Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Ultimate Obama Debate Watch Party Menu

For the final debate of President Obama's career,  a special collection of White House recipes from the archive...
President Obama is spending the weekend at Camp David, huddled with top advisors at the woodsy retreat in northern Maryland to prep for the third Presidential Debate.  On Monday, millions of Americans will watch the President's showdown with GOP challenger Mitt Romney.  The event at Lynn University in Boca Raton will be the final duel of Mr. Obama's presidential career.  Herewith, a special menu of White House recipes to enjoy while watching history in action.

"Monday’s debate is a little bit different because the topic is foreign policy," President Obama quipped on Thursday. "Spoiler alert: We got Bin Laden."

A perfect spread should include a combo of the foods President Obama is best known for eating: Cheeseburgers, Pizza, and Steak, a favorite that has been served at most of the President's White House dinner parties.  Steak was also the President's entree of choice for his dinner ahead of his second debate; accompanied by potatoes, it seems to have been the right choice to fuel Mr. Obama's improved performance from the lackluster first debate, which he has characterized as a "nice long nap."  (Above: The President enjoys a cheeseburger at one of the Dinner with Barack meals)

First Lady Michelle Obama will be in the front row cheering for her husband on Monday, as she was for the other debates.  In a nod to her Let's Move! campaign, Salad should be served on the Debate menu, too.  The perfect finish is Pie, the President's favorite dessert.  Cookies are a good addition, too, because they can be thrown at the TV screen when the interactions get tense.  Or if moderator Bob Schieffer, host of CBS's Face the Nation, is falling down on the job.

A Presidential Debate menu would ideally include White House hombrewed beer, and anyone who brewed the recipes as soon as they were released on Sept. 1 could well be enjoying their replicales. Bud Light, the President's favorite beer during sudsy campaign stops is the alternate choice.  For teetotalers, Iced Sweet Tea is the President's beverage of choice when dining out.

White House Recipes For The Final Presidential Debate

Steak, Burgers, Chili

Grilled Skirt Steak with Poblano Sauce is from Sam Kass, the President and Mrs. Obama's Senior Policy Advisor  for Healthy Food Initiatives.  He cooks dinner for the First Family whenever they're home, and says this fast and easy recipe is a Presidential favorite. The steak is served over a bed of sauteed spinach (above).

Add White House Roasted Potatoes, loaded with garlic, to recreate the menu for the dinner the President enjoyed before his second debate. 

The debate exchanges between President Obama and Romney have been spicy, and that's how the Eater in Chief likes his Obama Family Chili recipe.  It can be served over noodles or rice,  preferably brown.  "I make a very good chili," President Obama bragged in August.

Though the President  loves cheeseburgers--and enjoyed these during three of the six Dinner with Barack meals with supporters--the White House has never released a recipe.  Thus healthier Turkey Burgers will have to do for the debate menu. Turkey Patties, from Executive Chef Cris Comerford, can be covered with cheddar cheese to make them Presidential, and loaded onto buns with pickles, lettuce, and tomato.  The President is a fan of spice, so hot sauce and jalapenos are a good bet for those looking for accuracy.  *Do* ditch the soy sauce called for in the patty recipe.

Presidential Pizza

President Obama went into seclusion with advisors at resort hotels for his two pre-debate boot camps, but took a break each time to deliver pizza to campaign volunteers in local field offices.  He brought six pies to the folks in Henderson, Nevada on Oct. 1; and delivered four pies to the folks toiling away in Williamsburg, Virginia on Oct. 14.   (Above, delivering pies in Henderson)

Add pepperoni and sausage to the two White House pizza recipes here to make them accurately Presidential. There's Grilled Garden Pizza, inspired, of course, by the First Lady's Kitchen Garden. A second recipe, for Garden Vegetable Pizza, makes three whole pies; Mrs. Obama fed it to the veggie-hating Jay Leno during a campaign visit to his talk show.

Presidential Salads

White House Winter Garden Salad, created by Comerford, features winter lettuces with a spicy mix of herbs, grilled sweet onions, and a honey vinaigrette. 

White House White Bean Salad, from American Grown, is by Kass. It's also spicy: Shallots, chives and radishes are mixed with peas and Cannellini or Great Northern beans.

Presidential Pies and Cookies

Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, nicknamed the 'Crust Master' by his boss, has created all the recipes listed here for President Obama's favorite dessert. Pie is served at all important Obama celebrations, including birthdays.  (Above: The Eater in Chief shared strawberry pie with a little boy during a campaign stop in Ohio).

In honor of that very contested battleground state, Florida, White House Key Lime Pie can be served as an edible good luck charm.

China will be a topic in the debate, and White House Apple Pie is so good it was served at President Obama's State Dinner honoring China's President Hu Jintao.

White House Huckleberry Pie uses blueberries, too.  It's been served at every Obama Thanksgiving at the White House.

Sweet Potato Pie with Honey Meringue was created by Comerford when she competed on Iron Chef America.  President Obama adores sweet potatoes, according to Mrs. Obama.

The First Lady's recipe for White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies won Family Circle's Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, and makes a sweet addition to the menu.  The contest has predicted the winner of the General Election four out of five times since 1992.  Close to 10,000 readers voted this year, and the cookie race reflected the duel going on in real polling.  Mrs. Obama got just 287 more votes than Ann Romney, "our smallest margin ever," noted Family Circle.

The favorite White House cookie recipe is for the Sweet Dough Butter Cookie, which is cut into all kinds of fancy shapes when served to guests at Halloween and during the winter holidays.  Stamped into a round shape, it can easily be decorated with the Obama 2012 logo.  And the cookies will make perfect airborne missiles to toss at the TV.

Bon appetit! 

Check the blog sidebar for all White House recipes.

*Top three Presidential photos by Obama for America; pie photo by Pete Souza/White House