Super Bowl XLIV is just days away, yet some folks are already keeping score — of which foods will satisfy the hungry football fans, that is. Should Mexican nachos monopolize the menu? Are Italian lasagnas too predictable? Is basic American barbecue still cool in 2010?
To get some answers — plus some tips and recipes — we asked your favorite celebrity chefs about their winning strategies, traditions, and the types of cuisine they’ll dish out on Sunday night. Here’s what they told us.
Master chef, restaurateur, mega-TV personality (his newest venture, Emeril Green, airs on Planet Green) and author of Emeril at the Grill: A Cookbook for All Seasons and Emeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast.
For Super Bowl, I love to serve the classics — nachos, a great burger, and maybe some barbecue ribs. Barbecue gives you a chance to share a beer, enjoy your company, and get fired up about the game.
Basically, the ingredients for a great Super Bowl party are simple: great food, fun people, and refreshing drinks — do not forget those. At Lagasse’s Stadium [at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino in Vegas], we serve a cocktail called the “Monday Morning Quarterback.” It’s my take on a Creole Bloody Mary with fresh horseradish, a little Worcestershire and a squeeze of lime. You can easily mix up a pitcher to kick off the party.
Start your menu with my “Spicy Sausage, Bean and Cheese Nachos” from Emeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast. For a great burger, I recommend my “Sirloin Sliders with Crisp Bacon and Creamy Horseradish Mayo” from Emeril at the Grill, and for ribs, you can’t beat “EJ’s Simple Oven-BBQ Ribs,” also from Emeril at the Grill.
By the way, I’ve been a New Orleans Saints season ticket holder for over 20 years. I could not be happier about them going to Miami for the Super Bowl this year…Go Saints!
Spicy Sausage, Bean and Cheese Nachos
(From Emeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast)
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 10 minutes, Total Time: 20 minutes
This filling snack is perfect for football season, but don’t feel like you have to wait until game time. It’s great anytime and can even form the basis of a simple supper when paired with a nice green salad.
1 pound fresh hot sausage, such as chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion bottoms (reserve tops separately)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 15-ounce cans pinto or black beans, drained
3/4 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces large (restaurant-style) tortilla chips
3 cups grated pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese, or a combination of both
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, or to taste
Your favorite salsa, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the chorizo until it is nicely browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
3. To the fat remaining in the pan, add the green onion bottoms and garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, about 20 seconds. Add the beans and mix well with the green onion mixture until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Mash the beans with the back of a heavy wooden spoon or potato masher until chunky-smooth.
4. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until completely warmed through. Remove from the heat.
5. On a large, oval ovenproof platter or in a large baking dish, spread half of the chips in one even layer. Top with half of the beans, half of the sausage, half of the cheese and half of the jalapenos. Repeat with another layer of chips, beans, sausage, cheese and jalapenos. Bake until the cheese is melted and the mixture is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and serve with salsa and sour cream. Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Celebrated TV chef, chef/proprietor of 12 hotspots in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and best-selling cookbook author, whose new book, Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking, will be out in April.
For my family’s Super Bowl party, I make food for each quarter of the game from the competing teams’ home cities, and my sons, Benno and Leo, love it! This is actually quite simple in the case of really gastro-centric towns like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and New Orleans, but a little tougher in places I do not know so well.
Last year’s Super Bowl, for example, had the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Arizona Cardinals. I love to eat Southwest cuisine but I only know a little about how to make it, so I faked it a little and served a nice chili verde pork stew with fresh tortillas for the first quarter.
Then, for the second quarter from Pittsburgh, I made some killer sandwiches very much like the ones I had eaten at the Primanti Bros. Restaurant with ham capicola, coleslaw, onions and Swiss–but I did not nail their bread as well as I could have if I’d been in Pittsburgh. Then I faked the entire second half and ordered in some great fried chicken from a local place in New York City called Dirty Bird To-Go.
My dessert tries to be from the winner’s town, but last year we went for Eskimo Pies, which allegedly were born in Pittsburgh.
I was really hoping for the Jet-Saints match up for this year with infinite food choices but I am happy to have half of that equation. We will have to settle with some Oyster Po’ Boys for the 1st quarter and some gumbo for the 3rd.
The jury is still out for the Indianapolis part of the menu, but I am sure I will find some Hoosier classics and serve them up. I am hoping for a Saints win so I can do Bananas Foster from my pal, Emeril’s, cookbooks. The kids go wild over a flambe, and I am a big fan of everything about New Orleans.
