The ultimate tailgate party of the year kicks off this Sunday — Super Bowl XLVIII — so it's time to huddle if you're playing kitchen quarterback.
Here's one possible game plan: For the first half, prepare your favorite appetizers, light finger foods like guacamole and chips. Then get down to business at halftime with a hearty spread of pulled pork sliders and barbecued ribs.
To officiate at the feast, we consulted with chef/owner Jeff Young of Twist Eatery in Forestville, a lifelong Niners fan and devoté of barbecued pork.
At Twist, Young is known for his savory sandwiches, including the ever-popular Pulled Pork, which he tops with housemade barbecue sauce and a slathering of 'slaw.
His Asian-inspired barbecue sauce is the key to the dish, boosting the pork's flavor with its blend of soy sauce, sambal chili sauce and red curry paste.
“It definitely has some character,” he said. “Most barbecue sauce is either too sweet or one-dimensional. You want some flavor and some kick.”
When he holds a Super Bowl party at home, Young always serves up his baby back ribs, which start out with a chile-brown sugar dry rub, then get finished with his signature barbecue sauce.
“It's something I've worked at for years,” he said of the sauce. “I look back at my recipe from 10 years ago, and it was totally different.”
Rather than the expected green salad or Caesar, Young suggested pulling an audible and serving up his Organic Beet Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette as a side dish.
“I love it, and it's simple,” he said. “All you have to do is go down to the store and get local beets, then boil and peel them.”
He uses a blend of rice wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fresh sage, salt and pepper as a dressing for the beets. There's no goat cheese in sight.
“It's just beets, and that's what people like about it,” he said. “I serve it on a small bed of local lettuce from Shone Farms.”