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Gridiron grub fit for the skybox
Football season's in full swing, so get your gourmet game on with The NBC Sunday Night Football Cookbook, which stars 150 recipes from NFL players and many of America's top chefs, including Emeril (bam!) Lagasse and grill-guy Bobby Flay. This eclectic cookbook puts regional down-home favorites (Houston Texan Chester Pitts' cheesy Potato Casserole, oh yeah!) in the huddle alongside more gussied-up grub (Chef Jonathan Hale's Deconstructed Sushi, anyone?), offering dishes that go beyond halftime hot links and tailgate chili. Also, this book has heart: proceeds benefit nationwide food banks via the Super Bowl "Taste of the NFL" fund-raising event and Feeding America program.
Intros from singer/football fan Faith Hill and Hall of Famer John Madden kick off the cookbook, which is handily organized by NFL regions from east to north, south to west, making it easy to locate a favorite team. Sections highlight a nation's bounty of appetizers, main dishes and desserts, a far-ranging variety of foods that reflect the diversity of America's current cultural palate. Meat-and-potatoes fans will find lots to love, especially luscious wine-braised short-ribs and an exotic recipe for bison burgers, but there's something here for everyoneeven vegans (try KC Chief Tony Gonzalez's spicy Tom Kha Tofu soup or Chez Henri Chef Paul O'Connell's Swiss Chard-Eggplant Crepes with Tomato-Basil Coulis). The recipes are clearly written and conveniently timed out, presented in an easy-to-follow format with wine pairings (oddly, there are no suggested brew pairings) and enhanced by color photographsof both the food and the football greatsalong with snippets of player and team trivia. A final bonus section includes three tempting Super Bowl party menus.