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Generally speaking, the Super Bowl is about three things: food, drink and excessive partaking of each (for a Sunday). This year is a little different for me as my youngest brother Daniel is the starting center for the Patriots (he’s the guy who hikes the ball to Gisele Bundchen’s husband).
Normally, I’d be spending the day in the kitchen then plopping myself on the couch with a sandwich the size of a coffee table just in time for a butchered rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by an American Idol. This year, however, I’ll be spending the day with my family on the heated streets of Indianapolis and plopping myself on a cool plastic seat in Lucas Oil Stadium.
So, as I lose my voice during yet another big championship game I’ve road-tripped to, I hope you will enjoy two or 20 cold beers, something nice between pieces of bread and a big ol’ plate of nachos. Perhaps Doritos and shredded cheddar in the microwave is your style? Or maybe you’re a nacho overachiever and pull off a nine-layer dip? But if you’re looking for something a little outside the box, may I suggest one of the following:
Five Nacho Variations
A shout-out to my adopted hometown and soon to be four-time Super Bowl champs. New England shellfish with tartar sauce on a bunch of corn tortilla chips (so as not to confuse anyone with a cocktail fork).
Tarragon Crème Fraîche
Mix the tarragon with the crème fraîche, zest and lemon juice, then refrigerate until ready to use.
2. The Steakhouse Potato Skin ‘Nachos’
Despite the Giants inevitable loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, their fans deserve to eat during the game as well. These are inspired by the great Keens Steakhouse or my Brooklyn neighborhood’s Peter Luger Steakhouse.
Simmer the potatoes in water for 1 hour until tender. Peel and put them through a food mill (or food processor if you don't have a mill). Add the melted butter and warm milk to the potatoes and whisk until very smooth. Salt to taste, then cover with plastic and keep warm.
3. Los Nachos ‘à la Cubano’
Behold the one-handed Cuban Sandwich. Not exactly the healthiest option, but whatever, it is the Super Bowl! And last time I checked, people in Miami were all attractive and they eat the heck out of this stuff.
Honey Chipotle Mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until all well combined (about 1 minute). Season to taste and refrigerate.
4. Bánh Mi Nachos
My absolute favorite sandwich is the Vietnamese bánh mi. Usually the best versions are found in the sketchiest back allies of Chinatown. Just because American football is a distinctly American sport doesn’t mean your food should be.
Empty the mayonnaise into a mixing bowl. Mix Sriracha in to taste. The darker the mixture, the spicier it will be.
5. The Spinach Artichoke Chip Nachos
Of course your friend Dave is bringing his new yoga instructor girlfriend to the party who is, shockingly, a vegetarian. This version will satisfy the four-digit caloric value that is a prerequisite to all Super Bowl dishes, and you can probably convince your carnivore attendees that an artichoke is an animal.
In a pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir into the butter with a wooden spoon over medium heat for 5 minutes (this is a roux).
In a separate pot, warm the milk. Add the warm milk to the roux and continue to stir until smooth (this is a béchamel).
Add the pinch of clove.
Add the grated Gruyère and continue to stir until smooth. Salt to taste.
Previously: A look at some other amazing efforts in the world of nachos, the 3,999-pound plate of nachos and the rest of our Super Bowl coverage.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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