ESPN

Stadium Food,
Meet Fine Dining

Pig Candy BLT? Yum. Catfish tacos? Yes please. Skuna Bay Salmon Crudo? Uh huh. Here are some of the most mouth-watering stadium meals -- and the step-by-step instructions to cook them yourself.

Turkey Sandwich
Ford Field, Detroit

Turkey, Brie and Mostarda Sandwich

Christopher Testani for ESPN

The Recipe

Cooking Ingredients
1 medium blood orange
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 fresh bay leaf or ½ dried
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. mild honey
1 tbsp. brown mustard seeds
1 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 medium-firm Brosc pears, diced
1 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions: Peel a strip of zest from orange. Trim off any white pith and put zest in 3-quart saucepan. Trim away remaining orange peel and cut segments free from membranes; add to saucepan. Squeeze juice from membranes; add to saucepan. Squeeze juice from membranes into saucepan. Tie rosemary and bay leaf into a cheesecloth bundle and add to saucepan along with wine, honey mustard seeds and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until honey dissolves, and about 2 minutes. Add pears and cranberries and return to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender and liquid is syrupy, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, discard herb bundle and zest, and let cool. Serve at room temperature. Will keep in refrigerator for 1 week.

Sandwich Ingredients
2 slices challah
2 pieces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
2 oz. pear, cranberry, blood
orange mostarda
2 oz. mayonnaise
2 slices tomato
1 romaine leaf
5 oz. oven-roasted sliced turkey (or leftovers)

Assembly
Spread mayonnaise on challah bread. Place lettuce and tomato on one slice, top with turkey. Spoon mostarda over top of turkey, top with cheese. Close sandwich. Open mouth. Stuff mouth. Makes 1 Sandwich.

Calories: 540
Cost at stadium: $12

Recipe courtesy Levy


Q&A with the Chef

Few American traditions are more, uh, traditional than football on Thanksgiving--especially in Detroit, where Joey Nader, executive chef of Levy at Ford Field, serves thousands of stadium-bound friends each year. This year he whipped up a new crowd-pleaser; turkey and Brie with pear, cranberry and blood orange mostarda. He's shaking up the plate on Turkey Day! And now you can too.

What is it about this dish that works so well?
I throw Thanksgiving dinner for about 65,000 people every year, so I do a bit of everything. I'm taking something that's playing on all of the traditional flavors but putting a twist on it. That way they're not gonna get burnt out on tradition: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans.

This recipe uses mostarda, an Italian mustard-flavored condiment typically made of candied fruit. Why is that?
To me, cranberry sauce is just too easy. We want to play on the spirit of cranberry sauce. Blood orange is coming into prime season, so I really wanted to play with the seasonality of it.

What does Thanksgiving mean to Detroit?
It's just part of the fabric of Detroit and for every one in the country, because every year they get to watch the game. The Lions on Thanksgiving is about as traditional as it gets. It's just what you do.

Elk Stroganoff
Lambeau Field, Green Bay

1919 Elk Stroganoff

Delaware North

The Recipe

Ingredients
4 lbs. elk stew meat
3⅓ tbsp. salt/pepper blend
¼ cup canola oil
1 lb. yellow onion, diced
½ cup sherry
½ cup red wine
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
⅔ cup veal glacé
3 tbsp. tomato paste
½ gallon water
¼ cup beef base
½ lb. roux
1 cup sour cream
½ lb. crimini
½ lb. button mushrooms, quartered

Instructions: Cut meat into 1-inch cubes, season evenly with 3 tbsp. salt/pepper blend. Brown meat on all sides. Remove meat from the pan and set aside. Add onions to the pan over medium heat. Allow the onions to sweat but not fully caramelize. Deglaze the pan with sherry, red wine and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape the bottom of pan to release the cooked-on flavors, and reduce wine until almost dry. Add veal glacé, beef base, tomato paste and water. Stir until fully incorporated. Return meat and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Cook on medium-low heat for about 3 hours, or until meat is tender. Add cold roux and increase heat to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in sour cream and 1 tsp. salt/pepper blend. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms on high heat until lightly golden. Add mushrooms to meat pan and mix thoroughly.

Additional Ingredients
1 lb. dry pappardelle pasta
4 qts. water
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. buttermilk

Assembly
In a large sauce pot, bring the water and salt to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Strain pasta and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. For a crème fraîche drizzle, combine whipping cream and buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours or until very thick. Divide pasta into 6 servings, top with elk stew. Drizzle with crème fraîche. 1919 Kitchen tops it with pickled julienne carrots. Makes 6 servings.

