Friday, February 04, 2011

The Best White House Recipes For The Super Bowl

Obama Family Chili, Turkey Lasagna, Baked Chicken...and a new recipe for White House Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
UPDATE: Click here for the 2011 Presidential Super Bowl Menu
President Obama
and First Lady Michelle Obama will be serving "Super Bowl foods" on Sunday, according to a White House aide, when they host a party for America's biggest football event, which matches the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the actual details of the menu will not be released until Sunday...despite what you might read in other media. (Above: President Obama plays football on the South Lawn with last year's Super Bowl MVP, quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints)

The guest list for the President and First Lady's Super Bowl party includes a bipartisan gang of lawmakers, a few Cabinet Secretaries, White House staffers, Presidential Pals, and the glam singer-actress Jennifer Lopez and her husband, singer Marc Anthony. But let's talk about *your* Super Bowl party.

There are plenty of White House recipes that would be swell if you're hosting a big crowd. President Obama's own Obama Family Chili recipe is delish, and easy. It can be served over rice, or elbow macaroni--and don't forget the hot sauce, the President's favorite condiment. A big pan of Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford's Turkey Lasagna with spinach is ideal for a crowd, too. And if you have kids who love "chicken fingers," try Assistant Chef Sam Kass' Baked Chicken strips--and your kids will never eat the unhealthy fried stuff again. (Above: The President and hot sauce...)

If you're firing up the grill, frequent White House guest chef Spike Mendelsohn of DC's Good Stuff Eatery has created the President Obama Burger and the Michelle Melt, two delicious sandwich options. White House Zucchini Quesadillas are a good choice for finger foods, if you make multiple batches and slice 'em up.

For a sweet ending, the recipe for White House Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, created by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses is perfect for a Super Bowl party. If your team wins, it's a victory cake, and if your team loses, well, there's no better way to forget the bitter taste of defeat than with a nice slice of cake. Plus, the cranberries are a good symbol for the bloody battle that football stands in for in American culture, aren't they?

Yosses' cake is fairly easy to make, and the tartness of the cranberries is balanced by the sweetness of the caramel. The recipe takes about an hour and a half from start to finish, and Yosses suggests serving it warm or at room temperature. Check the sidebar of the blog for more of Yosses' delights.

White House Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

5 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch cake pan (or 10-inch springform pan) with cooking spray. (If using a springform pan, place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any caramel that may leak out.)

To make the topping:
1. Melt butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture is bubbling and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan as you stir, about 5 minutes. Pour into the prepared cake pan and swirl the pan to distribute the mixture evenly.

2. Pour cranberries and walnuts, if using, into the caramel, and spread evenly. Set aside.

To make the cake:
1. Beat egg yolks, orange juice concentrate and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add half the sugar. Beat until thick and pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Beat egg whites in a clean bowl with clean beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the rest of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

3. Sift flour and baking powder over the egg yolk mixture; fold in until just combined. Fold in the egg whites until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

4. Pour the batter over the cranberries and brown-sugar caramel in the cake pan. Tap the pan lightly to remove air pockets.

5. Bake about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Serves 8-10, depending on size of slices.

*White House photo