Chew on This

Weigl: Choose a menu, then a team

aweigl@newsobserver.comJanuary 29, 2013 

  • Quick Cioppino This is a streamlined version of the fish stew created by immigrants from Genoa, Italy, who moved to San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Serve it with crusty sourdough bread to sop up all the broth. From “The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook,” by Barbara Fairchild (Wiley, 2008). 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups finely chopped onions 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper 1 2/3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in puree (from one 28-ounce can) 2 8-ounce bottles clam juice 3/4 cup dry white wine 12 ounces halibut fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 pound bay scallops 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided HEAT oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, rosemary and red pepper and sauté for 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, clam juice and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add halibut, shrimp and scallops and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer until seafood is opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Yield: 4 servings
  • Baltimore Pit Beef Only the top round cut of beef works for this recipe. We learned the hard way that other cuts aren’t as good. Adapted from “BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America,” by Steve Raichlen (Workman, 2003). 1/2 cup seasoned salt, such as Season-All 1/4 cup sweet paprika 4 teaspoons garlic powder 4 teaspoons dried oregano 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 piece top round (about 3 pounds; ask the butcher to cut you a thick chunk) 8 kaiser rolls or 16 slices rye bread 1 large sweet white onion, sliced as thinly as possible 2 ripe red tomatoes, thinly sliced Iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s 1/2 cup prepared white horseradish, or more to taste 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper COMBINE seasoned salt, paprika, garlic powder, oregano and freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl to make the pit beef rub. Sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons of the rub all over the meat with your fingertips. (The remaining rub will keep in a sealed jar for at least 6 months.) Place the meat in a baking dish, cover it with plastic wrap and let it cure for at least 4 hours or as long as 3 days in the refrigerator, turning once a day. The longer it cures, the richer the flavor. SET up grill (either gas or charcoal) for direct grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place beef on the hot grate and grill until the outside is crusty and dark golden brown and the meat is cooked to taste, 30 to 45 minutes, turning the beef often with tongs. The internal temperature should be 125 degrees for rare, 145 degrees for medium-rare and 160 degrees for medium. TRANSFER grilled beef to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the horseradish sauce by combining the mayonnaise, horseradish and lemon juice in a small nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more horseradish or lemon juice as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. SLICE beef in a food processor, cut it with the grain into chunks small enough to fit in the feed tube, then use the processor to slice across the grain. (This sounds bizarre but it is the best method unless you have access to a meat slicer.) SERVE sliced beef on rolls or slice of bread slathered with horseradish sauce and topped with onion, tomato and lettuce. Yield: 8 servings

As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I don’t have a stake in this year’s Super Bowl.

I might forgo the whole event if Sunday’s matchup didn’t involve the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens give me an excuse to ask my husband to make Baltimore pit beef sandwiches. Those sandwiches feature thinly sliced medium-rare beef stacked on a roll slathered with horseradish sauce. They are so delicious that I will risk the wrath of the Steelers nation if it means cheering for Baltimore via my plate.

That’s the good thing about the Super Bowl – beyond the commercials. The game gives you an opportunity to taste-travel the country. Food stories this time of year offer regional recipes to cheer on your chosen team. In recent years, you could cook clam chowder to support the New England Patriots, make jambalaya or muffuletta sandwiches for the New Orleans Saints or tackle my recipe for a homemade Primanti Brothers’ sandwich for the Steelers. (To see that last recipe, go to goo.gl/TuMCK.)

I was initially stumped about what San Francisco fans might serve for the big game. I know San Francisco is the birthplace of Rice-A-Roni and the epicenter of California cuisine, but I wasn’t sure what San Francisco dishes might work as game-day fare.

So I called chef Charlie Deal, a Bay-area native who owns Jujube in Chapel Hill and Dos Perros in Durham.

Deal says his Super Bowl menu will include cioppino (pronounced che-PEE-no), a fish stew attributed to Italians who migrated to San Francisco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Deal compared this fish stew to North Carolina’s Brunswick stew, a staple at community fundraisers.

Only in San Francisco, as Deal said, it is “old Italian dudes” serving up cioppino to raise money for a church or fire station. “It is an old-school San Francisco thing,” he said.

He’ll be serving that stew with plenty of sourdough bread – another San Francisco staple. But he notes: “We will not be eating Rice-a-Roni.”

To see printable versions of the recipe, click on the names below:

Quick Cioppino

Baltimore Pit Beef

Weigl: aweigl@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4848

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