Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Sprots! Aren’t you excited? It’s one of the few times that Roman numerals are rolled out (this is Super Bowl LVII) and this year at Half Time Rihanna will be performing, so I’ll watch, AND RiRi has teased that “friends” might be joining her. Before and after men in two clubs called the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles will be throwing and kicking around what looks like an extra-large Goop vaginal egg made of naugahyde and bumping and banging into each other and will be scoring points for their efforts. And people think curling and cricket are weird.
This year I thought I’d spend some extra time tracking down an NFLer recipe. Surely, I thought, 300-lb. men who can run around for miles at a time, albeit with many breaks, must have some diet secrets that they could share. I didn’t have much luck, but I did discover that someone named Eddie Jackson has his own Food Network slot.
His football career was not so illustrious. Signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent. Two years with the Miami Dolphins, let go. Two-year contract with the New England Patriots but let go after one year. Signed with the Washington Redskins but never played and released in less than a year, and he retired from professional football sprots. Total “career”? About five years.
This is why it’s always good to have something to fall back on, and in Eddie’s case it is his passion for cooking. Now that the Food Network is mostly contrived cooking competitions with little knowledge to be gained by the amateur home chef/viewer I rarely watch, but apparently Eddie is a frequent presence, hosting and judging things like The Christmas Cookie Challenge, Chopped, Clash of the Grandmas, and Halloween Wars.
If it’s not too late and you’re having folks over to watch Rihanna tonight, you could serve them Eddie Jackson’s Caribbean Jerk Sliders. By the way, Eddie Jackson was born in Americus, Georgia, not Kingston, Jamaica, but whatever, I wasn’t born in Milan or Vienna but I can milanese or Schnitzel a veal cutlet or a chicken breast.
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
[Do yourself a favor and just buy Jerk Seasoning, tons of companies make a variation]
8 standard slices mild cheddar cheese
8 brioche slider buns
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Red Ale Onion Rings [This is another Eddie Jackson recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/eddie-jackson/red-ale-onion-rings-7230945]
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, combine the beef, allspice, cayenne, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, brown sugar, thyme, salt and black pepper and gently mix just until combined.
Form the meat into eight 2-ounce patties, then press the center of each with your thumb to create an indent. [I have no idea why he says to do this.] Coat the grill pan with cooking spray.
Grill the sliders until the internal temperature reads 150˚, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place a slice of cheese on each patty once you flip them. The cheese will melt over the sides of the patties. Remove the patties to a plate and cover loosely with foil to rest.
While the patties rest, brush the buns with the melted butter and grill until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
Assemble the sliders by putting a tablespoon-size dollop of the ketchup on the top and bottom buns, topping the bottom bun with the patty and finishing with an onion ring on top of each.
Serve with the remaining onion rings and ketchup on the side.