Week 01 – 2012

The blog is back! The football season is back! Our draft is back! Our growlers are back! Ok, that’s enough back sentences! It’s been a hell of a summer. We’ve fought hard to get our new equipment in and running. The NFL seems like it’s been a nonstop gamut of issues. The draft where my Pats focused on defense FINALLY, the colts get Luck(y) causing Payton’s world tour, the bounty scandal and of course who could miss the Jets and the daily Tebow drama. The offseason has been like the New England weather…. Wait a minute and something new will come out in the press.

This Sunday our Pats host the Titans. It’s going to be an interesting first game. For the Titans, young Jake is the Titans QB starter over the vet Hasselback, Chris Johnson says he’s going to be awesome again this year versus his abysmal last year and of course their D line is waiting to feast on our offensive front.

Our new defense continues to be anchored by the mountain of a man Wilfork. Some are worried we lost so much sack capability when we “lost” some vets last year. I’m not worried about it as I don’t recall anyone heralding the “lost” vets when they joined the team last season as unheralded sack masters. I think this year’s crew will do a great job and equal or exceed last year’s totals. Our offensive line gives me some concern but I felt that last year too. I don’t think the preseason is the true tale of our team’s ability as I think we really haven’t seen the true game mentality from our Pats. This Sunday I think we’ll see a strong effort all around and a real running game.

I did say something about food and beer up above being part of Sunday right? Right? Ok I only mentioned growlers but the game day wouldn’t be game day without football food too. Here’s what I’m putting together for game day.

Grilled Flatbread

  • 4 cups of flour – I like unbleached King Arthurs flour
  • 1 1/3 cup of 85ish degree water – prep first and put a packet of bread yeast in to rehydrate
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano – dried
  • Put the ingredients in a mixer and let it mix for 10 minutes or so. Allow to proof for about 2 hours. Refridgerate for an hour.

Toppings
Elephant Garlic – 2 cloves. I have a small clay cooker for these. 2 minutes in the microwave with a splash of olive oil and I’ve got soft, tasty garlic for grilling. You can get similar results by sautéing. Dice into smaller chunks for grilling.
Farmers market fresh tomatoes – vine ripened, picked up at the weekly brewery farmers market. Get fresh where you can but for me it’s a short walk across the parking lot so I’m taking advantage. Slice thin and in half. We’re going to layer these with cheese.

  • Red Onion – dice about a ¼ cup.
  • Jalapeño – One seeded, I keep a few seeds for heat, and diced
  • Olive oil – put some in a small bowl and have a basting brush on hand. Will be used for the grill.
  • Mozzarella cheese – 2 cups. One for each flatbread

Cut the refrigerated dough in half. Roll to desired size but not too large. With the grill heated to 450, spray the grill with some olive oil to keep the dough from sticking. Put the dough carefully on the grill, baste with olive oil, layer tomatoes then onion, jalapeño and one cup of cheese. Close grill and cook on medium for 15 minutes. Check at 10 minutes to ensure your grill is not faster than mine. Done, the dough will have a brown color on the edges and the cheese should be melted with a nice toast on it. The second batch of dough can be used for a second flatbread. Top as you like – pepperoni, steak, chicken, garlic, veggies….. the options are limited only by your imagination.

I’ll be having my flatbread with a fresh growler of Nyx. Great food, great beer and the first game of the season with our Pats! It’s going to be a great year indeed.

Cheers,
Bill

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