Super Bowl Ring

It’s finally Super Bowl time! I grew up in New Jersey and have always been a die hard Giants fan. I still am. But now that I live in Maine, I cheer for the Patriots when the Giants aren’t in it. I wasn’t very popular at a few Super Bowl parties being in New England territory now. But, I always redeemed myself by bringing food.

My team didn’t make it this year though. Actually, they didn’t even make the playoffs. But, I’m still looking forward to celebrating the big game. This year I’m making this cheesesteak sandwich Super Bowl Ring along with some of my other favorite football fare.

I’m not gonna cry my eyes out over it!

One of the things I like most about this sandwich is the caramelized onions. I don’t care much for raw onions on a sandwich, so I don’t mind the time it takes for these onions to cook. It takes about 30 minutes for them to develop a rich, sweet flavor that works well with the meat, cheese, garlic and other veggies.

Also, you can never go wrong with two cheeses. I used American and provolone. Three cheeses might be better yet and I contemplated using mozzarella, too. But, I wanted to be able to hold this sandwich without too much cheese oozing out of it. Ordinarily oozing cheese would be a plus, but in this case I used a little self-restraint.

My rules for football food are really very simple. It has to be comfort food and relatively easy to make. You also have to be able to dip it, scoop it, or hold it with one hand. You need to have a free hand for your beer or other beverage, right?

Super Bowl Ring cheesesteak section
Super Bowl Ring cheesesteak section

This cheesesteak sandwich ring is very easy to make. I’ve included step- by-step instructions with pictures, too.

Super Bowl Ring Cheesesteak Sandwich

This easy cheesesteak sandwich is made with premade crescent roll dough, store bought steak sandwich slices, caramelized onions, tomatoes and two cheeses. Provide pickles, peppers, lettuce or other toppings as a garnish along with ketchup or other preferred condiment for a variation of the traditional cheesesteak hoagie.

Course Sandwich
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesesteak
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lisa York

Ingredients

  • 16 frozen steak sandwich slices
  • 1 8 oz package prepared crescent rolls
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch oregano optional
  • lettuce garnish
  • pickles garnish
  • ketchup optional
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp water
  • pinch sea salt for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F

    Prepare the seasoning mixture by combining the salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. 

    Dice a large tomato then sprinkle a pinch of the seasoning mixture and a pinch of oregano, if desired.

  2. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and add extra virgin olive oil.

    Super Bowl Ring oil and butter for carmelized onions
  3. Slice the onions then add to the butter and oil then stir until they are well coated. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally so they start to brown all over for approximately 30 minutes. Add a pinch of the seasoning mixture, if desired.

    Super Bowl Ring onions
  4. Cook the sandwich steaks according to package instructions. Sprinkle a pinch of the seasoning mixture if desired. When the steak slices are fully cooked, move them to a paper towel to absorb the grease.  Allow to cool before assembling the sandwich. (If you place the hot slices on the cold dough, the dough will get gooey and won’t cook correctly.)

    Super Bowl Ring fry the steaks
  5. Line a round baking pan or pizza pan with parchment.

    Super Bowl Ring line pan with parchment
  6. Determine the size of the hole in the center by placing the bowl or small plate you will use to serve additional toppings or sauces.

    Super Bowl Ring sizing of the ring
  7. Lay out the crescent roll triangles in a circle around the plate with the pointy tip of the triangle point outwards. Slightly overlap the wider edges of the dough and press the dough to seal the pieces together.

    Super Bowl Ring place dough in a circle
  8. Lay a cooled, cooked slice of sandwich steak lengthwise over each triangle shaped piece of dough.  

    Super Bowl Ring 1st layer of sandwich steak
  9. Add a slice of provolone to each section.

    Super Bowl Ring provolone layer
  10. Add approximate 1 tbsp of diced tomato to each section.

    Super Bowl Ring diced tomato layer
  11. Add caramelized onions to each section.

    Super Bowl Ring caramelized onion layer
  12. Add another sandwich steak slice.

    Super Bowl Ring 2nd layer of sandwich steak
  13. Top each section with a slice of American cheese.

    Super Bowl Ring American cheese layer
  14. Fold the pointy end of the dough over each section and tuck the tip under the wider end of the dough. 

    Super Bowl Ring wrap the dough
  15. Add 1 tsp of water to an egg and beat until well blended. Using a pastry brush, coat the dough on the top and sides of the ring sandwich. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. 

