ounce box of instant chocolate pudding
1 cup of Bailey’s
1/2 cup of vodka
1 1/2 cups of milk (anything but skim, please)
2 8-ounce containers of Cool Whip, thawed in the fridge (don’t even bother making these if you’re going to use that Cool Whip Free bullshit)
As for special implements, you’ll need a couple of baking pans (metal ones won’t crack in the freezer), a box of 3-ounce paper bathroom cups, and an ice cream scoop — known in the industry as a “disher” — makes things much, much easier on the back end. The blue one pictured above is a Vollrath, and it has a 2-ounce capacity.
It makes things a lot easier if you lay out the shot cups first. A double recipe will make about three dozen 2-ounce shots. A 9 x 13 pan and a 7 x 11 pan hold 39 cups.
Combine the pudding mix and milk. When you’ve mixed those two together, add the liquors.
Using a whisk makes sure there are no lumps in the pudding-milk-booze mix. When that’s smooth, add a dollop of Cool Whip at a time and fold to combine. Go slowly when you add the Cool Whip, because you don’t want to knock the air out of the Cool Whip. Part of what makes the PUDDING SHOTS! so good is their airy consistency.
When it’s all mixed, it should look like this.
Use the ice cream scoop to put a 2-ounce dollop of PUDDING SHOT! into each waiting cup.
Wrap the trays tightly with plastic wrap, and stash them in the freezer.
Keep the PUDDING SHOTS! in the freezer until about 15 minutes before you want to eat them. They get almost-solid in the freezer, but I like them when they’re frozen on top and smushy underneath: You get a nice contrast of textures and you can squeeze them out of the paper cups and eat them without spoons that way.
Before you clean up, don’t forget about the cook’s treat: Licking the bowl and catching a buzz at 10:30 in the morning!
The convenience food review of the week: Dunkin’ Donuts’ Extreme Bacon Croissant Explosion and an iced coffee with milk, one sugar, and a squirt of vanilla
Dunkin’ Donuts has teamed up with The Bermanator to deliver “the official coffee and breakfast sandwich of all football fans.”
The actual name of the sandwich in question is the Bacon Lover’s Supreme Omelet Sandwich, but the Extreme Bacon Extravaganza is way funnier, don’t you think? It consists of a toasted croissant with an “omelet” (the standard Dunkin’ Donuts egg round dressed up with some bits of vegetable matter, poorly photographed below), colby-jack cheese, and four slices of pepper bacon.
The bacon is quite tasty, if very, very peppery — almost too peppery. It kind of overwhelms the remarkably delicate egg and buttery croissant. The sandwich I got seemed low on bacon, until I got to the last two bites. That’s four slices of bacon in one bite, y’all:
It was tasty while I was eating it, but I wanted to lay down on the couch and pass out for 20 minutes after I was done. It was just too much. I’m going to stick to my standard Dunkin’ Donuts sandwich of bacon, egg, and cheese on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel.
Since I had the Bailey’s out, though…
dunkin donuts breakfast sanwiches are putrid. i’ll stick to taylor ham and cheese…
and yes, everyone should have a microplane, and i’m sure rachel ray would agree.
God damn it! sanDwiches
I guess the secret of a bacon explosion is all in the distribution.
Bacon explosion! I just had a very naughtly thought about a certain Philly! :)
I’m having a little Bailey’s and coffee right now (which is the PERFECT breakfast), and will probably dream about those pudding cups for the rest of my life. Or at least until I can talk one of my friends/sisters/mom into making them. The closest thing I have to kitchen tools is a corkscrew.
False advertising! I saw bacon and thought this was a post about Rowand!
If I ate red meat, I would be ALL over that sandwich, yum. But since I don’t I’ll just take that buzzed coffee.
Those pudding shots look like they would be good for dessert at a football brunch.
Or as a theme for a Browns game.
PUDDING AND BACON? [dying over here]
PAM! We do not talk about Ray Ray on this blog!
Cameron, believe me, if I knew TSW wouldn’t cut me for including baseball players in a post about football, Bacon Pants would be in there. (*psst* Here ya go. Mmm, Bacon Pants.)
