Game day recipes


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CHESTER PITTS' POTATO CASSEROLE

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Butter. Sour cream. Cheddar cheese. Canned chicken soup. Ritz crackers. It's as if the potatoes are just seasoning.

Well, the chef does weigh 320 pounds. In the new "Sunday Night Football Cookbook," the Houston Texan offensive tackle explains, "This recipe has been in my household for about five years -- I learned to make it from my fiancee, Latoyah. I only cook it for my family and it's always a hit, especially with the little ones. It's easy and delicious." My wife and I joked about how bad this must be for us ... and ate seconds. It's bland, so she doused it in hot sauce; I might add onions to it. And maybe a life insurance policy.

-- Bob Batz Jr.

  • 2-pound bag frozen diced potatoes (Southern-style hash browns)
  • 10 3/4-ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the topping:

  • 1 tube Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Spread in an 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish.

Make the topping: Combine the crackers and 1/4 cup butter. Top the casserole with the cracker mixture and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until very bubbly and deep golden brown on top.

Serve immediately. Serves 6.

-- "The Sunday Night Football Cookbook" (NBC Sports and Time, $27.95)


DOENEE'S NUTELLA BARS

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Doenee is Ray Lampe's nickname for his sister Denise.

-- Bob Batz Jr.

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal

Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the corn syrup, sugar and Nutella, stirring often until the sugar is melted. Remove from the heat and add the cereal. Toss well, coating all of the cereal. Transfer the mixture to the pan and push down to form an even layer in the pan. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into 20 bars.

-- "The NFL Gameday Cookbook" by Ray Lampe (Chronicle, $24.95)


The Pittsburgh Steelers open their regular season at home Sunday vs. the Houston Texans. Here is a recipe from each team, plus two recipes that might work well for a Pittsburgh gameday gathering. This isn't the kind of food I'd cook every day. But something about these recipes sounded good for a football Sunday.

-- Bob Batz Jr.

HINES WARD'S KOREAN-STYLE BRAISED SHORT RIBS

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The Pro Bowler says his mom marinates these ribs "for two or three days to really let the flavor soak in."

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 3- to 4-inch beef short rib pieces with bones (about 3 pounds)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-inch piece ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice wine (mirin)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 small apple, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cups hot cooked white rice
  • Chopped scallions
  • Sesame seeds

In large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear ribs, turning, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add onion, garlic and ginger to fat in the pan, reduce heat and saute about 5 minutes. Add rice wine and cook until almost evaporated, stirring.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and apple and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Return ribs to pan and add water to cover. Raise the heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning occasionally to keep meat fully covered, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.

Remove the ribs from the braising liquid, pat dry with paper towels and place on a wire rack above a roasting pan covered with aluminum foil.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Strain braising liquid and return half to pan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by about half and slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the short ribs with the sesame oil. Roast until browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest for a couple of minutes.

Spoon the rice into shallow serving bowls, place the ribs on top and drizzle with a small amount of the sauce. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

-- "The Sunday Night Football Cookbook" (NBC Sports and Time, $27.95).


MAC AND CHEESE SOUP

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Cookbook author Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe says he's especially proud of this recipe from his new "The NFL Gameday Cookbook," in which he writes, "This is a unique and tasty soup that will be a favorite on those cold game days." It's very thick and rich.

-- Bob Batz Jr.

  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 cups (1 pound) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups dried elbow macaroni, cooked
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Cut the bacon strips into quarters. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove it to paper towels to drain.

Add a little oil to the pan if needed, then add the onion. Cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the onion is soft and lightly browned, about another 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Add the milk, chili powder, pepper and mustard. Return the soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the cheese and bacon and continue cooking and stirring until well blended, about 4 minutes. Add the macaroni and return to a simmer. Remove from the heat and serve, sprinkling with parsley.

Makes 8 servings.

-- "The NFL Gameday Cookbook" by Ray Lampe (Chronicle, $24.95)




Correction/Clarification: (Published Sept. 5, 2008) In this Sept. 4, 2008 Food & Flavor section article, the ingredients were inadvertently left out of the recipe for Mac and Cheese Soup. They are: 10 slices thick-cut bacon; 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; 14-ounce can vegetable broth; 3 cups whole milk; 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder; 1 teaspoon black pepper; 1 teaspoon dry mustard; 4 cups (1 pound) shredded sharp cheddar cheese; 11/2 cups dried elbow macaroni, cooked; chopped fresh parsley, for garnish.


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