Football, Deviled Eggs, Bloody Marys: NFL Week 2

Editor's note: Hey, look everybody, a new column from the Drinking the Bottom Shelf guy! This one's going to be about football, deviled eggs, and Bloody Marys. It'll run every Friday until the Super Bowl, at which point Will'll switch over to a column devoted to the Republican primaries, nachos, and prison wine. (Ha.) Until then, let's get on with the new matters at hand. —The Mgmt.


[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I don't suffer guilt over any of my pleasures. A lot of people try to make me feel bad about my displeasures—why do you insist that I have to like Radiohead and dogs and weird shit in my tacos?—and sometimes they succeed because I hate to be portrayed as negative, but that's a whole 'nother thing.

I don't have any guilty pleasures, because I'm not a Cowboys fan and I don't put ketchup on hot dogs, and I can't think of any other joy-source a man would have to apologize for in this great land of ours. Ben Franklin and them did not establish this home of the brave so I could run around defending my love of "Cops" and Slim Jims.

That said, I would like myself a little more if I liked football a little less. Part of that is pure snobbery and delusional self-image: I'd rather be the kind of guy who had more interesting interests.

But the larger share comes from a sort of paralyzed understanding that there are very many things wrong with liking football. First and foremost is the inherent savagery of the game. My hypothetical kid will never play a single down of tackle football. Any spawn of mine's not going to be born too many steps ahead of the brain game to begin with, so the last thing he needs to do is participate in a school-sponsored concussion orgy. People who abhor football for its violence are like vegetarians: I don't practice what they preach, but they make a good case and I won't argue with them.

But the biggest problem with being a football fan is that it takes forever to watch a game. How are you supposed to sit on the couch staring straight ahead for three and a half hours without excessive amounts of food and drink? Watching football is like being on a cross-country flight where you're not allowed to read or sleep. Snacks and booze are the only way to stay sane.

In theory, one could turn off the TV and go outside to look at leaves or pick apples or whatever it is interesting people do on Sundays in the fall. But that won't work in my house, because both Emily and I grew up watching football and we're hooked on it whether we like it or not.

So that's why we're going to talk about football: Because I like talking to you guys, and this time of year I don't have much else to say. And then deviled eggs come into it because this is a food site and because deviled eggs are spectacular and they are shaped like footballs.

See how much sense it makes when you spend three weeks trying to justify it to your editor? We'll round things out with Bloody Marys, because they're brunchy, like eggs and footballs, and because even though I'm not the world's biggest Bloody Mary fan, I am a very big fan of avoiding dirty looks when I drink in the early afternoon, and I've found that for some reason Bloody Marys are exempt from the "Schlitz for breakfast again?" eye roll.

Each week, I'll be providing you with alternative versions based on the standard SE-approved deviled egg and Bloody Mary recipes.

These twists will be themed to match the Patriots' upcoming opponent. Look, I know the Patriots are disgusting, but I'm from where I'm from, man. Get off me.

Last week, Tom Brady became the first man to throw for over 500 yards in a game during which he also shilled for Uggs. Yup, they make Uggs for men now, and as soon as you win a Super Bowl and marry a supermodel, you will be sufficiently taunt-proof to wear them, too.

This week, the Patriots will defeat the San Diego Chargers. The score will be 29 to 20, for those of you who happen to bet on football and think I know what I'm talking about (note: I do neither of those things).

For the Deviled Eggs

Apartment 604 is a mayonnaise-free zone. I'll get into that in a future column, but for now I'll just say that I will be substituting light (NOT FAT-FREE) sour cream for the mayo. I also like to use about half as many yolks as god intended, but for the cowardly reason that I don't want all the cholesterol.

Mayo is repulsive and easy to avoid, but I understand why the heartier among you like to go maximum yolk. Makes sense, and I'll allow it.

This week I have an easy yolk-reducer, because the Pats are playing San Diego, and San Diegans put avocado on everything, including oatmeal and each other. One avocado will cover for about six yolks. I garnished these with parsley but I debated telling you it was cilantro, because it should have been, but let's not start off on a dishonest foot. Could have squeezed a lime into the mix, too, come to think of it. Someone please try that and get back to me.

Get the basic Deviled Egg recipe here.

For the Bloody Mary

San Diego = Tijuana = tequila, duh. Replacing your vodka with tequila traditionally produces a Bloody Maria, but around here we refer to this drink as a Mexican Kenji.

See, when I opened his recipe, I thought, "Enough with the ¼ teaspoon of this and the 1/8 of a dash of that, why must that boy complicate everything?" but then I made the recipe to spec and hot damn if it isn't just about perfect. Do it his way.

It's worth the extra 14 seconds, no matter how stupid it makes you feel to measure soy sauce for a frigging Bloody Mary. As for this week's football-inspired alteration, it's 100 times better because tequila makes everything better.

I don't love many Bloody Marys because the vodka gets lost and it tastes like you're just drinking straight tomato juice, which no one likes to do, so then you put too much hot stuff in it, at which point you might as well just alternate shots of Tabasco and vodka with a tomato juice chaser. Tequila stands up to the juice and adds another layer of flavor.

Get the basic Bloody Mary recipe here.