WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Celebrity chef Duff Goldman knows a bit about hockey.
He played the sport through college, including on the club team during his time at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He still plays when he can and remains a huge fan of the game.
Still, he was surprised by what greeted him upon his arrival at Nationals Park on Tuesday to check out the preparations for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
The ice surface was finished and many of the trimmings were already in place. As a result, Goldman could envision what will greet fans, including himself, on Thursday when the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals take part in the latest NHL outdoor game (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVA).
"Everything looks so great," said Goldman, the owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and the star of "Ace of Cakes" and other shows on Food Network, including a new show, "Duff Till Dawn," which will soon debut. "The setup is amazing and you can see how spectacular it is going to be when this place is filled."
Goldman knows how special an outdoor game can be. He was at the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to see the Capitals play the Pittsburgh Penguins. Goldman hosted a tailgate celebration before the game for some television hits on NHL Network.
This time around, he is making a special cake to celebrate the 2015 Winter Classic. It will be unveiled on Jan. 1 at the Fan Fair outside the ballpark.
Goldman is excited about showing off his latest creation, but even more so for the game.
"You know what I am really excited about is the ice being good," Goldman said. "When I was at the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, it was raining. Last year, it snowed; but I'm really looking forward to a good sunny day, good ice and a really good game.
"The players are so excited to play outside, and playing outside on really good ice is going to be really great for the players, the fans and hockey in general. People will see how much fun it is to play hockey outside. I think there are a lot of kids that have only seen hockey inside and that don't know that hockey starts outside. I think having a great sunny day on a beautiful field in a great city, I think that is what is going to get people really excited. They're going to say, 'Wait a minute, my pond is frozen solid and safe, let's get a pair of skates and get out there. Let's go play hockey.'"
While Goldman is most famous for his pastry creations, he prides himself on his savory dishes as well.
On Thursday, he will be enjoying the concessions at Nationals Park while he watches Alexander Ovechkin, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews occupy the national spotlight, but he made sure to leave those fans watching from home the recipes to some dishes to be enjoyed during the game.
Celebrity chef Duff Goldman's Canadian Maple Bacon Walnut Blondies. (Photo: Daryl Stone)
The recipes for Canadian maple bacon walnut blondies, BBQ pretzel bombs and chicken vesuvio tacos are below:
Canadian Maple Bacon Walnut Blondies
I think it would be tragic if we didn't honor our brethren from the north with a recipe. All of us, Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals fans alike, wistfully stare northward when we think about hockey. Here's a sweet recipe in homage to our Canadian cousins, whose donuts and sports we love so much.
1-¼ cup brown butter
1 c REAL maple syrup
1-½ cups dark brown sugar
½ T vanilla
2 eggs, 1 Yolk
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ Tbsp salt
Couple handfuls of toasted walnut pieces (around 1-½ cups).
1 lb. of bacon, chopped small and rendered dark and crispy
1- Brown the butter by heating over medium heat until butter turns a golden brown, then remove from heat and let cool
2- Beat together browned butter and brown sugar and maple syrup.
3- Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well.
4- In a separate bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and combine well but don’t over-mix.
5- Stir in the walnuts and bacon, gently press the dough into a greased baking dish, about 1-½ inches thick.
6- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out somewhat clean.
Pulled Pork Pretzel Bombs
Celebrity chef Duff Goldman's Pulled Pork Pretzel Bombs. (Photo: Daryl Stone)
Pulled pork is a Washington D.C. staple, and if you are going to be rooting for the Washington Capitals AND you want to be the envy of all your friends who like the Chicago Blackhawks, these Pulled Pork Pretzel Bombs are the way to go. Personally, I would roast this pork myself but you can buy shredded BBQ pork shoulder if you want. Also, when I wrap things in pretzel dough, I usually use the store-bought stuff. It's not because it's easier, but ready-to-bake pretzel dough works really well for this recipe. For the onions, pickle them yourself. Fresh pickled onions have such a bigger bite and crunch that the ones in a jar just won't do. Serve with dipping sauces, preferably a horseradish aioli or a whole-grain mustard or your favorite BBQ sauce; but hey, if you dipped these into a spicy remoulade or a buffalo wing sauce, who am I to judge? Stay warm out there, hockey fans!
