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Serious football chow

By J. Scott Wilson, Food Editor
Published On: Dec 08 2011 02:24:35 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2011 10:37:37 AM CST
tortilla chips and nacho cheese

iStock / zoom-zoom

So here we are again, the NFL playoffs are in full force and you've got all your plans laid for dips, chips, and maybe even some daring crock pot adventures planned this weekend.

For those of you who are traditionalists, the Short Orders Appetizer Guide is a great place to get some ideas. However, if you'd like to try a little something different, read on!

First up, the meat.

A couple years back, I saw steak fondue made on TV. The setting was a dude ranch, and the steaks, whole ribeyes, were skewered on pitchforks and lowered into huge pots of hot oil. The quick cooking sealed in the juices, and the oil didn't make the meat greasy in any way. While I do have a large electric turkey fryer, my quest was to make the same thing in smaller form, where a countertop deep-fryer could handle the job.

After much tasty experimentation, I've come up with my own variation on the theme.

Short Orders Steak Fondue

3 lbs. ribeye or New York strip steak, cut in chunks 1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. garlic juice (or 3 cloves garlic, crushed) 1/4 c. black coffee 2 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. lemon juice

Place steak chunks in large plastic container or zipper bag. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over steak, mixing well. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Heat vegetable or peanut oil to 350°. Drain steak chunks well and discard marinade. Secure steak chunks, a few at a time, on metal skewers or meat forks and dip in hot oil until desired doneness is reached. In my experiments, two minutes produced a nice medium-rare to medium bite. For personal consumption, I stick to about a 45-second "wounding" in the oil before consumption.

Drain cooked bites briefly on a rack over paper towels. Serve with your choice of dipping sauces. My personal favorite is a horseradish dip made with sour cream, minced garlic and horseradish. I don't recommend it if you plan on any victory kisses.

Of course, you've got to have potatoes with your meat, right? Here we go:

Roasted Red Potatoes

The great thing about this recipe is that you can modify the seasonings any way you like? Want a curry kick? How about massive garlic flavor? Maybe even Middle Eastern or Asian flavors? Feel free to play around.

You can do your prep before the game, too. Cut the potatoes and onions up and store them in the refrigerator. Mix your spices and store them in a sealed plastic container or bag. That way, when halftime starts, just dump everything together and you'll be ready to fry your steaks while the 'taters cook.

3 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cut in 1-inch cubes, skins on 2 large onions, coarsely chopped 2 tbsp. granulated garlic (or garlic powder) 1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt 1 tbsp. chili powder 2 tsp. paprika 1/3 c. olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°.

You know what's coming, right? Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Add extra olive oil if needed. Pour into large greased or nonstick roasting pan. Roast, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender and a crust has begun to form on them.

Warning: These are highly addictive. You will find yourself manufacturing events just so you can make them.

I guess I should include a green vegetable of some sort, right?

Wrong. It's a football party. You want vegetables? Buy a bag of salad.