Calories: 900
Cost at stadium: $13

Recipe courtesy Delaware North


Q&A with the Chef

It's been 50 years since the Ice Bowl, the coldest NFL game in history, was played at Lambeau Field. The halftime band's instruments froze and a referee's whistle fused to his lips. And for 50 years since, Packers fans have kept showing up, no matter the weather. To keep the crowds warm, the team now turns to Heath Barbato, executive chef of Lambeau's 1919 Kitchen and Tap, who hawks his hearty dish for hardy fans: elk stroganoff topped with crème fraîche and julienned carrots. Here's his inside dish on his made-for-the-outdoors dish.

Do you tailor your menu for winter conditions?
Absolutely. We call it gloves-and-mittens weather. As soon as November hits Lambeau, you see nacho sales plummet-or anything you have to eat with your hands. We gear our food toward eating with a fork, or if it comes in a bun, that's a bit easier. You don't want to take your gloves off to eat.

Why did you decide to introduce this dish?
It's Wisconsin comfort food, kind of sticks to your ribs. There are a lot of people of Eastern European descent here, so stroganoff made sense. It turned into one of our best-selling menu entrées, so we kicked it out to concessions to see how it would go.

Your elk comes from a wild game farm. How important is responsible sourcing?
It's very important that we're actually putting good food into the fans' bodies.

Fat Rooster Hot Chicken Sandwich
MetLife Stadium | East Rutherford, N.J.

Fat Rooster Hot Chicken Sandwich

Henry Leutwyler for ESPN

The Recipe

Buttermilk Brine Ingredients
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup hot sauce
4 4-oz. chicken breasts

Instructions: Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in a small bowl. Pound out chicken breasts until about ¼ inch thick. Marinate chicken in the buttermilk brine overnight.

Chicken Dredge Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. habanero powder
3 tbsp. granulated garlic
¼ cup Cajun seasoning
1½ tsp. ground white pepper
¼ cup Lawry's seasoning

Instructions: Combine and mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Dredge buttermilk-brined chicken breast until coated completely. Shake off excess dredge and let sit 15 minutes before frying.

Cabbage Slaw Ingredients
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 pinch sugar
¼ cup sweet pickle brine
3 tbsp. diced sweet pickles
3 tbsp. blended oil (90 % canola oil, 10 % olive oil)
1 pinch celery seed
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 pinch fresh dill
1 pinch kosher salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Instructions: Combine and mix all ingredients and let sit 2 to 4 hours before serving.

Additional Ingredients
1½ cup mayonnaise
3 tsp. pure honey
4 Hawaiian buns
12-16 sweet pickle slices

Assembly
Combine mayonnaise and honey and set aside. Fry the dredged chicken in 2 cups of vegetable oil for about 4 minutes per side at 350 degrees in a 12-inch frying pan. Remove and place on a wire rack or plate with a paper towel. Toast the Hawaiian bun and spread honey mayo on both sides. Build the sandwich starting with 3 to 4 pickle slices, then add chicken and top off with cabbage slaw. Serve and enjoy! Makes four servings.

Calories: 1,190
Cost at stadium: $18


Q&A with the Chef

About 70 years after its inception, Nashville-style hot chicken -- breaded and coated in spices and hot sauce -- has caught fire in New York City. Now MetLife Stadium is getting into the act with the Fat Rooster, a hot chicken sandwich for Giants and Jets games. We talked to Ben Grossman and Craig Samuel, co-owners of Peaches HotHouse, who helped import the flavor when they opened their Southern-themed Brooklyn joint in 2010.

You were way ahead of this trend. What makes it transcend audience or atmosphere?
BG: Craig and I took a weekend trip to Nashville and tasted this dish at its source. We went to the original Prince's (which helped popularize it) and six other locations during our visit. These restaurants had people from all walks of life. Everyone was eating it. There is a straight-up festival that takes place to celebrate this dish.

Why have New Yorkers taken to heat so lovingly?
CS: Over the years, there has always been a contingent that seeks out spicy foods: Sichuan, vindaloo, Jamaican jerk, hot wings, Thai ... and a contingent that develops spicier versions.

