Saturday, February 23, 2013


They train all year.  They practice.  Condition.  They pour their blood, sweat and tears into the game.  But, only ONE can be named the 2013 SOUPERBOWL SMACKDOWN champion!!!
"I'm going to Disneyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...."

A little history: Once upon a time there were two girls drinking wine on a back porch pontificating how to pass the ass cold & dark Chicago winteratimes. After a bottle or two, while discussing the love of food and friendly competition, the idea of the Smackdown was born! 

Well, we've made it through a few winters now and due to sheer awesomeness, the Smackdown lives on...

Here are some of the Smackdowns of the past:
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Chili & Cornbread
  • Retro Recipe Rehab
  • The Small Plate Six Course Italian Bring the Pain Sitdown Smackdown
  • Ribs N' Shit
And now...drum roll please: The 1st Annual SOUPerbowl Smackdown!

Here's what the invite said:

Hi People!!!
Soooooo...yes, it's long overdue - Sara and I are bringing back the Smackdown! That's right, folks. It's back. Woot!

Here's the DEAL:

We will have two Smackdown categories this time - SOUPS and DIPS. We will need six contestants (as before you can compete as a team or compete by yourself) for each category.

We already have two SOUP contestants, so we need four more. However, DIPS is wide open baby!

We will have fabulous prizes as usual. There will be judging, eating, drinking, great friends, good times and football.

If you'd like to participate, shoot me a message or post on the event and I will make sure we have you down as a competitor. As in the past, contestants are simply chosen on a first come first serve basis.

Also, as in the past, If you'd like to just come and eat, drink, judge and watch the game (and not compete), that is also very welcome!

We will start at 4:30 PM (Game starts at 5:30 PM CT)


CK and SJM

The Hostesses!
All the contestant's soups are lined up and ready to go!


2nd RUNNER-UP: Miss Sara Jean McCarthy, The "Soupstress" herself with a Poblano Corn Chowder!
Not only did the woman place third in the competition but, she also hosted and photo-documented this entire event!  Sara - special thanks for being the documentress, as well...
Also, her soup has like 5,000 steps, so good luck if you're gonna try and make this!

"So this is a mash-up of two of my favorite soups of late. The only way I can accurately describe the glorious combo is to detail the recipes of both soups separately and then combine. *note - some of the liquid measurements have been changed in the soups due to me knowing that I was combining."

1. Slice kernels off of 6 - 8 ears of fresh corn and put in bowl. Scrape the back of a large kitchen knife down the naked cob to "milk" it. Put the milk with the kernels. Reserve milked cobs.

2. In medium soup pot, melt 2 T. sweet cream butter. Stir in one white onion (chopped), 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 shallot (chopped) and the leaves off 6-8 sprigs of thyme. (I imagine a leek might be lovely here as well...)

3. Cook veggies in pot until soft and translucent. Dust with 1/4 cup flour and coat everything well. Pour in about 6 cups of veggie stock (recipe to follow), the naked cobs and a giant pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (cubed) and 2 cups heavy cream. Bring to a boil and boil for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on consistency - you may need to add a little more water if it seems too thick. After 15 minutes, remove cobs and discard.

4. Stir in corn kernels and corn-milk, 1 pint halved grape tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste, cayenne pepper to taste, lots of fresh parsley and lime juice.

"WHILE THIS IS HAPPENING (if you can multi-task and if I can, you can) make Poblano Soup..."

1. Char 5-6 pobanos over gas flame until skin is blackened on all sides. Use tongs (I have an amazing pair of silicon kitchen-aid tongs that you should all have). Enclose hot peppers in paper lunch bag and let stand 10 minutes to steam. When fully sauna-ed, peel, seed and chop peppers. Meanwhile broil 1/2 white onion until blackened.

2. Melt 2 T. butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add 3/4 cup chopped white onion and 1 clove minced garlic. Saute until tender and add chiles. Saute 1 minute. Add 3-4 cups veggie stock (again, recipe to follow) and simmer until peppers are very tender (about 10 minutes). Mix in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 2 T. chopped mint.

3. Puree with soup wand. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in a dash of heavy cream.

"Now the combining is sort of up to you, based on how thick or creamy you want your soup. Add the poblano to the corn chowder until it seems a desirable texture. You can always add more veggie stock if it gets too thick. This is a matter of personal preference.

Top with sliced green onions and cumin-lime tortilla chips."

