Every year, during the first weekend of February, millions of Americans flock to their television screens to watch a national event unfold onscreen: The Super Bowl.
Whether or not the local team is playing, this singular phenomenon draws more Americans to their front rooms, parlors, basements, game rooms, and neighborhood bars than any other event.
For those not enamored by the athleticism, agility, and sheer physicality, there’s enough external excitement to captivate the mind. Whether it’s the commercialism of the multi-million dollar ad campaigns, the pomp and circumstance of the halftime show, or the general festivity that comes from assembling friends and family together, the Super Bowl truly is an epic American tradition.
The Red and Gold Legacy
In our world, the Super Bowl has been like a hot ex-girlfriend whose absence from your life is only magnified by the fact that you’ve been hooking up with “3s” and “4s” since you broke it off. As lifelong San Francisco 49er Faithful, our childhoods were filled with the wondrous achievements of Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Ronnie Lott and even Deion Sanders before he joined Emperor Palpatine…errrr…we mean Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the Lone Star State. In the Bay Area, you simply could not have asked for better athletic role models. It was easy to be a 49er fan back then.
And then came the 21st Century and…well…boy did that suck. Gone were the glory years and, in their place, was the harsh reality of being a second-tier franchise, suffering from convoluted leadership, a great void of talent, and one of the worst stadium experiences in football. However, the beauty of these dark years could be found in the faithful who still diligently flocked to games, braved through muddy tailgate parties in dirt parking lots (Jamestown Ave., anyone?!), cheered through some painful losses, and continued to wear their red and gold despite the perpetual disappointment.
It was during this that we thoroughly honed our football-centric Sunday festivities. As season ticket holders, we figured that if we were going to suffer through a nearly-inevitable loss, we would at least do so with good food and libations filling our stomach. And thus began our numerous experiments in the “mobile” epicurean world: food that travels well, stores well, can easily be cooked on the road, or is just plain indulgent and satisfying. We’ve included our tried and true favorites below…give them a shot…you won’t be disappointed!
Needless to say, our loyalties on this special Super Bowl day lie with the Red and Gold Army. We are fortunate to have a team here that is still at the early stage of its championship window. Young stars like Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, and NaVorro Bowman will make their marks alongside savvy veterans like Justin Smith, Alex Smith, Randy Moss, and Frank Gore.
We’ll be watching every play with high anticipation as the #questforsix draws to its conclusion.
WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THAN US? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBODYYYYYYYYYY!
Grub on the Go!
Collected here are a few of our simple tailgating staples, complete with price appropriate pairings of wines. For the ease of our audience, we’ve broken our wine suggestions into three levels:
First-Year Draft Picks (for those of you just out of college);
Contributing Starter (established professionals);
All Pro (if you gotta ask, this ain’t you).
Baked Brie – Pairs well with our suggested Pinot Noirs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hollow out a round loaf of fresh sourdough bread by placing a wheel of brie cheese on top and running your knife around its edges.
Once all the bread is out, take off the waxy paper cover from the brie and drop that bad boy into the hole.
On the stove top, constantly stir 1,,1-2.. cups of brown sugar and ,,1-2.. cup of honey in a small sauce pan over medium low heat.
Once fully melted, pour the liquid mixture over the brie, make sure plenty gets onto the inside of the bread bowl.
If desired, sprinkle dried berries and pine nuts or pistachios over the brie.
Wrap the brie completely in aluminum foil with the opening at the top. Bake for 35 minutes, open the foil and finish off for 10 more minutes uncovered.
Serve immediately by either cutting the entire loaf into small wedges or with cheese knives and thinly cut seeded baguette slices.
Sriracha Shrimp – Pairs well with our suggested Sauvignon Blancs.
Sriracha shrimp are a great addition to any party. They are spicy and delicious without being too filling. To make them:
Buy frozen shrimp that come 31-40 shrimp per pound and are already peeled and deveined. You can use fresh shrimp as well, if you have a good fish source in your neighborhood. Costco has the best price on these and it’s super easy to just make the entire bag.
About an hour before you want to eat your shrimp, defrost them by putting the entire bag of shrimp into an aluminum mixing bowl and cover them with cold water.
