Melting the Steelers - A Broncos Food Theme

The Steelers are coming to Denver tomorrow to try and prevent the Broncos from achieving a third Lombardi Trophy and gain a seventh of their own. The Broncos pass rush will try to apply enough pressure on Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to force a meltdown and create Turnovers. Coming up with a Tailgate theme for this contest was easy. I simply utilized the team colors and the ingredient from the company that owns the rights to their stadium. Below the fold, you will find 4 ideas to create a winning culinary combination for your Game day Tailgate or Patio Party. So fire up the grill and let's get started.

For starters, here is a spread or dip you can rustle up while you get things going. It takes 5 minutes to prepare the ingredients, another 45 minutes cooking time and 15 minutes to cool and serve.

Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Cheese Spread

Ingredients
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation

Place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with oil. Fold foil to seal. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes. Let it cool 15 minutes, then squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into a small bowl.
Combine the tomatoes and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until wine evaporates and tomatoes are soft. Process tomatoes and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Add cream cheese, and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Spoon the mixture into a small bowl, stir in the green onions and Parmesan. Serve warm with crackers. Makes 2 1/3 cups.



Now we come to the feature that I created just for this week. The Blackened Burger with Cheddar represents the Black and Gold colors of the Steelers. Add a Smoky Tomato Mayonnaise for a condiment to bring it all together.

Blackened Pittsburghers

This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of blackening spice such as Paul Prudhomme's, but there are directions below so you can make your own. It makes eight 1/3-lb. Burgers and should keep you satisfied through the 4th Quarter.


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 lbs. ground beef chuck
  • 1 1/3 lbs. ground beef sirloin
  • 3 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 8 slices
  • 8 hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 8 slices of tomato
  • 8 slices of red onion
  • 8 Pickles
  • 8 Leaves of Romaine Lettuce
Combine the chuck and sirloin and mix well. Form into 8 patties and set aside while you prepare the Blackening Spice (recipe below).

Blackening Spice:
  • 3 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more for a spicier version)
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Fire up the grill. In a small bowl combine all of the spices. Press each patty into the spice mix so that both sides are liberally coated. Grill Burgers to desired doneness. Toast the Burger buns and coat each with Smoky Tomato Mayo (recipe below). Assemble Burgers with Onion, Pickle Lettuce, Cheese and enjoy.

Smoky Tomato Mayo:
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to meld flavors.


The next offering seemed fitting. The Steelers play at Heinz Field so what better than a meal that uses some of their ingredients. It takes 10 minutes to prep, another 17 minutes to cook and serves 4. Recipe courtesy of heinzitup.com.

Heinz Mega Burger

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoon Heinz 57 Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and oregano leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 lb ground sirloin beef
  • 4 slices Pepper Jack or other cheese
  • Ranch dressing (optional)
  • Toasted onion buns
  • Sliced beefsteak tomatoes
Preparation:

Preheat grill to medium-high and grease the grate. Stir ketchup with 57 sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and oregano.
Stir half of the ketchup mixture with the breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Crumble beef into the bowl. Combine gently; divide mixture evenly and shape into four 1-inch thick patties. Chill patties for 15 minutes.
Grill patties for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Baste with the remaining ketchup mixture and top with a slice of cheese. Grill for 1 minute, or until cheese is melted. Garnish with ranch dressing (if using) and serve on toasted onion buns topped with sliced tomato.


Audibles:

  • For a delicious vitamin C boost, garnish the burgers with sliced avocado.
  • For a southwestern chicken sandwich, brush the ketchup mixture onto grilled chicken breast or breaded chicken breasts instead of the burgers.


Black & Blue Steak Sandwich


This entree takes into account the colors that will be prevalent over Big Ben's body after the Von Doom Sack Attack us finished. The Prep time for this dish will take 20 minutes and the Cook Time another 10 minutes.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb sirloin steak
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup Heinz BBQ Sauce, Garlic or other barbecue sauce
  • 4 submarine style rolls, halved and toasted
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 leaves Romaine lettuce
Preparation:

Preheat grill to medium-high and grease lightly. Sprinkle steak evenly with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in half the barbecue sauce and simmer for 1 minute. Reserve.
Place steak on grill and brush with some of the remaining barbecue sauce. Grill for 5 minutes; turn, brush with remaining sauce and cook for 5 to 6 minutes longer.
Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and slice thinly.
Dress bottoms of rolls with lettuce and tomato slices. Top with equal amounts of steak, mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Audibles:
  • For a chicken version of the sandwich, brush 4 chicken breasts with the barbecue sauce and grill for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until fully cooked through.
  • For cheese variations, replace blue cheese with shredded cheddar, Swiss, or crumbled goat cheese.


That's it for Wildcard Week. May you enjoy these offerings as much as tomorrow's victory. Good eats and...

Go Broncos!

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