Tuesdays has been Trivia Night for a while among my friends, but after going to various bar trivia nights for over a year, we recently decided to just have an in-house game night. Last night I made a few different snacks for our game night. It occurs to me as I make this post that these snacks would also make a great menu for game-nights that involve watching sports on the big screen, too.
The three snacks I made last night were a hummus plate, bruschettas, and buffalo seitan wings. BD’s brother brought chips & salsa and we were good to go!
For the hummus plate, I didn’t want to go to the store to get pita, so I made some little toasts:
These are super simple to make, slice a baguette on the bias, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, and then generously season with whatever herbs & spices you like. I went with an italian seasoning blend that I keep on hand for occasions just like these (it also dresses up potatoes nicely in a pinch). Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until toasted and crisp.
Hummus is a food that has become increasingly available in the last 5 years or so, with mixed results. I have not found a pre-packaged hummus that tastes like the same food as fresh made. However, that said, you can buy fresh made hummus at mediterranean delis (Locally: the place in the farmer’s market, Forks Mediterranean Deli, etc.), to-go from many restaurants (locally: Aladdin, ACI Halal, Damascus, DogStar Cafe, among others), and even at some grocery stores (wegmans). However, all that said, hummus is one of the easiest foods to make yourself, if you have a food processor.
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- juice of one lemon
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp Tahini (sesame paste, look for it in the ethnic foods/health food section of the grocery store)
- olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini in food processor
- With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil until the hummus begins to take on a saucy-consistency. If you are planning to eat the hummus immediately, I sometimes do about 2 tsp olive oil and then drizzle in water for the rest until the consistency is right.
- Season to taste w/ salt & pepper
For variety: Add a roasted red pepper, roast the garlic before adding (double the amount if you like it garlicky), replace the chickpeas with black beans, garnish with paprika or pine nuts or both.
Serve with pita, veggies, toasts, corn chips, etc…
I still had some baguette leftover after I made the toasts, so I got to work on some bruschetta. You could make a bruschetta that is raw just by combining chopped tomato with garlic and basil & olive oil or beer and just letting it marinate until its time to serve, but I wanted a cooked bruschetta.
I started by mincing 4 cloves of garlic and getting it in a pan with 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat. To that I added some whole cherry tomatoes, a generous handful of crushed red pepper, and a tiny pinch of salt.
Cover the pan, turn the heat up to a hot medium (or a 6-7 if you have a number dial). After about 10 minutes, the tomatoes will burst. Use a fork or spatula to crush it all up and mix together. Lower the heat and let it cook another 3-4 minutes to reduce some of the water.
In the meantime, you want to confetti up some basil. Beautiful fresh basil. Stack the leaves, roll them up into a tight roll, and then slice thinly, crosswise
Allow the tomato mix to cool & thicken, and spoon onto some toasted breads just before serving (don’t top the bread in advance, it’ll get soggy). I hollowed out some slices of baguette to create little “boats” that weren’t too bready.
With those two snacks out of the way, it was time for the pièce de résistance!
Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Seitan
Why don’t more people eat seitan? I mean, I love tofu, but it really doesn’t hold up in comparison to seitan, which is a triumph of hearty texture. I guess its one of those foods that is a huge pain in the ass to make from scratch, and expensive to buy in the store. So… there’s my answer, I think. I will just say though, that I think seitan is really worth the money or the time/effort. Especially if you want to make buffalo wings. Which I did.
Last night I used store-bought seitan, which comes in kind of large pieces that can easily be cut into smaller “wing-size” pieces.
- 3 boxes seitan, patted dry with a towel and cut to size
- olive or peanut oil for frying
- 3 Tbsp earth balance vegan margarine, melted
- 6 -8 Tbsp hot sauce (cayenne & vinegar)
- 3 Tbsp honey
- Heat the oil to 360 F, Fry seitan in small batches for 2-3 minutes until crispy, then drain on towels or paper bags
- Whisk together earth balance, hot sauce, honey in a large bowl
- Toss seitan in wing sauce
I chopped up a few chives and mixed them in with some sour cream which was a great cooling accompaniment to the buffalo wings….
Gosh, I’m hungry again just looking at them!
What are your favorite game night goodies?