For a Jets fan, does hot chicken make a tanked season more palatable or just add to the misery?
CS: Tanked season or no, they are going to move some beer. Salty, spicy, drink.

Skuna Bay Salmon Crudo
Arthur Ashe Stadium | Queens, N.Y.

Skuna Bay Salmon Crudo

Christopher Testani for ESPN

The Recipe

Ingredients
¾ lb. salmon belly, skinned, thinly sliced
20 mini cucumbers, thinly shaved
8 French breakfast radishes, thinly shaved
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
16 black olives, pitted, cut in half
1 blood orange, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
12 fresh mint leaves, torn into medium pieces
4 rice crisps

Instructions: Distribute slices of salmon equally on four plates. Top with cucumbers and radishes. Drizzle oil generously over each plate and season with salt and pepper.

Add sliced olives and orange segments to each dish and squeeze the juice from any remaining orange segments on top of the crudo.

Garnish with mint leaves. Serve on rice crisps. Makes 4 pieces.

Calories: 500
Cost at stadium: $14


Q&A with the Chef

Ed Brown has catered to the US Open faithful since before Arthur Ashe Stadium was built, back in the days when hungry fans sought sustenance in food tents surrounding the tennis courts. These days, the Michelin-starred chef dishes up fresh seafood inside the stadium at his restaurant Aces. Between helming his Lincoln Center haunt, Ed's Chowder House, and appearing on NBC's "Today" show, the author of "The Modern Seafood Cook" fished out a few minutes to break down his ace Skuna Bay Salmon Crudo.

What makes this recipe the perfect fit for the U.S. Open?
The US Open is one of the world's premier sporting events, but it's also one of its greatest eating events -- which happens to feature tennis. In the New York market, crudo is a very popular dish. What makes it especially great for the Open is that we make it on a rice crisp, so it's easily shared. Guests pop in and out, and they can pick one up and go.

Salmon crudo typically includes some form of lemon. Yours has blood orange. Why the substitution?
I happen to like blood orange. Whenever you're doing a pesce crudo, which is Italian for "raw fish," you need a little citrus. I also use pickled shallots in there to get a little sweet and sour. Salmon has a lot of fat. It's good fat, but you need a little acid against it.

What changes in the tournament, the area and the appetites have been most noticeable over time?
I've been participating at the US Open since we were cooking in tents. We were very proud of what we did back in those days. Fast-forward 20 years and the sheer volume of what we do out there (is impressive. We open this restaurant for 14 days, close it, then come back the next year.

If you could prepare a private dinner for one tennis player, male or female, who would it be and why?
Jimmy Connors was a gentleman of tennis, a great player who had a long career. He was the model for what a tennis player should be. I'd love to cook for him.

Hogtown Stak
Rogers Centre | Toronto

Hogtown Stak

Sam Kaplan for ESPN

The Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. black pepper, whole
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. coriander seeds
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. juniper berries
2 bay leaves
6-8-lb. pork butt

Instructions: Using a thick-bottom pot over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add all ingredients except pork, let simmer for 20 minutes. Cool the liquid and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Add pork to liquid and let brine for at least 24 hours.

Smoked Pork Butt Dry Rub
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1¼ tbsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions: Rinse brine off pork with cold water, pat dry. Cover in dry rub evenly. Smoke for 14 hours at 200 degrees. Pull meat.

BBQ Gravy
½ qt. BBQ sauce
2 qts. store-bought brown gravy
½ lb. smoked bacon crispy, chopped

Instructions: Using a thick-bottom pot over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add all ingredients except pork, let simmer for 20 minutes. Cool the liquid and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Add pork to liquid and let brine for at least 24 hours.

Additional Ingredients
9 lbs. french fries
4¼ lbs. grilled sausages, sliced

Assembly
Top 1½ cups of fries with ¾ cup of pulled pork and ¾ cup of sausage. Top with ¾ cup of BBQ gravy. Prepare a soft place to land. Makes 12 servings.

Calories: 1,190
Cost at stadium: $18


Q&A with the Chef

Before opening Cherry Street Bar-B-Que last year, Toronto's Lawrence La Pianta had been a barbecue hobbyist, smoking in cook-offs for 20 years. So we asked him to smell what's cooking at Blue Jays games, where they sling the Hogtown Stak, an offering that pays homage to Toronto's early history as a hub of pork processing.

How does this dish represent Toronto?
It's got a strong Canadian influence. Ballparks all seem to have a signature dish, and that's what I think the Jays did with this and its take on poutine with the pulled pork and the gravy.