    Super Bowl Ring brush dough with egg wash
  16. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is melty. 

  17. While the sandwich is baking, line a serving tray with parchment paper. Lay lettuce leaves around the outer edge of the tray. 

    Super Bowl Ring line lettuce leaves around edge of tray
  18. When the sandwich is done baking, allow to cool for a few minutes then carefully transfer the sandwich to the serving tray. (If you can’t pick up the whole sandwich intact, transfer individual sections and arrange them in a circle on the tray.) Add  bowl of pickles and ketchup in the center hole and garnish the lettuce with the remaining tomatoes, if any. 

    Super Bowl Ring transfer ring to tray

This is sure to be the first thing people go for on the buffet table. Depending on how hungry your crowd is, you may want to make two. What are your favorite football foods? Let me know in the comments below and enjoy the game. I hope your team wins!

The Ultimate Comfort Food – Beginning With Mirepoix

Do you know what I like about mirepoix (pronounced meer pwa)? Besides the fact that it is fun to say, it’s the basic foundation of many soups, stews and sauces. It’s commonly made up of aromatics such as carrots, celery and onions. I’m adding garlic and green bell peppers to the trio because I find it packs a lot more flavor. It’s the beginning of many layers of flavor I’ll be using today in my hearty homemade tomato sauce which then goes on to the star of the show, American Chop Suey.

Sweat or sauté

The idea of mirepoix is to sweat the vegetables over a low heat for about an hour in a small amount of fat. I like to use a little butter and extra virgin olive oil for an additional layer of flavor. You don’t necessarily want to sauté the veggies because that method cooks the product too quickly and you will get a much different flavor result. Sweating is similar to sautéing, however, at a much lower temperature and for a longer period of time. Sweating softens the veggies, releases water from them without browning. This will draw out their natural sweetness and will be helpful later when we add the tomatoes. The reward for your patience in the slow cooking of the veggies is that the sweetness from the mirepoix will neutralize some of the acid from the tomatoes.

There are many different combinations to make a mirepoix. The possibilities are endless. Most often you will see a basic mirepoix is 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery. That is an excellent starting point. However, you may want to experiment with the ratios to find different flavors that suit your tastes. I find I like more carrots than onions and that is what I use in this recipe.

As I mentioned, mirepoix is found in many foods. I like to make a big batch of it so I can have it on hand for a quick soup or stew. Depending on the dish you’re making, you might even consider adding some bacon to the mixture for additional flavor. Likewise, ginger adds a lot of flavor and goes well if you use a mirepoix when making a stir fry. For other recipes, which I will share another time, I use different combinations.

The. Ultimate. Comfort. Food.

For now though, get ready for American Chop Suey, the ultimate comfort food. I’ve made this dish countless times for lunches or casual get togethers. People always seem surprised that this dish has mozzarella cheese in it. How could it not? I mean, all of the ingredients are just screaming to be covered in cheese. *Disclaimer* I am a cheese fanatic. If I could find a way to add cheese to my breakfast cereal that isn’t gross, I would totally do it. Stay tuned, you never know what challenges await.

American Chop Suey

A hearty pasta dish packed with a hearty tomato sauce, ground beef and mozzarella cheese.

Course Dinner
Keyword Pasta
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Lisa

Ingredients

Mirepoix

  • 2 cups carrots shredded or diced
  • 2 cups red and green bell peppers diced
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • pinch salt

Hearty Tomato Sauce

  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz can tomato paste (optional - as needed)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef

American Chop Suey

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 3-4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

Mirepoix

  1. In a large skillet over low heat, drizzle olive oil  to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the butter until melted.

    Mirepoix ingredients
  2. Shred the carrots, dice the onions, celery and bell peppers, mince the garlic. Add to the skillet. Toss the ingredients until well coated. Add the pinch of salt. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for approximately one hour. (Be sure to keep an eye on the vegetables, you shouldn't hear loud sizzling while it's cooking and your ingredients shouldn't turn brown. If this starts happening, reduce heat.) 

    Mirepoix simmering

Hearty tomato sauce

  1. While the vegetables are sweating, in a separate skillet, over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Add half of the broth, and all of the seasonings. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

    Ground beef for tomato sauce
  2. After the mirepoix has simmered for the hour, add the remaining broth to the mixture and bring to a low boil. 

