Drum roll, please.......
Congratulations to the semi-finalists of the MH Game Grub Bowl! We tested all the entries and picked the best of the bunch to move on to the next round. Now it's up to everyone else to VOTE on who they want to send to the finals to compete for the ultimate title, a MH Cookbook and a Weber grill. But for making it this far, all of the semi-finalists are getting MH t-shirts!
Read on to get the scoop on each of the 9 semi-finalists and let the voting begin!
Lo's Tasting Notes:
BLT Dip: We cooked the bacon until it was crispy to try and avoid the rubbery-ness that sometimes happens when bacon is mixed with mayo and then let it set. The bacon held up against the mayo and tomato even overnight. The tomatoes lend a bit of juice so it thins the mayo/sour cream mixture, the Cajun seasoning adds flavor and the chives are just the right replacement for the lettuce which, frankly, is not missed at all in this dip. It satisfies the need the day of, but boy does it get better if you let it sit overnight the way Linda suggests.
Stewce: Is it a stew? Is it a sauce? No, it’s Stewce. CQ loved the name and hand-picked this one himself. This is one big meat party filled with short ribs, pork ribs and chicken thighs cooked slow and low until the meat falls off the bone. It’s super hearty and honestly doesn’t need the pasta/potatoes or rice (although it’s damn good with it). It’s perfect for a snowy day to keep you full, warmed and will lull you into a meat coma.
Chili: The pseudo-mole flavors of this chili are appreciated--unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon as well as a hint of sweetness from the beans bring the flavor without the fuss. The addition of hot chili sauce (we used sriracha) was an easy pantry swap from dried chiles and the lean ground beef made for a slightly healthier hearty chili. I love chunky, Texas-style chili made with dried peppers but this was a great grab-and-go pantry chili that tastes better the next day.
Hot Crab Dip: It’s a dump-and-pour dip that’s good to go with about 5 minutes of prep. We subbed real crab for the imitation for more crab flavor. The paprika adds a bit of needed heat and although were wary of mixing seafood with cheese, the monterrey jack adds flavor without having the typical cheesy texture.
Honey Bacon Chicken Wings: 3 ingredients, the directions being wrap/pour/bake- we chose this one based on the “mad hungry-ness” of it- simple, easy & good. Bacon is wrapped around chicken wings and the honey drizzled on top becomes a gooey, sweet glaze. Eaters beware: this is a lot of meat in a small bite!
Spicy Baked Beans: I was totally a Campbell’s canned baked beans & pork kid and this recipe just takes me back and then some. Chipotles add smokiness and a bit of heat, while the crispy bacon (added at the end) adds an unexpected crunch. It’s smoky, sweet and bacon-y--all made easily in a crock pot. Frankly, I could sit and eat this all day.
Onion Rings: Onion rings, in general, are things of beauty and this was no exception. The panko breading added an extra level of crunchy-ness and they turned a nice golden brown. With all things fried, these need to be prepped, cooked and eaten immediately but are delicious game grub.
Dreamy BBQ Chicken Squares: These are essentially a take on bbq chicken pizza. We subbed the canned pizza crust for some freshly made dough from Whole Foods (pizzeria dough works best though) that we rolled out thin and used a tomato-y based bbq sauce. Our only complaint is we’d like our dreamy squares to be more saucy and added a little more BBQ sauce but could you imagine this cooked on the grill? Definitely dreamy.
Punch (aka double wide shandy): This was our wild card. It didn’t have a name per-se and the ingredients were funky... Beer, pineapple juice, vodka? Susan even said herself, that it sounds like a crazy combo but people love it. We’re no exception. Mixing it up, it looked like a shandy (beer mixed with lemonade or citrus flavored soda) and it was kind of strange and “ghetto” so we lovingly named it the double wide shandy and used a pale ale (Dale’s Pale Ale) but if you can’t find that, something tells me a Belgian ale or another light in flavor beer like Coors would do the trick too- it takes your game day beer and adds a little kitsch and fun.