Guacamole with banana, great garlicky chicken wings, and homemade cheese puffs. Sounds great, right? It's coming up to the end of football season, and I may not be the biggest Superbowl fan, but I totally love a great Superbowl party....and great party food!
I was looking for things that would keep both the grownups and the kids at my party happy. Luckily, chef Ludo Lefebvre (www.ludolefebvre.com) was there to help me out. The Top Chef: Masters alum recently invited me into his home to show me how to make some great game day party food.
Ludo is the culinary genius behind Los Angeles' LudoBites pop-up restaurants (he just opened LudoBites 8) and was named to Time Magazine's list of "Chefs of the Future" in 2010. His picks for Superbowl or game day recipes are "foods you can eat in front of the TV", all with a French twist.
Check out the full recipes below and watch Ludo show me how to cook it all above:
GUACAMOLE WITH BANANA
2 handfuls sliced almonds
Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt to taste
Spices (paprika or Piment d'espelette) to taste
1. Spoon out three avocados into a large mixing bowl. Add one banana and the juice of two limes.
2. Mash ingredients together well. (Have the kids help!)
3. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
4. Mix in almonds to add crunch.
5. Add spices to taste.
6. Test it! If you want a stronger lime flavor, add in some lime zest.
7. Serve with fresh chips.
GARLIC CHICKEN WINGS
1-2 pounds organic chicken wings
1/4 c grapeseed oil (enough to thinly coat the pan and wings)
1/4-1/2 c sage or clover honey
1/4 c sherry vinegar
1/2 c low sodium soy sauce
Finely minced garlic to taste (don't skimp on the garlic!)
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
Salt to taste
1. Heat a thin layer of grapeseed oil in frying pan until oil is hot. Grapeseed oil is the best oil to use because it can tolerate high heats without burning.
2. Add chicken wings, stirring in oil to make sure wings are coated and don't stick to the pan. Cover. Brown on medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
3. Pour off extra oil and fat from pan.
4. Add honey, pouring over to glaze. Coat wings with honey and bring to boil to caramelize.
5. Deglaze by adding sherry vinegar. Cook to reduce.
6. Add low sodium soy sauce. Reduce until sauce is thick and sticky.
7. Add garlic and toss. Cook garlic briefly, but not too long so it doesn't get bitter.
8. Add pepper to season and salt if necessary to taste.
9. Serve on parchment paper in a bowl to give a street food feel.
1 c water
1/2 c butter
2/3 c flour
4 large eggs
1 3/4 c grated Gruyere cheese (or any hard cheese)
Pinch of fleur de sel or other coarse salt
Piment d'espelette or other seasoning to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Pour the water into a large saucepan and add butter and salt. Heat until butter has just melted, then reduce heat to medium and add flour all at once, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough (roughly five minutes). Remove from heat.
3. With the pan off heat, continue to stir for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is warm, but not not. This in in order to dry the dough.
4. Put the dough in a mixer (or mixing bowl if you do not have one) and add the eggs one at a time, mixing at low after each addition. Wait until each egg is fully mixed before adding the next.
5. Add the cheese and mix for about 30 seconds. Make sure the dough is still slightly warm, so that the cheese will begin to melt.
6. Add salt and piment d'espelette to taste....or experiment with other seasonings: Ludo recommends trying curry or nutmeg as well)
7. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag (if you don't have one, a plastic freezer bag works as a great substitute -- or else, you can use a spoon!). Squeeze out small round droplets of dough on to a baking tray.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on size, until they have risen and are golden brown. Cooking time may vary depending on ovens.
9. Serve warm, right out of the oven.