By the way, on Saturday, Feb. 6th, the day before Super Bowl, I am hosting a “Super Bowl Super Brunch” at the Viceroy Hotel in Miami for The Moyer Foundation and the Mario Batali Foundation to benefit children’s charities. The honorary celebrity co-chairs are Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Buffett and Emeril Lagasse, so the whole shindig should be a blast.
For it, I am creating a brunch menu with my pal, Chef Michael Psilakis of Eos. Michael is making all kinds of delicious things, including fresh tuna truffles. Emeril is making his classic BBQ’d shrimp. And I will make my “Eggs in Purgatory,” which are cooked in a jalapeno-spiked tomato sauce with a real zip to them. On Sunday, the 7th, I head back to New York to watch the game with my wife, Susi, and our boys.
All-American chef, star of four Food Network shows, author of More Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and, come March 14, host of the new NBC game show Minute To Win It!
For the ultimate game-day food, I dig Pit Beef sliced super thin, on toasted rye bread, with thin-sliced onions and horseradish cream sauce. Ooohhhh! It’s so good, the fans will forget who’s playing. And wings, oh yeah, fried or roasted on the grill, dry rubbed, sauced — you name it. Oh, and let’s not forget the chili! Try these….
Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich
(Courtesy Guy Fieri)
Yield: 8 sandwiches
Time: 1 hour, plus 3 hours to 3 days of marinating
For the rub:
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the sandwich:
1 3-pound piece top round
8 Kaiser rolls or 16 slices of rye bread
Horseradish sauce (see recipe)
1 sweet white onion, sliced thin
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin (optional)
Iceberg lettuce (optional)
1. Combine ingredients for the rub in a bowl and mix together. Sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons of the rub all over the beef, patting it in. Place in a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. You can cover the beef with the rub for a few hours, but for maximum flavor, leave it for 3 days in the refrigerator, turning once a day.
2. Prepare a hot grill. Grill beef 30 to 40 minutes, or until outside is crusty and dark brown and internal temperature is about 120ºF (for rare). Turn beef often. Transfer to a cutting board; let it rest 5 minutes.
3. Slice beef thinly across grain. Pile beef high on a roll or bread slathered with horseradish sauce. Garnish with onions, tomatoes and sliced lettuce. Serve.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup prepared white horseradish, or to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Brick-in-the-Wall Wings with Salsa Verde
(Courtesy Guy Fieri)
6 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil
10 pounds chicken wing sections, brined (Brine recipe follows)
2 teaspoons rosemary, dried
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic, granulated
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon sweet basil, dried
Mix all dry ingredients, place in resealable baggie or travel-safe container.
Brine Recipe (to be done at home):
2 gallons water
1 cup kosher salt
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
8 cloves of garlic, smashed
In a large stock pot, bring half of the water to a boil and add salt, pepper and garlic; remove from heat. Let cool 15-20 minutes, transfer water to a large pot or ice chest lined with a large garbage bag, add in remaining water and enough ice to make the water cool. Then add the wings and twist the bag closed; refrigerate for 4 hours.
After four hours, drain off brine and rinse wings under cool water. Pat dry and place in large resealable bags, sprinkle dry rub into bags and rub to coat chicken pieces evenly. Refrigerate until needed. The wings can be frozen for an extended camping trip or other excursion.
1/2 cup basil, fresh
1/2 cup Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 Tablespoons roasted red-bell pepper, chopped
1 Tablespoon onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
In a food processor, add all ingredients, then slowly add extra virgin olive oil. Puree until smooth. Prepare at home, pack in travel-safe container and refrigerate.
At the tail-gate site or campsite:
1. Heat a BBQ to medium-high indirect heat. Remove wings from plastic bags, place on grill and cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Turn over wings and place foil-wrapped bricks on top; cover and cook for 15 more minutes or until chicken is done.
