Rumor has it that there’s a Big Game this weekend.
To be honest, I had to Google ‘Super Bowl’ to be sure.
It doesn’t have much of a following here.
It is broadcast here, live on some channels, but it starts after midnight, on a Sunday night. You can see why parties aren’t really big.
We don’t watch it.
We used to, but when one is not in the environment one tends to lose interest. We have no one to discuss it with or rehash the plays with or cheer with or commiserate with.
European football, rugby, cricket, tennis, bicycle racing… all are followed religiously. Basketball is starting to gain ground, but American football is, by Euro standards, much too slow and baseball…. Well, I haven’t a clue if anyone I know here has actually seen a baseball game.
The other thing we don’t do anymore is go to parties where there are chips, dips, spreads or other typical party food.
Frankly, I have no idea if that type of party exists here…. I mean, we don’t even have microwave popcorn! I’ll ask my French friends at our next conversation evening.
Anyway, our socializing falls into one of two types:
- Dinner: four or five courses which would be preceded by a drink. With the drink might be a small bowl of potato chips (crisps) or nuts or olives but nothing more than that.
- Drinks party (Aperos): a gathering lasting 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours where one has, you guessed it, drinks. Normally a wide range of food is served throughout the party, but it’s passed around, by the hosts, on trays. There is not a table where it’s all spread out for people to help themselves. There are no dips. There is nothing that would be messy to pick up or require more than one (possibly two) bites.
So, I don’t really have a lot to offer for Super Bowl goodies…..
But here are a few things you might consider:
We used to stuff mushroom caps with cream cheese and bacon. They were a perfect, hot finger food.
Now I stuff them with a variety of things and serve them on a plate, with a sauce, to be eaten with a fork.
I would suggest, if you make these for a party, to forget the vinaigrette.
Mushrooms, Stuffed with Bacon and Tomato
6 large button or cremini mushrooms, 1 1/2 – 2″ (3.75 – 5cm) in diameter
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs soy sauce
2 shallots or a small onion
2 slices bacon
2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded cheese (1oz, 30gr)
Clean mushrooms, removing stems. Finely chop the shallots. Chop bacon. Cut 3 thick slices out of each tomato. Set aside 4 slices and chop the other 2 slices.
Heat oil and soy sauce in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom caps and sauté until light brown, 3 minutes, turning once. Remove and place on a baking sheet – with a lip so they don’t slide off. Add shallots, bacon and sauté until the shallots are tender and the bacon crisp. Remove shallots, bacon with a fork or slotted spoon and put in a small bowl. Add the chopped tomato and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into the mushroom caps, dividing evenly. Sprinkle, carefully, with cheese and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 10 – 12 minutes, until they are light brown.
To Serve: Place two tomato slices on the side of each plate. Spoon half of the vinaigrette on to the other side and place 3 mushroom caps on top.
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs Balsamic vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
Combine mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly, until thick.