Are you ready for some football…and fresh air? With an average temperature of 65 degrees, February is a great time to get outside. And we can’t think of a better reason to throw a garden party than the 52nd Super Bowl! Sure, it might get a little chilly in the evening, but that’s what fire pits and team blankets are for. Before you go dragging your tv outside, we’ve got some tips to help you pull off a guaranteed win!
With today’s lightweight televisions, bringing one outside is easier than ever. The most important factor for watching the game outside is glare. So, be sure to set up your screen facing south and place it in a shaded spot. Glare is usually only an issue during the first half of the game, but you don’t want your guests running inside to actually see what’s going on.
If you’re moving your secondary TV outside you can just pick up a HDMI 1X2 switch to broadcast the picture from your inside TV to your outside one. If your using your main TV outside and don’t have a long enough cable, most of the country’s local networks now broadcast in HD over the airwaves and an HD antenna will do the trick.
Instead of moving a TV outside, you could use a projector and a sheet or even the side of your house as a large screen. Projectors have come down dramatically in price over the years while the picture quality has gone up.
Relying on your TV speakers is not recommended as the audio on most flat-screen TV’s cannot compete with a noisy party outside. Now might be the perfect time to have an outdoor sound system installed. It’s not as difficult as you might think, plus you can leave it there. If that’s not an option, there are several wireless speaker options that preform quite well.
The best seat in the “house” should be every seat. With no walls to limit your options, you can arrange your seats however you’d like. We suggest setting up two different seating areas, one for each team. Smaller lounge groups are ideal as they allow everyone access to a table without overcrowding. OW Lee offers several options that work great as a secondary seating area. If everyone I rooting for the same team, then a larger piece works great, like the Del Mar collection from Patio Renaissance or the Monterra Sectional by OW Lee.
Floral arrangements and centerpieces will also provide an interesting contrast to all the gridiron grit. You could even choose flowers according to the team colors!
Be sure to have plenty of cozy blankets piled nearby so guests can use them at their leisure. Outdoor heaters or fire pits provide an excellent gathering place for fans and opposing teams alike.
Food & Drink
Part of the fun of being outside is the stimulating of the senses, and when it comes to your menu the same is true. Try making cocktails infused with herbs from your garden for a ultra-local feel.
Be sure to position your grill so that smoke isn’t blowing over your guests or in front of the TV. Once you’ve got it where you want it, we’ve got some recipes we think you’ll love.
For the shrimp and marinade:
- 24 jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds), shelled and deveined
- 1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot® or Crystal
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the finishing sauce:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot or Crystal
Step 1: Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, then blot dry with paper towels.
Step 2: Make the marinade: Whisk together the hot sauce, lemon juice, oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large nonreactive mixing bowl. Stir in the shrimp and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, put shrimp and marinade in a large resealable plastic bag.)
Step 3: Make the finishing sauce: Just before grilling, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir in the hot sauce. Set aside.
Step 4: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Step 5: When ready to cook, drain the shrimp and discard the marinade. Arrange the shrimp on the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Toss the wood chips on the coals. Indirect grill the shrimp until cooked, 10 to 15 minutes. When done, the shrimp will be firm to the touch.
Step 6: Transfer the shrimp to a serving bowl. Reheat the finishing sauce and pour it over the shrimp. Toss well.
Smoked Deviled Eggs
- 12 smoked eggs**
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha, Tabasco sauce, or other favorite hot sauce, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped chives
- Pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
- Regular or smoked salmon caviar
- Fried bacon slivers
- Finely shredded beef brisket or pulled pork
Step 1: Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Pop out the yolks and place them and the egg white trimmings in the bowl of a food processor. (Alternatively, you can mash the yolk mixture with a fork.)
Step 2: Add the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Sriracha and process to a thick purée. Spoon this mixture back into the egg white halves (or pipe it in with a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag with a lower corner clipped). Sprinkle the tops with chives and/or smoked paprika. Or top with salmon caviar or shredded brisket or pork. Chill, covered, until serving.
** So how do you grill or smoke an egg? Let me count the ways.
Grilled: Place the raw egg in its shell on the grate over a gentle fire. Grill, turning with tongs, until the egg is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (It’s sort of like hard-boiling, but without the water.) In Vietnam, they roast eggs in the shell in this manner, then serve them peeled, quartered, and wrapped in lettuce leaves with chiles, mint, and bean sprouts.