This fits right in with the burgeoning barbecue scene up there. How did this get started?
I think regardless of where you are, the Food Network sparked a frenzy for food in general. But Aaron Franklin (of Franklin Barbecue) in Austin has spawned a lot of places doing high-level barbecue. Now there are a few of us who have been cooking barbecue for a while up here who have places where people can come in, sit down and eat. Everybody is elevating the game.

You've described your style as "Toronto-style barbecue." What does that mean?
It's salt-and-pepper BBQ for the most part. Most of my influence comes from the people I've cooked with. One of my biggest influences is Wayne Mueller at Louie Mueller Barbecue (in Taylor, Texas). Wayne is definitely a mentor to me, along with Billy Durney at Hometown (in Brooklyn). Anything beef-related is very Texas-influenced for me, the stuff that I fell in love with when I tasted it.

How do you see this playing as ballpark food?
It's such a big part of the experience. You're going to indulge and make an event out of it. The food should be substantial and filling. You're not going to eat that poutine dish at home -- unless you're on a mission.

Texas Short Rib Grilled Cheese
NRG Stadium | Houston, TX

Texas Short Rib Grilled Cheese

Henry Leutwyler for ESPN

The Recipe

Braised Beef Short Ribs
1 lb. beef short ribs
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 dark beer(preferably Houston's Saint Arnold)
16 oz. beef stock

Instructions: Season short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour. Place Dutch oven on medium heat. Add oil, and sear short ribs on each side 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.

Place onion and garlic in same pot and cook 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add short ribs, beer and beef stock, cover and let simmer for 2½ hours. Remove and let cool. Pull and shred beef.

Pimento cheese
16 oz. cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. mayonnaise
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 oz. pimento, diced
1 jalapeño seeded and minced

Instructions: Place cheddar cheese and all remaining ingredients in a mixer. Mix until all ingredients are combined, about 3 minutes.

For Each Sandwich
2 Texas toast slices
3 oz. pimento cheese
4 oz. short ribs
1 tbsp. butter, melted
Fried Pickles on side

Instructions: Spread melted butter on one side of each slice of bread. Heat flat grill to medium. Place pimento spread on nonbuttered side of both slices. Place pulled short rib on top of pimento spread. Close sandwich. Place on grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Calories: 1,100
Cost at stadium: $19


Q&A with the Chef

Eddie Jackson knows the pairing of football and food like few others. A former defensive back at Arkansas, Jackson spent four years in the NFL before retiring to Houston. He now hosts the Food Network's "Kids BBQ Championship." With Super Bowl LI coming to town, we asked Jackson for his thoughts on NRG Stadium's Texas Short Rib Grilled Cheese.

What is the dish's relationship with Houston?
Houston is a very meat-forward city, and short rib resonates with a lot of Houstonians because it's such a beefy meat. And it doesn't get much more Southern than just a good grilled cheese sandwich. Putting those two together really says a lot about Houston.

Does it pair well with a particular beer?
I've found that coffee-flavored stouts go really well with it because it's warm and it has coffee melts in it. On the other side, you can find you a good citrus IPA because it's very, very light and the short rib could be a little heavy.

What makes this a good game-day food?
This is very, very simple. Whatever you're eating has to be able to be held with one hand because that other hand needs to be free for a beverage, a cold beer. You can't go around double-handed. Grilled cheese, you know -- it's just a taste of Americana.

Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Bacon Milkshake
Quicken Loans Arena | Cleveland, OH

Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Bacon Milkshake

Henry Leutwyler for ESPN

The Recipe

Ingredients
20 oz. vanilla bean ice cream
6 oz. half-and-half
3 oz. apple pie, cooked
2 strips bacon, cooked, chopped
3 oz. bourbon (optional; omit half-and-half if using alcohol)
Whipped cream (optional garnish)

Instructions: Put the following in a blender, in order: half-and-half, ice cream, apple pie, bacon. Put lid on the blender and blend on a slower setting. Remove lid and use blender stick to gently guide the ice cream to be emulsified with the half-and-half.

