The phrase, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints..." keeps running through my head on this day. No, I am not drawing lines calling anyone a Sinner here. We all know the literal version of what that statement means however I am thinking of the New Orleans Saints today & Drew Brees our Texas born quarterback....
When I was living in Louisiana during college I initially noticed the die hard rabid fan base of the New Orleans Saints were not that different from our beloved Dallas Cowboys fans. There was one big difference in Louisiana. In Louisiana the fierce love of the game, the sport & the team left little room for the outsiders. It is an all or nothing Saints fan base. The State of Louisiana was behind the Saints & cared not who else was in on the gig! Seriously, all Texans want people to like our football teams. We do think we perfected or invented the sport!! They are a tough group of fans too, even when they sat in the stands some years ago with paper bags over their heads watching the Saints loosing game after game. Saints fans held onto the hope that their day would come. Well that day has arrived & the Saints have marched through much more than most Football franchises could imagine in the past 5 years. The "Who Dat" nation is now set in stone in Louisiana & the fans are beyond proud. If anyone doubts that there will be partying in the Big Easy tonight regardless of what happens in Miami they do not know the resilience of the people of Louisiana. My money is on the New Orleans Saints. The Colts may have an incredible quarterback but the Saints have all that & more! The Colts may be out to bring home another trophy but Saints are searching for a triumph & the sweet fragrance which should follow Victors who have come through more than just a game.
**A typical Mexican Artesania showing an image of a Saint resisting the temptations of the ultimate "Sinner".
Our Superbowl Appetizers are full of typical Texas to Mexico kick. For the first time in several years we will watch the Superbowl without Spanish broadcasting voice over (yipee) & we will not miss those great Superbowl commercials. It is odd what bits of Americana one misses when living abroad!
Chorizo stuffed Jalapenos
3 tbsp. olive oil
12 jalapeno peppers, seeded, halved & membranes removed
10-12 Crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup of diced onion
8 oz. Mexican Chorizo
1/4 cup black Spanish olives, seeds removed & roughly chopped.
1 cup whole grain breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
3 tbsp. chopped green onion tops
1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack Cheese, reserve extra for top of peppers
Saute the Chorizo over medium heat in a large skillet until the pieces begin to crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Drain Chorizo well & set aside. *I drain mine onto a paper towel to remove grease. Into skillet add onion & mushrooms, saute 5 minutes. Remove to medium mixing bowl, add Chorizo, chopped olives & green onions. Next add in breadcrumbs & cheese. Add beaten egg, melted butter & blend till the stuffing is moist & clumping.
Stuff each peppers the stuffing, rounding it on top of the pepper halves. Once they’re all stuffed, top with small amount of cheese, place into an oven safe dish & bake @ 375 for 20 minutes or until tops of stuffed pepper are slightly browned & cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Spicy Artichoke & Crab Queso Dip
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt to taste
3 Roasted green chilis, seeded, cleaned & diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, & finely diced
1 plum tomato, diced
4 oz. Artichoke frozen hearts, thawed, diced
1/4 cup diced yellow Spanish onion
4 oz *Crab claw meat, drained
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground, Chipolte Chili
In a medium saucepan, add butter & onion, allow to melt over low heat. Add flour and stir until it is well blended with butter and mixture is free of lumps. Color will be nice & golden after 1 minute or so.
Add cream and stir to combine, allowing to heat up until thickened, about five minutes. Stir frequently with spoon and do not allow cream to boil. Add cheese, and whisk vigorously until completely creamy and fluid when stirring.
Taste for salt and add accordingly. Add chilis, artichoke hearts, tomato, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne, and stir to combine. Finally add crab meat. Do not over heat or stir vigorously enough to break up the crab meat. Nice lumps of crab within the dip are best.
Serve warm with your favorite tortilla or pita chips. Makes approx . 1 quart dip.
*I used Crab claw Meat since it is in sturdy lumps & will not break up as easily in this dip.