For more than a decade now, I've been spearheading a football playoff party that holds food in equal regard to first downs. It's not a Superbowl party -- everyone else throws one of those -- but a playoff party that celebrates the AFC and NFC Championship games. Picture above is the freshly cleavered Korean fried chicken I thought was fitting for Seattle at last year's event.
The rules are simple: Four cooks fight like really hungry cats over which of the four teams they'll represent, and with the teams assigned, each cook honors his chosen city with a home-cooked dish. I wrote about the party here a few years ago, but haven't mentioned it since. I bring it up this year because the Cowboys are possible contenders, and that makes things interesting for a few reasons.
Some cities immediately bring a food to mind. Baltimore could only be represented by a crab cake or maybe a pit beef sandwich, and clam chowder fits Boston well. Charlotte has to be realized as a pork barbecue sandwich and Green Bay screams for bratwurst. But Dallas doesn't scream for anything. And Dallas hasn't been to the conference championships since 1995, long before I started playing this game, which means I've never had to tackle this city through cooking.
Chili enchiladas or even fajitas are my first thoughts. But while they seem like a good fit, they're both better served right from the oven or grill -- inconvenient for a party like this. So should we try barbecue? Great smoked meats are certainly available here in Dallas, but to me that would be borrowing from other parts of Texas.
What about brisket tacos? I know it's another Tex-Mex suggestion, but it's Tex-Mex with a purpose: Mia's takes credit for the dish's creation here in Dallas and their claim is uncontested. Brisket tacos are also relatively easy to make, and a Crock-Pot full of stringy meat and gravy sounds like a solid party dish. Set out some tortillas, salsas and sautéed peppers and onions and your done. You could even add guacamole if you're feeling generous.
Unless you guys have a better idea? Maybe the chatter will inspire your own cooking party, though you better hurry if you want to pull if off. The championship games are less than two weeks out.