2. Serve the wings with the Salsa Verde.
Dragon’s Breath Chili
(Courtesy of Guy Fieri)
1 pound boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 pounds ground beef, coarse grind
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound linguisa sausage, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups red bell pepper, diced 1/4 cup garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons jalapeno, minced
3 Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled
3 Poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
2 cups yellow onion, diced
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
12 ounces beer, (recommended: Corona)
3 Tablespoons bacon grease, or canola oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoon onion, granulated
2 teaspoon garlic, granulated
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons hot paprika
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons coriander, ground
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly cracked
4 cups pinto beans, with juice
4 cups kidney beans, with juice
1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1. In large stock pot over high heat, add butter and bacon grease/oil, then add peppers and onions and cook until caramelized. Add the garlic and saute a minute longer. Add all the meats and stir gently, trying not to break up the ground beef too much; cook until meat is done. Add in spices, cook for one minute. Add in tomato paste and sauce, stir for two minutes., Add in beer and chicken stock. Add beans, lower heat, and simmer for two hours.
2. Garnish with Saltine crackers, green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.
Yield: 10-15 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Inactive cook time: 2 hours
Ease of preparation: Easy
Chef Marcela Valladolid
Host of Food Network’s new show, Mexican Made Easy, which airs Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., and author of Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor
Finger foods are most people’s favorite way of eating, versus serving a big plate of one thing. And as I see it, Mexican food is perfect for a Super Bowl party, because Mexicans have a whole bunch of antojitos–small bites meant to satisfy a craving. There are tacos, small tostadas, guacamole and chips — homemade chips, that is — quesos fundidos (cheese fondue with chorizo, poblanos or sauteed mushrooms) for taquitos, mini-empanadas…you get the gist.
Sweet & Spicy Drumettes
(Courtesy of Marcela Valladolid)
Yield: 4 – 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ease of Preparation: Easy
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ground ancho chile* (or chipotle powder)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds chicken drumettes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the honey, cook for 3 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, pecans, chile, and garlic powders. Season the marinade to taste with salt and pepper.
3. On a baking sheet, place the drumettes and brush each one with the marinade. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Baste once half way through baking. Serve hot.
*Cook’s Note 1: The ancho chile is a dried poblano chile; in the U.S., it is also sold as “pasilla.” It is a deep red color, and the flavor ranges from mild to pungent. The rich, slightly fruit-flavored ancho is the sweetest of the dried chiles. Anchos are often sold whole and can be stemmed, seeded, then ground at home in a coffee or spice grinder. They also can be found at most supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online.
Cook’s Note 2: Cover your baking sheet with tin foil for easy clean up and to prevent marinade from burning in the oven.
Host of Good Deal with Dave Lieberman on Food Network, author of Young and Hungry, Dave’s Dinners, and co-author of the just-out The 10 Things You Need to Eat: And More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Ways to Prepare Them
For me, getting a bunch of guys together for the Super Bowl is a great excuse for two very important things: one, knocking back mass quantities of beer and, two, pigging out. My pigging out comes in the form of eating about a gallon of guacamole during the course of the game. So you can imagine my excitement when I was working on a new cookbook and discovered that avocados are actually really, really healthy for you. All I could think of was a big tub of guacamole and how I wasn’t going to share any of it.
Now, because you’ll most likely be feeding a large group, you’ll want big meals that taste good and go a long way. We’re talking chili, pizza, guacamole, hearty stews and rich desserts. No carrot sticks today!
But one thing I have discovered on past Super Bowl Sundays is that you can have all this and still keep it healthy. I learned this back in February 2008, when the New York Giants were the underdogs against the heavily favored Patriots.
As a Philadelphia native, I wasn’t taking sides, but I was hosting a party in New York City, so I trotted a few underdogs of my own: A “Lentil and Turkey Chili” that had all the flavor of a traditional chili plus plenty of nutrients and only half the fat, and a “Whole-Wheat Triple-Tomato Pizza”that delivered on health. Also: “My Ultimate Guacamole.” A hot and spicy “Chicken, Chile and Avocado Stew” that’s perfect for any cold February night and which allowed me to save time by making use of a delicious rotisserie chicken from my local market.
And a guilt-free “Chocolate Avocado Mousse” that I placed alongside some “Chocolate Almond Avocado Brownies” — both desserts used heart-healthy fat from avocados and canola oil instead of butter.
Needless to say, just like the underdogs on the screen, these dishes came up huge. By the end of the night, there wasn’t an empty stomach or unhappy fan in the house. And it felt good to serve up some of America’s favorite dishes while managing to keep my friends both happy and healthy. So this year, whether your guests are rooting for the Colts or the Saints, keep in mind that you can still ensure that they all leave happy by serving up the right crowd favorites and adding a healthy twist.