Once the shake is blending without help from the blender stick, turn up the speed to medium high. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Calories: 1,110
Cost at stadium: $7 ($10 with bourbon)


Q&A with the Chef

Michael Symon is an Emmy winner on ABC's "The Chew," a James Beard Award winner for his Cleveland-centered restaurant empire, and an Iron Chef on the Food Network. But he's especially proud of the burgers he has slung in Quicken Loans Arena since 2009. "To my knowledge," he says, "B Spot burger was the first restaurant that had opened up in an arena with a celebrity chef." Here's his scoop on his shake-burger dream team.

Are these recipes culturally tied to the region?
We're known for our meat-on-meat burgers. The pastrami plays in there because Cleveland has a huge Eastern European population, so pastrami, corned beef, smoked meats, cured meats are very big throughout the city. Adding crispy pastrami in place of bacon was a big hit for us. And for 20 years at Lola's, our original fine-dining restaurant, we've had a famous dessert with brioche French toast, bacon ice cream and apple compote. So those flavors worked their way into the milkshake.

Where do you see stadium food going?
Used to be you'd go to a stadium and you'd get a dirty-water dog. Maybe now the hot dog is sourced better and it's made by a local butcher, house-smoked and using better ingredients.

And what about the Cleveland teams?
The Cavs are going to repeat, and hopefully the Browns win more than one game next year.

Toasted Tofu Sandwich
PNC Park | Pittsburgh, PA

Toasted Tofu Sandwich

Sam Kaplan for ESPN

The Recipe

Marinated Tofu
3 ¼-inch slices of drained, extra firm tofu
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp. salad oil
2 tsp. dry ginger
4 tbsp. tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp. Earth Balance vegan butter spread

Instructions: Mix everything together except tofu and Earth Balance with a wire whip. Lay tofu in a glass baking dish and pour on the mix. Turn tofu over to coat. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, heat a pan over medium heat, add butter spread and sear until browned.

Siracha Mayo
2 tbsp. Hampton Creek
Just Mayo (vegan)
½ tsp. sriracha sauce
1 lime wedge, squeezed

Instructions: Mix all ingredients with a wire whip. Store in refrigerator until needed.

Sticky Slaw
¼ cup grated cucumbers
¼ cup grated carrots
¼ cup shredded green cabbage
2 tsp. chopped mint
1 tsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
A pinch of kosher salt

Instructions: In a small saucepan, quickly heat vinegar, sugar and salt together until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Combine all veggies and herbs, add cooled sugar-vinegar and mix together; set aside.

Additional Ingredients
2 slices gluten-free white bread
2 tsp. Earth Balance vegan butter spread

Instructions: Spread mayo evenly over each slice of bread. Lay 3 pieces of seared tofu between slices of bread and close, then spread 2 teaspoons of Earth Balance evenly over outside of sandwich. Place sandwich in a heated panini press, or heat a sauté pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown.

Once sandwich is golden brown, open it and place slaw on top. Close sandwich and cut in half. Enjoy with your favorite side of fruit or chips. Makes 1 serving.

Calories: 610
Cost at stadium: $9.75

*All ingredients are gluten-free


Q&A with the Chef

Tim Tobitsch first sold hot dogs in Pittsburgh in 2004 from Trinity Cathedral's basement kitchen, before he and co-owner Megan Lindsey outgrew the church. Now their two restaurants and food truck, all reverently named Franktuary, are praised for dogs of all kinds -- even vegan sausages -- in Pittsburgh's emerging food scene. Tobitsch helped us size up the Pirates' tofu sandwich.

Did you ever see this coming in Pittsburgh, a city known for its toughness and grit?
Pittsburgh is often mentioned as one of the country's top foodie cities now, with San Francisco and a few other places, which is flattering. As it grows, people become more open to trying things. Before you know it, you've got toasted tofu at PNC Park.

How would you tweak this to your style?
The coleslaw sounds pretty good, but I don't love slaw as much as some people. I'd probably add a tomato relish to it. It's on vegan, gluten-free white bread, which is really commendable. I'd probably put it on some sort of delicious French baguette.

You have Yankees ties as a New Jersey native but support the Pirates?
The Pirates, you just want to see them do well. PNC Park is so gorgeous too. It's far and away my favorite baseball stadium. But if the Yankees play in the World Series against the Pirates, I'm pretty sure I'd pull for the Yankees.

Venison Butter Burger
Miller Park | Milwaukee, WI

Venison Butter Burger

Sam Kaplan for ESPN

The Recipe

Lemon Thyme Butter
4 oz. salted butter, salted
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. fresh thyme, minced

Instructions: Mix together butter, lemon juice and thyme and set aside.