For the Pork:
1 Tbsp dry Coleman’s mustard
½ Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp celery seed
1 Tbsp Old Bay Crab Seasoning
¼ cup brown sugar
1 yellow onion, sliced
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup tomato paste
4-pound pork shoulder, trimmed (leave a little fat to render, though)
1- Combine half the brown sugar, about 2 T salt, pepper to taste, and all the spices in a bowl. Rub it all over the pork and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
2- In a big non-Teflon sauté pan, heat some oil good and hot and really sear well the outside of the entire pork. Make sure it gets nice and brown and leaves a lot of color into the pan. Once it is cooked, place it on a rack the roasting pan you are going to use in the oven.
3- With the heat on low, add some water to the sauté pan to deglaze all that flavor. When the liquid is brown and the pan is clean, pour the liquid into the braising pan. Remove the pork and add the rest of the sugar, the tomato paste, the vinegar, and whisk it all together. Spread the sliced onions evenly in the pan, and place the pork directly on top of the onions. Cover the whole pan with foil and roast at 275-300 degrees for about 5 hours.
4- When the pork flakes off with gentle pressure, remove it from the oven, put it on a rack over the braising liquid, and let it drip for 15 minutes. Put the pork on a cutting board and put the liquid in a blender. Blend the liquid with the onions and reduce it over a low flame until it looks tasty.
5- Chop the pork up nice and rough and then toss with the liquid reduction. If the pork seems a bit dry, add some BBQ sauce. Put the pork in a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.
For the pickled onions:
1 red onion. Very thinly sliced
¼ red cabbage, very thinly sliced
2 Tbsp salt
½ cup sugar
½ Tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
1- Place the sliced vegetables into a bowl
2- Bring everything else to a boil, pour it over the onions and cabbage
3- Place that bowl covered into the fridge for the length of time it takes to cook the pork.
For the Pulled Pork Pretzel Bombs:
Pickled onion mixture
Pretzel or Biscuit dough
Flour for rolling the dough
1- Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch, cut into 4-5" circles.
2- Place a small amount of onions and a larger amount of pulled pork in the middle of each circle.
3- Spray a cookie sheet with pan spray or butter, or put down a piece of parchment
4- Fold up each ball and place seam-side down onto the cookie sheet. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and brush the egg wash onto the balls. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
Chicken Vesuvio Tacos
Nothing says Chicago like sausages, deep-dish pizza, and hot dogs with lots of stuff on them, but there's a lot more to Chicago than encased meats! Chicago is a melting pot of cultures; one of the most varied in the United States, so here I've taken a traditional Italian staple of Chicago cuisine and made it portable for your Winter Classic feast! These Italian tacos are sure to delight any true Blackhawks fan.
The meat of one whole chicken, skinned and boned, about 3 pounds
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
½ c white wine
2 lbs. fingerling potatoes, cut thin in wedges
3 c canola oil (in a large skillet, heated to 375)
1 jar (12 oz.) of Giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables)
The adobo from 1 can of chipotle peppers
1 c mayonnaise
Real flour tortillas, the small, thick ones
1- Toss the chicken in salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and ½ cup of olive oil, brown in a metal-handled skillet. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour off most of the extra oil, leaving a bit, and place the skillet in the oven. (If you don't have a pan with a metal handle, put the chicken in any baking dish). Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
2- Fry the potatoes in another pan until they are golden brown, pull them out and drain on a towel.
3- When the oven timer goes off, pour in the wine, and add the garlic, potatoes, and oregano to the chicken, cook for 5 more minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven when it's done, toss in the parsley, and let the pan sit for 20 minutes uncovered.
4- Mix the mayo and chipotle sauce and set aside.
5- Pull out the chicken and potatoes and place on a cutting board, if there is a lot of juice, drain it back into the skillet and DON'T THROW IT AWAY! Roughly the chop the chicken and potato mixture.
6- Heat the tortillas in a dry pan until they are soft, fill with vesuvio mix, top with giardiniera and the chipotle mayo.
7- Pour the vesuvio liquid into a ramekin and dip your tacos French dip style.
It doesn't get more Chicago than that!