Bears vs Saints: Fast Monday Night Football Menu


From Cooking Channel by Emeril Lagasse

Regardless of how either team’s season has been, Americans are going to be watching Monday Night Football. Since 1970, during the fall season, Monday nights are actually looked forward to, instead of managing through the dreaded night of a new week. Since this next game showcases the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints, the one concern we all have, more so than the teams’ performances, is what to serve? How about a fast Monday night menu filed with sandwiches?

New Orleans’ sandwich: Muffuletta

This recipe, by Emeril Lagasse, calls for the sandwich to be grilled for one hour using a weight to press the sandwich down, and be sure to flip it every 15 minutes. This is one perfect tailgating sandwich. Once a loaf of bread has been sliced and stuffed with a homemade olive salad, salami, ham, mortadella (think of as an Italian bologna), provolone, and mozzarella cheeses, the marriage of flavors will take you all the way down to Bourbon Street. You may think you have made a deal with the Shadow Man, like Prince Naveen does in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.

Chicago’s sandwich: Grilled mortadella and muster monster sub or Make-your-own Hoagie

From Food Network by Jeff Mauro

Whether you call them hoagies, submarines, Dagwoods, po’boys, or anything else, I call them good. If you like the idea of grilling a sub that is filled with plenty of goodies, try the monster sub above. Then you can serve two varieties of sandwiches for your tailgate. But, if you are really short on time, with the exception of stopping at a store with a great selection of high-quality deli meats and cheeses, you are actually all set to make this dish. I would be sure to pick-up the following meats: Polish ham, roasted turkey, a regular salami (if you like it spicy, get a Genoa salami), a beef bologna, and even sliced pepperoni. Some cheeses for variety would include: American, sharp cheddar, and a provolone.  If none of these strike your fancy, then get whatever you are in the mood for and you know that your guests would enjoy. Be sure to pick-up some fresh baked rolls, round or long style. Also, don’t forget to pick-up mayonnaise, Hellmans is the best; mustard, the traditional yellow, maybe a spicy type or Dijon; pickles, both sweet and dill, so your guests can tailor their sandwich any way they like.

Chips: Potato Chips

Lay’s brand of potato chips won hands down in the categories of saltiness, crunch, and for overall flavor in a Serious Eats taste test done in 2013. I would suggest getting the classic  flavor, definitely BBQ, and probably another variety, like a salt and vinegar or sour cream and onion.

Real Simple conducted their own survey of 233 different brands, and yet again, Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips won the best classic category, and Lay’s Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ won in the best barbecue category. Ruffle’s Original won for best crinkle cut.

From Food Network

Dessert: Red Velvet ice box cake

I have become a huge fan of ice box cakes just for the ease and simplicity they provide. If you want to go all out, do make the red velvet cookies that this recipe calls for, but feel free to substitute them with another cookie, but be sure that the cookie is thin and crisp. Then between layers of these cookies is a heavenly cream cheese, whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar blend.

Even though this meal may not involved any fancy techniques, sometimes simple is best and provides the most enjoyment. Even on a Monday night.