Pigskin pairings: Local chefs prepare for Super Bowl appetites | VailDaily.com

Pigskin pairings: Local chefs prepare for Super Bowl appetites

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

Are you ready for some football food? Bars and restaurants all around the Vail Valley are preparing menus of shared bites and cocktail specials for the Super Bowl today — go, Broncos!

Bol executive chef Julian Smith said the restaurant's menu is diverse, with bar-style food that is elegant and exciting. They have wings that are jumbo-sized, brined and slowly cooked in chicken fat and then crisped in hot oil to order, making them "full of flavor, plump and crisp."

For the establishment's Super Bol party, Smith said he is running a special that he's excited to eat.

"I'm combining my love of French onion soup with pierogies," he said. "Imagine browned, delicious, homemade pierogies with a rich onion soup-type sauce and a little bit of bold, alpine-style Alpha Tolman cheese. I can't wait."

For the die-hard Broncos fan looking for that decadent, celebratory feast, The Remedy Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel in Vail will have the The Hoof and Wing special.

This monster burger is nestled in a maple bacon donut bun. It's a bison patty, topped with white cheddar cheese, a moist duck patty, with an onion ring filled with French onion and duck confit, plus arugula and duck confit sauce, served with truffle fries.

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"For the fan not wanting to go so far deep into the end zone, we'll be featuring our house-made hummus with Israeli salad, crudite and zaatar-spiced pita bread," said Kevin Erving, executive chef. "In addition, The Remedy will have plenty of our locals' favorites on hand, including savory chicken wings, hand-crafted pizzas and 7X burgers."

Downvalley, Woody's Bar and Grill in Edwards will be serving a variety of appetizers for Sunday's game, such as Black Angus steak bites, bacon-wrapped shrimp with honey mustard, fried ravioli with vodka sauce, homemade hummus with fried pita chips, celery and carrots, a fried pretzel with homemade ale cheese sauce and, to drink, check out Woody's spicy Bloody Mary.

Pigskin pairings

For a homemade Super Bowl feast, Smith said sourcing unique ingredients helps to make classic recipes new and different. For example, replace chickpeas with edamame for a fun rendition of hummus.

Generally, simplicity is your friend when it comes to creating a large spread.

"For the big game, I like to keep it simple so that the chef enjoys the day, too," Erving said. "Shared plates and finger foods make for great variety and enjoyment."

Some of Erving's game-day favorites include a local Colorado cheese selection with Palisade peach preserve, a sheet pan of nachos with all the fixings, buffalo cauliflower bites with blue cheese and bison chili topped with sour cream, pickled jalapenos and scallions.

Complementary cocktails

"Being from the South, I've always been a bourbon drinker on game days," said Steven Teaver, beverage director at The Remedy. "Lots and lots of bourbon. However, for an all-day affair like the Super Bowl, I tend toward lower alcohol punches that are 'sessionable' or a crisp lager."

Teaver said you can always create a mixed cocktail that will be bar-food friendly.

"For the upcoming game, I will be making a cachaca-based punch with a mix of bitter, sour and sweet flavors," he said. "The slight sweetness will calm the spice of hot wings, the butter will help pair with rich or cheese-based dips, and the sour adds a refreshing quality that will keep you and your guests coming back for more."

Jennie Iverson, author of "Ski Town Apres Ski," said variety is the key to a successful Super Bowl spread.

"I suggest having something for everyone," she said, "be it protein-packed, herbivore-heavy and cocktail or mocktail concoctions."

Fan-favorite recipes

Local chefs share some of their favorite game-day bites and drinks.

Hummus with Israeli salad

From Kevin Erving, executive chef at The Remedy.

Hummus

30 ounces canned chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic minced

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup tahini stirred well

5 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

Pinch cumin

Place the drained chickpeas, garlic and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor, and process for 20 to 30 seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the tahini, and process for another 15 seconds. Add the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water, and process for 20 seconds, and then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and process for another 20 seconds, or until smooth.

