Gridiron Grub: Roasted Tomato and Chevre Chiles
I can explain the merits of a 3-4 versus a 4-3 defense. I know the 3rd string running back on your favorite team, what college he went to and can discuss why I think his downhill running style will compliment their style of offense. The first professional photograph I ever took was a 10 month old Borracho in a Philadelphia Eagles sweatsuit! I love football and have watched countless hours of games and been to numerous stadiums.
Fans go to stadiums hours (and sometimes days) before games to tailgate. They set up in parking lots across the country with everything from disposable charcoal grills to elaborate set-ups of culinary ingenuity that fill the pre-game air with delicious scents. Once you’re inside a stadium, there are always options; different towns have their own signature foods and some stadiums even go as far as: sushi, Rocky Mountain oysters , lobster rolls, ahi tuna sandwiches and even pork chops on a stick!
While the hospitality is great, I have seen too many burnt wings, lukewarm dips, stale chips and flat beer. This is the year that I say no more! I am on a quest to sack traditional edibles and up the quality of football food. Some will be familiar gridiron grub, some tributes to various cities and some will come from your suggestions. Because sometimes you need to call an audible to make something happen.
Roasted Tomato and Chevre Chiles
My favorite guilty pleasure of all time, jalapeno poppers, are rife with so much possibility. Fresh spicy vegetable, creamy cheese, crunchy breading…. Yet, most of the time poppers fail from crappy ingredients: bland peppers and processed cheese; they’re little more than pockets of unfulfilled potential and molten cheese.
In my version, the ingredient list is pretty long but the prep really isn’t too bad and can even be done the day before if you want.
Ingredients: 12 jalapenos, 2 cloves roasted garlic, 1/2c Vidalia onion, 4 oz your favorite goat cheese, 1/2 c sharp cheddar, zest of 1 lime, juice of 1/2 lime, 2 roasted tomatoes ( quarter tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper then cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes), tbsp cilantro, 1/2 c panko bread crumbs, little bit of paprika and tsp of cumin.
1. Halve the jalapenos and use gloves to remove all seeds and the white membrane either by hand or with a melon baller. It may seem like this precaution isn’t necessary, but I know from experience that hurrying this part of prep can lead to some extreme pain. If you want to mellow the heat of the chiles you can either roast them or bring a pot of water to boil and blanch them once or twice.
2. Finely dice the onion and mash the garlic with the flat blade of your knife and then toss them both in a medium low heat pan to sweat.
3.While this is going on, start the rest of the filling by mashing the chevre, cheddar, roasted tomatoes, lime zest, cumin, half the breadcrumbs and the onion garlic mixture.
4. Stuff the jalapeno halves with the cheese mixture and spread them out on a baking sheet before sprinkling the rest of the breadcrumbs over it all.
5. Bake for 20 minutes at 250.
6. Before serving make sure you have a nice ale or lager. I’ll recommend Rogue Brewery’s Double Dead Man Ale this time around.