1st RUNNER-UP: Mrs. Meredith Bolinger (It should also be noted that Meredith and her husband, Dane, also won the Retro Recipe Smackdown a year ago).  She is a returning champ, that Mrs. Bolinger, representing for the team!
Aren't they cute??? Awwwww....
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound frozen cooked shrimp without tails
1. In a slow cooker, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, green bell pepper, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
2. Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time

And, drum roll please...The 1st ANNUAL SOUPerbowl CHAMPION 2013 is: Mr. Ira Amyx with Pork Belly Corn Chowdah!  

Bacon, 3 slices, chopped.
Pork Belly, 1/2 lb, chopped.
Yellow Onion, 1 small, chopped.
Celery, 1 stalk, chopped.
Poblano Chile, 1, seeded and chopped.
Jalapeno, 2, minced.
Garlic, 2 cloves, minced.
Milk, 4 cups.
Heavy Cream, 1 cup.
Boiling Potatoes, 2 cubed.
Corn Kernels, 3 cups.
Red Pepper Flakes, Salt and Pepper to taste.

1. Cook Bacon to a crisp, remove, pour bacon grease in soup pot, add onion, celery, peppers and garlic, saute til brown.

2. Raise Head, add milk, cream and potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 mins or until potatoes are tender like a lady. Stir in corn and red pepper flakes until corn is tender.

3. Remove 2 cups of solids, put in blender or processor to puree, return to soup pot, season to taste, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Add bacon and pork belly, or ladle into bowl and garnish with pork... Serve with alcohol.
Oh look, there's Ira in the corner enjoying some of that alcohol!
Here are people kinda enjoying themselves...
That's a little better!
DIPS (pronounced DEEYUPS)

We had three discerning categories/awards for dips this year - and I love how I say that considering this is the only year thus far we've done this dip thing...ah well, you get what I mean!

1“THE JOE NAMATH” (most AMERICANA/FOOTBALL WORTHY but, also a-bit-of-a-drunk-womanizer in spirit)

2.“SHOW ME THE MONEY!” (most decadent, rich, flavor-sensation)


And the winners were...

1. THE JOE NAMATH & 3. TOUCHDOWN JESUS - Won BOTH by a landslide and awarded to Mrs. Courtney Bollettino!

Team Bollettino for the win!
Bollettino Buffalo Dip:
1 shredded rotisserie chicken
1 or 2 - 8 oz blocks of Cream Cheese (generic brand is fine)
Half bottle of ranch dressing
1 bottle of blue cheese dressing
1 cup of Frank’s Red Hot – DO NOT SUBSTITUTE
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Let warm in a crock pot or on the stove an hour before serving
Serve with tortilla chips or celery
In all it's glory...
Court being presented with a fabulous award certificate. 
(I wish I had a picture of these stupid awards I created)

2. SHOW ME THE MONEY - awarded to Andrea and Brian!
It's Tom Cruise a good way!
And, if I may say so, an A+ for presentation.

I have to admit - EVERYTHING WAS GOOD.  I mean, it's a pretty awesome problem to have...

Here are some of the honorable DIP mentions:
The Hulk Smash by Shag.
Crab Dip Experiment by CK and SJM
Skylar's Pennsylvania Cheese thing was really amazing and decadent!
The Rueben by Stephania!

And the SOUP honorable mentions were:
Amy's delicious "Peasant Soup"
I made a soup I had several times in Tuscany: Pappa Con Il Pomodoro
Side note: I am NOT a Vegan or a Vegetarian but the soup just so happens to be...
Another side note: Vegan or Vegetarian is the kiss of death at these Smackdowns!!!
Here's Jeff (Sara Jean's roommate) and I getting caught tallying the votes!  It's all very secretive.
This innocently happened as well...
Oh, and then this happened...
Which made 49ers fans look like this...
There were a lot of nice people there - like these two lovely ladies- Murray and Andrea (the "Show Me the Money" dip winner!)
And these fine folks...
Even kids can enjoy a Smackdown!
And, Vanessa and Paul dropped by after their show...

All in all - another successful Smackdown.  Thank you to all who participated!  And, big congratulations to all of our deserving champions.  The next Smackdown will be the highly anticipated "Taco Party Smackdown" which will take place in April.  Look forward to seeing all your faces (and some new ones) there!

Ciao for now,


  1. Thanks, CK, for documenting a great night together. Andrea & Brian's little jars of magical dips and spreads really raised the bar in my opinion and I look forward to planning something awesome for the next go round. xoxo !!

    1. Court - Thanks so much for contributing and congrats on winning BIG! I also agree - really enjoyed Andrea and Brian's pate amazingness! I tried to get the recipe from Andrea but, I think it might be top secret! :) Look forward to seeing you all again soon! xo.