Israeli salad

1/2 small diced red onion

1/2 peeled and small diced cucumber

1/2 tsp. sumac ground

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch kosher salt

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Dice red onion, and combine with vinegar; marinate 30 minutes. Dice cucumber, and reserve. Combine all ingredients and reserve. Drain off liquid before serving on top of hummus. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with raw veggies and spiced pita bread.

Go Broncos cocktail

From Steven Teaver, beverage director at The Remedy.

1 ounce Avuá Amburana Cachaça

3/4 ounce Contratto Apertivo

3/4 ounce blood orange juice

1/4 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1/2 ounce Enza prosecco

Mix all of the ingredients except the prosecco in a shaker with ice, and shake to combine. Strain into a Collins glass over new ice, and top with prosecco. This cocktail also works great punch-style in a large batch.

Camp Lobster Sliders

From “Ski Town Apres Ski,” by Jennie Iverson. Serves 4 to 6.

1 pound Maine lobster, freshly picked, cooked and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon chardonnay wine

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice or a combination of grapefruit and lemon juice

2 tablespoons shallot, minced

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

1/4 cup celery, small diced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mini yeast rolls (slider buns)

Melted butter

Arugula

Tomatoes, thinly sliced

Avocado, thinly sliced or chopped

Mix wine, lemon juice, shallot, tarragon, celery, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add dressing to the roughly chopped lobster, until the lobster meat has been coated well.

Toast yeast rolls that have been brushed with melted butter. Spoon a good helping of lobster salad onto rolls, and top with baby arugula, thinly sliced tomatoes and avocado. Makes 4 to 6 servings; pair with a Moonstruck Mule.

Moonstruck Mule

From “Ski Town Apres Ski,” by Jennie Iverson.

2 ounces Cold River Blueberry Vodka

1/8 ounce fresh lime juice

6 ounces Gosling’s ginger beer

In a 12-ounce pint glass or copper Moscow mule glass filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Garnish this cocktail with blueberries. Makes one cocktail.

Charred jalapeno-white bean puree

From “Ski Town Apres Ski,” by Jennie Iverson.

2 15-ounce cans white beans (any white bean, Cannellini, Great Northern, etc.)

1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

Pinch white pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves

4 tablespoon olive oil

1 jalapeno, charred

Place garlic cloves and olive oil in a small saucepan, and then roast the garlic cloves to golden brown over low heat. Reserve the oil, and set both garlic and oil aside. Evenly char the jalapeno over an open flame, typically on a grill or with the flame from a gas burner. This can also be done in the oven on broil. Once charred, pull stem and chop into three pieces; set aside. Wash spicy jalapeno oils off hands.

Place white beans in a strainer, rinse and drain. In a food processor with the blade attachment or in a high-power blender, add all ingredients except reserved olive oil from cooking the garlic. Blend until ingredients start to incorporate together. Drizzle in reserved oil a little bit at a time until desired texture (smooth dip texture, like hummus) is achieved. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips and carrots for Denver Broncos colors. Makes 4 servings.

Venison meatballs

From “Ski Town Apres Ski,” by Jennie Iverson.

1 pound ground venison

1/4 pound ground beef, 70/30

1 cup white onion, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon juniper berries, toasted and ground

2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 eggs

1/3 cup bread crumbs

3 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh-ground black pepper

In a large sauté pan, sweat onions and garlic until beginning to brown. Add juniper and rosemary; continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat and cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together bread crumbs, eggs and cooled onion mixture. By hand, mix in meats, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Cook a small piece to check for seasoning, and adjust, if necessary. Roll mixture into 1/2-ounce balls, and place on cookie sheet. Slightly bake in oven for 5 minutes at 375 degrees to set meat. Skewer par-cooked meatballs on bamboo skewers (5 per 6-inch skewer). Cook over preheated grill until hot throughout, or meat thermometer reads an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Serve with whole-grain mustard. Makes 4 to 6 servings.