On Your Table: With the Eagles in NFC Title game, make sure you eat to win!

By Cathy BranciaroliFood Correspondent, The Times

New Mexico Beef Chili packs a wallop and warms eaters right down to their toes.

Well the Eagles remain competitors for the Super Bowl, with one playoff game left — Sunday night’s NFC Title game against the Vikings — and we might watch the Bowl regardless of whether the Eagles are playing or not, just to watch the commercials.  No matter what the game or teams, food and friends make for a great football-watching occasion. While beer and salty snacks may be on the menu for many folks, I like to make game-day more of an event.

I polled Chester County friends to learn what will be on their table for this year’s big games.  My friend Susan Hoffman of Unionville said she likes to serve warm foods that don’t suffer if they sit out and get to room temperature.  Nothing highbrow as the food needs to fit the venue.  Her favorite pre-halftime food is Buffalo chicken dip served with celery sticks and pita chips and she also like to make brisket sliders with a choice of barbecue or horseradish sauce.  Halftime fare is crockpot chili of some type.  She told me that she is making a turkey mole chili this year, with tons of toppings friends can customize. She serves it over cornbread or rice.   She also likes prepping personal pizzas, with a wide range of toppings people can choose to add.  For 3rd and 4th quarters, the choice is to make your own dessert, whether that’s pie a la mode, or sundaes.  Quite a feast from start to finish.

My personal Super Bowl strategy like many others is to focus on the commercials and mostly ignore the game.  Some are truly hilarious, some moving, and if any of them involve the Budweiser Clydsdales, I’m hooked.

But I did try making a New Mexico Beef Chili which would go great for game day eating that the others can enjoy.  For a truly authentic taste, use canned or frozen hatch chilies. Otherwise try the wonderful variety available in the produce aisle including poblanos, jalapenos or the really spicy bird chilies.

Here’s to great game day eating, and of course to the Eagles.


New Mexico Beef Chili

Gather a handful of mixed peppers including poblano, green chiles, jalapenos and others to your taste. Broil poblanos and larger peppers till skins blacken. Remove from oven and place in paper bag. When cool remove skins and cut into small strips and set aside.1 ½ lb chuck meat, cut into 1 inch pieces or mixed ground meat as for meatloaf. Drizzle meat pieces with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Sear in skillet with 2 tbs vegetable oil. Remove and set aside. Saute 1 large chopped onion and 4 garlic cloves, 2 tsp cumin, 1-1/2 tsp coriander 1-1/2 tsp oregano. Add one can whole beans rinsed and drained, black or cannelloni beans make good choices. Add ½ large can smashed whole tomatoes with juice. Return meat to skillet and add 2 cups chicken stock. Cook on low till first boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-2-1/2 hours. Watch liquid level and add more broth as necessary. Serve with garnishes of cilantro and sour cream.

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