Chad’sMyGuy, I was at a wedding recently and I was the only person at my table who had a cup of coffee after dinner just so I could have a Bailey’s and coffee.
*eyes glaze over*
…also, that dip looks delicious. And I’m intrigued by those pudding shots. *nods*
Oh, I’m sorry, I meant to say PUDDING SHOTS!…how embarassing.
“6 inches of cucumber”
Unintentionally naughty! Yay!
PUDDING SHOTS = my eyes glazed over. That sounds so yum!
Worth it for the Bailey’s alone.
I looked at that sandwich and had a mini-heart attack of sorts.
I hear you, Clare. My sister called me from a liquor store on her way over yesterday and said, “You need anything?” I said, “Maybe some Bailey’s” She brought me the largest bottle they sell, and I was never so pleased. Seriously, it’s a freaking gallon. It’s almost a challenge. No worries, though. I shall prevail!
Those shots look amazing, but I am captivated by the dip. That sounds awesome and looks so easy to do. I must try it.
Me, too, LA! That dip looks like a freakin’ masterpiece.
Mint, though? I hate mint and mint-flavored stuff. I wonder if I could put something in its place that can function the same without giving me that mint flavor?
Tex, you probably won’t believe this, but I hate mint too. This dip isn’t minty-fresh like toothpaste/Jager/York Peppermint Patty-minty, it’s more peppery. Almost like arugula, which I love. You could try cilantro, which has that same herbal character.
MUST HAVE PUDDING SHOTS!!!! I am getting materials on the way home and will consume them almost immediately
Clare…sorry about that…actually, i cant stand Ms. Ray.
Phew Pam, for a second there I thought you were the only person in the world who actually likes her. Even my roommate who likes all of the other annoying Food Network personalities can’t stand her. Is she the Berman of the Food Network?
What’s wrong with using my garlic press instead of a microplane? That thing does wonders for me. Is there a problem with using non-fat or low-fat or whatever kind of Mayo I have? I’m personally not a big fan of endives, too bitter for me.
That pudding looks awesome. Can I use homemade whip cream or does it have to be Cool Whhhhhip? One time, my roommate and I made 1,500 jello shots. True story.
How can you guys not like mint? Mint does wonders for so many foods whether it be Thai/Indian, Mexican, cous-cous, etc. Mint in an arugula salad with goat cheese, nuts and a vinaigrette dressing is heaven.
good lord that was long
Instead of mint, maybe dill or basil. Dill and cucumber always works.
I can get away with this here.
Eday owns a Rachel Ray cookbook. Pictures following at approximately 5:15 EST.
DougOLis – first of all, her show is complete bullshit. those are only “30 minute” meals in TV time. there’s no way she can peel 5 potatoes and get a huge pot of water to boil during a commercial break. I hate her raspy voice, and I cant stand her corny jokes. And don’t get me started on the famous “EVOO”.
I think she’s definitely the Berman of Food Network. She’s all schtick, and has been around for too long. Now I will devote my afternoon to considering other analogous ESPN people for the food network…
DougOLis, sure, you could use the low-fat Hellman’s. That’s one of the few low-fat convenience foods I actually like. But the dip uses so little of it, using a tablespoon or so of the real stuff isn’t going to hurt. Oh, and before I forget: Miracle Whip is an instrument of Satan. Do not even consider using it in this dip.
As for the PUDDING SHOTS! I suppose you could use homemade whipped cream instead of the Cool Whip. Why not make homemade chocolate pudding, too? Be sure you use Valhrona chocolate. I kid, but seriously, whipping the volume of cream you need is more work than these are worth. FYI: Extra Creamy Cool Whip has real cream in it.
TSW, I forgot about dill. That’d work too.
Pam: Sandra Lee = Erin Andrews. Write it down.
Miracle Whip is an instrument of Satan
Clare, I couldn’t have said that better myself.
I suppose Sara Moulton is Linda Cohn…
Only people with no souls consume Miracle Whip.
Pam/Shorty – If you get that list together, I’d bet you’d have a top-rated blog post on your hands. I’m intrigued to see it.
Extra P, I’ll consider submitting something to the Ladies… for extra credit!
