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The 5 Must Try Dishes That Will Be Available At the Super Bowl

At this point, football is only 50% of the Super Bowl. The NFL’s championship game is larger than life. It’s more of a cultural event, with celebrities and the press descending upon the host city seemingly straight from the Grammy’s and tickets going for, at the very least, thousands of dollars. So, it makes sense that the menu for the game would be larger than life as well. 

This year, Centerplate, a food and beverage company that serves entertainment venues around the United States, is in charge of creating a menu for this Sunday’s game at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL. Led by national executive chef Carmen Callo, the Centerplate team has created a menu heavily inspired by Miami’s seasonal offering and its Latin heritage. 

Though there will be traditional gametime offerings like popcorn and Bud Light (and for a steal, at $5/can, at that), Centerplate has focused on making the menu a bit more elevated than your typical stadium food. This means bigger plates, better quality, and bolder flavors.

Check out our top five picks for what we’d grub out on if we were going to the big game:

Skewered Pork Kan-Kan

Kan-Kan is the pork equivalent to a tomahawk steak and, clearly, is just as visually striking as it’s bovine counterpart. Centerplate’s is marinated in a spice mix of annatto, sazon, and chimichurri, making for a South Beach blend of spice, zest, and umami.   

Key Lime Pie Milkshake

The Key Lime Pie Milkshake takes its inspiration from the pie stemming from the Florida Key’s iconic tiny limes. This vanilla milkshake is topped with fresh whipped cream, a candy gummy, a cherry, and an entire piece of key lime pie proving that, apparently, the only thing better than one dessert is two.

South Florida Seafood Paella

Key West shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, lobster stock, and Valencian bomba rice meet in one of Spain’s most iconic dishes. While this may not be directly Miami-inspired, Centerplate has added a secret mix of spices that draw from the Keys that bring the dish in line with the rest of the menu.

18” Cuban Dog

A Miami menu would be incomplete if there wasn’t a cubano-based dish. This foot-and-a-half long hot dog is covered in mojo pork, mustard, Swiss cheese, and pickles, as it attempts to recreate the famed Cuban sandwich.

Custom NFL Bon Bons

These minute chocolates were specially made for this year’s Super Bowl, as they feature unique decorations inspired by the 12 teams that made the playoff push for February 2nd’s game. I’m not going to lie, if I had these in my possession, there’d be less eating and more sneaking away in my pockets to keep as a relic.

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Cravings Culture Restaurants

The 15-Minute Paella That Cuts Time, But Not Flavor Or Authenticity

Tucked away in a block on North Figueroa Street in Los Angeles’ historic Highland Park neighborhood lies Otono, a charming Spanish restaurant that you may miss upon first look. While the kitchen space is smaller than most restaurants — six burners, a couple ovens, and a narrow prep station — head chef Theresa Montaño makes up for it by expanding the flavors of her cuisine on an immense scale.

Montaño grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother in New Mexico, instilling a love of the culinary arts in her at such an early age.

“I grew up in a big Hispanic family, so food was a part of that,” she laughed.

Otono’s arroz y fideua, also known as paella, are some of the most popular dishes on the restaurant’s menu. Montaño mentions on a busy night, Otono could sell as many as 50 orders of paella.

Traditionally, a properly made paella could take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to cook. With 50 orders a night, in such a small kitchen space, those numbers can seem daunting, but Chef Montaño doesn’t bat an eye.

That’s because she has perfected her paella dish to be done in a matter of 15 minutes, a feat that took her years to master, and is a necessary one to become successful in Otono’s kitchen setting.

The key to this, she shares, lies in the preparation.

Before Chef Montaño even opened the doors of Otono, she began the streamlining process.

Essentially, all the elements of a proper paella are there, but Montaño found a way to shift the flavors into different components to speed up the preparation and cooking process. First, the rice is half-cooked ahead of time and infused with a rich broth. Then Montano creates a flavorful Samora paste that’s made from tomatoes, saffron, and mild chiles that combines with the rice during the cooking process. Once they all come together, the dish tastes exactly as it would had it been cooked another 15 or 20 minutes longer.

