super bowl XLIII

for last year's super bowl i made chili and mac and cheese. figuring it was kinda of a simple choice i did not take any pictures, nor made a post. boy was I wrong. i was actually thinking of making something else for this year, but was strongly opposed by last year's attendees. i got a request to redo an identical culinary super bowl night. everyone who attended last year invited another person with them and believe me, they did not all come for the game. so, this year i made sure pictures were taken so i can finally post it.


no ground beef! ladies and gentleman allow me to introduce;
brisket. one big fatty piece of brisket, what a difference it makes. the
chili came unbelievably rich with texture, thick and full of complex
flavors. i got the recipe from epicurious. the recipe calls for 1 to 4 fresh serranos and can turn out extremely spicy, so i would start with one serrano and than add more as desired. also, i highly recommend to make the chili 1-2 days ahead, so the meat, sauce and vegetable have the time to blend and settle for the true flavor to come out.

mac and cheese:
my favorite place for mac and cheese is dumont burger here in williamsburg. i discovered that they use extra sharp cheddar and gruyere so of course i had to try it. they dont use bread crumbs for the topping, like i did. they are right on this one, it is not necessary and im not going to use it next time. that was the only weakness in an otherwise amazing dish. the bread does give an extra crispness (and carbs) to the mac and cheese, so if you wish to add it, by all mean go for it.

this year i also added guacamole as a side dish. i mean, i had to add something healthy for this meal. it did the job beautifully. the
guacamole was a nice “green” counter balance to the chili and mac yet still heavy and creamy. i wonder if next year i will be allowed to make something new or is this a new tradition.

chili: (adapted from
2 oz dried ancho chiles (4 large), stemmed and seeded
6 large garlic cloves, 3 of them finely chopped
1 tbs salt, or to taste
1 1/2 tbs ground cumin
1 1/2 tbs chili powder (not pure chile)
4 lb well-marbled beef brisket or boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces
3 to 4 tbs olive oil
1 (28- to 32-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 lb white onions, chopped (4 cups)
1 tbs dried oregano (preferably mexican), crumbled
1 to 4 fresh serrano or other small green chiles, finely chopped, including seeds (1 is fine for most tastes; 4 is the eight-alarm version)
1 (12-oz) bottle beer (not dark)
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans (optional; 30 oz), rinsed if canned
soak ancho chiles in hot water to cover until softened, about 30 minutes. drain well.
while chiles soak, mince 1 whole garlic clove and mash to a paste with 1/2 tbs salt, 1/2 tbs cumin, and 1/2 tbs chili powder. pat beef dry and toss with spice mixture in a large bowl until coated.
heat 2 tbs olive oil in a wide 6- to 7-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef in 3 or 4 batches, without crowding, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch (lower heat as needed; spice mixture burns easily). transfer beef as browned to another bowl. (do not clean pot.)
purée anchos in a blender along with tomatoes (including juice), chipotles in adobo, cilantro, remaining 2 whole garlic cloves, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt until smooth.
add enough olive oil to fat in pot to total 3 tablespoons, then cook onions and chopped garlic over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits from beef, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. add oregano, remaining tablespoon cumin, and remaining tablespoon chili powder and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. add chile purée and 1 chopped serrano and simmer, stirring, 5 minutes. stir in beer, water, and beef along with any juices accumulated in bowl and gently simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and checking often to make sure chili is not scorching, 2 hours.
taste sauce, then add more serrano if desired and continue to simmer, partially covered, until beef is very tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 hours more. (if chili becomes very thick before meat is tender, thin with water as needed.)
coarsely shred meat (still in pot) with 2 forks and cool chili completely, uncovered, then chill, covered, 1 to 2 days to allow flavors to develop.
reheat over low heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 30 minutes. add beans (if using) and simmer, stirring, 5 minutes.

*for best results chili should be prepared at least 1-2 days ahead.
* was served to 15 + people with tons of left over.

mac and cheese:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)
1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup gruyere
macaroni and sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
6 tbs all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
5 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cup grated gruyere
pound elbow macaroni
preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
melt butter, then stir together with bread crumbs and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well. (eliminate bread crumbs if desire)
melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.
cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tbs salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. transfer to 2 buttered 2-quart shallow baking dishes.
sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

*topping can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

guacamole: (adapted from
4 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
tsp finely minced garlic
tsp finely minced jalapeño
coarsely mash the avocados with the lemon juice and cumin in a bowl.
stir in the remaining ingredients.

*צילי,פשטידת "מקרוני וגבינה", גואקמולה

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