Chef Ace Champion's Recipes for Super Bowl Champs

I played 20 years of semi-pro football as a quarterback and wide receiver. So football is really in my blood. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to NFL so I put all my energy and focus on food instead. I love the excitement and thrill of the game. The hard hits and graceful catches. There is no greater time for these feelings and excitement other than the Super Bowl.

Even though I won’t be playing in this Sunday’s game, I can still watch it and eat some good food with good company. That’s why I created these three easy recipes that are sure to be crowd favorites. Whether your team wins or loses, good food is always a great addition to your Super Bowl experience.


CREOLE CRAB DIP

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup real mayonnaise
¾ cup shallots, finely diced
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce or your favor pepper sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons green and red bell pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cans crab meat or 1 pound fresh if available
1 shot your favorite liquor, suggest your favorite brandy
½ cup Italian cheese blend, shredded
2 green onions, cut in slivers

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl until mixed together.
  3. Turn the burner on a high heat. In a medium skillet, add oil and allow to heat for about 30 seconds. Add bell peppers and sauté for about 1 minute. Add garlic and crab meat and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the brandy and flambé. Remove from heat.
  4. Gently fold in the crabmeat mixture into the cream cheese base, making sure to mix well.
  5. Transfer to a 9-inch round au gratin dish (a 9-inch glass pie plate will work fine too) making sure to spray well with non-stick spray. Spread the mixture across the bottom of your baking dish. Top with the cheese blend.
  6. Bake on center rack of oven for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool about 10-15 minutes prior to serving.  Garnish with green onions and serve with your favorite dipping crackers or pita chips.

TIPS AND NOTES:

Dip will be puffed up in the center, lightly golden on the top and slightly bubbly around the edges.

 

PORT WINE CHEESE CURDS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound cheese curds
½ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
½ cup port wine
2 large eggs
1 cups all-purpose flour or as needed
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 – 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, to your taste
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 quart vegetable, canola, peanut or sunflower oil, for frying
preferred dipping sauce

PREPARATION

  1. Place cheese curds in strainer. In large deep bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and port wine. Mix well so all ingredients are incorporated as one. Submerge curds in mixture for about 5 minutes then take them out and set back in the strainer and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and Cajun seasoning. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large Dutch oven or electric deep-fryer, heat oil to 325°F. When oil is ready, toss curds in the flour mixture then 1 by 1 into the port wine buttermilk mixture. Strain well. Toss a few cheese curds at a time, shaking to remove excess flour.
  4. In 3 to 4 batches, fry curds for 2 minutes or until curds begin to turn golden brown. Do not crowd. Remove curds carefully with a slotting spoon. Hover over the deep fryer a few seconds so the oil can drain. Place cheese curds on a large plate covered with paper towel to help absorb remaining oil. Serve immediately with Sriracha ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

 

MOZZARELLA STUFFED ITALIAN SLIDERS WITH ARUGULA & BASIL PESTO AIOLI

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup red onion, chopped
¼ Portabella mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground chuck or your favorite meat mixture
½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Cajun season
6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, cut about 1/4-inch thick
6 Roma tomatoes, cut 1/4 -inch thick
2 cups arugula
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup basil pesto paste
6 slider rolls

PREPARATION

  1. Using a small skillet over medium-high heat, lightly sauté the onions and mushrooms with a dash of Worcestershire sauce for about 1 minute.
  2. Place ground meat, breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning, egg and remaining Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine all ingredients until well mixed. Cover with Saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow all the ingredients to settle together.
  3. Divide mixture into 12 equal balls. Place on parchment paper or sheet pan, space out evenly. Using the back of a flat metal spatula, flatten each ball into a patty about ¼ to ½ thick.
  4. Place mozzarella slices on six patties and top with onion mushroom mixture. Layer another patty on top of the mixture. Press edges of patties together, fully encasing the cheese inside. Gently reform the patties so they have a flat cooking surface.
  5. Set patties on a hot grill for pan and cook about 3 to 4 minutes on each sided. This will get you about medium. Cook longer for desired doneness.
  6. For the aioli, use a small bowl mix the basil pesto and mayo together well. You can store in a squeeze bottle for easy storing and easy use.
  7. To serve, place a dollop of aioli on the bottom of each slider roll. Top with a little arugula then the stuffed slider. Top the slider with one slice of tomato and another dollop of aioli. For a more elegant presentation, serve the arugula on the side with a baby pickle.

This month is the perfect time to kick-off our new partnership with chef Ace Champion, host of “Cooking Like A. Champ” on The Food Channel and Foody TV.  Stay tuned for recipes and more as Cuisine Noir and chef Champion gear up to make 2018 one delicious year. Be sure to also check out his inspirational story here in Cuisine Noir.

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