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Let me be the first to ask for help with my Super Bowl Menu...

I am planning to have a few friends over (my house can't handle a large crowd, but we owe a couple of couples dinner, and figured this was a great excuse!). I have decided to make it even more fun by theming at least some of the food to the teams. New Orleans is easy, although my husband has nixed the idea of gumbo (he hates Gumbo; says the okra is too slimy...I point out that he loves okra but he insists not in gumbo). That's ok, I can still do red beans and rice (an easy chili substitute) and some grilled Louisiana Sausage. And of course coffee with chicory and maybe a bread pudding desert (one of our guests makes a mean bread pudding, and our dinners tend to be communal affairs...).

But I confess to being totally stumped when it comes to Indianapolis-themed food. Is there even such a thing as an Indianapolis dish? My husband suggested barbque, but that sounds more Kansas City to me....Hounds: ANY ideas?? I suppose since we are all Saints Fans we could just ignore them, but that would be mean....Help! I'm about ready to claim that since Peyton Manning is the son of a New Orleans boy, that he would eat the Red Beans and Rice as well.....

Appetizer suggestions and game/time snacks (we typically serve the meal at half-time) are especially welcome. Of course, we're already planning on having quacamole, just because, well, it isn't a Superbowl without quacamole....

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  1. I think they are "famous" for some breaded pork cutlet sandwich. The cutlet is supposed to be as big as a plate, but it's on a regular sized bun or something like that. Then there's also this Hoosier Cream Pie stuff. Sounds, um, delightful ;-)


    3 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      well, at least the pie is easy.....but I must admit, it sounds pretty boring...maybe with some sliced mangoes on top :-). In answer to a later post, what the heck are elephant ears? I think of them as the leaves of a plant I knew when I was a girl in Texas, which I have later come to know as the taro plant. Taro, in Indiana?? Really???

      1. re: janetofreno

        I believe elephant ears are a baked good. Didn't know they were famous to Indiana, but that'd be my best guess. Definitely not taro.

        1. re: DoubleBaconVeggieBurger

          Elephant Ears in Indiana are a fried dough that has been sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. So not exactly a "baked good". They are very popular at the Indiana State Fair.

    2. Ignore Indianapolis. :D Kidding of course. I love Archie's boy but this is war. We are making history! I guess bbq would be good. I will try to get my Indianapois friends on the phone. For apps, can you get Zapp's chips? The creole tomato are spicy and really, really good.

      1. actually, you're not the first to ask. there are already at least two other threads going! another CHer posted the following link on one of them, maybe it will help:

        1. Elephant Ears ... the perfect Indianapolis themed finger food for a SB party.

          1. Not to nitpick, but many gumbo recipes do not include okra (COTM Louisana Kitchen has some wonderful non-okra gumbos; the seafood-andouille is my personal favorite. And Peyton Manning is himself a native New Orleans son, born and bred (his father, Archie, made his home here after coming to play for the Saints), who probably (though I am guessing) still loves red beans and rice.

            Corn is big in Indiana as well as anything that one thinks of as "heartland cooking": fresh farm vegetables in the summer, pies, fried pork.

            About once a year, I spend a night in Indianapolis. I usually eat one meal at a big NY-style deli (Shapiro's, I think) and then look for an Indian restaurant, or maybe sushi. Go figure.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              well, it just doesn't seem like gumbo to me without okra...but that's ok, hubby wanted something vegetarian, and I can certainly make Red Beans and Rice work for that....

              No fresh corn or many vegetables here any time of year, especially in winter....I suppose we COULD have corn on the cob, but it would probably be frozen. Do you think I can get away with the Louisiana grilled sausages as my "fried pork"? :-)

              I notice that the sugar-cream excuse to indulge in excess calories is actually the "state pie" of Indiana. Wow.

            2. PS: Hubby really wants to serve Hurricanes as the pre-dinner cocktail. Good thing I'll have a designated driver for the crowd. Anybody have a good Hurricane recipe? I'd better stock up on rum.....I actually think I have a few Pat O'Brien's Hurricane glasses in the back of my cabinet somewhere....

              1 Reply
              1. re: janetofreno

                Chez nous, we're going for a far more civilized selection of NO cocktails: Sazerac, brandy milk punch, and cocktail à la louisiane. I certainly wouldn't consider making a hurricane if I didn't have the fresh juices (and I sure don't in Paris in the winter).

                Smoked sausage and boudins créoles for appetizers, jumbalaya, hushpuppies, okra & tomatoes for dinner.

              2. Pork tenderloin is king ....i would do mini pork tenderloin biscuits for an appetizer.Any type of cream pie would work.

                1. You could make a creative reference to their mascot "colts" rather than a geographical themed cuisine. Maybe someone else can riff on this idea, but when I think Colts, I think cowboy/trail food. Can of beans by the fire, something with beef? I'm from Ohio, so I don't know what the heck I'm talking about. Corn was the only geographical thing I could think of as well.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: egbluesuede

                    Colts? Yum! Herb-crusted roast of horse, a proper tartare, kebabs, ...

                    1. re: tmso

                      Well, ahem, as a Saints fan, roasted colt, colt tartare . . .we could possibly work up an appetite for that ; ))

                      A local transplant to Indianapolis tells me the fried chicken is good there--so maybe you could improvise some "Colt Wings." Tiny kebobs of pieces of pork tenderloin w/apple cider (apples are plentiful there too) glaze--Colt Kebobs. Corn flake-crusted something or other. I'm trying here!

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        I think I'll have to add brochettes de poulin (colt kebabs) to my menu.

                  2. Since you're doing guacamole, may I suggest a football-themed style? Spread it in a rectangular dish, like a football field. Then pipe the yard lines, etc, with sour cream.

                    1. I'm also cooking the foods of the two cities. Jambalaya or shrimp creole and muffalettas are likely on the NOLA side. I'm going to test Indianapolis' famous "hanger-overs" which are deep fried pork tenderloin sandwiches. We serve a pretty good sized crowd, so I need to see whether I can quick deep-fry the day before and then finish them in the oven the day of the party. Corn dogs have also been suggested. I'll let you know the outcome of my test.

                      1. Here's a link that popped up in my email two days ago. Haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like just the thing for superbowls. You can guess the title from the URL:


                        1. There's also this Sugar Cream Pie

                          Apparently Persimmon Pudding was invented there, and they have a contest for Persimmon Pudding each year on Main Street.

                          Orville Reddenbacher Popcorn -- he started his company there

                          Oh, and Sweetbread Sandwiches... not my cup of tea, but... who knows?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Emme

                            Actually, Orville's bailiwick was down the road from Valparaiso, IN, quite a bit north of Indianapolis. They still have a yearly popcorn festival in his honor.

                            1. re: DonShirer

                              still geographically and thematically relevant, i'd say...