The Los Angeles Rams are going to the Super Bowl!
Angelenos are rejoicing in the City of Angeles, my hometown.
Yeah, I know the controversy about the infamous “non-call” for pass interference of the Rams during the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints. It allowed the Rams to tie the score with a field goal in the final precious minutes of the game. In sudden death overtime, the Rams won it all after an interception and a winning field goal kick. So now the Rams will go against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII or the 53rd Super Bowl game.
These are the details, cursorily recounted.
They sting for many. For others, it’s a serendipitous outcome.
But this championship game bell can’t be un-rung. So we just got to move on – that is move on to planning our Super Bowl viewing party menu.
Super Bowl Chili anyone?
In my Super Bowl post last year, I featured my 5 Bean and Beer Chili recipe as the perfect complement for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles game.
Chili is a good choice. It’s actually a great choice and considered required Super Bowl viewing party food along with tasty party wings.
To my absolute surprise, I’ve learned that not everyone likes chili. Imagine that! It’s unbelievable to me. So if a bowl of hot and comforting chili is not the center piece of everyone’s viewing party experience, chili abstainers will be sidelined.
The game day recipe play
Since the Rams victory was such a stunner, my Super Bowl recipe offering this year has to be as well. It’s got to be something unexpected and somewhat of a game changer.
My Fair Catch Scalloped Potatoes recipe is all that and more. It a fusion of scalloped and Au Gratin potatoes. The cream sauce is made with sauteed shallots and garlic, evaporated milk, a small amount of creamy and sharp Romano cheese, dried Italian herbs, a squeeze of concentrated tomato paste – and the pièce de rèstistance (or the most remarkable feature) is a turkey Italian sausage that is sandwiched between the first and second potato layer.
It’s a hearty side dish with a delicate, creamy sauce that is heightened with the subtle savoriness of dried Italian seasoning and a hint of sharpness from the Romano cheese. It’s a goodie.
For best results, make this recipe in a glass, 13 x 9-inch baking dish. You can cut it into 8 to 15 serving size squares. Garnish it with fresh basil. It can be served warm or at room temperature.
Now a brief disclosure
Unlike most recipes I feature, this one is a little more than intermediate, and the total baking time is an hour and fifteen minutes. You can certainly bake it a day ahead and reheat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until thoroughly warm.
With all that said, it’s definitely worth it and there’s no pass interference here. This one simply goes straight up the middle for a tasty touchdown. Now – go team!
Fair Catch Scalloped Potatoes
A hearty side dish with a delicate, creamy sauce and an Italian twist.
1/4 cup butter
2 large shallots diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste (I used tomato paste in tube)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (scant or a large pinch)
1 1/2 pounds russets potatoes sliced about 1/8 inch thick (4 to 5 medium potatoes)
3 links fresh Italian sausage, cooked (turkey used in this recipe)
Fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit
- Remove casing from sausage links. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and heat at medium heat. Place sausage in the skillet and break apart with wooden or silicone spatula.
- Turn the sausage over in pan until it browns and it is cooked. Drain the oil from the meat and set aside.
- Wash and scrub potatoes. Pat dry. Do not peel. Slice with a knife or mandolin 1/8 inch thick. Place sliced potatoes in bowl.
- Cover potatoes with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and agitate water with your hand to distribute salt. Let potatoes stand in water.
- To make the sauce, melt butter over medium low heat. Add shallots. Cook until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.
- Reduce heat to low. Add milk, broth, Romano cheese, salt, red pepper flakes and dried Italian seasoning.
- Turn heat back up to medium and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Continue to whisk until sauce is smooth.
- Remove from heat once the sauce is thicken.
- Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish. Drain potatoes. Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover first layer of potatoes with cooked sausage. Pour a 1/3 of the cream sauce sauce over the sausage.
- Repeat with a second layer of potatoes and pour another 1/3 of the sauce over potatoes. End with a third layer of potatoes pour last 1/3 of cream sauce over the top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Broil for 2-4 minutes to obtain a golden top.
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped basil.