Hey everyone! I am finally bringing you a post (potentially a series of posts) that I’ve been wanting to share for a long time now!
As many of you who follow my Instagram feed know, every week my friend Dave (HI DAVE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) hosts Monday Night Football at his house and cooks a meal typical of whatever city is hosting that night’s game. This tradition of his isn’t new – he’s been doing it for a few years now — I’m just new to the friend group. Actually, the moment I showed up Week 1 with Beer Mac n’ Cheese in hand was probably the moment they decided I was allowed to come back haha.
Anyway, instead of kicking in a few bucks for the food, I’ve used the MNF tradition as an excuse/inspiration to challenge myself to make creative dishes to share. Here’s a few of the themes we’ve had so far and what I’ve brought:
Week 1: at Washington. Good ol’ American hamburgers & freshly cut/deep fried French fries (Dave’s contribution) and Beer Mac n’ Cheese from yours truly (one of my Cooking Bucket List items!!)
Week 2: At Cincinnati. David made breakfast pizzas with a base of Goetta, (a sausage native to Cincinnati) topped with scrambled eggs & spinach
Week 4: At New Orleans. Dave made traditional gumbo (left) and gumbo z’herbes (right), and I made and fried BEIGNETS! Those beignets might actually get their own separate post one of these Mondays.
Week 5: at Atlanta. I actually couldn’t make it that week, but I had already made loaded mashed potatoes to go with Dave’s fried chicken and collard greens, and Landai’s peach cobbler. These guys were loaded with bacon, chives, and cheddar cheese. YUM.
Now, for week 7…
We spent all day in the kitchen yesterday (seriously my happy place) preparing an Italian feast for tonight’s game, which is hosted by the New York Giants. My game plan was to make tomato sauce from scratch and two different kinds of gnocchi, and Dave prepped stuff for Caesar salad, garlic bread, and meatballs. Tonight he’ll also be cooking up minestrone soup, and grilled lamb. Needless to say…….we’re gonna have a lot of food.
First up was the sauce! For 2 kinds of gnocchi, I decided to make 2 kinds of sauces. The first was a tomato sauce (from scratch! See my recipe here) with onions, peppers, and mild Italian sausage.
This was probably the most time consuming item of the day. I forgot how long it takes to peel and de-seed tomatoes! It’s totally therapeutic, though.
This is the best picture I got of my meat sauce. Saaarrrrrrry.
Next up was the gnocchi – I got regular Russet potatoes (to pair with the tomato sauce) as well as a few sweet potatoes (with which I’m hoping to pair with a mushroom cream sauce) and went to town.
Dave actually had a ricer, which was a total luxury. The last time I made gnocchi, I used a hand grater! Here’s the riced Russet potatoes with the cooked sweet potato.
Next it was time for the sweet potato. I think I over-cooked them, because it was a lot harder to gather the sweet potato into a dough. We decided to forgo the typical gnocchi ridges for those ones since they were too delicate, but I thought the ridges looked awesome on the regular potato gnocchi!
And voila! Into the freezer they went, and out they came a day later!
Here’s how they looked after cooking….they were a little mushy because they thawed a bit too much before I could get them into the boiling water. But they were still delicious!
Ravioli with Nicole’s family recipe meat sauce
Nicole’s meat sauce with Dave’s minestrone
soup stew in the back.
What’s your favorite Football Food?
Do you have any fun cooking traditions you do with friends? MNF meals, “family” dinners, etc?