Yo — It’s Super Bowl Time — Let’s Eat Jersey Style

More than 100 million people globally are expected to watch this year’s Super Bowl when the Denver Broncos face off against the Seattle Seahawks.  One of the things I love about the Super Bowl is that it’s much more than a game – it’s an entire event that brings ages and genders together.  This year the game takes place at Metlife Stadium  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  That’s right, New Jersey, home of Frank Sinatra and Tony Soprano. It’s also known as The Garden State. Go ahead, guffaw. I know not many people outside of New Jersey really believe that New Jersey has some of the best farmland in the country (heck, some don’t believe it has anything other than highways!).  But, stop by any local farmer’s market on your drive down the shore and get yourself some tomatoes, sweet corn, and blueberries. I promise, you’ll be a believer.

A typical New Jersey Shore Farm Stand (Photo source: popoflanigan.com)

A typical New Jersey Shore Farm Stand (Photo source: popoflanigan.com)

By now, you probably gathered that I’m a Jersey girl – and proud of it. (Ok, truth be told, I now reside in New York but you know the saying – you can take the girl out of Jersey….). So, I thought it might be fun to share a few of our classic Jersey meals and show you what my family will be enjoying on game day.

 

A homemade pork roll for my boy.

A homemade pork roll for my boy.

For breakfast, the clear choice is pork roll, egg and cheese on a hard roll. What? You’ve never heard of pork roll? Well, some do refer to it as Taylor ham but not here. In Jersey, any diner worth its salt serves pork roll.  And it couldn’t be easier. Just fry the pork up on the stove…

Pork should be no more than 1/8-inch thick...cook quickly.

Pork should be no more than 1/8-inch thick…cook quickly.

… and top it with a scrambled egg and American cheese. The key, though, is finding the perfect Kaiser roll. In fact, my dad has been known to drive 50 miles out of his way to get the rolls he enjoyed as a child from the bakery of his youth, Sipos in Perth Amboy. Luckily, good bread is another Jersey specialty and most residents have their go-to spots much closer to home.

My son, Ryan, enjoying his Pork Roll. Sheer bliss.

My son, Ryan, enjoying his Pork Roll. Sheer bliss.

Now, moving on to the game meal. No one will be surprised to hear that there is a huge Italian influence on New Jersey cooking. So, a perfect option for a large crowd is sausage, peppers and onions. Have you ever been to the boardwalk in New Jersey?  If so, you know that unmistakable scent of grilled sausage topped with peppers and onions. There are many ways to prepare this Jersey favorite, but here’s what I think works best:

Sausage, Peppers and Onions on a Roll: Ideal Super Bowl Food

Sausage, Peppers and Onions on a Roll: Ideal Super Bowl Food (Source: arborsatsweetgrass.com)

Jackie’s Favorite Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Start with a ratio of one pound (450 g) of sweet, spicy (or a combination of both, which is what I like) Italian sausage to 2 red peppers, 1 green pepper, and 1 onion (I like sweet Vidalias). Grill sausage over a low-medium flame. While sausage is grilling, heat about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves in a large pan. Add sliced peppers to the oil and sauté. As peppers start to soften, add another tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil and sliced onions and cook until semi-soft. When sausage is slightly brown on all sides, remove the sausage from the grill and slice length wise. Add the sausage to the onion and peppers, along with a 14-oz. can (395 g) of diced tomatoes, a dash of dried oregano, and a 1 teaspoon (15 g) each of salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.

Serve on a hoagie role or on its own, piled on a plate.

It’s that simple.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a Bostonian born and raised, and the one food I miss most is that exact Italian Sausage sandwich. I subject my family to that for dinner all the time. They will eat it, and they will like it, and they will all act like the proper Bostonians that they are (or should be!). Also, that pork thing? Never heard of it but now I feel like I have been granted a quest!!

  2. Jackie Kaldon Burton says

    Jim – I now feel obligated to send KWest a pork rol and fresh kaiser rollsl. That is if it doesn’t get confiscated by the CA border patrol for excessive unhealthiness! I’m going to ask Amy to whip it up for your guys when you are in the office and skype me. I cannot wait to see your reactions!

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