Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hold Your Ears For The Neely’s Super Bowl Game Plan

First and Ten

Neely's Fried Calamari

Gina's Honey Mustard Kiss Wings

Neely's Meatball Sliders

Gina's Super Bowl Punch

This Saturday’s schedule of the Food Network was rife with Superbowl menus. I decided to take a look at the Neely's and see what they were offering. (Paula and Tyler's ideas will come in a later post.)

If you love the Neelys, you’d love their game day show. It started with Pat passing an onion across the kitchen to Gina and Gina doing a touchdown celebration dance that would have gotten her kicked out of the NFL. (Those tight white pants didn’t help either.)

If you don’t love them, well then it’s screamin’ Gina, as usual. (Maybe she should guest star on Jersey Shore.)

They start with meatball sliders. Pat chops an onion, while Gina chops 4 cloves of garlic. Let’s have less chat and more cooking, although I am jealous that she cooks with her significant other. Gina adds some oil to a pan and sautés the onion and garlic.

Pat mixes together ¾ of a pound of Italian sausage (with the casings removed), ¾ lb. ground pork and ½ cup panko. Gina is chopping more garlic. (If she were better at mise en place, she would have chopped all the garlic she needed at once.)

Into the meat mixture, Pat adds 2 eggs, ½ cup of parm and Gina throws in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and some chopped parsley. Pat says to mix it with your hands. Gina adds salt and pepper, while they do a little dance…again. I may have to skip this and go to their website to get the recipes.

Gina adds tomato purée and diced tomatoes to her sautéing onion and garlic and gets a large skillet with oil ready for Pat to fry the meatballs. Pat reminds us to cook the meatballs in batches, leaving room between each one. He turns them after the first side is nicely browned. He adds the meatballs to Gina’s sauce and that simmers for 45 minutes.

Before we get to the rest of the recipes, we have to hear about Gina majorette-ing and Pat playing football. He DOES look cute in his shoulder pads, but can we get to the chicken wings please?

For the fried calamari, 1 cup of yellow cornmeal goes into a bowl with dried parsley and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Now we know that Gina knows how to chop garlic AND parsley, but I suspect they're using dried because the fresh will give off too much liquid in the deep frying oil. They add salt, pepper and cayenne and they whisk it together. Really, that doesn’t take two people.

Oh my, I just realized something! Pat has the exact same cackle-like laugh as another southerner.

Pat takes out the cleaned and cut calamari and adds them to the cornmeal mixture. He preheats his deep fat fryer to 375ºF. (He’s using peanut oil for its high smoking temperature.) Pat dumps the coated calamari into the basket and cooks them for just a minute or two. He doesn’t say it, but don’t overfill the basket. You’ll need to fry them in batches.

Pat reminds us to season the calamari immediately after removing them from the deep fryer.

Gina makes a “magnificent” dipping sauce of 1/2 cup peach preserves, ½ cup chili sauce and a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. Magnificent? I think of Versailles as magnificent, but peach jam and bottled chili sauce? Not so much.

Gina is making Honey KISS wings. She only called it that so she can kiss everything in sight. For the marinade, they mix together ¼ cup of Neelys Barbecue Sauce, ¼ Dijon mustard, (gosh, Pat’s cackle is really something!) ¼ hot sauce, ¼ cup orange zest (that’s a HUGE amount) and ¼ cup honey from a honey bear. (My favNOT).

Pat drops his dried-off drummettes (SORRY, that sounds rude) in the marinade and refrigerates them for 2 hours. He says you can do it the night before too.

Pat puts the wings on the grill for 8 minutes. Meanwhile he makes the sauce. More kissing talk. He melts 3 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and ¼ cup honey. He whisks it together in a saucepan on the grill.

I’ve never actually used a pan right on the grill. I should go wild and try that.

Pat flips over the wings, y’all, and moves the wings from the center to the edge and the ones on the edge to the center. Very good tip. He “mops them down” with his honey sauce and creates an immediate crispness, y’all. Those do look good, but one more y’all and I may have to watch C-Span.

They put the meatballs on top of little rolls with a nice slice of parmesan on top. People arrive and Gina starts YELLING instructions for putting together the punch. It looks like they’re using a fishbowl or maybe a vase…Oh! It’s a cool glass container with a spigot at the bottom.

Gina screams (I’m not kidding) at the guys to add limes, limeade, vodka, ice and club soda and BEER.

WOW, that’s some mixture. Could it be good? It looks like frothing chicken stock. Gina tastes it and proclaims it good. Then they all scream some more and chow down. The sliders look a little petite for that group, but they’ll probably have a dozen each, so they should be okay. More screaming and bye, bye Neelys.

Did I learn anything? I like the idea of meatball sliders. The wings aren’t bad and I’m definitely passing on that punch recipe to an exuberant 24 year old friend of mine for HIS Super Bowl party.


DebCarol said...

Well I missed this one but have to confess I'm not a Neely watcher. But as always reading about them here was fun. Had to chuckle at your "honey bear" non-endorsement. I know you cringe when RR squeezes her honey bear. Alot of FN "chefs" seem to use them.

Sue said...

Hiya DC,
I guess they're like those out of town family members...you either love them when they come to stay once a year or you try to book a hotel. (I always have the Red Roof Inn number handy.)

jackiecat said...

Hi Sue,
I love your blog! I just wanted to let you know that honey bears are used by all sorts of honey suppliers, including the local bee keeper at my farmers market.

Emily said...

It seems like people just lovvve the Neely's. I'm not much of a fan, but I'm picky about my Foodtv shows.

Hahahaha! The sliders look a little petite for that group... hilarious.

That punch kind of sounds like summer brew. But I think that might be made with fruit punch.

I love honey bears. I'm A HUGE fan! They're incredible. So useful.

Tony said...

This blog is hilarious and informative! Love it.

I saw the same episode of the Neelys. It seemed to me that Gina was extremely angry or something. She did in fact yell at the guys like she was about to beat them with her honey bear. I thought perhaps I was interpreting incorrectly, but here it is in print. And that punch--- do people actually drink stuff like that?