Head outside and get your coals going on the barbeque to a medium heat.
Once the shrimp have defrosted, and while the coals are getting up to temp, empty the water and pat them dry with a paper towel in the bowl.
Pour a handful of olive oil into your palm and then mix it all over the shrimp.
Place 3-4 cups of soy sauce into the bowl, as well as a few extra large (or extra medium depending on your aversion to heat) squirts of sri-racha hot sauce (a.k.a. “cock” sauce) into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
Put the bowl back into the fridge until you are ready to cook your shrimp. Take them out ten minutes before you are ready to cook and put them onto skewers.
Place your skewers onto the grill and cook for 2.5 minutes on each side or until they are pink and fleshy colored and cooked all the way through.
Before serving, draw yourself a nice long squiggly snake of sri-racha sauce onto your shrimp.
Cowboy Caviar – Great with our suggested Chardonnays or Sauvignon Blancs.
On this one, we use a great recipe found here.
Why recreate the wheel when someone has done it already?
Caprese – Pairs perfectly with pretty much everything.
The easiest, yet most satisfying, of all dishes!
For an easily transportable dish, following the following, easy steps: Mini heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella balls, fresh basil, and toothpicks. Once you’re ready to serve, drizzle on some extra virgin oil oil (St. Helena Olive Oil Company, y’all!), balsamic vinegar, and fresh pepper.
So easy, so delicious!
Long Potatoes – Pairs well with our suggested Chardonnays.
The “healthy” version of French Fries.
Red or yellow potatoes will work here. Wash and slice into long slivers.
Mix equal parts of extra virgin olive oil and soy sauce.
Include a healthy amount of garlic power, dried oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Mix oil, soy sauce, and herbs together.
Submerge potatoes slices into the oil/sauce mix, getting ample herbs on each slice. Fill an oiled cooking tray (or two!) with all of these nicely seasoned slices.
Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cook for about 25 minutes before flipping each slice and cooking for another 25 minutes.
Remove…and enjoy! Some may enjoy with ketchup…others may love ketchup + sri-racha AGAIN WITH THE SRI-RACHA!). Whatever your fancy, these are delicious!
Quinoa Salad – Pairs well with our suggested Sauvignon Blancs.
Everyone (and we mean everyone) loves this super simple and fun recipe. It travels incredibly well and we’ve never served it without having someone ask for the recipe.
Start by cooking two cups of quinoa. We prefer to cook it to a 1:1.5 ratio (3 cups water; 2 cups dry quiona).
Separately, steam 12 to 16 oz. of shelled edamame. While the stovetop is busy cooking the quinoa and edamame, dice up some peanuts (to taste…1/4 to 1/2 cup), a bushel of cilantro and cranberries (to taste…1/4 to 1/2 cup).
Once the quinoa and edamame have cooked and cooled, mix all ingredients together.
To dress the salad, squeeze a lemon’s worth of juice, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and freshly-ground pepper and salt. Mix thoroughly and enjoy!
Wild Game Burgers – Pairs well with a cold brewski or the Cabs, Zins, and Red Blends listed.
In an aluminum mixing bowl, combine 1 ,,1-2.. pounds of ground elk or venison with 1 ,,1-2.. pounds of ground veal or pork. Crack 2 eggs into the mixture along with 3 tablespoons of Montreal Steak Seasoning. Dice a small onion and put it into the bowl.
Combine all your ingredients until well integrated. Make them into 1/3 lb patties and grill them over medium-high heat. Add lots of delicious fresh vegetables and a bun of your choosing and you’ll be ready to watch your team crush its opposition.
S’mores – By this point, you should be poppin’ some bottles of champagne and celebrating your team’s success!!
So, anyone who knows Michael knows that he can’t get enough s’mores. In Fat Kid Fresh’s world, there is no better dessert. This one is pretty simple:
One graham cracker split in half width-wise, a marshmallow toasted to perfection on the afterglow of the coals that cooked your shrimp and burgers, and a nice piece of Hershey’s chocolate bar a little smaller than the graham cracker half.
Top the graham cracker…you know what, if you need instructions on how to do this, you also need a primer on the grammatical trickeries of s’mores.