Cherry Compote
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup orange juice
2 tbsp. sugar

Instructions: In a skillet over medium heat, combine cherries, orange juice and sugar. Reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated and cherries are soft.

Venison Butter Burger
4 ground venison patties, ⅓ pound, ½-inch thick
1 oz. fresh arugula
4 havarti cheese slices
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt

Instructions: Season patties on both sides with salt. Grill until internal temperature is 165 degrees, then add sliced cheese. Or, heat a large skillet on medium high and add oil.

Carefully add patties and cook for 2 minutes. Flip patties and cook 1 minute. Top with cheese and cook for another minute or until burger is 165 degrees. Set patties aside.

Quickly toast burger buns on grill or in remaining pan drippings over medium-low heat. Spread lemon thyme butter on top bun and cherry compote on bottom bun. Top burger with arugula. Enjoy! Makes 4 burgers.

Calories: 590
Cost at stadium: $16


Q&A with the Chef

Milwaukee native Zach Espinosa knows his city's tastes well. The 40-year-old executive chef at the award-winning Mr. B's Steakhouse has been cooking in local kitchens since he was 15. The lifelong Brewers fan sizes up Miller Park's newest offering.

Why does venison work in Milwaukee?
Venison is a pretty huge part of the hunting community, especially here in Wisconsin. It's a very lean meat, super delicious, super gamey flavor. You can pair it with a lot of bolder flavors. Something that's big here too is the butter burger, where you put a fat slab of butter on it, almost like cheese, and it just melts into the bun and gets into the meat and it's dripping down your forearms.

Did you expect to see this served at Miller Park?
You know, I guess part of me would have said there's no possible way I would've ever imagined enjoying venison at the ballpark, but the chef aspect of me really digs it. I appreciate the fact that they're going deep trying to represent Wisconsin and some of those traditions that are close to us.

How would you tweak it?
I'd add some jalapeños or hot peppers to that butter, make it just a little bit spicier. Leave that lemon, because citrus and heat have a good relationship. Depending on the peppers you use, the fat from the cheese and the butter is gonna help keep that pepper in check.

Blackened Catfish Po'boy Tacos
SunTrust Park | Atlanta, GA

Blackened Catfish Po'boy Tacos

Sam Kaplan for ESPN

The Recipe

Cajun Remoulade
1 cup mayonnaise
4 gherkins, minced
2 tbsp. red pepper, minced
2 tbsp. Creole mustard
2 tsp. capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
2 lemons, juiced
Salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions: In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir.

Blackened Catfish Po'boy Tacos
4 6-oz. fillets of catfish
¼ cup cup blackened redfish seasoning
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 plum tomatoes, medium dice
12 4-inch flour tortillas
Salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions: Season fish liberally on one side with blackening spice and a small amount of salt and pepper. Set aside. Place a cast-iron skillet on a burner and turn on high for about 3 minutes, until it becomes very hot. Turn off flame, add oil and place fish, seasoning side down, in pan.

Turn flame back on and cook fish, seasoning side down, until translucent, about 5 minutes. The fish will turn white except for a small amount of pink in center. At this point, turn off heat and flip fish over in pan. Allow to sit in pan for about 1 minute.

Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to absorb some of residual oil. Heat three tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds, to warm. Spread a small amount of remoulade on each tortilla, then lay three roughly equal-sized portions of fish on individual tacos.

Top with lettuce and tomato, then dollop a generous portion of remoulade on top of tacos. Enjoy! Makes 4 servings of 3 tacos.

Calories: 538
Cost at stadium: $12/3 tacos


Q&A with the Chef

Atlanta chef and restaurateur G. Garvin knows his way around Southern cuisine. Currently writing his fifth cookbook (when he's not a judge on "Guy's Grocery Games" on the Food Network or hosting his Cooking Channel show), Garvin took time to size up the blackened catfish po'boy tacos debuting at the Braves' new SunTrust Park.

How do these fit in Atlanta?
When you think of Atlanta, you think of catfish, especially in the realm of Southern food, which has become this staple but elevated. Used to be, on Sunday, after church, we'd have fried catfish, some greens and yams. This is certainly more elevated. It rings true to what we're doing now.

Are you a Braves fan?
I love baseball, man. Sunday, we get a Coca-Cola and warm peanuts, drop some in the bottle and watch the Braves. It's a great American tradition.

