March Madness is one of my favorite events of the year. Sure, I like basketball, but as a bear what I love more is any opportunity to hunker down and be lazy for a couple days. Come this Thursday, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing - eating and drinking my way through a couple dozen basketball games while hoping my bracket isn’t busted by the weekend (it will be).
Cow by Bear was created with the philosophy that great times are best when shared with others, so it’s in that spirit I have setup an NCAA Tournament group so the Cow by Bear community can play together. The winner of the group will receive two tickets ($300 value) to any upcoming dinner with availability. I’m betting on the Michigan State Spartans to cut down the nets. Who do you have?
You’re going to to get a bit thirsty and hungry while watching the games and playing along, so here are a few recipes to help get you through. I hope you enjoy!
Oso Caesar cocktail
This is our take on both the Caesar and Bloody Maria. Buy the best mezcal you can afford and look for something on the smokier side - it makes a difference.
1.5 oz. Mezcal
4 oz. Clamato
2 dashes of Worcestershire
1/8-1/4 tsp. horseradish (optional)
hot sauce to taste
1 squeeze of lime
Using a short cocktail glass, rub the lime around the rim of glass and dip it in a spicy seasoning of your choosing (keep your eyes pealed for our own Cow by Bear seasoning coming out soon!). Mix all the ingredients and stir. Serve with ice and drink up.
Here’s a great little appetizer to enjoy the games with. You could say it’s a slam dunk.
Cheddar Cheese Puffs (makes about 35)
2 cups tapioca flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a sauce pan, bring the milk, salt and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly add tapioca flour, combining with a wooden spoon or mortar handle. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty if needed (careful it’s hot).
Add the cheese and eggs to the mixture and mix until smooth.
Scoop the mixture into nickel sized balls (Use a pastry bag if you have one to form better shaped balls).
Line a pan with parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes.
Black Bean Puree
1 large onion (diced)
1 1/2 jalapeños (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 cups black beans (drain and rinse)
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
cilantro (chopped to garnish)
cotija cheese (to garnish)
Salt & pepper to taste
Sauté the onions, garlic and jalapeños until golden. Add the beans and spices to the pan. Once hot, transfer everything to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve bean puree in a bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro and cotija cheese. Works great as a dip with tortilla chips, or don’t be afraid to dip the cheese puffs!
I always love to hear from people that have tried the recipes. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or just to share your experience!