Game Day Decisions

For Super Bowl Sunday, our friends John and Christine invited us over for an eating (not viewing) party.  In other words, the plan was to get together, finally see their new house, and enjoy the best part of the Super Bowl: the food.  As neither of us had a vested interest in the teams playing (or Katie Perry), we were game for this plan.

IMG_0260As the primary focus of the gathering was to eat, drink, and be merry, we wanted to bring something good. I was thinking I’d make an appetizer, and Mark wanted to get a growler of a new and interesting beer.  But, as usual, Mark and I over-planned our weekend and by Saturday night we still needed to buy and cook our contributions.  We realized we had two options: 1) just grab snacks/beer from a random store on the way or 2) go to the grocery store the following morning.  We hated the idea of bringing something random, so we hesitantly opted for option 2…

Leslie: I think this could be a mistake. It’s Super Bowl Sunday and we’re going to the grocery store?

Mark: It’ll be fine. This is Brooklyn.  And Whole Foods.  These people don’t go crazy for the Super Bowl. 

Readers, be warned, thinking a grocery store (ANY grocery store) will be “fine” on Super Bowl Sunday is like thinking rodents of unusual size don’t exist:

IT WAS CRAZY.  There were people everywhere.  And people weren’t just buying wings and beer.  It was as if every person in the store was planning a major Super Bowl meal. Every aisle was a mess.

I don’t remember who spoke first, but the first cohesive sentence one of us uttered was, “I’m not doing this.”  We stood in horror, trying to figure out where we could go buy beer and snacks when we saw a ray of hope. The express line was empty.

A new plan was formed.  Buy less than 10 items and escape.  Forget groceries for the week – just grab essentials for tonight and get out.

Mark headed to the beer growler station while I sorted through the multiple ideas I had in my head.  What appetizer could I piece together with just a few ingredients?  There was only one option: hogs in a pretzel blanket.

I grabbed puff pastry, andouille sausage and eggs and met Mark at the beer station.  “We have to get out of here,” he muttered, and off we went to the finish – er, express – line:

We were in the store less than 15 minutes – but it felt like an eternity.

Once we were back in the comfort of our own home, I regrouped and focused on the cooking. Lucky for me, this recipe had both a short ingredient list and a short set of instructions.

First, I cut each sausage in half lengthwise and dusted them with flour.  I rolled out the puff pastry, which I defrosted by letting it sit on a tray on the stove as the oven pre-heated, and cut it into eight equal strips:

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Then I rolled each half-sausage in one strip of puff pastry and placed it on an un-greased sheet.

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I brushed each roll in egg and sprinkled it with sea salt and sesame seeds. The recipe called for poppy seeds, but the poppy seeds had been cut from the team when I saw the crowd in the spices aisle.

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The fully dressed “hogs” went into the oven and came out perfectly golden.  After the insanity of the store, the cooking portion of the day was a piece of cake.  While I had hoped to contribute something a little more homemade, I was happy that I had remained calm under pressure and not resorted to chips and salsa.

A couple hours later, Mark and I were sitting in John and Christine’s lovely home, enjoying a feast worthy of the Super Bowl.  We had no idea how the game was going, but the dinner was excellent.  Our hosts outdid themselves with nachos, wings, pulled pork, and pecan pie.  And the hogs in a blanket were as tasty as they looked – a solid complement to the evening’s spread. Touchdown!

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