Football Food

Just a few short weeks ago I was sure that my personal football season was coming to an end, and then it happened. The New York Giants beat the Jets…and the Cowboys (yay!)…and then the Falcons…and the Green Bay Packers…and just hours ago, down went the 49ers. Such a pity… NOT!

I am and have always been a die-hard Giant fan. They were always my football team. And being in Miami, I’d love to tell you that I feel something different, but quite frankly, I don’t. So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, mostly because it is a hot topic (check out Sport’s Center tomorrow morning), but even better, because more games equals More Game Food!

And even thought the next game is the final game of the season, it is the Super Bowl, so when the Giants meet the Patriots, the food is going to have to be unbelieveable!

I love fussing and cooking; getting ready for the games… deciding what we will cook as we watch our boys play their hearts out. We’ve been trying to go interesting, tasty – but healthy. Last week, I made French Onion Soup. Now, before you “poo-poo” it and say “No, too complicated…” hear me out. I have a way to make it so that anyone can be a hero. A bag of yellow onions (medium to large size), 2 quarts of beef broth (if you want to cheat go buy the packages. If you want to keep it pure, roast cow bones and boil them in water. Either way, it’ll taste delish. Next steps, stew the onions down on a long, low flame. Dust them with sugar (for caramelizing), salt and pepper (for flavor). Keep mixing, taking care that the onion doesn’t burn and stick on the bottom of the pan. When they are brown and mushy and can practically form a ball, it’s time for the liquid. Beef broth – in! A capful or two of Brandy – in! Not enough – add one more! Ok. Back to the heat. Add to crocks. The float toasted Italian Bread, top with Gruyere cheese, plop into the burner and when it’s golden brown and bubbling, edges oozing over – it is ready.

Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer

You can’t go wrong with this. If your friends do not like it … well, they’re lying! It’s that good. But seriously, the point is that you can make great food – that is good for you too (Okay, at least not bad for you). There are a few carbs in the croutons and some fats in the cheese, but other than that – the broth has next to no calories, the onions have none either. Voila!

We’ve also made Turkey Burgers, Potato Bars. Here a fun one. Bake up a bunch of potatoes. Red, Idaho, Yukons, white, Sweet…they are all good. Cook at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until soft. Finish them on a grill for a textured skin. Place sour cream, butter, blue cheese crumbles, steamed broccoli, chili, maple syrup, ketchup, cottage cheese, pulled chicken, bacon crumbles, etc. in little bowl. Everyone gets a spud. Everyone gets a fork, knife and spoon. Everyone designs their own! This is a fun, healthy, and easy way to please.

Of course, there are many other ways to “score” – Mexican is always a crowd pleaser (nachos, tacos, burritos…get adventurous – sauté fish. This not only makes it more exotic, but healthier!

Tonight we beat the 49ers while eating the most delicious meatball heroes known to man. My husband killed it with these big, flavorful, well-cooked meatballs. What made them so great? First, they were made with love (aw…he really does add a special something something to them). Second, he uses turkey, not beef, so they are leaner and healthier for you without ever losing flavor. He mixes 93-7 turkey with an egg, salt, pepper, garlic, parmesan cheese, and oregano (but you can put in whatever else you’d like!), mixes it, makes little balls and instead of frying them, he puts them in a big roasting pan in and bakes them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes on the first side and then flips them and cooks them for 7 minutes on the other side. They are finished when they’re browned on all sides and cooked through to the center.

Then the “sanwich” part begins. We used three kinds of cheese (provolone, mozzarella, and parmesan). We bought fresh Italian bread. We scooped the insides out, and placed the balls in and cheese on top. Broil it briefly, checking it continuously. When the cheese is bubbly and brown, it is ready. And damn, it is good!

We have a few more weeks before the season comes to a close. I cherish Sundays at my house. It’s always a big deal. I am sad that the season is coming to an end, but I am so excited that we are one of the last teams standing. So with next week a “buy”, we can formulate a plan to feast during the big game. What will we eat while the Giants play their hearts out? We’ll just have to wait ad see…

Shari Lynn Rothstein has been writing about food, wine, lifestyles and fashion for more than 20 years, in New York and Florida. She resides in Aventura. Shari can be reached at for comments, questions thoughts.

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