Medieval literature describes Richard the Lionhearted, the crusader king of England, flaunting his customary consumption of human flesh during battle to strike fear into the hearts of his enemy. His troops would loot and devour the dead, causing the ‘infidels” to panic and spread images of ruthlessness and savagery regarding their deadly opponents.
As devoted Saints’ fans, the people of New Orleans would do almost anything to support their team and rattle the nerves of our rivals. We feel elated at every touchdown and crestfallen with each yard lost to the adversary. Heck, when Drew Brees wondered aloud if he could go so far as to get away with murder in this city, people were standing in line to offer themselves up as sacrifice.
Naturally, folks in this town wouldn’t resort to cannibalism to incite terror into opposing teams (although Brett Favre might be great in an etouffee), there is a way we can devour the enemy…symbolically of course.
While donning black and gold, attending every home game and paying $7 for a Miller Lite at the Superdome is all very honorable and shows unfailing team spirit, what if we could use a little of our own gris gris and consume dishes named for our foes in a figurative gesture of righteousness, zeal and athletic superiority.
On Thanksgiving Day when the Saints face off with Dallas at the Cowboys Stadium, let your guests crunch their way through the opposition with some Cowboy Caviar:
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz.) chopped black olives, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1/4 green bell Pepper Chopped
1 pickled Jalapeño chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. lime juice
Dash of Tabasco
1.4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1 green onion, sliced
Mix all ingredients except cream cheese, eggs and green onion. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or over night.
Spread cream cheese on a serving plate and spoon bean mixture evenly over cream cheese. Arrange eggs on bean mixture in ring around edge of the plate. Sprinkle with green onion to garnish and serve with your favorite corn or tortilla chips.
On October 17th when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ and our beloved Saints’ go head to head in Florida at the Raymond James Stadium, let the tropics melt in your mouth while you enjoy some Buccaneers’ Pork Chops. Tear into the sweet and savory flavor of success while our boys destroy their foes.
Buccaneers’ Pork Chops
Yields 4 servings
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks with juice
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup golden raisins
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and fry on each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Pour in the liquid from the pineapple chunks, saving pineapple for later. Stir in the golden syrup and ketchup and season with curry powder, ginger, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until pork chops are tender.
Add pineapple chunks and raisins. Heat through briefly, and then serve.
Dive into the macabre on Halloween when the Saints’ chop the Pittsburgh Steelers into little bits and scatter them all over the field. Roll some ice cream into the remnants (or chopped pecans, if you prefer) and revel in their decadent defeat with Pittsburgh Pecan Balls.
Pittsburgh Pecan Balls
1 c. chopped, toasted pecans
1 qt. quality or homemade vanilla ice cream
Hot Fudge Sauce:
6 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, cut into thin slices
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. brandy or liqueur (optional)
Toast pecans in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Shake pan occasionally to turn. Nuts should crisp slightly.
Make fudge sauce: Place chocolate, sugar and cream in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Bit by bit, beat in butter until well incorporated.
Remove from heat and one at a time stir in until smooth the lemon juice, vanilla and brandy or liqueur.
To store: Pour into heat proof containers, cool to room temperature, cover with an air tight lid. Refrigerate. To reheat, remove lid and place in a pot of gently simmering water, makes about 3 cups.
To Assemble Pecan Balls: Spread pecans over waxed paper. Roll ice cream ball over surface of nuts until ice cream is completely coated (Each ball will require from 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped nuts). Serve in a bowl with warm hot fudge.
Finally, when we pluck the Ravens in Baltimore on December 19th, be sure to toast their inevitable downfall with their own “fowl” nectar.
1 oz vodka
1 oz white rum
1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
3 oz lemon/lime soda
2 oz peach schnapps
1 dash blackcurrant squash concentrate or any dark fruit concentrate
1 chopped lime (optional)
Mix ice, vodka, rum and the blue Curacao together and shake. Pour into a tall (Collins) glass and add soda and peach schnapps. Add a dash of fruit concentrate to the top which will settle to the bottom of the glass giving a ravens’ wing effect, add the lime to the top and do not stir.
Our ultimate goal is to support the New Orleans Saints through ritualistically sacrificing their own cuisine to the football gods . . . without getting any blood on our hands.
*Article originally published in the November 2010 issue of Where Y’at Magazine