“Are you ready for some football?!”
I guess that guy doesn’t get to sing that song on Monday nights before the game anymore; but I wouldn’t know, because I am not a football fan at all. Not even a little bit.
If a football game is on TV, I can actually APPEAR to be looking at the screen, but can be THINKING about something totally different in my head; completely detached from what is happening in the game. Some refer to this as the “football glaze over effect”, but I like to think of it as a gift; “productive thought management”, a little like meditation, where I get to plan and organize my thoughts. I use this time for things like figuring out what my menus for upcoming cooking classes will be, where I want to go on vacation next, and contemplating whether I should join a CSA or just continue to shop the farmer’s market and pick out what I like.
But just because I don’t enjoy football (live or on TV), doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the party and food that go along with the whole experience. Who doesn’t love getting together with your friends with favorite like chips and guacamole, shrimp, and bacon jam. Yes, bacon jam. You know you love it too.
So when I found out this month’s challenge for the 5-Star Makeover was football pre-game food, I knew I would be combining some of the favorites I just mentioned into something new..
18 wonton wrappers
9 large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 recipe bacon jam
1 recipe guacamole
Cilantro (for garnish)
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes, or until shrimp is beginning to curl and pink in color. Transfer to a colander; rinse under cold water, and drain. Transfer shrimp to a cutting board and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over shrimp. Toss to coat. Roughly chop shrimp (may be prepared 1 day ahead; refrigerated).
For wonton cups:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.
Place each wrapper into a section of a mini-muffin tin. Gently press each wrapper into the tin and arrange so that it forms a cup shape. The wrapper will overlap itself and stick up out of the cup. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove from the tin and allow wrappers to cool (may be made 3 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, or frozen up to 1 month ahead).
Assembly: Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of bacon jam (recipe follows) in the bottom of wonton cup, followed by a few pieces of shrimp, and a dollop of guacamole (recipe follows). Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Makes 18 cups
1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brewed coffee
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.
2 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped
Juice of 1 large lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 small tomato, diced
Combine avocados, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, mash mixture together until fairly smooth.
Fold in cilantro and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 1 1/2 cups