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Game Day Favorites

Posted by by Tim Pohland, category manager, online shopping
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Party food is essential to any successful gathering for the big game day; almost as essential as the game itself. This year, the game just happens to be in one of the greatest food towns in America: New Orleans.

Game Day Recipes with a Cajun twist

The company responsible for feeding the 70,000-plus fans at Super Bowl XLVII in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome released this year's official menu last week. More than 100 chefs and 1,000-plus in serving staff will be working around the clock to prepare this football fan-sized feast. The culinary talent behind the cuisine is James Beard Award-winning chef and NOLA legend Donald Link.

Menu items include alligator chili with alligator sausage , a Roast Beef Debris Po'Boy with rolls , BBQ shrimp and grits with fresh Louisiana Gulf Coast-caught white shrimp, chicken and sausage gumbo with dark roux, chicken, and sausage in a flavorful broth served with white rice, Natchitoches crawfish pies, Louisiana fried pies with zesty dressing and crawfish stuffing and Bayou Bootleg, a drink with the taste of the South and a splash of raspberry (special "Craft Cocktail" for this year’s game.)

Coaches and chefs alike take weeks to prepare for this big night. The culinary game plan will require 10,000 pounds of Gulf shrimp, 700 gallons of traditional Cajun gumbo, 3,000 pounds of alligator sausage, 450 gallons of New Orleans red beans (to be served with 6,000 pounds of rice), 150 gallons of spinach and artichoke dip and 18,000 pounds of smoked pork.

Even if you can’t make it down to the Sunday’s game, you can try your best to emulate the New Orleans experience. Buy a few jazz CDs, grab some party beads and make these traditional New Orleans food favorites to eat while watching the big game. 

Roast Pork “French” Dip Sandwiches – created by Tim Pohland
Total time: 4 to 5 hours | Makes 10 to 12 servings


  • 1 bone-in pork butt (approximately 5 -7 pounds)
  • 1 head garlic, broken into individual cloves and peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Crusty rolls or baguette
  • 1 tablespoon of creole mustard, if desired


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a small knife, make several incisions about 1/2 inch long and 1 inch deep all over the pork. Cut garlic cloves in half lengthwise and insert garlic pieces into each incision. Generously season pork all over with salt, pepper, chopped thyme and rosemary.
  2. Place celery, carrot, onion and bay leaves in a large roasting pan. Lay pork butt on top, fat side up. 
  3.  Roast pork for 30 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Add chicken stock, wine and tomatoes to roasting pan. Continue to cook pork until internal temperature registers 190 degrees with an instant-read thermometer and meat is fork-tender, another 3 to 4 hours. If pork begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. 
  4. Transfer pork to a platter and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Using a fine sieve, strain cooking liquid. Skim off as much fat as you can and reserve liquid.
  5. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until a light brown roux is formed, 7 to 8 minutes. Whisk in 4 cups of the drippings and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and reaches the consistency of sauce, about 10 minutes. Season with thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
  6. When pork is cool enough to handle, shred with a fork, then add it along with the sauce back to a large pan and reheat. Serve on crusty rolls or baguette, garnished as desired.

Easy Jambalaya– created by Tim Pohland
Total time: 5-6 hours | Makes 8 servings 


  • 2 pounds skinned and boned chicken thighs
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) container refrigerated pre-chopped celery, onion and bell pepper mix
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ pound peeled, extra-large raw shrimp
  • 1¾ cups converted rice
  • Chopped parsley (garnish)


  1. Combine chicken, sausage, celery mixture, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, Cajun spice mix, thyme and oregano in a 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5 hours.
  2. Add shrimp and rice, and increase heat to high. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Creole Spiced Shrimp – from the New York Times
Total time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling | Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 48 medium shrimp, shells cut down the back and veins removed


  1. Fill a large pot with about 2 gallons of water. Add all ingredients except shrimp and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and continue to simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp to pot and return to a simmer. Cover, remove pot from heat and let stand until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, discard the boil, and refrigerate shrimp until chilled (about 1 hour).
  3. Peel shrimp. Serve on top of rice, drizzled with some of the vegetables’ pickling liquid, or on a platter.

Tags: cajuncreoleshrimpjambalayafrench dip

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