Here's the Wildcard Weekend TV schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 5
Washington Redskins (9-7) at Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
Qwest Field, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
Heinz Field, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
(The lowest-seeded survivor of these games plays the Patriots in Foxboro Saturday night, Jan. 12.)
Sunday, Jan. 6
New York Giants (10-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
Raymond James Stadium, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Tennessee Titans (10-6) at San Diego Chargers (11-5)
Qualcomm Stadium, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Over at the Seattle P.I., whose hometown Seahawks face the Redskins Saturday, they arranged a chili cookoff: Two recipes go helmet to helmet to see which deserves a spot at the playoffs.
A local sports bar won, and their chili is below. (The other, which included 1/4 lb. of slab bacon, was understandably judged too greasy.)
I've also included the meatless black-bean chili they found. Make it with black soybeans -- Whole Foods has 'em -- and it's low-carb. (Although John Howie's beanless chili might qualify, the sugar in the pineapple juice may be too much for you.) At the link above, you'll also find a recipe for skillet cornbread and one for making your own chili powder.
John Howie's Texas Chili
Makes 1 Gallon
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 4 pounds white onion, diced
* 4 pounds chuck roast or other beef, diced in 3/4-inch by 1-inch pieces
* 1 pound pork, diced in 3/4-inch by 1-inch pieces
* 3 cups tomato sauce
* 2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup mild chili powder
* 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
* 1/8 teaspoon habanero chile powder
* 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground basil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
* 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
* 5 bay leaves
Place oil in a large stock pot or braising pan, add the beef and onions in small batches and sear until the onions are tender.
Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for three hours, stirring frequently. Serve with cheddar cheese, tortilla strips and salsa on top. Howie also serves it over nachos.
(Note: Habanero powder can be difficult to find. You could omit it, but it's easy to make by whirling a dried habanero in a mini-Cuisinart or spice grinder.)
-- Courtesy of John Howie
Quick Black Bean Chili With Goat Cheese
* 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small red onion, chopped
* 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper
* 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
* 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
* 4-ounce can mild chopped green chiles, drained
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
* 3-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or cut into small pieces
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and green pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder and hot pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute to toast the spices.
Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, chiles and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with additional hot pepper and salt to taste, bearing in mind goat cheese is salty.
To serve, ladle into warm bowls. Sprinkle cilantro and goat cheese on top.
-- From "One-Pot Vegetarian Dishes" by Amy Cotler
Okay confession time, I'd serve this dip with pretzels but I know others aspire to more healthful eating. This recipe comes from Stephen Linn's Ultimate Tailgate site.
Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
½ pound asparagus, trimmed
½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Place 2 to 3 cups cold water in a large stockpot and bring to a rapid boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes. Add the peas and blanch for an additional 1 minute. Remove the vegetables from the stove, drain, and fill the pot with cold water to stop the vegetables from cooking further. Let the vegetables sit in the cold water for 5 minutes, and then drain and pat them dry with paper towels. Once the asparagus and snap peas have cooled, place them in large zip-top plastic bags and store them in your refrigerator.
For the Honey-Mustard Dip, in a medium-size mixing bowl add the mustard, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, and dill. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the salt and pepper and stir. Cover and put the dip into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
When you are ready to serve the vegetables, place the asparagus and snap peas on a plate and remove the cover from the dip container. Place the dip near the vegetables to serve.
For those who'd rather not eat meat, Stephen Linn offers this ditty on the his Ultimate Tailgate site, www.ultimatetailgater.com
6 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 package (15 oz.) frozen, chopped spinach
½ cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup carrots, grated
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
½ cup pitted, ripe olives, drained and chopped
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
2 cups cottage cheese, strained
1 lbs. Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare spinach according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, sauté onions in oil until just soft. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook until tender but still crisp. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, olives, and oregano.
Butter or grease a 13 x 9 x 2" casserole dish or pan. Layer in ½ each of the noodles, cottage cheese, spinach, sauce mixture, and cheese slices. Repeat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes.
Seattle Times photo
It's harvest season! Don't just grill meats when you tailgate. Consider a melange of your favorite vegetables and potatoes for the starch.
3 to 4 large potatoes
1 large onion
2 or more each of any other vegetables you like (bell peppers, carrots, green beans, pea pods, etc.)
Favorite herbs (rosemary, thyme, garlic, etc.)
Wash and slice all vegetables. Grease four large sheets of tin foil with cooking spray. Place half of the vegetables on one sheet of foil and half on another. Sprinkle herbs on top of the vegetables, use as much or as little as you would like. Place the other two sheets of tin foil on top of the vegetables and tightly roll up each edge so the vegetables cannot fall out. Grill until vegetable are tender, about 10-15 minutes on each side.
Yields 6 servings
From Justine Hoover, Iowa State University in Steven Linn's The Ultimate Tailgater's ACC Handbook.
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...creamy and a little sweet - I’ll definitely make these again! The recipe is for only 8 of these little lovelies, but I imagine it will easily double, triple, quadruple or whatever you need if you’re cooking for a crowd… just taste as you go!
8 White Button Mushrooms, peeled with gills removed
1/4 Cup (Tofutti) Cream Cheese
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sage
1 Tbs Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
1 Slice Multrigrain Bread, toasted and cubed
Smoked Paprika for dusting
Mix cream cheese and herbs together until well blended. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Stuff each mushroom generously and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350º F for about 20 minutes until mushrooms is dark, soft, and is moist around the bottom. Dust with paprika before serving.