You watch enough football, you go to enough bars, at this point you’ve probably had your fill of quesadillas. Too much meat and too much cheese or not enough meat and not enough cheese. Greasy and fried in butter or dry as a bone. We like to think the quesadilla is a pretty safe menu options when we head out with friends to watch the game, more often than not they fall short. You can make quesadillas at home, but they take a fair amount of work and need some serious attention while grilling — is cheese melting, have I burned the tortilla — which isn’t the best combination when dealing with tight windows of time during the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
What if I told you there was a quesadilla-like snack that’s easier to make? Full of beef and lamb, onions and tomatoes, warm spices like cinnamon, sweet paprika and allspice, with hints of cumin, nutmeg and coriander? That you could grill, bake or fry? That you could even prep ahead of time and cook when ready?
Let me introduce you to one of my favorite new football snacks of the 2012-2013 season, arayes.
You’ve probably seen arayes on the menu of your local shawarma and falafel joint, but probably never bothered to order them, too distracted by the giant spits of lamb and beef marinating and the dozens of whole roasted chickens take up entire ovens. You’re missing out, they’re possibly one of the greatest snack foods around.