Today is Sunday, February 2, 2014. It should be a day for Lost Girl to air another episode on Showcase dot ca. But instead, tonight there is no episode because there is something called the “Super Bowl” on TV.
Now, I don’t know what’s so super about a bowl that keeps Lost Girl off my television set. But I can be a good sport (pun!), so I’ve decided to share a couple of the recipes for the snacks we make at Chez Unaligned Sally when there is a Major Sporting Event that forces us to sit in front of the TV for a few hours. (It’s the law in the USA that we have to watch it, just like Canadians have to watch curling whenever it’s on.)
Lost Girl style, of course!
In my opinion, the most super bowl of all is one that contains cheesy, spicy, meaty (optional), drippy goodness. Thus I bring you the Packed Lunch con Queso, with a nod to Vex’s explanation to us all that in Australia, his nice package would be called a “packed lunch.”
- Velveeta – regular sized box
- Ro-tel – 1 can
- Chorizo (or other sausage, ground beef, veggie crumbles, or nothing at all) – 3 or 4 links
- Tortilla chips
There’s a nationwide Velveeta shortage (really? yes. Who let this happen? Bring me their head) so you may have to do without the Velveeta and purchase some kind of imitation pasteurized prepared cheese product. An imitation of an imitation – how meta.
I had never heard of Ro-tel until I spent some time with some Southern ladies, but I’m told it’s pretty widely available and well-known. It’s just a can of diced tomatoes and green chiles, so if you can’t find it, then just buy two cans of individual ingredients (or use fresh, if you don’t like BPA in your food).
Chorizo – we like to add some kind of meat to our “cheese” dip, and chorizo is a nice addition because of the Mexican theme of the dish. But you can use whatever meat or “meat” that you like – or leave it out, even.
Preparation: cook the chorizo on medium-high heat in a skillet. Make sure you cut open the casings of the links to cook the sausage all the way through. While the sausage is sizzling like Vex’s does, place the Velveeta in a microwave-safe bowl. Use a knife to cut it up a bit. Pour in the can of Ro-tel, juice and all. Nuke it on high for 2 minutes at a time, stirring in between, until the “cheese” is hot and bubbly. Drain the chorizo on paper towels. When drained, put it in the bowl. Serve hot with tortilla chips. (Tostitos Scoops are a good choice since this dip is drippy. Beware your carpet.)
Voila! You now have a bowl of something that is hot, spicy, maybe a little cheesy sometimes, and with a smattering of sausage. You’ll want to binge on this dip, it’s so good, just like you binge-watch Lost Girl.
Now, I have no idea if Dr. Lauren Lewis likes guacamole, but I am certain that she would appreciate the healthful qualities of avocado. High in fiber, potassium and Vitamin C, avocados also are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Plus, they taste great. If you follow this recipe for guacamole and use fresh ingredients instead of canned, jarred or bottled, then I guarantee it will be a fiesta in your mouth.
(Like, dare I say, the Doc herself. Dare I say it? I guess so. I’m only quoting Bo! I’m sure she said that in some episode somewhere. You know, the one where she and Kenzi went to Chi-Chi’s and ate chips and salsa for hours and then left without ordering entrees and they were banned from returning, so they had to go to Taco Bell instead later on and then they regretted it because the crack shack only has one bathroom…never mind.)
- 2 avocados – make sure they’re ripe! They are ready when they’re slightly soft to the touch, but not mushy. Also, once I made this pun on twitter: “I can hass avocados?” Ha ha ha.
- lemon – a real one, not a bottle of juice. The Una Mens will know if you cut corners.
- cilantro – fresh! I know it’s a pain to deal with, but anything processed that comes in a tube or a jar will not do you any favors here
- 2 Roma tomatoes, or 1/2 a large beefsteak or other/heirloom, or 6 cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- Onion – 1/2 large white or yellow or red, or 4-5 pearl onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: Jalapeno (1/2 pepper, or the whole thing if you can handle it. De-seeded)
Preparation: Don’t peel the avocados – instead, cut each avocado in half with a sharp knife or a scalpel – whatever you have available. Use a spoon to scrape out the green flesh into a bowl. Make sure you get all the darker-green flesh near the rind, since this has the highest concentration of carotenoids. Use a fork to mush them up. If you’re not able to use a fork to do this, then the avocados are not ripe. Throw them away, go to the store, and buy ones that are ripe this time.
Dice the tomatoes and onions – small dice is best. Run the garlic through a garlic press, or if you don’t have one, mince it. Same with the jalapeno if you choose to include it. Add all of this to the bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice – use a reamer so you’re not adding seeds to the guac.
Rip off individual leaves of cilantro and add them. How many? Lots. Maybe a third to a half of the bunch. You can use a knife to cut up the leaves if you want them to be smaller. Mix all of this up and add salt and pepper to taste. You will definitely want some salt (start with half a teaspon) but don’t over-salt it, because tortilla chips (guacamole delivery device) are pretty salty to start with.
Serve with tortilla chips, Dark Belch, or maybe a delicious shot of Cristal. (LIEEEBS!)
Genetics discussion: some people don’t like the taste of cilantro because they may have a gene that causes them to taste it as soapy. Cilantro contains high levels of aldehydes, which are also found in soap. But I’m here to tell you that, like Bo Dennis, your life doesn’t have to be ruled by your biochemical anatomy. When I first ate cilantro, I thought it tasted soapy. But I persevered, acquired the taste, and now it’s become a taste that I absolutely love.
Hale and Hearty Chili
This is the Chili Non Carne recipe from the Healthy Cooking for Two (Or Just You!) cookbook. I’m reminded of Bo reading Life, Not Love, Learning to Like Yourself Alone in Season 2. She probably bought this one too.
- Olive oil – 1 TBSP
- Onions – chopped, 1 cup
- Celery – chopped, 3/4 cup
- Carrots – diced, 3/4 cup
- Green peppers – chopped, 1/2 cup
- Garlic – minced, 1 clove
- Chili powder – 1 TBSP
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Tomatoes – diced, 1 can
- Water – 2 cups
- Pinto beans – 1 can, rinsed and drained
- Bulgur – 1/3 cup (rhymed with “vulgar”)
- Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy 2-quart (or 3-quart) saucepan. Add the onions and peppers. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 1 minute. (Lauren wants you to know that many jarred spices can be contaminated with bacteria and this step kills them.)
Add the tomatoes (with juice) and water; bring the chili to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Add the beans and bulgur. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the bulgur is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste. Serve hot with shredded cheese, sour cream, or maybe some Doccubus Guaccubus!
This is a siren song to my tummy. (Miss you already, Hale.)