Friday, January 25, 2013

The Starting Line Up

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

Well, the Super Bowl is a little over a week away and I'm sure that you all have your menus planned out, food ordered, and are all ready to entertain for the big game.  What?  Really?  You don't have an earthly clue what you are going to serve and/or bring to the Superbowl party?  Oh... you are in luck then!  Union Market just made your life easier...

This Sunday, January 27th from 11:00 - 3:00pm, Union Market is hosting a Game Day Do-It-Yourself event to gear up for Super Bowl parties.  During the event, Nycci Nellis will broadcast Foodie and The Beast live from Union Market with panelists Mike Isabella and Siggi Hall.  After the broadcast, shoppers can participate in a number of 'do-it-yourself' sessions like:
  • A lesson from Salt and Sundry’s Amanda McClements on how to style your Super Bowl Sunday buffet table
  • How-To’s for burgers and hot dogs from Harvey’s Market
  • Take and Bake appetizers and cooking demonstrations from Rappahannock Oyster Bar
  • Mixology tips from Buffalo and Bergen’s Gina Chersevani on Game Day beer cocktails
  • A showcase of beer and cheese pairings and a cheese dip from Righteous Cheese
We had the opportunity to head over to Union Market and sample some of their 'do-it-yourself' ideas that will be available on Sunday so you all can get a sneak peak in advance.

Buffalo and Bergen's mixologist Gina Chersevani shared her tips and tricks for creating a beer cocktail, punch, and egg cremes on Game Day.   

The soda shop is designed with a nostalgic feel focusing around the centerpiece, a refurbished Woolworth's soda shop bar/ice box.  Perched on the bar stool, you feel like you are back in the 1930's, visiting a New York soda shop, sipping on a light and bubbly egg creme (pick your own flavor!) and noshing on a doughy, Reuben-style knish.

Over at Red Apron Butchery, they were serving up delicious and cleverly crafted meat and accompaniments.  Great to snack on during the game, especially their spicy Atomic Hot Dog (my personal favorite).

In addition to the hot dog snacks available at Red Apron, they also offer meat to package up and take home including scrapple, sausages, porchetta and porcstrami.   Most certainly 'meaty-lic-ious'.

One of the keys to any good Super Bowl party is not just the food (or TVs in the bathroom), but also the table-setting and the art of entertainment.  And who better to give some tips to make it easier to host a party than Salt and Sundry’s Amanda McClementsAmanda creates a layout and ambiance for entertaining that cannot be topped.  Everything in her shop is super cute, stylish and functional.

The thing I like best about this shop is that it is based in roots of Amanda's family and hometown -- her father crafts the tables sold in the shop and the decor is simple and artistic (like the North Carolina grain bags).  It just captures the essence of HOME.  It's warm and inviting in a way that makes you want to grab a chair and have a drink with some friends (yes, right there in the middle of store). 

Harvey's Market brings fresh, sustainable, local meats while giving excellent service, custom cuts and ready to cook items. It is a family run business for over 80 years with an established foundation in the DC area.  They suggested serving some juicy burgers made from fresh ground beef on Game Day.  But I was focused on the fantastic variety of meat cuts they provide.

Including this little gem of goat meat... not easy to find at most butchers.

Rappahannock Oysters Co. prepared some delicious oysters both raw and grilled and we were lucky enough to sample their famous crab cake.  The oysters were amazing, especially the Rappahannock oyster, which was light and creamy with a sweet buttery finish.

Oysters aren't the only thing Rappahannock Oysters Co. can do well... their crab cake was outstanding.  No filler, no breadcrumbs, no egg - no nothing.  Just crab meat and a tangy remoulade binding agent.  They will be offering 'take and bake' trays this Sunday and my suggestion is get more than just one.  I can guarantee they will go like hot cakes at any party.
Rappahannock Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

The last stop on the 'do-it-yourself' Game Day sampling tour was over at Righteous Cheese.  Righteous Cheese pairs artisanal cheeses with wine and beer.  For me, it was a little slice of heaven.  And for the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Righteous Cheese is having a Cheese Bowl where two beer and cheese pairings go head-to-head in a competition to see which is the better match.

The Cheese Bowl will feature a Maryland semi soft cheese (Monocacy Ash) which is light and creamy paired with the Stillwater Cellar Door beer.  This is pairing is light and refreshing with a sweet and tangy flavor.  In comparison, the California competitor features a Vella Dry Jack cheese that is hard and complex paired with the Stone Smoked Porter, a dark and rich beer.  Both were excellent cheeses and well paired with the beer, but in the end, the soft cheese won out for me.

The Union Market artisans definitely have you covered for any Super Bowl party needs (and any cravings that might arise... read: Stoner Krispies from Red Apron Butchery).  So be sure to stop by on Sunday for the Do-It-Yourself Game Day event and you won't be disappointed!       

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