There’s been a bad taste in the mouths of Green Bay Packers fans since the NFC championship game. Not only did the wrong “Bay” team win, but they were led by a quarterback who is frequently dubbed the Greatest Of All Time by national media. (Though we all know the GOAT led his team to a Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in 1967.)
Packers fans, let’s make this Super Bowl more palatable with green-and-gold-inspired comfort food on the game day table.
Some recipes hail from official Green Bay Packers partners like Johnsonville and Sargento. Others come from trusted Green Bay-area cooks and chefs.
Yes, a lot of beer, cheese and meat is involved.
Bratchos with Beer Cheese Sauce
The first stop on our “how to make game day more palatable for Packers fans” tour is at Johnsonville.
Transform those nachos into bratchos with a homemade beer cheese sauce from Johnsonville corporate chef Cole Hansen.
The recipe lists original brats, but Hansen said other flavors like queso, hot & spicy, cheddar and Chorizo would be tasty options.
For beer in the sauce, you can use Miller Lite and check off another official Packers backer, or your choice of pilsner, wheat, blond or pale ale.
And while the recipe calls for brown mustard, Hansen says the horseradish in Johnsonville’s Giddy Up mustard, one of a variety of mustards available at the Johnsonville Marketplace in Sheboygan Falls, provides plenty of pep to stand out in the sauce.
I ignored his advice and used the Smolderin’ (fire-roasted Chipotle) mustard, because that’s what I happened to have in the fridge. I’d use it again in this sauce.
Makes: 6 servings
1 package (19 ounces) Johnsonville brats
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup beer (wheat, blonde ale, pale ale, pilsner)
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded from the block
Your favorite nacho toppings sliced, diced and prepared (shredded lettuce, diced tomato, jalapeno slices, guacamole, sliced black olives, green onion slices, sour cream, etc.)
1 bag (15 ounces) tortilla chips
Cook brats according to package directions. Cool slightly; cut into coin-sized pieces.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings; cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in beer, milk and mustard a bit at a time while whisking until smooth after each addition. Continue cooking over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese until melted and smooth.
Layer tortilla chips on a serving tray.
Layer the lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, guacamole and cheese sauce.
Sprinkle with olives and green onions.
Serve with dollops of sour cream.
(Recipe from Johnsonville)
Luna Stout Chili
Using Hinterland beer brewed right across the street from Lambeau Field and Wisconsin sharp cheddar sends this chili over the top, said chef Josh Swanson. He should know, his résumé includes a stint cooking in Hinterland’s kitchen.
Makes: 1¼ gallons
2 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
12 ounces Hinterland Luna Stout
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (you can use regular but it won’t be as good)
½ tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
6 cups black beans, drained
6 cups canned fire roasted tomatoes
34 ounces tomato juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ounce dark chocolate
1 tablespoon chipotle puree (blended canned chipotle in adobo)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)
¼ cup tomato paste
Yellow sharp cheddar, shredded (optional)
Green onions, sliced (optional)
Combine meat and garlic in a large pot and cook until meat is browned and crumbled. Transfer to a strainer and drain excess fat.
While beef is draining, add onions, jalapeno and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pot. Cook over medium heat to sweat the vegetables. Once the onions are translucent, add the Luna Stout and bring to a boil.
Return meat and garlic to the pot, add chili powder, celery salt, remaining tablespoon of salt, cumin, Aleppo and black pepper. Continuing on medium heat, mix until spices are fully incorporated and fragrant.
Add black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato juice, brown sugar, dark chocolate, chipotle puree and hot sauce. Bring to a boil over medium heat — don’t turn it up because it can scorch. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for a few hours. Alternatively, you can toss this in a slow cooker on low or warm.
To serve, spoon chili in a bowl and add some green and gold pop by topping with the sharp cheddar and green onions. As you might suspect, this pairs well with Hinterland Luna Stout.
(Recipe from Josh Swanson)
Lazy Dan tosses hot dog buns in the toaster, spreads on butter while warm and shakes garlic salt over the buns.
A little extra effort is warranted for the Super Bowl with this Country Hearth recipe.
For the record: Sargento is an official Packers partner.
Makes: 8 servings
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 Village Hearth Classic Hot Dog Buns
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
Cut buns almost in half lengthwise and open. Spread butter mixture on cut side of buns. Place butter side up on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning slightly.