What would you add if you made these at home?
Man, I'd do a jalapeño aioli. Combine cilantro and jalapeño -- maybe guacamole -- and give it a great texture. I'd do some great Georgia cabbage, shredded super, super fine, and add kosher salt to pop that flavor out. I'd take some green tomatoes and dice those babies up with shallots and a nice vine-ripened tomato. Get that good red and green color. Then I'd set it off with a little Hennessy and Coke.

Mac 'N' Cheese Hot Dog
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

Mac 'N' Cheese Hot Dog

Henry Leutwyler for ESPN

The Recipe

Ingredients
1 lb Stouffer's macaroni and cheese
8 cups water
½ lb. macaroni pasta
2 cups aged sharp cheddar sauce
½ lb. shredded Parmesan
½ lb. shredded sharp cheddar
4 all-beef hot dogs
4 Hawaiian hot dog buns
2 tbsp. butter
Yellow mustard
Bacon crumbles
Diced onions

Instructions: Warm Stouffer's macaroni and cheese by following instructions on package. Pour 8 cups of water into a large saucepan, add salt and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, place macaroni in water and stir occasionally until tender.

Remove pasta from water and drain. Place pasta back in the pan and add sharp cheddar sauce; stir until combined. Add shredded sharp cheddar and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Add warm Stouffer's macaroni and cheese to pasta mixture. Cook hot dogs on flattop/grill. Melt butter in a skillet; once melted, place hot dog bun on skillet face up and toast both sides.

Place cooked hot dog in bun. Top with mac and cheese mix, yellow mustard, bacon topping and diced onions. Serves four.

Calories: 468
Cost at stadium: $9.50


Q&A with the Chef

Dave's Doghouse has been a hit at L.A.'s Staples Center, selling 600 to 800 hot dogs a game at its three stands around the arena. But these dogs come with a pedigree: They were created by a chef with two Michelin stars, Josiah Citrin of Mélisse, one of Zagat's top restaurants in L.A. since 2003. (He's also a cousin of the Doghouse's founder, Dave Cheren.) Here, Citrin dishes on his amazingly simple recipe for a four-dog night:

Does a chef with two Michelin stars actually eat hot dogs?
Why not? Generally, people usually think fine-dining chefs eat that kind of food all the time. But hot dogs are great. We try to control how much mustard is on it, how much relish, create those bites that I find are the perfect balance. You taste the bun, the hot dog, the mustard, the relish. The chili dog is also really good.

What is your take on the direction stadium food has taken?
I think food culture in America has completely evolved. Everyone expects more from food, and the arenas want people to stay and eat there. But with everything going on outside of them, the competition is steep.

How does getting a hot dog stand in Staples Center rank among your accomplishments?
I was really stoked when it happened. I've been going to Lakers games since I was a youngster. It's fun to be able to feed lots of people instead of 80 people a night. I think it's a great product for 1,000 people.

You blend in Stouffer's to your mac and cheese mix. Why Stouffer's?
It's kind of shocking, right? It's just one of those things you grew up with. It gives me that balance where I can keep it consistently very strong (at three different stands). I don't want to overcomplicate the recipe. I want it to be really good.

Pig Candy BLT
Wrigley Field | Chicago, IL

Pig Candy BLT

Sam Kaplan for ESPN

The Recipe

Pig Candy
12 to 14 slices apple wood smoked bacon (not thick-cut but not paper thin)
2 cups light brown sugar

Carmelized Onions
2 Maui onions, sliced
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Dry red wine

Instructions: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place oil and onions in pan and gently sweat, stirring only occasionally. If necessary, deglaze with the red wine. Cook until deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

BBQ Rub Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Pork & Mindy's Sweet
BBQ Rub (or another sweet dry rub blend)
1 tbsp. hot sauce

Instructions: In a bowl, mix all ingredients and set aside.

Additional Ingredients
4 brioche buns
1 Roma tomato, sliced medium thickness
4 crispy leaves romaine lettuce
2 tbsp. butter

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place brown sugar in a pie dish. Gently press each slice of bacon into sugar until coated (patches of naked bacon are OK). Arrange coated bacon on vegetable oil -- sprayed wire rack, then place rack on top of a full sheet pan. Bake until extra crispy and golden, 30 to 50 minutes depending on oven, rotating sheet pan halfway through. Remove from rack to prevent sticking; let cool on new surface. Once cool, cut each piece of Pig Candy in half.