It was more that I didn’t want to have to buy a new thing of Mayo than worried about the fat content. Hellman’s is Best Foods out here.
Valrhona? Screw that, might as well go Domori, Cuba Venchi, or Michel Cluizel if you’re going all out. Actually, I haven’t really liked Valrhona that much when I’ve had it. I think Scharffen Berger is just as good for baking as those other three I mentioned at a slightly cheaper price. It’s not quite as good for eating plain though.
Finally, TGC has his revenge. I’ve been waiting six days.
Dill! Now that’s a nice solution.
Now I love Friday Football Foodies, but I will not sit here and let Erin Andrews be compared to that no talent ass clown Sandra Lee. Sandy’s “cooking” show should be viewed for comedy purposes only.
Oh the dip looks delicious…
Those PUDDING SHOTS! look absolutely amazing. You could have an entire dessert-themed party by adding Cheesecake shots and Yellowcake shots.
Yellowcake shots? The party is going to be radioactive?
Don’t drop that shit.
I propose Giada de Laurentiis as Erin Andrews and Nigella Lawson as Bonnie Bernstein.
Rachael Ray is hellspawn. She cooked pasta in boiled red wine. Blech.
As promised… revenge
*files away pudding shots recipe*
*puts Bailey’s, Smirnoff, and Cool Whip on his grocery list*
BTW… does this work with organic milk?
An acid (I like rice wine vinegar, but you can use red wine or white balsamic or lemon juice — whatever you have)
What, no window pane?
Me and the other twenty vegetarian college football fans are super stoked that you’ve had TWO FFFs in a row that meet our very special needs. So thanks for that.
This is the most thorough post I have ever seen. Well done. I’m absolutely making pudding shots, and thanks for the token shot of Dan Marino.
So I just listened to Simmons’ podcast with Erin Andrews and her voice kind of annoys me.
I’m disappointed that you don’t keep Bailey’s and Vodka in stock. Why wouldn’t it work with organic milk?
R.D. Baker, I’m sure it’d work fine with organic milk. Soy or rice milk, probably not so much.
Good… the regular non-organic milk tastes weird here (Phoenix, AZ) and you really can’t cook with it and expect to get the same results you would some other places.
And no, no Bailey’s and no Vodka. Lots of Sam Adams, though. and a 5th of Jack.
Celeste – We did a specific vegetarian post earlier in the series.
Those who don’t drink even enjoy PUDDING SHOTS!? I must try them now.
Hi Celeste, I’m also a vegetarian football fan, maybe we should start a support group of some kind? I actually think there are a lot of closet vegetarian football fans. And on the plus side you can always take these wonderful recipes and just substiture out the meat for Gimme Lean anyway. :)
If Food Network is ESPN, then who is Anthony Bourdain (my hero)? Would it be Will or Ufford?
I second the mention of Bacon Pants. Here ya go
NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, is Anthony Bourdain hot in blogdome. No one.
He’s like Christian Bale movie star hot.
“6 inches of cucumber”
As Steve said, unintentionally dirty, and for the poor guys out there where that’s just a little too close to home, well, think of how your girls feel.
Hellman’s all the way.
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Alton Brown = Tim Kurkjian. Both geeky, both into science/stats behind the foods/game we love.
tennisne1: I don’t know you, but you’re my favorite person ever because of that link.
Thanks! Those pudding shots look damn tasty, too. The Ladies… rock.
For the record, I don’t think any of the ESPN guys even play in the same Sexy League as the Food Network guys.
PUDDING SHOTS! Just made a batch (mine turned out dramatically smaller than I anticipated.) I totally got a buzzzz of it.
Oh man, I hadn’t been by this site in forever and it is still great. I stumbled here after reading through the Superbowl food post and I’m thinking I’m going to make those pudding shots in one giant container and eat the whole damn thing myself. Mmmmmmmmm…wasty-caked. Once I wake up, I hope to remember where I’m going to watch the Superbowl.
Pudding shots are fantastic! I am not a big fan of vodka, sorry!, so i substitute it with butterscotch shnapps. Give it a try, its great!
Had these pudding shots at a party Saturday night…mmmmmmmmmmmmm