It’s finally back and boy, oh, boy, was it missed! Y’all know what I’m talking about, right? FOOTBALL! Hell, yeah. The expression that absence makes the heart grow fonder had to be written about the off-season, ’cause it drags on forever. But now football is finally back and it’s oh-so-sweet.
I‘m fully aware there are other sports to watch when there’s no football … BUT just saying “football” makes me tear up a little. I’ve begun to lose interest in most other sports. Sure, I’ll check ESPN on occasion to see a couple of NBA scores, but with the exception of March Madness or the NBA finals, I really can’t be bothered to watch a full game. And have you tried watching baseball or golf? I just don’t have that many pockets.
When it comes to football, I have to be picky. Each Saturday is a giant smorgasbord of seductive options; sadly, I don’t have enough free time to indulge all my tastes. That bothersome “job” thing gets in the way.
My hunger for football far outweighs the time I have to watch it. I’m mostly limited to only one or two full games on a weekend, but what saves me are the delicious highlight videos I devour like so many chicken wings. Wait. Did I say “hunger”? You know it!
Nothing makes Americans hungrier than watching football. We all have favorite treats we nosh with reckless abandon on game day. Many are based on the regional food culture. Truly, nothing beats a steaming hot brat doused with yellow mustard, the succulent juices dripping off your chin, at Notre Dame Stadium. Or how about the warm, spicy, chewy pepperoni rolls in Morgantown while you watch another Mountaineer victory? If you ever get a chance to go to a Virginia Tech game at Lane Stadium, I’m told the smoked turkey legs are moist, scrumptious and pleasingly greasy.
My favorite things at “The Bank” are the pulled-pork nachos from Bono’s. Soooo good. Now, if the Jags could only score, boy, that would be epic. If you can’t make it to a stadium to watch your favorite team, try these Cheffed Up shrimp hushpuppies. They might even make up for the subdued atmosphere of your living room.
CHEF BILL’S SHRIMP HUSHPUPPIES
- 1-3/4 cups cornmeal
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 tbsp. jalapeno, brunoise
- 1 tbsp. chives, sliced
- 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 14 oz. fresh, local shrimp, chopped
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- Sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Mix in the sugar, salt and Old Bay.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and yolk; add buttermilk.
- Slowly stir the egg and buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix out all the lumps.
- Fold in the jalapenos, herbs, goat cheese and shrimp.
- Adjust seasoning and consistency as necessary.
- Fry at 325°F until golden, finish in a 500˚F convection oven.
Until we cook again,
Contact Chef Bill Thompson, owner of The Amelia Island Culinary Academy, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find inspiration and get you Cheffed Up!