Leaving aside the fact that the Niners will not be playing in it, Super Bowl 2012 is shaping up to be a helluva game. For one, you'll be able to get your play-by-play commentary from polar bears, corporate trickery though it may be. Two, the Bay Area will not be subjected to dead fetus ads at half-time. Three, Madonna's probably bringing M.I.A. and Nikki Minaj to whatever color of glitter explosion halftime will be. Four, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to gorge yourself on salty snacks, cold beers, and hearty stew, all of the above because we live in Amurrca and that's how it works.
Yes vegans, even you! John Schlimm, author of the Tipsy Vegan (Da Capo, 176pp, $17)-- which we reviewed in this winter's Guardian Books Issue -- was good enough to share with us some recipes for a nice little lineup of vegan Big Game treats, including whiskey-specked hot-to-trot peanuts, aforementioned hearty veggie-and-beer stew, and a prescription for guacamole that necessitates tequila. See that? Each of Sclimm's dishes are not only animal product-free, but also embued with that lifeblood of all vegans, alcohol. Sure, not all vegans booze, but don't tell that to the denizens of the monthly SF Vegan Drinks because those kids get some serious networking done over happy hour. Are you ready for some cow, pig, chicken, and fish-free football?!?!!?
(all recipe descriptions are Schlimm's)
Flaming Hot Peanuts
For those who like it hot, you’ve come to the right place. Have a fire extinguisher (or, in tipsy vegan speak, a cool cocktail) on standby and open your hatch for these blazing little dazzlers, which have been paired with a few swigs of whiskey. But, if you must, you can control the heat in this zippy snack by selecting bottled sauces with less flame. Though I plead with you to have a heart — this recipe is really intended for adventure seekers who like their kissers ignited with flavor.
2 pounds dry-roasted, salted peanuts
1⁄8 cup Tabasco sauce
1⁄8 cup peanut oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon sugar, or 2 teaspoons prepared sweet red pepper relish
1/4 cup bottled crushed jalapeños, drained
3 tablespoons whiskey
8 droplets of liquid smoke (optional)
Other hot sauces of your choice to make 1 cup of liquid (or mild sauces for a little less kick)
Pour the peanuts into a large, resealable plastic bag. In a 1-cup glass measure, blend the remaining ingredients.
Stir the mixture thoroughly and pour over the peanuts, seal the bag, and squeeze it to mix thoroughly.
Marinate the peanuts overnight in the refrigerator, turning the bag a few times.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spread the peanut mixture evenly over the sheet. Roast slowly for 2 to 21/2 hours, stirring every half hour.
Turn the oven off, and let the peanuts rest in the closed oven overnight to dry out.
Store in airtight container(s) lined with paper towels.
Yield: 2 pounds hot peanuts
Note: begin the recipe two days before you want to serve the peanuts.
Tequila Seduces Guacamole
What would guacamole be without a tequila chaser? ¡Ay caramba! Luckily for us, with this recipe we’ll never again have to ponder that terrifying question. Share the love and mix a few tablespoons of the lively spirit directly into this classic south-of-the-border dip. Just beware the fire hazard: when adding the jalapeños, carefully taste a slice to determine the sizzle factor, which can vary wildly. as for the limes, usually the smoother the skin, the juicier the lime.
3 ripe Hass avocados
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, nicely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 to 3 jalapeños (depending on your heat preferences), stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
Juice of 1 lime, about 3 tablespoons
2 to 3 tablespoons good tequila
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
lightly warmed tortilla chips, for serving
Halve the avocados and remove the pits by whacking them with a knife blade and twisting them out. Use a spoon to scrape the avocado flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork just until chunky. Add the cilantro, red onion, jalapeños, lime juice, tequila, salt, and pepper and combine with the fork. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit more tequila. Serve at room temperature with plenty of warm tortilla chips.
Yield: About 2 cups
Bottom’s Up VegeBean Stew
Served warm on a snowy Sunday or chilled on a hot summer afternoon, a good basic golden lager or dark beer of choice tops off this festival of vegetables and beans, infusing the ingredients with the hearty twist and twang of earthy hops. also, feel free to roll out a barrel of your own homebrew or favorite fresh ingredients, making this dish a true original every time.
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can cut green beans
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can corn
1 (15-ounce) can light red kidney beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (15-ounce) can green and white lima beans
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can green and shelled beans
1 quart (14-ounces) regular V-8 juice
1 (7-ounce) can peeled and chopped green chiles
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen stir-fry vegetables (thawed)
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 to 4 (or to taste) tablespoons barley
3 tablespoons (or to taste) minced garlic
Season salt (to taste)
Garlic salt (to taste)
1 (12-ounce) bottle lager or dark beer (preferred) of choice
In a large pot, combine all the ingredients, except the beer. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 21/2 to 3 hours, until the vegetables are soft. Slowly pour the beer into the pot about 45 minutes before serving. Simmer until ready to serve.
This is a very versatile dish. Feel free to experiment by adding other beans, vegetables, or seasonings (i.e., crushed red pepper flakes, vegan Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce) of choice. There is even a variety of V-8 juices, including a “Spicy Hot” version, that could each add a really unique kick to the stew.
Yield: 12 to 15 servings.