Friday Football Foodie – Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and Black Russians
HEYS GUYS! Did you hear?!?! There is a some sort of sports blogging brouhaha going on out there! Get the hell out you say? Sarah, are you talking about what everyone else is talking about this week? Deadspin vs ESPN? No, how about Bleacher Report contributors ripping off stories left and right? No, not that either? Well about about various opinions on The Big Lead? No! Not even that? Then what the hell, lady?
Spencer Hall, a.k.a. Orson Swindle, does not like cheese.
No, I’m not fucking with you. Does. Not. Like. Cheese. Thinks it’s stinky.
I was going to write this post (and a second bonus Friday Football Brunch Foodie post today or tomorrow) comparing the current sports blogging garment to the Anthony Bourdain verses Rachel Ray blog fights, but guess what? They like each other now! Something about a fruit basket, and Bourdain getting old and not being mad any more, which means he’s going to be like Sting post “Dream of the Blue Turtles” as he mellows out even further. But my heart wasn’t into the comparison, and quite frankly, too many other people are talking about those blog discussions, so I figured I’d just start a fight of my own just to keep things fresh. So I say it again:
SPENCER HALL DOES NOT LIKE CHEESE. HE TOLD ME SO. IT IS COMPLETELY VETTED.
Now, this makes sense for a college football fan. College football involves a lot of tailgating, drinking cheap beer and teenage boys, none of which are conducive to cheese. You’re not going to serve a nice juicy, well-grilled burger with Cotswold with one hand and pump Natty Light out of a keg with the other hand, surrounded by kids who haven’t showered since Thursday before their Business Ethics 301 class. At the TKE house, do you think they care about watching the game and serving a nice Mexican Fondue, a Hot Pizza Dip, or a Four Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche? No, they heat up a can of Trader Joe’s Chili and dump leftover Chili Cheese (which do not in anyway taste cheesy) Fritos into a bowl, then serve it with Popov that may or may not have a cigarette butt floating in it from the night before. No, no I do not believe Auburn fans would enjoy crostini with their football.
But everyone grows up sometime, Mr. Hall. Palates change and mature, allowing us to enjoy all that is wonderful with cheese. Growing up and watching the NFL also allows us to watch football without having to get into discussions about scholarships and boosters, from hanging with kids who do not know how to drink without ralphing on their shoes, (another reason to stay away from cheese at a college football game I guess), and knowing I can enjoy watching a team be a team without worring about what the next recruiting class looks like. I want to just watch football and eat. It does not get more sublime for a football fan than that.
So until you join us at the grown-ups table Spencer, I give you this Rachel Ray recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. No cheese involved, unless you want it to be. It’s cheap to make, so even a college kid – or a fan of teenagers – can make it any time. In fact, you’ll save some more coin for your next game of quarters if you skip the cheese all together.
Did I find it as good as the Buffalo Chicken Dip of 2007? No, I did not. Why? Because it was not covered in cheese. Your loss I suppose, cheese hater.
You will need…
1 pound ground white meat chicken
1/2 small onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup hot sauce
3 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
Bleu cheese dressing for dipping
Chop up your onion and your parsley. (Best if you remove the stems from the parsley first.) If all you have is dried parsley, just throw it out and just make the meatballs with just the onion and garlic. Anthony Bourdain would tell you to do the same since dried parsley is tasteless.
Mix your parsley, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, in a bowl. Then add your ground chicken. Combine well.
Of course some of the criticisms about Rachel Ray not knowing how to cool are not without merit. I got through the recipe and realized that a good meatball is going to need something else to hold it together. So throw in about a half a cup of bread crumbs.
Shape into golf ball sized balls. Oh, you need to share with all 130,000 fans that also decided to show up for your World’s Largest Cocktail Party Red Shoot’em Up Tobacco Road Hate Week? When then make them smaller to double the number of meatballs. Kids never know when they’re being ripped off for smaller portions. One of the greatest stories from my youth was when a Craig D. agreed to buy some just underagers a case of beer. So he shows up with a 30 pack of Milwaukee’s Best and takes the kid’s $20 or whatever it was. (See! Huge mark up right there! Pure profit for Craig! Dumb kids!) He sets down the pack and proceeds to take out six beers. Oh, you should have seen the looks on their faces as he pulled out those beers.
“But Craig, we paid for those.”
“No you didn’t. You bought a case. This is a 30 pack. These are my beers.” And then he walked away.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You know when stories like that are funny? WHEN YOU’RE IN FUCKING COLLEGE AND HAVEN’T SEEN LIFE PAST YOUR DAMN DORM ROOM YET. AND YOU DON’T LIKE CHEESE.
(It should be noted that Craig is now a senior VP at a bank. Figures.)
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Until golden.
Saute the balls in sauce (I heard that!) until well-coated, and serve with the bleu cheese dip and celery.
The one downside to cheese is sometimes your stomach does not feel so hot later on. Or maybe you did drink too much Icehouse. Or maybe you’re just getting old. But you do not want to stop drinking, or you just want a nightcap, or maybe you’re just out of Tums.
This is where classic cocktails known as digestives are small miracles in a glass. They will work through the cheese and they do offset the beer bloat. I don’t know how the magic of digestives work (someone from a cow college – the major, not the coeds – like Iowa might) A traditional Black Russian is an amazing drink that can cure whatever is bothering your stomach.
5 parts vodka to two parts Kahlua over ice. Amen. Now pass the cheese.