Hot smoked: Hard cook the eggs for 11 minutes (at sea level; a little longer if you live at high altitude). Peel and chill. Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 225 degrees. Smoke the eggs until smoke-scented and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (Don’t over-heat or over-smoke or the egg whites will become rubbery.) That’s how they smoke eggs at the Auberge Schulamet in the artist town of Rosh Pina, Israel, where smoked eggs are chopped into what may be best egg pate (salad) you’ll ever serve with grilled bread. (See page 13 in Planet Barbecue!)
Cold smoked: Hard cook the eggs for 11 minutes (at sea level; a little longer if you live at high altitude). Peel and chill. Set up your smoker for cold smoking following manufacturer’s instructions. The temperature should not exceed 90 degrees F. Cold smoke the eggs until fragrant and bronzed with smoke, 1 hour. You can also use a handheld smoking device, such as a Smoking Gun.
Ember roasted: A traditional Sephardic Jewish method for cooking eggs known as huevos haminados. You’ll need a wood fire in your fireplace or grill that has died down to embers and ashes. Bury the eggs in the warm ashes and surround with a few live embers. Roast overnight until the shells are brown and the eggs are cooked through. (Spin the egg to test for doneness—if it spins easily, it’s cooked.) Huevos haminados were traditionally prepared on the Sabbath, when orthodox Jewish law forbids lighting a flame or cooking. The traditional way to cook the egg on the Seder platter is by roasting in the embers.
Grilled Clams with Sambuca and Italian Sausage
For the stuffing:
- 1/2 pound hot or mild Italian bulk sausage
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs, preferably homemade
- 3 tablespoons Sambuca
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
For the clams:
- 36 littleneck clams
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Step 1: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and fry it until lightly browned and crumbly, breaking it up with the edge of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to a strainer to drain. Discard the fat from the pan.
Step 2: Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, red pepper, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs and sauté until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Stir in the cooked sausage and Sambuca. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste; the mixture should be highly seasoned. The recipe can be prepared to this stage up to a day ahead and refrigerated, covered.
Step 3: Scrub the clams with a stiff brush under cold running water to remove any grit. Discard any clams with cracked shells or shells that fail to close when tapped.
Step 4: Just before serving, set up you grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
Step 5: Shuck the clams, working over a bowl to catch the juices. Discard the top shell. Place the clams on the shellfish rack. Place a spoonful of stuffing on each clam.
Step 6: When ready to cook, place the clams in their rack on the hot grate (or arrange the clams directly on the grate, positioning them so that the bars hold the shells level). Cover the grill and cook the clams until the juices bubble and the shellfish are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. When done, the clams will be slightly opaque and firm to the touch. Transfer the grilled clams to a platter or plates, taking care not to spill the juices. Serve at once, with lemon wedges for squeezing.
Grilled Pound Cake with Berry Salsa and Tequila-Whipped Cream
For the berry salsa
- 4 cups mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or quartered strawberries
- 1/4 cup thinly slivered fresh mint
- 2 slices candied or peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, or more to taste
For the tequila-whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) or agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake
- 8 slices (3/4-inch thick) pound cake, lightly brushed with melted butter on both sides
Step 1: Make the berry salsa: Place the berries, mint, ginger, jalapeno(s), lime juice, and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl but do not mix. The salsa can be prepared to this stage up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerated.
Step 2: Make the tequila-whipped cream: Beat the cream to soft peaks in a chilled bowl using an electric mixer, hand-held beater, or whisk. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, tequila, and cinnamon and beat until stiff peaks form. The tequila-whipped cream can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerated, covered.
Step 3: Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the cake slices on the grill at a diagonal to the bars of the grate and grill until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Give each slice a quarter turn after 1 minute to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. Use a spatula to turn the cake slices. Transfer the grilled cake slices to a platter or plates.
Step 4: Toss the berry salsa to mix. Taste for sweetness, adding more granulated sugar and/or lime juice as necessary. Spoon the salsa over the grilled cake. Top each portion with a dollop of tequila-whipped cream and serve at once. Serve any extra whipped cream on the side.