With only six burners in her kitchen and two of said burners required for each paella pan, adapting was non-negotiable in such a bustling environment.

Her movement through the kitchen was seamless, slicing fresh vegetables, chorizo, scallops, and all the fresh ingredients required to craft her multiple paellas. Containers of partially-cooked rice and flavorful broths were all measured out and ready to go into the pans once the order comes in.

“It’s just being careful through those steps not to overcook our rice in the beginning and handling it properly. The right ratio of rice for the pan size, you can see just one layer of rice and getting the crispiness on the bottom, that’s called socarrat.”

Chef Montaño explains she made the process foolproof, labeling portions of each ingredient and at which times during the cooking process to utilize them. Paella can be tricky if not correctly approached: you can either overcook it, undercook it, or completely miss the mark on flavor if rushed.

Coming from a Spanish heritage, Montaño spent time in Spain where she traveled to Valencia, the birthplace of paella.

“I went to the old school institutions that were doing the woodfire, really authentic stuff and also went to the more modern paella restaurants to see what they were doing in contrast and then started to develop this concept.”

That time and dedication has paid off and is reflected in the satisfying crunch of her paella’s euphoric socarrat.

Chef Montaño is a shining example that while traditional flavors are crucial to a dish, you need to learn to evolve in order to adapt to a modernized setting. By drastically cutting the time it takes to cook an exquisite paella, Chef Montaño has shown that she’s capable of paying respect to the old ways, while also embracing new techniques to expedite her process.

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Hit-Or-Miss

The Most Expensive Food In The World Costs Up To $10,000 A Pound

saffron_expense_1

The most expensive food on Earth blooms from an ocean of purple flowers for one week each year in rare places around the globe. The spice, saffron, is harvested by hand from the stigmas of a saffron crocus or purple flower.

Approximately 150 flowers are required to yield a gram of the orange-yellow spice that can cost between $2,000 to $10,000 per pound, according to Mashable. Harvesting saffron is a time- and energy-consuming process that has remained the same since ancient times. Flowers bloom in areas that have extreme climates consisting of hot and dry summers and cold winters.

Saffron is commonly used in Persian, Indian, European and Turkish cuisines. It is a popular ingredient in the traditional paella dishes in Spain and famous risottos in Northern Italy.

saffron_expense_2Kashmiri villagers gathering saffron flowers from a saffron field in Pampore, Kashmir, on Nov. 2, 2015

Saffron is harvested from the stigmas of a purple flower of Crocus sativus Linnaeus. The region is well regarded for its high-quality saffron.

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Saffron has been used in manufacturing for fragrance in perfumes and color dye for cloth. An Iranian villager harvests the flowers in a field near Torbat-E Heidarieh in northeastern Iran on Oct. 31, 2015. The country is a major producer of saffron and supplies 95% of the world’s demand.

saffron_expense_4A Kashmiri villager arranges saffron flowers for drying in the sunshine in a saffron field in Pampore

In cooking, saffron can be used as a spice, yellow food coloring and flavoring agent. Kashmir is the only place in India and one of the few places on the globe that the flower can be found.

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The Crocus sativus Linnaeus, also known as Rose of Saffron, belongs to the family of Iridaceae. A Kashmiri villager in a saffron field in Pampore.

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Kashmiri villagers cultivating saffron flowers in a field in Pampore. The purple flower has red stigmas and yellow stamens.

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It can take up to 75,000 saffron flowers to yield a single pound of the yellow spice. Iranian villagers clean up saffron flowers in their house near Torbat-E Heidarieh in northeastern Iran on Oct. 31, 2015.

saffron_expense_8Kashmiri villagers in a purple field of flowers in Pampore

The stigmas of the saffron flowers are also used in medicine to treat asthma, coughs, insomnia and cancer.

Written by Laura Dang, Nextshark

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Hit-Or-Miss

Video of the Day: World's Largest Paella (Sal Salvador)

1000 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of pork, 1000 pounds of vegetables, and 550 pounds of rice. It was meant to feed over 2500 individuals! (Thx SuperSizedMeals)