14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: New Orleans vs Indianapolis Cuisine
A significant part of the Super Bowl Extravaganza Express are the irrelevant competitions and bets between rival fan bases that have little to no influence on the outcome of the game. Aside of EA’s annual Madden game day emulation, most of these events are poor predictors for which team is going to win the Super Bowl. Doesn’t mean we don’t love having these fights anyway!
So as per tradition, let’s compare two completely different dishes from Louisiana and Indiana.
BATTLE Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya vs Sugar Cream Pie
Sugar Cream Pie
Apparently one of the biggest questions during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl is, “What do people in Indianapolis eat?” How this wasn’t settled during Super Bowl XLI is beyond me, but here we are days away from the game and people are still desperately trying to figure out what to serve at their regional-themed Super Bowl party. Personally I think this is a great excuse for everyone in the United States of Arugula to get back to whatever comfort food they like, because odds are they like it in Indiana. (Contrary to popular belief, it is not a land of nothing but fried baloney sandwiches. They make a grown-up version of the kids staple with a chicken-fried pork tenderloin.)
For Indianapolis, I’ve made the regional favorite, sugar cream pie. At first glance, the recipe made me break out in hives. Out the hundreds of sugar cream pie recipes I looked at, all of them called for a pre-made frozen pie shell. Sacre bleu! The filling is made out of heavy whipping creme, sugar, flour, whole (!!!) milk, butter and a touch of nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Only a few of the recipes I saw even called for the very racy ingredient of vanilla.
But the more I stared at the recipe, the more I realized it was much it was like creme brulee without the eggs, fussing with water and ramekins, and a blow torch. Straightforward, can be made in about an hour with only about five minutes of actual hands on time and relatively inexpensive to make. A pie your grandmother or great-grandmother would make on a Wednesday night.
You will need –
1 prepared deep dish 9 inch pastry shell
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, chilled and diced
Pre-heat your oven to 450º. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and whipping cream until completely smooth. Add the milk and vanilla extract and completely combine. (Don’t worry, some of the fat from the cream will keep rising to the top after you think you’ve finished stirring.) Pour into the pie shell and then dot with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake at 450º for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place either a pie shield or some aluminum foil around the edge of the crust so it does not burn and reduce the heat to 350º and bake for another 45 minutes to an hour. (The pie should be almost completely set.) Remove from the oven and let cool completely firm. (Unfortunately I did not let my pie completely set before taking its food porn shot.)
Judges notes –
This is a very sweet pie, but not a cloy as one would imagine from reading the ingredients. It does remind you of a creme brulee, but not as heavy and with a much larger serving size, and the frozen pie shell was much better than I thought it would be. Goes well with coffee. As one judge said, “This is type of pie you imagine grabbing a slice of to eat while watching ‘How You Met Your Mother’ and having a cup of decaf.”
“You mean, ‘How I Met Your Mother’?”
“Yes, but ‘How You Met Your Mother’ is a concept CBS should jump on right away. The first prime time show about incest!”
“What about that episode of the ‘X-Files’ that only aired once?”
This is about when I decided I needed new judges and would make this post reader-interactive instead.
Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya
There are approximately 12,000 variations of jambalaya, with most of them containing the basic formula of several types of meat, rice, stock, hot spices, and giant pot and is grouped into two categories, Creole (red) and Cajun (brown). Creole jambalaya gets much of its flavor from the inclusion of tomatoes while Cajun jambalaya uses a Cajun mirepoix (differing from traditional French mirepoix by substituting of bell peppers for carrots) as the foundation of this “throw everything into the pot” pilaf. Out of the 12,000 variations of jambalaya, approximately 9000 of recipes come from Louisiana’s most famous chef, Emeril Lagasse, so I’ve selected one of my favorites for this competition, Sausage and Chicken. It’s a Cajun style jambalaya that forgoes shrimp in favor of ham, cooks up easily and can feed an army.
You will need –
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (Cayenne packs way more heat than you think it does, so don’t try to be a hero and add more than 2 teaspoons.)
1-2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound of sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices (Traditionalists might insist on andouille sausage, but any smoked sausage will do. So of course I used my regional favorite, kielbasa.)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless white and dark chicken meat cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 pound country ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 bay leaves
3 cups medium-grain white rice
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, half of the cayenne and salt, and cook, stirring every so often, until the vegetables are very soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Toss in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds so it opens up enough to flavor the sausage, and then throw in the sausage slices and cook until heated all the way through, for about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring and scrap any browned bits that stick to the sides and bottom of the pot.
Season the chicken with the remaining salt and cayenne, then add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot until the meat is browned, which should take about another 5 minutes. Add the ham and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes and then pour in the 3 cups of rice and heat — still stirring — for another 2 to 3 minutes. (Look for the rice to start to take on a translucent quality.)
Add the stock, stir to combine, and cover. Lower the heat to low and cook without stirring until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 35 minutes. (Don’t feel bad if you have to poke at the bottom of the pot with your big wooden spoon to see how much liquid is left.) Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, without stirring for 10 minutes.
Mix in the green onions and chopped parsley, and serve immediately, removing the bay leaves as you find them.
Judges’ notes –
Jambalaya, much like the sugar cream pie, is a solid comfort food. And despite all the chopping, and stirring, and cleaning up a giant pot, it is a rather easy and quick way to get a meal to the table in about an hour. It’s filling, has just enough heat to satisfy the more adventurous side of your palate, and can be customized to suit one’s own preferences. And while one judge said it was the type of dish that made them think of doing shots after eating and is a wild and untamed dish, I disagree. The only thing complicated about jambalaya is learning how to spell it.
In summation –
Three rich dairy items versus three types of meat, how do you like your down home cooking?
Now remember, the results of the WHOLE SUPER BOWL DEPEND ON YOUR VOTE I HAVE PUT THE HEX OF SIX STEELER SUPER BOWL WINS ON THEM RIGHT NOW SO IF YOUR FAVORITE REGIONAL FOOD DOESN’T WIN THEN YOUR TEAM WILL NOT WIN so vote now, tell all your friends to vote, tell all your friends friends vote, post this pole on your team message boards, your Twitter, your Tumblr, and your Live Journal because if your food loses your team loses Sunday!
Voting closes at 11:59 PM PST, Saturday night.
Day 9 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Chicharrones de Pollo
Day 8 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Mixed Fruit and Blueberry Salsas
Day 7 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Pro Bowl Pretzel Bread
Day 6 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Wasabi Peas
Day 5 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: New Orleans Style Pimm’s Cups & Cucumber Tapas
Day 4 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Smokey Cowboy Caviar
Day 3 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Citrus Marinated Warm Olives
Day 2 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Fried Chickpeas (Ceci Fritos)
Day 1 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Salted Honey Roasted Pecans
Sausage Chicken Jambalaya recipe from Emeril’s ABC Super Bowl XLI appearance.