February 1, 2016

Photo @etsummer


This Sunday is Super Bowl 50. And for those of you who aren’t diehard football fans, here’s what you need to know: the Carolina Panthers are playing the Denver Broncos, and everyone loves a good potluck. People take their football very seriously, and people also take their football food very seriously. The best way to eat on Super Bowl Sunday? Have a potluck!

American football has a fairly long history dating back to the mid 19th century, but potluck goes back even further. The first mention was by writer Thomas Nashe in 1592. It came to mean taking what is offered to you, specifically referring to an unexpected dinner guest being fed whatever the family had prepared that evening, regardless of his or her food preferences. Often dinner was cooked in a cast-iron pot on the hearth, and it was the luck of the pot what dinner might be that evening.

Today’s potluck supper where guests are asked to bring a dish to share developed in the late 19th century in North America. Potluck dinners often lack a cohesive menu—the element of not knowing what dinner will be goes back to Nashe’s original 16th century reference. Because everyone contributes to the meal, potluck suppers grew in popularity at churches and organizations because they distribute the cost and time involved with preparing a meal among many. Plus there’s something for everyone!

I was recently invited to a reoccurring potluck movie night with some friends I’ve made in my new town. They emailed a sheet of rules for one’s dish, which included being able to eat it with only a fork, bringing and serving it in a dutch oven or casserole with a lid, and nothing too saucy. Yes, people are very serious about their potlucks. But Super Bowl Sunday calls for something a little less strict… After all, messy finger foods are a must—wings, anyone?

You may not follow the NFL, but we all love an excuse to eat. Particularly when it comes to delicious homemade food, on a couch, with your friends. Be a part of our party and share what you’re bringing to the potluck on the Foodstand app! Can’t wait to see your football feast!


LAMB BIRYANI by JenniferEmilson


1.5 tsp whole black peppercorns
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cardamom seeds, removed from the pods
1.5 tsp coriander seeds
1-2″ cinnamon stick, broken up
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
7 whole cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp saffron threads
2 tbsp boiling water
3 tbsp canola or olive oil
4 large onions, thinly slices (slice from the north to the south poles!)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric, grated or finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb lamb (chops or relatively lean cut) cut into 1″ cubes
1.5 cups of greek yogurt
2 cups basmati rice
3 tbsp sliced or slivered almonds
2 tbsp currants, plumped up in boiling water and then drained
2 fresh serrano peppers, sliced, or 1 tbsp pickled jalapeños
2 fresh red chilli peppers
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, loosely chopped


Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add all the spices. Cook for about 60 seconds, till fragrant, shaking the pan to move the spices around. But don’t burn. Transfer from pan into a spice or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Let cool. Then grind as fine as you can get (the cinnamon will be the most challenging) Add the cayenne and salt.

In a small bowl add the saffron and crush with the back of a spoon to make the fronds smaller. Add the boiling water. Stir and set aside for the rice.

Heat the oil in a large pot (must be ovenproof) or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion slices. Cook until well browned. This could take 10-15 minutes. Once all browned, removed 2/3 of the onions for later.

Add the chopped ginger, garlic and turmeric. Saute with the onions for about 3 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn—reduce heat if necessary.

Bring the heat back up to medium high. Push the onion garlic mixture to the edges and add the lamb cubes. Add a bit of oil if necessary. Brown well on the first side (don’t move the lamb pieces around). Add the spice blend you made earlier and stir in well. Add the greek yogurt. Stir once, the yogurt should be just starting to bubble away. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook till the lamb is tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. (Check at 45 minutes.)

While the lamb is cooking, prepare the rice—place the rice in a strainer over a bowl. Run cold water over the rice, stirring it with your hands in the strainer, and then draining the water. Keep doing this until the water in the bowl is clear. Then leave the rice in the strainer in the bowl with clear water to sit for about 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drain the rice well and add to the pot. After the water returns to a boil, cook for 5 minutes. Drain it and return to an empty bowl. Drizzle the saffron water over the rice.

Preheat oven to 350F. Take a large lidded casserole dish or braising pan that will hold all the rice and lamb and spray or butter it lightly.

Take the rice and spread 1/3 of it in the dish. Spread half of the lamb mixture evenly over the rice. Repeat with another 1/3 of the rice, and then the other half of the lamb. Top with the remaining rice. Add the red chilli peppers to the top.

Cover with tin foil. Then place the lid on top of the foil to create a tight seal. Bake for 40 minutes. When you remove from the oven, be careful when you remove the foil—there will be steam.

At this point you will be removing the top layer of rice, and setting aside temporarily. Combine the remaining lamb and rice in the casserole dish. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Add 2 tbsp of the fresh cilantro to the mixture. Pile this up on a serving platter or bowl. Cover with the remaining rice.

Strew the remaining onions you sautéed earlier over the entire dish. Garnish with the almonds, currants and sliced serrano peppers. Top with the red chili peppers and see if anyone will grab one!

Serves 8




3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium heads broccoli, cut into small florets
1 small bunch kale, chopped
2 small zucchini, cut into a large dice
1 box mushrooms, sliced
1 bag frozen corn

4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon sea salt
approximately 10 grinds black pepper
24 shakes green Tabasco
1 bottle of beer
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can pinto beans, rinsed

chopped scallions
grated cheese, if desired (I recommend goat or cow’s milk cheddar, or Manchego)

quality store-bought corn tortillas (they should only have 4 ingredients: masa, oil, salt, and water!)
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut small corn tortillas into six pieces each, and toss with olive oil. Spread the pieces into a single layer on your baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until the chips are turning lightly golden and beginning to crisp. Set aside.

Add the first set of ingredients to a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, in order. You can chop as you go along, as the first ingredients need a bit more cooking time.

Then add the second set of ingredients, and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Scoop the chili into bowls and garnish with scallions and grated cheese. Add a few chips and eat up!

Serves a crowd.

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