Thursday, January 17, 2008

Football, Fish Tacos, and Clam Chowder: It's New England versus San Diego

Whaddle' it be?
New England?

Or San Diego?

OK ladies, read closely. This post will not only provide you with some good football grub, but it could also improve your relationship with your football-lovin' guy.

This Sunday the New England Patriots play the San Diego Chargers. You know I love football. You also know that since I'm from New England, I'm genetically programmed to be a Patriots fan. Having grown up a Pats fan and now living in San Diego, I couldn't resist writing this post.

Here is what you need to do, girls. Even if you hate football, watch the game this weekend, and focus on #12, the Patriots' quarterback, Tom "Terrific" Brady. If you know who Tom Brady is, then you understand. If you don't, read on. (Ugh! Jeff hacked my post and changed my Tom Brady link to his website!)

Tom Brady is a three time Superbowl Champion quarterback who works hard, doesn't talk trash, dates Gisele (the Victoria's Secret Brazilian supermodel) and has an adorable dimple in his chin. Oh, and was named best dressed man in the world.

He's the George Clooney of athletes. In fact, after Matt Damon was named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, he joked that it should have been Tom Brady. Sorry Matt, I agree with you.

Now, if you don't normally watch football, you gotta play it cool with your guy. If you tell him you're watching the game because you want to see Tom Brady, he'll get all defensive and start asking ridiculous things like: "What's so great about Tom Brady?"

So instead, memorize something like:
"I wanted to watch the game to see if the Chargers' banged up secondary can keep New England from airing it out to their wideouts and tight end."


"I wanted to watch the game to see if the Chargers can get the ground game going with an injured LT against the Patriots' outside linebackers."

It doesn't matter if you don't understand it. Your guy won't either, but he'll have to agree with you so that he doesn't look stupid.

Now that he is duped, get ready to feast your eyes on #12.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot the food. Here's some representative regional cuisine. Is there anything more quintessentially New England than New England Clam Chowdah? (Yes, that's how you should pronounce it.)

It's been years since I made or tasted clam chowder, and one mouthful brought me right back to blustery, grey winter days. (Rocky Point anyone?)

It never gets "blustery" in San Diego, so we'll have fish tacos here instead. Fish tacos are like Happy Meals for adults -- hot, crispy, salty, and spicy. They're ideal football food because you eat 'em with your hands and they're perfect with cold beer.

Now, won't that make your guy happy?

I've actually written an article about fish tacos for NPR's Kitchen Window. There, you'll find three fish taco recipes to choose from: traditional Baja-Style Fish Tacos, baked fish tacos with fresh green tomato salsa, and shrimp tacos with chipotle cream and charred poblano peppers.

Rather than rely on my memory for Rocky Point clam chowder, here is a recipe from last November's Cooking Light. The only change I made was substituting pancetta for bacon and stirring in 1 Tbsp of butter at the end.

You might also like this football friendly fare:
Patriots' Potato Pizza (yes, those Patriots)
Spinach, Nutmeg, and Ricotta Calzones
Turkey, Proscuitto, and Gorgonzola Sandwich

Elise also has a great football food post. Check out her chili round-up.

Who do you want to win? Chargers or Patriots?

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