NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While the Big Game is all about the battle on the gridiron, the real action starts at the tailgates and watch parties across the country. This year, football fans will be looking for ways to jazz up the gameday menu in the spirit of the host city, New Orleans. Zatarain's, the brand serving up New Orleans-Style foods for more than 120 years, and "First Lady of Football," New Orleans' own Olivia Manning, are helping to bring the authentic flavors and fun of the Big Easy right to the table.
New Orleans is known for its flavorful food and festive celebrations. Take a page from Manning's playbook and create hearty, crowd-pleasing dishes that can be made in advance of gameday and brought to the party. Fans from opposing teams may even put aside their differences to celebrate a satisfying and delicious meal.
"A big part of football season is all about entertaining and bringing people together with great food to enjoy the game," said Manning. "Personally, I'm busy watching my boys play on gameday, so I like making recipes that are quick, easy and packed with flavor. Zatarain's rice mixes like Jambalaya and Dirty Rice provide endless possibilities for gameday menus and also give a true taste of New Orleans to my out-of-town guests."
A Crescent City Kick-Off
With the Big Game in New Orleans this year, now is the perfect time to celebrate like a local. New Orleans cooking is known for using a "holy trinity" of ingredients - onions, bell peppers and celery. Put a fun spin on the trinity and serve up three authentic and local ingredients on the halftime menu - jambalaya, dirty rice and Creole Mustard.
Using simple, flavorful ingredients helps cut down on cooking time and gives party hosts more time to enjoy cheering on their team with their guests. Avoid penalty flags for serving the same basic fare at the next gathering and jazz up the menu with big flavors and dishes that guests can get personal with. Guarantee a win at the next football fete with these tips from Manning:
- Prep dishes in advance – especially since some traditional New Orleans rice dishes taste even better the next day.
- Olivia preps dirty rice the day before so all she has to do on party day is set out the ingredients for guests to make their own Dirty Rice Tacos. This way, everyone can enjoy watching the game and catching up with company instead of spending the party cooking.
- For a welcome change from standard party options, jazz up game day grub with Zatarain's Jambalaya, a dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make and can be customized with family and friends' favorite meats, seafood, or vegetables.
- Manning starts with Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix, a perfect one pot dish, and then sets up a jambalaya bar with different add-ins like chicken, sausage or seafood, and vegetables, like peppers, mushrooms and onions, so everyone can make their perfect plate.
- No party is complete without chicken wings. Olivia's take on the classic dish, which is her husband's favorite, uses Creole Mustard, chili sauce and pineapple juice for a sweet and spicy combo sure to fire folks up during halftime.
Visit www.Facebook.com/Zatarains and check out the Gameday tab for more authentic New Orleans recipes and entertaining ideas to ensure your game day party is a winner. And be sure to follow Zatarain's on Twitter (@MyZatarains).
Since 1889, Zatarain's has been the authority on the fun and flavor of New Orleans. From its humble beginnings producing root beer extract, the company has grown to make more than 200 food products from Rice Dinner Mixes, Frozen Entrees, Pasta Dinner Mixes, Breadings, Seasonings and Spices to Seafood Boils, Creole Mustard and other products based on authentic New Orleans–Style recipes and seafood preparation. Now, people around the world recognize that to capture the true flavor of New Orleans cuisine, you have to "Jazz It Up with Zatarain's." For information, recipes and Zatarain's online store, visit www.zatarains.com.