Draft Day… Baby! NFL Party Ideas + Best Loaded Nachos Ever!

Draft Day… Baby! NFL Party Ideas + Best Loaded Nachos Ever!

What’s worse than a bunch of gals getting together to kibbitz? It’s a bunch of gals getting together to draft their fantasy football team. It’s a trash talkin’, elbow diggin’, name callin’ scene right out of the movie Sweet Magnolias. I mean it’s “bless her heart” on steroids.

Oh, the catcalls from the table when I drafted Patrick Mahomes in the first round (especially when ESPN claimed he was at best a top second round choice)! Oh, the high fives that went around the table when I picked up Robert Woods in the 6th round when he should have been snatched in the 4th. And, the simultaneous, gentle nods of understanding when our dear friend picked up Baker Mayfield in an early round. We all understand her husband’s devotion to OU…. Bless her heart – now that’s love!

The only way to bring our fragile (fantasy football) bonds back from the edge of friendship destruction was to create a spread that satisfies both the winners and the losers. And, that I did.

Ladies and gentleman: the draft party!

My draft party fare included my favorite pimento cheese with seasoned crackers. I added sun-dried tomatoes instead of pimentos and brushed the crackers with seasonings stirred into melted butter before I toast them in the oven. It’s a TD!

I included blistered shishito peppers that I cooked in a cast iron skillet with olive oil, garlic and pepper. I made little skewers of baby tomatoes, mozzarella and globe basil leaves from the farmers market. These were drizzled with just a bit of aged balsamic vinegar. I roasted shrimp with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper and served them at room temperature with a spiced remoulade sauce.

But the dish that tamed the angry fantasy football beast and totally scored in overtime, was my sausage and refried bean nachos. I mean these are truly a punched up bit of nacho cheesiness. I serve these on every game day, regardless of the success of my quarterback.

Just a little note of confession here. I am in two fantasy leagues, one with the girls and one with the family. Having scored a loser C- in my draft evaluation with the gals, I promptly drafted Baker in round two of the family league. Let’s just see how it goes… and bless my heart!

Sausage and Refried Bean Nachos

serves a crowd

30 minute cuisine

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ medium red onion, peeled and finely diced

1 poblano pepper, deveined and finely diced

1 pound Italian sausage

1 (15-ounce) can refried beans

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper.

1 package tortilla chips (such as Scoops®)

1 (15-ounce) jar medium salsa

¼ cup pickled jalapeno slices, drained and chopped

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Hot pepper sauce

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage to the pan. Use a potato masher to break up the sausage into very little pieces. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat.

Lay the chips onto a microwaveable plate or platter. You will have enough ingredients to make at least two plates full of chips. Spoon the sausage and cheese filling into the chips. Spoon some of the salsa over the chips. Drizzle the jalapeno pieces over the salsa. Cover with shredded cheese. Place the plate into the microwave oven and cook on high power until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove (the hot!) platter from the oven. Top with dollops of sour cream and chopped cilantro. Offer hot pepper sauce on the side.

 

Game Day Food for Your NFL Watch Party!

Game Day Food for Your NFL Watch Party!

What a wonderful night to host a party… maybe a Game Day Party!! Wait a minute. Maybe? Heck yeah, we’re doing this! Here’s the 2017 NFL schedule that’ll keep us entertained through Christmas Eve. We’ll need something to eat, though! My recipe for Beef and Black Bean Nachos with Goat Cheese Sauce is a winner… regardless of the outcome of the game!

Here’s how this SUNDAY BEST “couch potato” chapter standout is nacho your average snack. The lime, cumin and fresh goat cheese are heaven on a black bean drenched tortilla chip! Meat lovers will see it all marries perfectly with the sirloin suggested in this recipe, but healthy swaps like lean turkey work just as well…

These are a perfect finger food for meat lovers, looking for savory comfort food on Game Day. I love a DISH OF THE DAY that requires those hand wipes they pass out at BBQ joints. Once you’re all cleaned up, commence to order an autographed copy of my book! All you have to do to ensure it’s signed is simply email me.

Love & half-time pigouts,
–Jorj!

Beef and Black Bean Nachos
with Goat Cheese Sauce
MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Beans
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained
Juice of 1 large lime, about 2 tablespoons
½ medium white onion, peeled and chopped, about ½ cup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Place the beans, lime juice, onion, olive oil, garlic and cumin into a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times for a chunky puree. Return the bean mixture to the sauce pan over very low heat to keep warm.
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Sauce
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, plus more for garnish
½ cup heavy cream
In a medium saucepan, whisk together crumbled goat cheese and cream over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and melted. Keep warm.
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Beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 tablespoon
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, veins removed, diced, about 2 tablespoons
1 pound ground sirloin beef
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 bag (18 to 24 ounces) large tortilla chips
Avocados, diced
Fresh tomato salsa
Fresh chopped cilantro leaves

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno to the pan and cook until the veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned and crumbling, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the chili sauce and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the nachos, lay out tortilla chips in a single layer on a serving platter. Spoon the beef over the top of the chips. Spoon the beans over the meat. Pour the creamy goat cheese sauce over all. Garnish the nachos with diced avocado, fresh salsa, crumbled goat cheese and cilantro.