It feels like a million years since the last Steelers game. Maybe even two million years. And now after suffering through a bye week, we have to wait until Monday Night Football (Hooray Drunk Gruden!) for meaningful Pittsburgh football. (Sorry Pitt-Syracuse, but the Orangemen’s 3-5 record does not make for compelling Big East football, if there is such a thing.)
I feel like I should be more worried about this game, and believe me I am plenty worried, but there just seems something so shallow about this 7-1 Broncos team. Maybe I still do not believe Kyle Orton is anything but the guy who completely fell apart during a rainy Super Bowl XLI. Maybe I’m not convinced that Josh McDaniels knows how to call more than three or four variations of the same play. Maybe it’s because the Ravens beat them so soundly last weekend. (Although now I am worried that the Ravens smackdown will give Denver extra motivation against the Steelers.) My friend Colin has been trying to get me into some back and forth smack talk on Twitter this week leading up to the game, but I haven’t been really taking the bait. Why? While I am not worried-worried about the game, I am worried enough that I don’t want to jinx it.
This week’s Friday Football Foodie is French Onion Dip. Oh sure, you can just take the packet of Lipton’s French Onion Soup, stir it into a 16 oz container of sour cream and call it a day. It’s not a bad dip, but it sure as hell is not a good one either. (Also, because the Lipton dip is rather salty, you keep kind of going back for more and more and more and more and more AND OH MY GOD SARAH WILL STEP AWAY FROM THE DIP ALREADY! THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE AT THIS HALLOWEEN PARTY.)
Making French Onion Dip from scratch allows the natural sweetness of the onion to come through, and pairs much better with vegetables. This is also another one you want to make at least a day ahead of time to give all the flavors a chance to open up and develop.
You will need…
1 tablespoons extra virgin (extra light if you have it) olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 yellow onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rings (Around 4 cups)
2 large shallots, sliced into 1/8-inch rings (Around 1/2 cup)
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt (If you don’t have celery salt, then you can skip it. But you should have celery salt around for Bloody Mary’s.)
2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt (Depending on if you use salty bouillon cubes, you might want to reduce the salt here.)
1-2 teaspoons black ground pepper
2 cube beef bouillon cubes, dissolved into 1/2 cup water OR one 1/2 – 3/4 cup strong beef broth. Pictured above the leftover broth I froze from the French Dip FFF. (Optional, if you are a vegetarian.)
(This makes a ton of dip by the way, so depending on how many people you expect for watching the games, you might want to half the recipe.)
Heat up your olive oil and butter in a hot pan, reduce heat to medium-high and gently start to cook your onions down. Depending on how strong you want your dip to taste, you can just cook them for a small while (about half size, around 15 minutes) for an strong onion taste or you can slowly caramelize them for about 30 minutes. Stir often, and do not let any pieces blacken.
Once your onions are reduced about half way, add the shallots. Cook down completely with the onions.
Once your onions have cooked down, either add your bouillon broth or beef stock. Cook until all the water has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Chop up the onions with a knife for easier dipping dynamics.
While cooking down the onions mixture, blend together sour cream, mayo, thyme, garlic powder, salt, pepper, celery salt and Worcestershire sauce.
Fold in the chopped onions and cover. Refrigerate at least four or five hours, but preferably overnight. Give it a taste test before serving and adjust seasonings (more salt, more garlic, less awesomeness) if need be.
Serve with chips and crudités.
Green Tea Ginger Ale
I am completely, totally in love with Canada Dry’s Green Tea Ginger Ale. Light, refreshing, and look! 100% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C! That will totally offset the calcium being leeched away from your bones by drinking carbonated beverages.
Ginger ale has always been a great mixer, and the green tea variant makes a nice mix with softer gins like traditional Bombay. Where it really shines is when it is paired with Hendricks gin. I love Hendricks, but rarely open the bottle because of their strict instructions to serve with cucumbers instead of lemon or limes. (Mostly because lemon and limes are abundant in my front yard, while cucumbers are not.)
Two drink choices may be:
G&G – One part gin to three parts ginger ale.
Submarine -One part gin, two parts ginger ale and one part tonic water.
Or you could, just drink a can of it and not mix in booze. It is that good.
Also, the other week when I called out Spencer for not liking cheese, I completely forgot there was a “No Cheese – Happy Ircane?” tag out there from the old days on Ladies. Consider it used, although I am sure with the Yankees World Series win cheese or the lack wherein is the last thing on his mind.