Lentil and Turkey Chili
(From The 10 Things You Need to Eat, by Dave Lieberman and Anahad O’Connor)
This recipe makes a lot of chili. It is just the thing for a Super Bowl party — or a big, hearty, comfy meal — with friends or family.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 ancho chiles, rinsed, patted dry, stems removed, and roughly chopped
2 pounds ground turkey, preferably white meat
Half 6-ounce can tomato paste
One 26-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock
One 12-ounce bottle lager beer
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce, or more if desired
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons molasses
1/3 cup strong freshly brewed coffee
1 1/2 cups dried brown or green lentils
Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and ancho chiles and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the turkey and cook, stirring consistently, until the meat has crumbled and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and cook 5 minutes more.
2. Add the canned tomatoes, stock, beer, chili powder, cumin, cloves, vinegar, Tabasco, Worcestershire, molasses, and coffee. If the mixture looks too thick, pour in some water and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, stirring often, for 1 1/2 hours. Then add the lentils and kidney beans and cook for 1 hour longer.
3. Serve with condiments of your choice.
Stewy Chipotle Black Beans over Quinoa
(From The 10 Things You Need to Eat, by Dave Lieberman and Anahad O’Connor)
A couple of smoky chipotle peppers go a long way in this dish. In combination with the black beans and quinoa, this is a full meal in and of itself. Adding plenty of lime juice and freshly chopped cilantro makes a world of difference.
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 canned chipotles packed in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons sauce
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, tough stems removed, finely chopped
3 cups cooked quinoa
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened but still red, about 5 minutes. Finely chop the chipotles and add them to the onion, along with the adobo sauce, black beans, stock, garlic, and lime juice. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is thickened and slightly reduced. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper to taste and finish with the chopped cilantro. Serve over the hot quinoa.
President and Founder of Chefs for Humanity, and the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America
At my Super Bowl parties, we serve all small plates and tasty finger foods. These are crowd-pleasers and super easy to make. At our house this year, we’re serving skewers of shrimp and chicken with chimichurri sauce, mini Greek olive burgers with garlic sauce and sweet potato fries, chocolate brownie cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, root beer floats for the kids — and this simple, flavorful dip.
California Seven-Layer Dip with Pita/Tortilla Chips
(Courtesy of Cat Cora)
This is a very simple and easy dish to assemble. The seven ingredients are placed into a casserole dish, baked, and served warm with chips and/or crackers.
Makes 24 servings (2 Tablespoons per serving)
2 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa, mild or spicy, drained
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 cup fat-free Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese
1 small head red radicchio, shredded (for garnish)
Pita chips or crackers
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. In a medium bowl, coarsely mash the avocados until chunky. Mix in the lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper.
3. In a 7×11-inch glass baking dish, spread the black beans evenly across the bottom. Top with the avocado mixture. Spread on the sour cream. Top with the salsa, green onions, and shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
4. Garnish with shredded radicchio and serve with pita chips or crackers.
Chef at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas, two-time James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef, co-founder of the Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee
The only way I can see to survive through the marathon of Super Bowl pre-game shows and commentary is to fill the afternoon with friends, drink and fine food. To me, fine food translates into “Mazzancolle e Cannellini,” which means shrimp and white beans. A big batch is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday, even though football Sundays are typically for animals feeding on meat — but just not in my house.
Mazzancolle e Cannellini
(Caramote Prawns with Cannellini Beans)
18 mazzancolle (or substitute available shrimp)
3 cups cannellini (white beans), cooked
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
18 basil leaves
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large mixing bowl, place tomatoes, coarsely chopped basil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and stir vigorously to create a creamy tomato basil sauce. Set aside.
2. In large pot of salted water, warm the cannellini beans in a strainer. When the beans are warm, strain and add to the tomatoes. Lastly bring the water to a boil and cook the shrimp in the salted water. When cooked, mix altogether with the tomatoes and cannellini beans. Adjust seasoning to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately while still hot or at room temperature.
Host of Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix, built her career on her signature approach to cooking: Use a minimum of high-quality ingredients so that each one stands out
On game day, I love to take advantage of a Dutch oven or slow-cooker — I can get everything in one pot and have it cook low and slow, while I enjoy the game. This way, the food is ready by half time. I also like to serve really hearty food, such as beer-braised brats with peppers, or wine-braised short ribs with creamy, cheesy grits. I also always keep a little bread on hand, for those that want to turn it into a sandwich and be sure to keep it super casual by allowing people to graze buffet-style once ready!
