January 30, 2015

     Hey everyone it's that time of year again! The most epic sports event this year (other than you know the Summer Olympics) Super Bowl 50. That’s right! It’s the 50th super bowl. Americans have been celebrating the sport and hilarious television ads for 50 years.

     People always see the super bowl as dividing people between two teams; in this case it is the Panthers and the Broncos. To me however the super bowl divides everyone into two different teams: one team wanting to watch the game and the other team wanting to watch the commercials.

     That being said we can both agree on one thing. WE WANT TO EAT FOOD AND WE WANT TO EAT GOOD FOOD!

      This is a prime appetizer holiday in my book. It allows everyone to come together and bring different things to share to enjoy the game/commercials together.

Traditionally I like to try to make appetizers that represent the two teams as best I can. In the end it probably doesn’t matter because if there is food then people are happy but these are the things I take pride in.

     FIRST a little history for Denver, because I'm a nerd…the Broncos were founded in 1959 and they played their first season in 1960 as a part of the original American Football League. The team didn’t join the NFL until 1970. They had two major periods of success: the first was from 1976-1981 with no losing seasons and the second one was from 1983- 1998 with no losing seasons.

Now for Traditional Denver Food:

     Denver is known as the Napa Valley for Beer, and is home to several micro breweries including Dillon Dam Brewery, TommyKnocker Brewery, Steamworks Brewing Company and also the more well known company of Coors.

     Some Denver Food Favorites include Green Chile, Honey Pizza Crust, and the Famous Denver Omelets.

     Since Super Bowl Cuisine is based more on chips and dips almost always a crock pot of Chili ends up on the table so why not do the Denver variation this year.

Green Chili (Chili Verde)

Total Time: about 2 hours



3 Anaheim Chiles

¼ cup olive oil

2 pounds of boneless Pork Shoulder cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice

½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

6 cloves of garlic (don’t be expecting any close small talk)

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 16oz can of crushed tomatillos

4 cups chicken stock



     Preheat Oven for 400 Degrees F. Coat the chilies in 1 tsp of the oil and roast in the oven until the skin splits and blisters. The peppers should be soft to the touch this takes about 20 min. Once the chilies are cooked and cooled, stem seed, and chop with the skins on them (its ok if they are charred no one will notice).

       Heat the remaining oil in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the pork, salt, pepper, and cumin and cook for 15 min until the pork is golden brown. Stir as needed to keep the pork from sticking. Remove the pork and set aside to rest. Reduce the Heat to medium or Low and add chilies, onions, cilantro, and garlic to the remaining oil in the pot. Sauté the vegetables until onions are soft and golden brown about 10 min (this is very important if you don’t get your onions cooked through now they will never be completely tender in the pot). Stir in the flour and cook for about three min. This will help thicken the broth when you add it. Return the pork to the pot along with the tomatillos and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 45 min until the pork is tender, then uncover for an additional 15 min to allow the chili to thicken.

It is best served with tortilla chips and lime wedges

     NOW we can talk about Carolina History. The Carolina Panthers were announced as the 29th franchise in 1993 and began playing in 1995. They have one six division titles one in NFC West and five in NFC South.

     Carolina is home of many different food franchises including Cheerwine, Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme, Mt. Olive Pickles, Pepsi, and good old Texas Pete.

      This might not be such a surprise as seeing when people think Carolina people think Carolina BBQ. Carolina BBQ can be characterized as Vinegary. There are two main sauces that are used in Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ: Lexington-style or “Red Sauce” consisting of ketchup, vinegar, and varying spices, as well as Eastern-style sauce that is more vinegar and pepper based, Mayonnaise is also more common in Eastern-style than Lexington-style

       So to keep the traditional theme of regional appetizers (and because I just want an excuse to eat more BBQ) I decided for a pulled pork appetizer that uses one of North Carolina's Crown Jewels: Texas Pete.

Lexington Dip

This Recipe really captures the traditional flavors of Carolina BBQ and the heat of the south.


1 ½ cups cider vinegar

½ cup water

½ cup ketchup

1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1-2 lbs cooked pulled pork with no sauce

And if you dare 1 tsp of Texas Pete or more if you desire


    Combine all ingredients except for the Pork in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 min stirring occasionally. Next add the Pulled Pork and Remove from heat.

Serve with small dinner rolls, pita bread, or just spoon it on to a plate (no judgment).

     Wow that was a long segment! I hope you all have a safe super bowl and have a fun time cooking. Keep challenging yourselves in the kitchen and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with food and try new things.

     Let me know how things turned out and please submit suggestions if you have any questions or really want to learn about different foods or Kitchen Hacks.

Well until the next cooking adventure yours truly -Syd