Touchdown, hut hut, first down, field goal, tight end. Yup, that’s about all I’ve got when it comes to football. Thankfully, I have never been to a professional football game, but I was persuaded to travel to VA Tech several years ago on a party bus with my best friend, to spend a day in the freezing cold watching one of the most boring sports ever invented by man. I will never do it again. I love my fat butt too much to force it to ever endure another painfully cold encounter with arctic cold metal bleachers, and am totally amazed I made it home alive after rocketing down the highway at 90 mph all through the night on a bus driven by the devil himself. Never, I repeat, never again.
So I’ve heard that this weekend is The Big Game. I have no idea which two teams are playing one another, but I have heard that psychic pigs on Kelly & Michael have predicted the outcome. Gotta love those psychic pigs. They sure do come in handy. I won’t even lie to you about watching The Big Game for the commercials, or that I enjoy watching the players tight ends, because I could honestly care less about either of those things. What I do like about football are the snacks. Bring on the dips, fried love injected nibbles, and every chip known to man. Now that’s something I can get behind. I’ll be the girl in the kitchen for almost the entire game, who pretends every hour or so that she might care what the score is when she walks through the room the television is in. Don’t be fooled though, because I really have no interest whatsoever.
By now most of y’all know I don’t buy a lot of pre-packaged frozen foods, but when I came face to face with a bag of frozen mozzarella sticks a few weeks ago, I completely caved. I had zero will power against their charming whisper of desirability. I instantly had dreams of smothering those little cheese sticks of love in tomato sauce, wolfing them down with reckless abandonment, all while remembering how years ago in high school a trip to the mall wasn’t complete without ordering the appetizer sampler platter from Ruby Tuesday’s. There is a reason I was such a fat kid, and I blame it mostly on those deep fried chicken tenders, potato skins, and of course, the mozzarella sticks. Fried calories of ooey gooey cheese bliss smothered in love. Talk about yearning for the good ol’ days.
Wait a minute, what was I talking about again? Oh yes, mozzarella sticks. These are literally smothered in all of the good stuff. So much so, that you almost can’t even see the mozzarella sticks buried underneath all of the garnish. Even though unseen, you’ll still be able to dig them out, and enjoy every moment it takes to accomplish the task. You’ll find yourself uncovering mushrooms, sausage, tomato sauce, and even added cheese, because one can never have enough cheese. I dare say you may never eat a naked mozzarella stick again. I even threw a little parsley on top to make the dish healthy. Gotta get your greens in there somehow, right?
If you don’t have any big snack plans for The Big Game, might I suggest this recipe. You can make your own tomato sauce or buy a jar at your favorite market to make things even easier. There’s no real measuring involved either, which makes this a football snacky-snack dish that anyone can whip up. I’m pretty sure the psychic pigs would predict that all of your guests would find this dish a win win. Those little oinkers are absolutely brilliant. You should listen to them. They’re at least smart enough not to attend The Big Game and have their cute lil’ pink hineys frozen to the metal bleachers, while everyone around them stares at a field filled with grown men running around in the freezing cold, throwing a ball at one another. I hope you enjoy The Big Game. I’ll be spending the big day where I belong. In my kitchen, stuffing loads of yummies in my mouth, trying to figure out how to convince B.O.B. Bob to buy me a psychic pig for Valentine’s Day.
- 6 Sausage Links
- 1 Container Baby Bella Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 Large Sweet Onion, Diced
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
- Grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to the temperature specified on the package of mozzarella sticks.
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté the sausage links until browned and cooked all of the way through. Remove and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium and sauté the mushrooms and onions together until golden brown; set aside.
- Heat the spaghetti sauce in a small saucepan.
- Bake the mozzarella sticks according to the package directions.
- Plate the mozzarella sticks, and then smother them with the mushroom and onions, sausage, spaghetti sauce, grated Parmesan, and parsley.
- Serve immediately.
- Small plates are best for this dish, to avoid the mozzarella sticks getting soggy from the tomato sauce. Think individual servings instead of family style. Wait until the very last minute before smothering the mozzarella sticks with the sauce.
- For a party, keep all of the ingredients separate, and allow guests to assemble their own smothered mozzarella sticks.
- Add bacon. You can never go wrong with bacon.
- Top with crispy pepperoni. To crisp the pepperoni, place it between two paper towels on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds. Use the paper towels to absorb any excess oil.