POUGHKEEPSIE,, N.Y. -- Want to create a memorable Super Bowl meal? Chef Mike Polasek who owns Poughkeepsie-based Simply Gourmet Catering and Bluestone Bistro as well as Uncle Sam's Canteen in Hyde Park suggests BLT Lettuce Wraps as they are something most people don't think of serving.
The key to a winning event, he said, is to keep foods simple. "Plan dishes that can be prepped ahead of time. Then you just have to heat and serve when guests arrive," he said.
Foods that work well include chili, pulled pork, spinach dip, baked mac & cheese, and meatballs. His recipe for his BLT Lettuce Wraps, on the menu at Bluestone, is below. The recipe serves 10 to 12.
- 3 pounds ground chicken (breasts & thighs work best)
- 1 medium onion, small diced
- 2 each green or red bell peppers, small diced
- 1 T garlic
- pinch smoked paprika
- 1 cup beer (best styles to use are brown ales and pales ales. Avoid very hoppy beers like IPA)
- 3 cups bbq sauce
For Wrap Ingredients:
- 2 to 3 heads Bibb (Boston) lettuce
- ½ pound crispy cooked bacon
- 3 each sliced tomatoes
- ¾ cup ranch dressing
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan on medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Brown chicken and stir occasionally. Remove from the pan and strain in a colander to remove any excess oil.
- Return the pan to the stove and reduce heat to low-medium. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and sweat the onions, peppers and garlic until soft and translucent.
- Deglaze pan with beer and stir to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken back in the pan and add the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 to10 minutes, stirring often. Filing should resemble the consistency of chili.
- Remove the leaves from the heads of Bibb lettuce.
- Rinse under cold water and drain on paper towels.
- Arrange lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and ranch dressing on a serving platter. Place chicken filling in a heated server to keep warm.
- Allow guests to assemble their own wraps and enjoy.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.