(Recipe from Country Hearth)
Chef Jeff’s Ribs
Kansas City is well known for ribs slathered in a sweet barbecue sauce. To make ribs for the game to show your food support for Kansas City, I turned to chef Jeff Igel for advice.
Igel is the Fox Valley Technical College program director of culinary outreach and heads up the Chefs Gone Grillin’ barbecue competition team. This is the team’s method for turning in competition-worthy ribs.
Makes: 6 racks of 9-bone ribs
1 gallon cold water
⅓ cup salt, non-iodized
⅓ cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup apple juice or cider
Sweet Mama BOLD Rub (sales benefit the FVTC culinary scholarship program)
Kansas City style barbecue sauce
1 day before kickoff: Whisk together water, salt and sugar. Completely peel and trim each rack of ribs. Starting from the front end, count 9 bones and cut off the cartilage end next to the 10th bone. Brine soak the trimmed racks in refrigerator until the next day.
Whisk together apple cider vinegar and apple juice/cider to make the spray/mop sauce. Pour into a food safe spray bottle.
4½ hours before kickoff: Heat smoker to 275 F with full smoke and indirect heat. Remove rib racks from the brine, blot dry with paper towel and air dry with the inside up. Warm toward room temperature.
4 hours before kickoff: Using a ratio of ⅓ Zinny’s Garlic Pepper Rub to ⅔ Sweet Mama BOLD Rub, rub on Zinny’s then Sweet Mama BOLD. Apply the rub first on the inside of the rack, then flip over and repeat the application on the outside of the rack. Use paper towel to blot dry the outside of the rack after flipping.
3½ hours prior to kickoff: Put ribs on the smoker, careful not to smear the rub in the process. Smoke ribs for about 2½ hours. Watch for them to turn a beautiful mahogany smoked color. Mist racks once or twice with the spray mop near the very end of smoking.
1 hour prior to kickoff: Wrap racks in a single layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil with a light coating of spray mop, being careful not to puncture the foil. Place wrapped racks in smoker and allow the ribs to reach 205 F. Loosely tent ribs with aluminum foil to rest.
Just before kickoff: Unwrap the ribs and carefully cut between each bone. Brush each bone on both sides with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Iced Chocolate Coffee
A little pregaming before the start of pregame coverage filled with gushing admiration for Brady might not be the worst idea.
This can be done with the official Packers coffee and chocolate milk. I upped the Wisconsin factor with Tippy Cow rum cream. I tried Tippy Cow’s chocolate, vanilla, mint and orange versions — you know, for research. In this case, doubling down on chocolate was my favorite.
Makes: 1 cup
6 ounces Kwik Trip’s Café Karuba coffee, cooled/cold
1.7 ounces (sampler size) Tippy Cow Chocolate Shake
Splash of Kemps chocolate milk, or to taste
Whipped cream (optional)
Fill tumbler with ice. Fill half way with coffee, add Tippy Cow and Kemps chocolate milk.
Stir to combine.
Top with whipped cream if desired.
Tips for enjoying a game day feast with family
For those downsizing this year’s Super Bowl gathering to immediate family, TitletownGriller and father of three Chris Schemm has some practical advice.
Prep as much as you can prior to the game: Prepare as much food before the game that you can. Put chips in bowls, whip up your famous guacamole and even chop and prepare vegetables before kickoff.
Personalize your menu: Have picky eaters in the family? Allow your family to customize their food. Build-your-own bars for nachos, tacos, sliders, or loaded tater tots. This will give even your pickiest eaters something they can build into their perfect plate of food.
Eat with your hands: Nobody wants to mess around with forks and knives while watching the game. Serve finger foods that allow your family members to just dig in while sitting on the couch or a barstool. Have plenty of napkins and/or paper towels available, those kiddos can be messy.
Plug and go: Use your trusty slow cooker to keep food warm. There are few prettier sights then a warm pot of cheese beckoning that chip to be dipped. Foods like meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, lil smokies and chicken wings do great with a little sauce on the keep warm setting. Just be sure the food is fully cooked first.
Remember to enjoy the game: Take time to enjoy the action, whether you are watching the game itself, the commercials or the halftime show. Use paper plates to reduce dishes.