Assembly
Butter brioche buns and toast on griddle until golden brown. On each bun, place layer of caramelized onions, 3 to 4 slices of halved Pig Candy and tomato slices; season with salt. Top tomatoes with 1 leaf of lettuce, spread aioli on top bun, close and serve. Makes 4 large sandwiches.

Calories: 640
Cost at stadium: $12


Q&A with the Chef

Chicago native Jeff Mauro moved to L.A. to be a comedian and actor before heading home to hone his cooking skills and win the seventh season of "Food Network Star." This year he got an even bigger break: His Chicago sandwich shop, Pork & Mindy's, got a prized spot in Wrigley Field. Star of the network's "Sandwich King" for five seasons and now co-host of "The Kitchen," Mauro tells us about his Pig Candy BLT.

What makes this different from other BLTs?
We use our very addictive Pig Candy, which is our caramelized, sugarcoated bacon, as the base, and we have a custom house-made barbecue mayo that we put on there. It's all served on a beautiful, shiny, buttery bun. Every element is prized.

What does it mean to be in Wrigley Field?
It's a dream come true. People eating our food in the stands is surreal. We're next to Hot Doug's, which had been a famous gourmet sausage stand in the city, with lines out the door. The one-two punch of pork will be legendary stadium eating.

Growing up: Cubs or White Sox?
My dad was a Sox fan. We only went to Comiskey Park. I'm not going to say that I hated the Cubs, you know, but you rooted for what you knew. But I'm older. My love for all Chicago sports trumped any allegiance to one team. There's nothing not to like about going to Cubs games.

Mexican Pambazo
AT&T Stadium | Dallas, TX

Mexican Pambazo

Brian Finke for ESPN

The Recipe

Ingredients
15 dried guajillo chilies
1 clove garlic
½ small white onion, roughly chopped 2 ¼ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 ¼ lb. fresh chorizo, casings removed 6 soft pambazos, teleras or kaiser rolls 3 shredded iceberg lettuce
¾ cup crema or sour cream
2 cups grated queso Oaxaca or mozzarella
Refried beans

Instructions: Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chilies and cook, turning once, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer chilies to a large bowl; pour over 4 cups boiling water and let sit until chilies are soft, about 30 minutes.

Drain, reserving 11D4 cups liquid, and remove stems and seeds. Transfer chilies and liquid to a blender along with garlic and onipuree until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl; set aside. Bring a 4-quart saucepan of salted water to a boil; add potatoes and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add chorizo and cook, stirring into small pieces until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until they are very tender, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper and set aside. Using fingers, scoop out the insides of rolls, leaving a 1D2-inch-thick shell.

Spread a layer of refried beans on the bottom half of the rolls. Place 1 cup potato-chorizo mixture on roll bottoms and cover with tops; lightly flatten sandwiches and compact filling. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.

Submerge sandwiches in chili sauce until soaked, at least 10 seconds; place in skillet, pressing constantly with a spatula to flatten and flipping once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; repeat with remaining oil, sandwiches and sauce. Top sandwiches with lettuce, cheese and crema. Serve warm.

Calories: 1,200


Q&A with the Chef

Dallas and Tex-Mex go together like chips and queso. No one knows that better than Mico Rodriguez, the godfather of Dallas Tex-Mex who launched the city's venerable Mi Cocina chain and now runs the heralded Mesero. A huge Cowboys fan who has attended games since 1963, he gives us his impressions of the team's new Mexican pambazo (stadium recipe below), along with suggestions on how he'd tweak the recipe at home. "They respect the authenticity of the dish," he says. "It's got guajillo [chili sauce]. It's almost like making BBQ sauce. You have to be patient with it. I'm thinking really somebody is on the ball."

How do you think this fits with the Dallas crowd?
They grew up on Tex-Mex. When you get started on Tex-Mex and you're born in Dallas, more than likely you're eating hot sauce and chips as soon as you land on a high chair. It's just automatic.

Do you have your own spin on making one?
I'd use a challah bread, which has more egg in it. I'd put butter in it. Toast it up. I wouldn't char it.

Did you ever think you'd see a pambazo or other Tex-Mex dishes being sold in stadiums?
In the '60s, I would say, 'You've lost your mind.' Now it's totally accepted. That makes me very proud. With a pambazo, you can't just make it three hours ago and then serve it like you can a hot dog. It's gotta be made-to-order. It's like a Mexican Subway.

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