Saturday, February 6, 2010

Speaking of Buffalo...

So back in the 90's, when I didn't care about football and thought Buffalo was on the other side of the world, aparently they had a pretty good football team. They weren't really good but there's never been another team in history to make it to the Superbowl four times in a row. Now that I care about football and live in a "beer-drinking city with a football problem," our team needs...some help...

But no worries here - I don't care about football so much that I can't enjoy a day full of gorging on delicious and terrible-for-you food! Tomorrow I'll be enjoying the spread that the best boy's mom puts on for us, and this year I'll be adding to the mix. I will be making the ever-popular Wing Dip! This tasty treat was introduced to me by none other than my big sister (of whom most of my culinary knowledge is derived). Unfortunately they lost their recipie box in the big move (ack!!!) and I've been trying to piece together a good recipie.

The key is to not make it too spicy that you can't eat it, but not too cheesey that it's a rock in your stomach. I'm insistent on making sure it's as authentic as possible - none of this Ranch dressing business. I do like to cheat a little because I'm lazy, but I also believe in using some of the real-deal ingredients. Most people would be inclined to use Anchor Bar sauce or some other variation of wing sauce. For multiple reasons I don't think this is a great idea, but the most important to me is the authenticity. I encourage you to just stick with Frank's Hot Sauce and use a quality blue cheese dressing or dip - I like Marie's Blue Cheese Dressing because it's thick and has a lot of blue cheese bits in it.

Enjoy, and Go (insert good team here)!

Wing Dip
1 pkg. (8 oz.) whipped cream cheese
2 cans (12.5 oz ea.) canned chicken - may substitute 2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1/2 cup Marie's blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese - for topping

Preheat oven to 350'

1. Mix creme cheese, chicken, hot sauce, dressing and cheddar cheese in bowl until mixture is smooth. Transfer to a 9" deep baking dish. Top with reserved 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

2. Bake at 350' for 20 minutes until hot and bubbling.

Serve with: celery, hearty crackers (Triscuits), or Tostios Scoops (my favorite!)

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Ode to South Buffalo

Four years ago I made the snap decision to move to Buffalo. I'm fully aware that snap decisions aren't necessarily the best made, and I often mull things over until there's no fun left in the decision. But this one - much like my snap decision to go to England and my snap decision to attend Canisius - was super. I love Buffalo. I love living here, being a part of the community here, building my leadership skills here, and most importantly I love eating here.

Two years ago I was convinced to move to South Buffalo. This is such a wonderful area of the city that I truly do love and identify quite well with. Soon I'll be leaving for Downtown, but South Buffalo will always have a place in my heart. The pubs are some of the best you'll see in Buffalo, and very authentic to their Irish-American roots.

This past Monday, Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub was featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Once again, Buffalo's culinary scene has made it to the big-time! Even more exciting is that it was right in my backyard, at a pub that we adore, owned by a guy that means so much to the neighborhood. And...even more exciting for their deep and engrained love for the Buffalo Fire Department.

When you go to Blackthorn, be sure to say hi to Pat, the owner. Pat's a fireman with the city, as have been many of the men in his family. He's usually behind the bar chatting it up with a local (that my best boy inevitably knows). It's important to never forget that this is truly sacred ground to South Buffalonians - Tim Russert is a Blackthorn legend. His presence is everywhere, and the impact he had on the guys in SoBuff will never be forgotten.

Drafts include the usual: Blue, Blue Light, Sam Adams, Yuengling, Guiness and the occasional seasonal favorite. I'm a big fan of their Fish & Chips - almost like being back in England! The beer cheese soup is fabulous, as well as Kev's Favorite. The Buffalo staples - Beef on Weck, Chicken Finger Sandwich and Wings - are all great finds too! You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

So belly up with a pint and watch Pat and his crew get the kudos they so rightly deserve. Cheers!