Opening Ceremonies: The Cookie Dough-lympics!

Yes, it’s that time again! OK, fine — it’s that time for the first time ever. We’re happy to announce, along with our friends at Quirk Books, the first ever Cookie Dough-lympics! The month-long competition is where the Michael Phelps’ of food bloggers will create the craziest and best recipes — all using Lindsay Landis’s egg-free cookie dough from her up-and-coming The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook.

Although there won’t be choreographed dancing or a parade of nations, tomorrow through June 22nd the doughy flame will burn bright, with one blogger showcasing their cookie dough recipe per day. Cookie dough pizza? Cooking dough pie? Cookie dough cocktails? What do you think, ES-ers?

Stay tuned to Quirk Books, @EndlessSimmer, and @QuirkBooks to view the recipes each day.

We’ll be announcing the winner right here on June 25th. Let the games begin!

Some Beers are Worth the Wait

Normally when I’m thinking about booze, filling cups and consuming it as fast as humanly possible seems about right to me.

So when I heard about the Bottoms Up system — a beer dispenser that fills beers up from the BOTTOM, and takes only seconds —  I figured it was worth a shot, if I ever encountered it. No beer line? No wait? Sounds good to me.

As it turns out, at the Phillies game a few weeks ago, the bottoms up Bud Light stand was the closest one to my section. Let it be known I never drink Bud Light by choice, but…sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. So…Bottoms Up: God’s gift to sports fans? Not quite…

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Super Snacks: Poutine Potato Skins

At Endless Simmer we’re a little obsessed with all thing poutine. We eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We haven’t figured out how to turn it into a dessert just yet (any ideas??) but breaking news…we now have poutine as a handheld appetizer.

The idea for poutine potato skins came when I saw that Mile End — the champion of our tour de poutine — was offering these as a take-out Super Bowl snack. I made my version for Super Sunday as well, but I’m pretty sure they make sense for March Madness, too. Or St. Patrick’s Day. Or Easter Sunday. Or a random Monday morning.

These aren’t actually so different from regular potato skins; you’ve just got to pair the spuds with gravy and cheese curds, the other two elements of the holy trinity that make up poutine. The biggest hurdle, of course, is finding fresh cheese curds. In New York, I tracked them down at Saxelby Cheesemongers. For the gravy, I decided to go a little more American than the dark gravy usually found on Montreal poutine, and went with a white bacon gravy. Since I had to cook up bacon strips to produce that gravy, in the end I crumbled them up and added that to the top of the skins as well, because…yeah, I don’t have to explain myself there.

Poutine Potato Skins

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Gridiron Grub: When the Food Beats the Game

Editor’s Note: With the football post-season kicking into high gear, contributor broadandpattison returns for a retrospective on another year as an Eagles fan…and the tailgating grub that got him through it.

Given that my beloved Eagles seem to have a much different definition of “football” than I do, this year I decided to use my time at Eagles games more wisely. That is, instead of “going to the football game,” I go to the tailgate. It occurred to me at my last tailgate, before the Pats spanked the Birds, that all of the wonderful food I was eating was actually the exact OPPOSITE of the Eagles players I’ve been watching all year. Let’s break it down:

Dish: Bacon, Egg and Cheese……and a Keystone Light
Exact Opposite: Desean Jackson

The Sunday morning breakfast sandwich is about the most reliable food order of all time. It’s Sunday morning, you’re a little hungover, you need grease and substance at the same time….you get a breakfast sandwich. Works every time. It used to be that we could count on Desean for a long touchdown bomb and a totally over-the-top TD dance every game, just like you could count on the breakfast sandwich hitting the spot every Sunday morning. Now? I’m not sure Desean knows when he is playing football.

Dish: Pulled Pork on Brioche
Exact Opposite: Casey Matthews

The pulled pork at the tailgate was juicy, seasoned and delicious. No matter how much you have, you can ALWAYS have one more bite. Casey Matthews? You never want one more play out of him. EVER. No more!!!!! Please stop!!!! (Those emotions never, ever are associated with pulled pork. Ever.)

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Gridiron Grub: Polenta Crab Fries

Starting Monday, you’ll hear all about the dining/debauchery that went on when the entire ES crew descended upon Philly for a weekend. To ease us into that, here’s a Gridiron Grub dish inspired by my favorite football-related Philly food stop: Chickie and Pete’s Crab Fries.

Chickie and Pete’s is a local restaurant that started in the late 70’s and has grown to include locations in all the city’s stadiums, Philadelphia International Airport, southern New Jersey and more. It sounds like a chain and out-of-towners grow even more perplexed by the fact that these “crab” fries don’t even contain crab. Despite this obvious omission, for locals they are synonymous with hot summer nights watching the Phils and cool fall afternoons with the Eagles. That being said, if you are not from Philly and you saw ES  put up a recipe about sprinkling some Old Bay on french fries, I know we would get even more complaints than we do about our potty mouths. So, here’s my updated take, with some much needed crustacean added in.

Polenta Crab Fries w/Horseradish Cream Sauce

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Gridiron Grub: Grilled Cheese BLT Dip

When I was in high school, we had a tradition every Thursday night before Friday football games.  Myself and a few of my  friends would finish up with practice and show up sweaty and famished at my house. For some reason my Mom not only condoned this, but encouraged it by offering to feed the huddled masses. Dinner was always the same on these nights; grilled cheese with bacon, lettuce and tomato on wheat bread. This tradition has permanently seared in my palate the sweet, smoky combination of late-season tomatoes, gooey cheese, thick bacon and chewy homemade bread as the perfect complement to fall days and Friday night lights.

Grilled cheese is somewhat difficult to pull off at a tailgate and even harder to bring when you are invited somewhere. Can you imagine the reaction to showing up to watch a game with a tray of soggy, lukewarm BLT grilled cheeses? From then on you would definitely be the asshole in charge of bringing the soda and chips. Because of that, I  have tinkered with a homemade grilled cheese/BLT dip over the years. It hits all the right notes, though early in the process I realized that lettuce just wasn’t a good fit so I switched to the dip staple: spinach. This has been my go-to takealong for last-minute tailgates and game-watching.

Grilled Cheese BLT DIP

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Gridiron Grub: Getting Sloppy

It’s official! As I sit down to write this post, summer has ended and by the time you read this, fall will have begin. To be honest, this part of fall is my favorite time of the year. Baseball pennant races are heating up and there is the promise of playoffs fast approaching. College football has been going on for 3 weeks and half the people are already knocked out of my last man standing NFL pools. Every weekend, the morning chill starts warming, right as the tailgate grills begin doing the same.
Those tailgates and house parties call for heartier comfort food, but it is hard to resist the temptation of the last summer produce. That temptation grabbed me when I visited the farmer’s market last weekend and saw some late tomatoes piled high. The tomatoes, and the fact that we are having a bunch of people over to see the Eagles beat the injury-plagued Giants this weekend, made me decide to whip up a batch of Sloppy Joes.
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