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Gridiron Greats
Super Sandwich and Snacks for the Kickoff

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Football Heroes
Beef and Cheese Touchdown Toasts
Smoky Chili Bowls
First Down Fondue

(Family Features) - It's football's finest hour, and here's the game plan for scoring extra points: serve super delicious food starring MVPs, like beef and cheese.

You can't lose with pre-game nibbles of First Down Fondue and Beef & Cheese Touchdown Toasts. Later, fans can huddle over hearty Football Heroes and Smoky Chili Bowls as they enjoy halftime entertainment.

When the final whistle blows, everyone will cheer these winning recipes.

Sideline Pointers 

  • Bold, high quality, natural shredded cheese blends from Sargento are real time-savers for entertaining - just right for topping Smoky Chili, Football Heroes or Touchdown Toasts. Choose basics like Cheddar Jack or Swiss or try one of the new Bistro Blends such as Mozzarella & Asiago with Roasted Garlic as a great way to add flavor in a flash.

  • Shredded cheeses make preparation of many favorites much quicker and simpler. Ready to use, they melt evenly and quickly, which is especially important for creamy First Down Fondue.

  • Cooking pieces of beef for stew in the slow cooker yields a juicy, tender filling for Football Heroes with no fuss. The cooked beef mixture can be held safely for two hours on low so it's easy for serving.

  • To ensure perfectly cooked beef for Touchdown Toasts, place steaks the correct distance from the broiler (2 to 3 inches). If they're too close, the beef can char on the outside before the inside is cooked.

  • For additional recipes and product information, visit www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com and www.sargentocheese.com.
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Football Heroes

  • 3 to 4 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) beef consommé
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 to 10 French rolls
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Sargento ChefStyle Cheddar Jack Shredded Cheese or Sargento Bistro Blends Cheddar & Monterey Jack with Tomato & Jalapeño Pepper Shredded Cheese
  • Pepperoncini, pepper rings, assorted olives
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    1. Place onions in 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; top with beef for stew, then pepper slices. Combine consommé, soy sauce, tomato paste and garlic; add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours or LOW 8 to 9 hours or until beef is fork-tender. (No stirring necessary during cooking.)
    2. Serve in rolls with cheeses and other toppings, as desired.

Preparation and Cooking Time
6-1/2 to 8-1/2 hours

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Cook's Tip: Beef mixture can be kept hot on LOW for up to 2 hours.

Beef and Cheese Touchdown Toasts

  • 2 boneless beef top sirloin steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound each)
  • 32 slices Italian bread (1/2 inch thick)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/4 cups drained giardiniera
  • 3-1/2 cups (two 7-ounce packages)
  • Sargento Bistro Blends Mozzarella & Asiago with Roasted Garlic Shredded Cheese

    1. Place bread slices on two 15- by 10- by 1-inch jelly roll pans. Brush tops with butter. Toast bread slices in 425°F oven 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
    2. Place beef steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 9 to 12 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once.
    3. Carve each steak into 32 thin slices. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
    4. Top toast slices evenly using 1 package of cheese. Top each toast slice with 2 steak slices and 1 teaspoon giardiniera. Sprinkle remaining package of cheese evenly over toasts.
    5. Place 1 jelly roll pan on rack so cheese is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining pan. Serve immediately.

Preparation and Cooking Time
30 to 45 minutes

Makes 32 appetizers

Smoky Chili Bowls

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 can (14 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons masa harina or cornmeal
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Sargento Taco Shredded Cheese or Sargento ChefStyle Chipotle Cheddar Shredded Cheese, divided
  • Dairy sour cream
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    1. Brown ground beef in stock pot over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up in 3/4-inch crumbles. Remove from pot with slotted spoon; pour off drippings. Season with salt. Set aside.
    2. Heat oil in same stock pot over medium heat until hot. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 to 60 seconds. Add beef, tomatoes, beans, beef broth, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in masa harina; return to boil. Reduce heat; stir in 1 cup cheese. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
    3. Serve with remaining cheese and sour cream, as desired.

Preparation and Cooking Time
35 to 45 minutes

Makes 6 to 8 servings

First Down Fondue

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Sargento Fancy Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) Sargento Fancy Colby Jack Shredded Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Assorted breadsticks, bell pepper pieces, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes
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    1. Toss cheeses with cornstarch in medium bowl; set aside.
    2. Pour beer into fondue pot; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; add cheese mixture. Cook 2 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Stir in hot sauce.
    3. Keep fondue over low heat. Dip breadsticks and vegetables into fondue.
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Preparation and Cooking Time
15 minutes

Makes 8 servings
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SOURCE: National Cattlemen's Beef Association on behalf of The Beef Checkoff

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