Gourmet Game Day


I am not much of a sports fan… I mean I enjoy playing sports but I am a fairly apathetic spectator.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the only sports I did were pretty boring to watch, such as crew or swimming…  However, I am clearly a fan of food, so if and when I go to sports bar, I *may* be a bit more focused on indulging in all kinds of greasy bar food than whatever is happening on the field.  Burgers, fries, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, nachos… yum!

Natalya and I decided to invite some friends to our place for the AFC Championship.  While the entire city of New York was in a fervor over the game, I was in a fervor to create the ultimate “Gourmet Game Day” menu.  Originally, Natalya and a few other wannabe chef friends Hans and Rahul were to engage in a cookoff that day; however, with the tight time constraints before kickoff, we decided it would be more efficient to do some collaborative cooking (cookoff postponed to another day!).  The theme was decided as “Gourmet Game Day” and we wanted to cook up some fancy schmancy game food.

The menu we came up is featured in further detail below: Hot Apple Cider with Rum, Gougères, Hummus & Pita Chips, Mango and Pomegranate Guacamole, Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Garlic Soy Chicken Wings, Mushroom Duxelles Sliders, and Mini No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake.  Click on each dish name to check out the recipe!

Hot Apple Cider with Rum
We had to do something fancier than beer for our “Gourmet Game Day” and Hot Apple Cider spiked with smooth dark rum was the perfect choice.  Especially on a cold winter day, this toasty drink will warm you right up!  (the alcohol helps too)

Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)
Fresh out of the oven, these slightly crispy cheese puffs were a great way to kick off the game food!

Chili Lime Tortilla Chips
Making your own spiced chips is super easy (especially when you use pre-made tortillas…)

Mango Pomegranate Guacamole
Sweet mangoes and sprightly pomegranate seeds folded into creamy avocados make for a a zesty and unique guacamole.  It will be hard to go back to plain ole’ guac after this one…

Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Layers of tortillas, spicy shredded chicken, green chilies, and kidney beans smothered in salsa and cheese… so flavorful you have to try this super quick and easy casserole dish!

Garlic Soy Chicken Wings
These are ridiculously simple to prepare and ridiculously delectable.  Added bonus: they are baked, not fried!

Mushroom Duxelles Sliders
Duxelles is a classic French recipe that involves sautéing finely-minced mushrooms, shallots, and herbs in butter until they form a paste.  I mixed the duxelles directly with the ground meat to make patties that were unique and intense in flavor.

Mini No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
This recipe is from Closet Cooking — my favorite part was the crust that was made with graham cracker crumbs and ground pecans laced with maple syrup.  However, the filling was a bit too rich and sweet for me so I think I will try to experiment a bit more before publishing a separate post — hopefully, will be soon!

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