Get Ready for Kickoff

What team are you on? The one who has strategized for weeks over their game day menu, stockpiling ribs, brisket, shoulders to marinate and smoke well in advance along with containers full of pre-cut cheeses and vegetables? OR are you on the opposing team of dashing into Central Farm Markets at noon on Super Bowl Sunday frantically in search of an open pass?

Don’t worry, CFM vendors will make sure you’re not assessed a penalty for your procrastination. We’ve got plenty of ideas that will help get you into the end zone.

Plenty of Meats
There is no shortage of protein at Central Farm Markets. However, most of the meats have been vacuum-sealed and flash frozen to maintain quality and prevent bacterial growth. “Will this thaw out in time for the game?” is always the question of the day every year without fail. The answer is yes, but it’s going to take a little effort. My go-to reference has always been a New York Times article advising the use of a hot water bath to safely and quickly thaw raw meat. Or if you’re lucky enough to have one of last year’s most popular kitchen gadgets – an Instant Pot – you can toss the frozen meat directly into the cooker. But remember, you may have to cook it five or ten minutes longer, depending on the weight of the meat.

Veggies & Dips
Carrots, radishes, sun chokes, celery, cherry tomatoes – all available at the markets – will get you a few yards closer to the line of scrimmage. Go for the extra point with a delicious dipping sauce made from a tub of yogurt from Blue Ridge Dairy Co. and a package of Two Acre Farm’s Game Time Party Mix (lots of flavors) or a savory mix from District Spice. And remember, pickles are veggies, too!

Fun with Fungi
For a complete interception, go with the mushrooms…stuffed with cheese. Easy to make, quick to bake, even a rookie will look like a pro by offering these tasty tidbits to their armchair teammates. (recipe below)

No matter which team you are rooting for there’s no need to punt this year when it comes to last-minute game day goodies. Shopping at Central Farm Markets is a guaranteed touchdown.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 box button mushrooms
  • 4 shallots, minced (or a ¼ cup onion or 2 garlic cloves)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh bread crumbs (grab a baguette)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar, gouda, etc. (remember, strong cheese goes great with beer)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • Fresh pepper

Directions:

  1. Line baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove the stems from mushroom caps and place caps on baking sheet top down, hole up.
  3. Finely chop mushroom stems.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the chopped mushrooms and shallots for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, shredded cheese, parsley and mushroom mixture. Fill each mushroom cap with a spoonful of mixture.
  6. In a bowl, toss the bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle over the tops of the stuffed mushrooms. Season with pepper.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
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