SIZZLE SIMMER SAUTÉ–Big bites for the big game 

Jennifer Alexander Ruple

Check out all of my recipes from The Sylvania AdVantage HERE.

What are you wearing Saturday, Nov. 27? If you live in northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan, there’s a good chance it’s one of two color combinations – scarlet and gray or maize and blue. The Border Battle, our region’s most-beloved sports tradition, is right around the corner when The Ohio State Buckeyes and University of Michigan Wolverines battle it out on the football field.
If you already have your outfit planned for the big game, let’s talk about the snacks you’ll need to sustain your energy while viewing. I’ve teamed up with my friend Paula Adam of Mahalo Bake Shop (she’s the Buckeye; I’m the Wolverine) to bring you two Border Battle-themed snacks plus an extra for neutral folks. How does sweet, peanut buttery, chocolatey Buckeye Bundt Cake sound? Perhaps savory, cheesy Wolverine Maize and Blue Dip is your vibe (Go Blue!). Finally, Spinach Feta Bites will score regardless of who has the ball.

Buckeye Bundt Cake

    “A Bundt cake is a great way to feed a game-day crowd! It’s easily transported to a tailgate party or potluck, and it’s easy to slice and serve,” explained Sylvania baker Paula Adam. “The peanut butter and chocolate flavor combination is everyone’s favorite no matter which team you are cheering for,” she added.

1 devil’s food cake mix
1-ounce package instant chocolate  pudding (4 serving size)
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon espresso powder

Peanut Butter Filling
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Glazes
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 12 cup Bundt pan with baking spray.
Combine all cake ingredients and mix thoroughly. Do not overmix. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine peanut butter filling ingredients and stir until smooth.
Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Spoon peanut butter filling down the center on top of the cake batter. Top with remaining cake batter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

    To make glazes: In a small bowl, combine the chocolate (or peanut butter) chips with the heavy cream. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir well, microwave for another 45 seconds and whisk until smooth (heat/stir at 15-second intervals if not completely melted). Drizzle over top of cake. Leave at room temperature or refrigerate to set.

(Recipe by Paula Adam, owner Mahalo Bake Shop)

­­­Wolverine Maize and Blue Dip
Creamy, corn dip served with blue corn tortilla chips will be scooped up by the end of the first quarter. Kick up the heat by adding extra chopped jalapenos. This dip gets better after spending a few hours in the fridge when the flavors have a chance to meld.
15-ounce can roasted corn, drained
4 green onions, chopped
10 ounces cheddar cheese, finely shredded
Chopped jalapenos to taste
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-ounce can green chiles, chopped
Blue corn tortilla chips for serving
To a medium serving bowl, add all dip ingredients. Stir until well combined. Place dip on a platter surrounded by blue corn chips and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Spinach Feta Bites
Any football fan is sure to love tangy Spinach Feta Bites. They’re similar to Greek spanakopita (spinach pie) but so simple to make. Makes 12 hors d’oeuvres.
1 puff pastry sheet, defrosted
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5.5-ounce package fresh spinach
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Olive oil
Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Whisk together the egg and water. Set aside. Sauté the spinach in a small amount of olive oil just until wilted. In a small bowl, combine cheeses, onions, garlic and nutmeg. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the puff pastry. Using a rolling pin, flatten the seams. Brush egg wash over the pastry. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pastry, leaving an inch free on one of the short sides. Next top with spinach and then the pine nuts. Beginning on the short end covered with toppings, roll the pastry into a log. Slice the log into 12 ¾ -inch slices and place the slices on the prepared pan. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

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