I also make a pitcher of cocktails to serve when people arrive, along with a mini “mock-tail” version of the same drink for those not drinking alcohol. And I stock up on sodas and lots of cold beer — you do not want to run out of beer in the middle of the game!
It seems like the Super Bowl can’t happen without a dip on hand, and it’s easy for someone to bring, so I assign a dip to a guest. A yearly tradition I like to do is to play “bookie” to help get the excitement going. I ask my guests to guess half-time scores, and I have little prizes on hand for the winners.
Super Bowl Sunday is also a day for classic desserts, so I usually make cookies or brownies the day before.
Founder/master baker of Amy’s Bread Bakery and co-author of Amy’s Bread, Revised and Updated (pictured with partner Toy Kim Dupree [l])
On Super Bowl Sunday, we love presenting our Country Sourdough Stencil Boule. It’s a 1 1/2 pound round loaf, and for the Super Bowl, we make it with a football stencil on it.
If you can’t buy one of our loaves, just bake or buy a large round loaf of bread, cut out a square from the top and set it next to the loaf as a decoration. Remove the insides of the bread by cutting them into cubes. Fill the “bread bowl” that you just created with a spinach dip and use the bread cubes for dipping!
Here’s another big, tasty treat for Super Bowl appetites: Make a 2-foot long sandwich on our French baguette. Layer it with thinly sliced fennel salami and Genoa salami, thinly sliced prosciutto or other flavorful ham, provolone or fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and drizzle the bread with a little vinaigrette dressing. Cut it into lots of smaller sandwiches, and poke each with a toothpick to keep it together.
We love to serve our seeded twists and our black olive twists with homemade hummus, or another dip, or simply a bowl of delicious olive oil for dipping.
Vegan baker to the stars, owner of BabyCakes NYC bakery and author of BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery
Whenever I go into a setting that is predominantly sports fans, I can bank on the following: They want “two-bite” foods that they can pop in their mouths. They don’t want to use forks. And they want chocolate. Now, you’ve simply got to give sports fans what they want.
One year, Jason Schwartzman called to place his Super Bowl order early–roughly 5 weeks early, because Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for him. He decided to pay a little extra for a Saturday delivery from New York to L.A. to ensure that the baked goods would be as fresh as possible.
So on the Saturday night before the Super Bowl, I receive a panicked email from Jason telling me that the desserts have not shown up! After a little investigation, it looked like Fed Ex tried to deliver when no one was around. Jason was deflated and depressed. Luckily, I was flying to L.A. the next day. On Sunday morning, I swung by my bakery on the way to the airport, put together an assortment of Jason’s favorites, and carried them onto the plane, then delivered them just in time for the Super Bowl. Talk about a winning formation!
To repay me for the trouble, Jason promised to work in my bakery. He’s yet to be a trained cupcake-froster, but I have faith that he’ll be slinging cookie sandwiches from a food cart in the near future.
BabyCakes’ Agave-Sweetened Brownie Gems
To get a melty chocolate sensation, I rely on a simple method of denting the agave brownies in the center and filling them with a puddle of rich, silky chocolate sauce. The sauce seeps out when bitten into and is so gratifying that I wasn’t surprised when they began to move off the shelves fast. You can mix it up a bit by adding vanilla sauce to the center if there happens to be some, you know, lying around. Be sure to keep a special eye on the agave with this recipe. It’ll dictate whether you end up with a dry chocolate roll or a luscious fudge-like brownie.
Makes 36 brownies
1/2 cup garbanzo-fava bean flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 Tablespoons arrowroot
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for the tins
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup homemade applesauce or store-bought unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water or hot coffee
Chocolate sauce (vegan)
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease three 12-cup mini-muffin tins with oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, potato starch, arrowroot, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, Xanthan gum, and salt. Add the 1/2 cup oil and the agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, and hot water to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
3. Using a melon-baller, scoop the batter into each prepared mini-muffin cup. Bake the brownies on the center rack for 9 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 5 minutes. (For a more fudgy-tasting cake, bake for only 8 minutes total.) The finished brownies will have firm edges with a soft center, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
4. Let the brownies stand in the tins for 20 minutes, or until completely cool. While they are still in the tins, press your thumb into the center of each and fill the depression with 1 teaspoon chocolate sauce. To maintain freshness, leave the brownies in the muffin tins until ready to serve. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.