Super Bowl 2012 Party At Home

The starter spread
Gran Queso, Don Olivo, and Buttermilk Blue cheeses with a glass of Pinot Noir Vegetable crudité platter
The starter spread, Cheese platter with Emmi Roth Cheeses & Vegetable crudité

Yesterday was a great Super Bowl game as the New York Giants won! Woot! Beyond the sports fanfare, the Super Bowl is a food holiday, if you’re willing to admit it or not.

Since I invited a group of 8 friends watching the game and cheering on, I might as well cook a whole bunch of food and thankfully, a few came in early to chip in some help.

Platter of Pat LaFrieda's Original Blend and Shortrib Blend Burgers with homemade baked spiced fries Duo of Pat LaFrieda Beef Brisket and Lamb Burgers with Crave Brothers' Petit Frère Cheese
Pat LaFrieda Original Blend and Shortrib Blend burgers & Platter of Beef Brisket and Lamb Burgers

We ended up cooking about half a dozen, if not more, various burgers from Pat LaFrieda. I had and cooked four different burgers – lamb, Original blend, short rib, and beef brisket – and they were 8-ounce patties each. All were fantastic in its own way. Juicy, pure flavors of its meat and it’s a great balance of fat to meat. I barely added salt to them and let my friends top their burgers the way they prefer it. My friends said the burgers were delicious and never had it this tasty unless they ate at very respectable burger places (e.g. Shake Shack and the like).

The available toppings for them to choose were fresh tomatoes, onion, lettuce, homemade sliced pickles, a mild (sort of brie-like) Crave Brothers‘ Petit Frère Cheese, a creamy not too pungent Emmi Roth‘s Buttermilk Blue and sweet, pickled Wala Wala onions from Unbound Pickling.

Tray of sauteed Pat LaFrieda sauages: Grandpa's Provolone Cheese, Grandpa's Hot and Sweet Italian A large board of Pat LaFrieda's Grandpa's Provolone Cheese Sausage with crudite and cubes of fresh pineapples
Pat LaFrieda Sausages: Grandpa’s Provolone Cheese, Hot and Sweet Italian

There’s also large trays of sausages (from Pat LaFrieda as well) – Grandpa’s provolone cheese (the skinnier sausage), and their hot and sweet Italian-style fresh sausages. The sausages were simply incredible. Incredibly juicy, the casing had a nice snap and they are well seasoned. The provolone sausage had a great sharp cheese flavor but the pork was still the star of the sausage. The sweet and hot Italian sausages were probably the best I’ve eaten at home, as they had great seasoning and a not a too-high fat content and the pork flavor was sublime. The hot Italian was quite a spicy kicker in my mouth but it tastes so good that I can’t help but eat more.

Crave Brothers Mozzarella cheeses: Farmer's Rope, bocconcini, and a log of fresh mozzarella Homemade sausage pepper and two-cheese pizza, slightly close up
Gooey homemade sausage pepper and two-cheese pizza
Crave Brothers’ Fresh Mozzarella Cheeses, Homemade two-cheese sausage and pepper pizza & Gooey slice of pizza

Earlier last week, I ordered a bunch of cheeses from Crave Brothers’ (mainly for their fresh mozzarella cheeses) and Emmi Roth (variety) and no football party is complete without pizza. I made a batch of pizza dough (the best and simplest recipe I’ve depended on is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible) and tomato sauce. Topped the pizza with slices of Crave Brothers’ fresh mozzarella, break up Pat LaFrieda’s provolone sausage into small pieces (fresh and uncooked), sprinkling of shredded Emmi Roth’s creamy havarti jalapeno cheese (to make it slightly spicy), and sliced green bell peppers. (The recipe toward the end of this post.)

I know some of you might look at the pizza and the crust doesn’t look thin. Admittedly, it isn’t. I prefer pizza that is in between thin and bread-like so it could hold all of my toppings without being too full of crust.

Truffle mozzarella explosion Truffle mozzarella explosion
Truffle Mozzarella Explosion

Since I had some leftovers on pizza dough and bocconcini-sized mozzarella, I baked an inspiration of Alinea’s truffle explosion I had a few weeks ago. The idea is to have an “explosion” of hot, gooey mozzarella cheese with the chopped black truffles when you cut into the baked pastry. It worked and my friends were enamored with this.

It was a very successful party, as my friends were very satisfied and full. The food was great and thankfully, I had friends who helped eating the spread. Or I’ll be stuck with lots of leftovers for the next few weeks.

To view more photos of my meal here, please click through the slideshow (or view my Flickr set):

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Recipe
Two-Cheese Sausage & Pepper Pizza

Makes One 10-inch pizza
Serves 2 people
Note: The one photographed above was a tripled recipe as I was feeding a crowd

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of fresh pizza dough (or like me, make your own pizza dough and may follow The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
  • 1/2 cup of Pizza sauce (I used the recipe from Epicurious.com)
  • 2-3 ounces fresh sliced mozzarella (I used Crave Brothers)
  • 1 ounce shredded Havarti with jalapeno cheese (I used Emmi Roth)
  • 3 ounces of fresh, uncooked sausage without its casing and broken into 1/2-teaspoon sized pieces (I used Pat LaFrieda’s pecorino sausage just to boost up the cheese flavor even more)
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper (you may use any color pepper you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil

Equipment:

  • 10-inch pizza pan
  • Baking stone

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit with a baking stone set at the lowest rack of the oven.

2. Set the pizza dough onto a lightly floured pizza pan. Using your fingertips, press the dough from the center to the outer edge to stretch it into a 10-inch circle, leaving the outer 1/2-inch thicker than the rest to form a lip. If the dough resists stretching (as will happen if you have activated the gluten by overkneading it), cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for a few minutes longer before proceeding.

3. Working quickly, spread the tomato sauce, evenly add the mozzarella and havarti cheeses; scatter the pieces of sausage, and bell pepper. Drizzle the olive oil all over the pizza.

4. Set the pizza pan into the oven and bake about 10-20 minutes or until the cheese melts, the sausage is browned and the crust is a golden brown.

5. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut with a pizza wheel, sharp knife, or scissors. Serve hot.