    Mirepoix plus broth
  3. Combine the mirepoix mixture and the ground beef mixture. Then add the crushed and diced tomatoes. Continue to simmer up to another hour. The sauce will thicken and get sweeter the longer it cooks. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, you can gradually add some of the tomato paste a little at a time until your sauce reaches your desired consistency.

    hearty tomato sauce
  4. Meanwhile, cook one pound of pasta according to the package directions.

    Elbow macaroni

American Chop Suey

  1. When the pasta is cooked to your desired tenderness, gradually add the sauce and mozzarella cheese to the pasta and mix thoroughly. 

    American chop suey assembly2

The Jack Of All Herbs Medley – A blend of herbs for soups, salads, sauces and spreads

I love annual harvest festivals.  Farmers and vendors from all over the state gather to sell their goods to people like me who don’t have the magical green thumb required to produce such wonderful produce. They always offer so many specialty items along with the fresh produce, herbs, cheeses and meat products, too. Not to mention that the vendors usually offer samples of their delicious creations. So, while you explore the festival, you can usually sample enough items to make a lunch out of it.

About 6 or 7 years ago I stopped by the local harvest festival and found a vendor selling herbs. I was looking for saffron for a bread I will share with you at a later date. They didn’t have the saffron, but they did have a variety of other herbs on display in cute gift jars. They also had a separate display of their own blend of herbs. They offered pretzels to their visitors to sample the herb blend mixed with cream cheese. Well, I could have stood there all afternoon enjoying that concoction. But, instead, I purchased a large jar for myself and few smaller packets with salad dressing jars to use as holiday gifts then continued my quest for the saffron.

Over the course of the next few months, I found many uses for this blend. It has a bit of an Italian seasoning flair, so it goes great in marinara sauce, added to soups, salad dressings and to butter or cream cheese for delicious spreads. You can add it to some oil and vinegar and drizzle it as a condiment for Italian hoagies…or maybe you call them subs. No matter what you call those delicious sandwiches, this condiment is yummy on them.

So, when I started to run out of the blend from the harvest festival, I became very stingy with the remaining portions and decided to use it sparingly until the next harvest festival, so I could replenish my stock. Well, much to my dismay, none of the vendors at this particular festival sold anything like it. I didn’t keep the bag or the tag from the jar with the company name. I have looked for it everywhere, with no luck. Since I have no idea where to get it now, I had to get inventive and try to re-create the blend.

Well, after many batches of cream cheese and herb spread, I have a version that is similar to what I was trying to re-create. Even though it is still slightly different, this medley adds a little pizzazz to many dishes. It has many uses and is good on many things, hence the name, Jack of all Herbs Medley. The recipe is below along with some of my favorite uses.

Jack Of All Herbs Medley

This medley is a re-creation of a blend I can no longer find to purchase. It's slightly different but is still a nice addition to many dishes.

All of the ingredients used in this recipe are dried; although you could use fresh herbs. Just keep in mind that one teaspoon of dried herbs equal 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped herbs. 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder is the equivalent of 1 medium clove of garlic. 2 teaspoons of onion powder is approximately 1/2 a medium onion. 

Course Herbs
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chives
  • 4 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp orange peel
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sage

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and store in an air tight container or jar.

Now that you have combined all the ingredients, why not try one of these?

Jack Of All Herbs Medley And Cream Cheese Dip

This recipe will work as a dip for your favorite chips or pretzels or as a spread for crackers.

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Herb Medley
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonaisse
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate for at least one hour. For best results, make one day ahead to give the flavors optimal mingling time.

    Cream cheese and herb dip

Jack of all Herbs Medley Bread Dipping Oil

This herb blend is perfect for adding to olive oil in place of butter for your dinner rolls.

Course Appetizer, Bread, Herbs
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch Herb Medley
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients until well blended.

    Herb medley bread dipping oil

Jack of all Herbs Medley Butter

Excellent substitution for garlic butter for use on Texas Toast or Italian Bread.

Course Appetizer, Bread, Herbs
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 tsp Herb Medley

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients until well blended. Serve in place of butter for dinner rolls or in place of garlic butter for garlic bread.
    Herb medley butter

Jack of all Herbs Medley Salad Dressing

A great substitution for Italian dressing. Use as a salad dressing or veggie dip.

Course Dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Lisa

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp herb mix

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a jar, seel tightly and shake until well blended. Shake well before each use. 

    Herb medley salad dressing

Hoagies or submarines? What do you call them? Let me know in the comments below along with where you are from.