Once upon a time, I’d have talked up a recipe for hot wings as being the best type of game day food — and we did enjoy these recently before a Chargers game. Unfortunately the Chargers have been playing so horribly this season, my husband — the world’s most dedicated sports fan — didn’t bother to turn the game on. And I’m glad, because he isn’t a happy camper when a team he likes, a team he’s been behind forever — the home team — is playing poorly. It’s intense. Perhaps you know a sports fan like my husband? Bless you.
It’s late afternoon and the day has been more busy than expected.
You glance at the clock realizing you haven’t given dinner much thought and since take out was on the menu last night, you’re probably going to have to make dinner tonight. You don’t really want to make dinner because you’re tired, but you’re also hungry and something with all the right flavors would really hit the spot. A mental scan of the fridge and pantry contents isn’t adding up to much — or is it?
There’s sliced cheese, some deli meat, and a few jars of things like roasted peppers, pepperoncinis, and olives. You know you always have onions, some salad greens. Maybe even a slice of bacon or two. Wait. Isn’t there some left over chicken as well?
A quick stop at the store for some crusty bread and it looks like sandwich night is in order.
No fuss, no muss.
I think I’m the last person on the planet who has had the Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, added to her food radar. The first time I saw anything about them was in one of my food magazines about a year ago. Anything with bright veggies gets my attention — especially if it’s salad. But a salad in a sandwich? This had to be good. Pickled carrots, cucumber with cilantro…and pork? I’d never heard of this particular kind of sandwich before. It was interesting that it was on a French baguette, too. An easy search led me to Battle of the Bahn Mi and then to White on Rice for some amazing renditions of this sandwich.
My first attempt follows. After much procrastination, I’ve finally joined the ranks of those who love this sandwich.
Now, I need to find a local place that makes them.
I could eat them every day.
I’ve often accused my husband of being a fair weather fan of our local sports teams, yet it couldn’t be farther from the truth. No, I’d qualify for the position far more than he ever could given the amount of time he spends cheering and, yes, jeering about their wins and far too frequent losses. As much as I’ve been right there in the excitement of recent years of Super Bowl possibilities, watching the resident menfolk high-five one another after a good play, and engage in exuberant chest bumping when the Chargers squeaked out a win, this year, I just don’t have it. Sure, the game is on each Sunday and I usually can be found in the kitchen about that time, but I’m sadly just not interested. I’m whispering, mind you, because you just can’t say that very loudly around here.
The best I can do is think about what to cook for the “occasion” knowing that I’ll have a small group of men interested in food when the action on the field isn’t going our way — and it often seems not to. Although they’re often subjected to my routine experimentation, I do occasionally treat them to food that is more in line with what one may want on game day.
Like Buffalo Wings — or more accurately — Hot Wings.
My husband loves Gorgonzola, so guess what’s in the sauce? And then there’s the crazy Asian hot sauce. Mmmm….
Having been a resident of San Diego for so many years, it’s impossible not to get caught up in our Chargers even though there always seems to be just as many fans in the stadium for the opposing team as there are Chargers fans. Lots of people who grew up elsewhere find their way here because of the weather and they rarely leave, but manage to hang on to their old teams enough to drive the rest of us crazy. Inevitably, a comment is shouted about something to the effect of, “If you’re loving your blinking bleebs so much, then why don’t you go back to where you came from…” when the visitors are winning, and their San Diego fans are loudly proclaiming their superiority on the field. Ah, the joys of being sports fans!
Being married to the most intense sports fan you’d ever imagine has helped me understand more about football than I’d have ever known otherwise. Unfortunately, he’s more of a cup-half-empty guy when it comes to sports, and suffers from knowing way too much — using all the statistics he naturally holds in his brain to calculate possibilities for their athletic demise. It’s a sight to behold, watching his intensity each week, often standing in front of the television with his arms crossed instead of slouched in a chair with a beer.
He’s not much of a beer guy. He likes Coke — and hot tea.
But he’ll be at the game today, so I’ll be home with our 16-year-old, cheering for our team with my usual it’s not over ’till the fat lady sings attitude when it comes to our Chargers. And no….I’m not planning on being the singing fat lady.
To spice things up a bit, I happen to have a bet going with a foodie friend Peter over at Kalofagas regarding the outcome of this game today. His pick is Indy, and I’m saying no way on that one. The Chargers are going all the way. They’re so due. Over due. Peter and I have agreed that should out team lose, we must admit our defeat, worship the winning team, and celebrate the winning city. I sure hope he’s studying about San Diego right now, because he’s going to have a lot to write about.
But now for some real spice.
How about a big ol’ pot o’ chili for the game?