Football Season Kitchen Essentials
YOU GUYS. The Ducks play football THIS SATURDAY. And I don’t get to watch it. Life is cruel.
Just to play with my heart a little, PAC-12 Network announced they’d be adding some games to YouTube for international viewers! Good news, right? Except that the only African country included was Senegal. Some games that are air on ESPN might be on a cable sports network here, but we don’t have cable. We’re hoping to go to a bar and beg them to play that channel on their TV, but that’s only a possibility if the game is aired during business hours. Oh, and our internet is far too slow to stream a live game. During a trip to the US Consulate a few months ago, I asked if they knew anywhere we could watch US college football in Cape Town. They laughed. Our only shot would be if we knew a marine and could watch it on the base. Which we definitely don’t.
In other words, no football for us. My favorite season is usually fall. I love the weather, I love the food, and I love, love, love the football. Cape Town, your beaches better be extra spectacular the next few months or I’m going to be a total grump.
Okay, enough of my whining. Most football seasons, I love having a few of our friends over to watch the game and cook up plenty of food. Here are a few of my favorite tools I keep in my kitchen for game days to feed hungry Duck fans (Other fans don’t get food. Sorry.).
A dutch oven is perfect for deep-frying and what I use for hot wings, hushpuppies, and all of my other favorite deep-fried things. Right now I use an itty-bitty one I inherited from my mom, but I put a bigger one on my wedding registry. Make sure you have a candy thermometer, too, so you can keep the oil at the perfect 350 degrees for frying.
A grill pan or cast iron skillet. This is my favorite thing to use for frying up burgers when it’s too rainy to use my actual grill. I love, love, love my cast iron skillet for searing steaks and making cornbread, too! My super sweet future mother-in-law got me that shiny gift.
A slow cooker is great for getting chili going early and I even use my little tiny one for keeping dips or fondue warm. I love the programmable one my mom got me for Christmas a couple years ago!
I get a lot of really awesome gifts from my mom and future mother-in-law. Future MIL also got me this gorgeous Rachael Ray bakeware set a couple of years ago. They make nachos so pretty and are great for baked dips!
A hugely important staple to our game days is beer, especially since we’re in Portland, Oregon (usually) where great craft beer is abundant. We therefore of course have several Oregon Ducks pint glasses.
Now that you’ve stocked your kitchen with the essentials, here are a few of my favorite game day recipes!
Hot Wings make an appearance pretty much every game day. This is my secret recipe for the ultimate hot wing!
If you want something a little different from the standard hot wing, I love these Blackberry Chipotle Hot Wings. They’re great to use up August and September blackberries!
These Greek Meatballs with Feta Tzatziki are pretty easy- you can let people assemble their own sandwiches or you can just eat the meatballs dipped in the yummy sauce!
I almost always make my own hamburgers when we have them at home, and I think I’ve got the recipe perfected. This one has a bit of a twist: the patties have diced jalapenos and are stuffed with pepper jack cheese!
A super easy way to feed a crowd is with a big dish of pasta. This Spicy Baked Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce and lots of sausage is a great crowd pleaser!
Have fun watching games this weekend! I hope you enjoy some great beer and even better food with them.