Dean McDermott, wife Tori Spelling, and their brood. (Tiffany Rose/WireImage)Dean McDermott knows plenty about cooking for a crowd. In addition to 5-year-old Liam, 4-year-old Stella, and 15-month-old Hattie, he and wife Tori Spelling just welcomed their fourth child together, son Finn, in August. (McDermott is also dad to a teenage son named Jack from his previous marriage.) And McDermott says he’s the chef of the family, creating meals at least four or five days a week for Tori and their brood.
With all that experience, the 46-year-old has gotten pretty good at his craft and is currently showing off his skills as a contestant on the new season of Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off,” which challenges him to do things like taking over a diner, running a food truck, and catering dinner for 10.
McDermott has also made himself a resource for other pressed-for-time parents looking for creative, kid-friendly meals with his website The Gourmet Dad. Since the big game is just days away, omg! caught up with the foodie father to get his tips for throwing a fun and family-friendly Super Bowl party filled with great game-time grub.
Buy all the food you need. And then buy more.
“The last thing you want to do is run out of food. That will spoil any party,” warns McDermott. “And if you have leftover food then so be it. You have food to take to work the next day. You have leftovers for the house. It’s always good to have leftovers. They never go to waste around this house.”
Make a pot of chili … no matter what.
“Chilis are great for Super Bowl parties because chili is so versatile. You can put it on nachos. You can put it on hot dogs and hamburgers. You can just eat chili period.”
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Try a new twist on an old favorite.
“Last year I made bleu cheese and Serrano ham-stuffed cheeseburgers,” recalls McDermott. “And I made an Italian burger with melted mozzarella on a hamburger with prosciutto and salami and capicola with a marinara. You’ve got your burgers but there’s a twist on ‘em.”
The game is long, so keep stuff hot!
“For chili and even burgers and hot dogs, cook ‘em ahead of time, put the chili in a Crock-Pot on low or if you don’t have a Crock-Pot keep it on the stove on a really low heat. You can also keep your cooked burgers and dogs in a Crock-Pot to keep warm,” explains McDermott, who’s not above bargain hunting. “Also, chafing dishes are pretty cheap. I think they’re about $30 at Costco. You can keep your chilis and nachos and hot dogs and burgers in those. It’s a cheap way to keep food warm. That way it’s a hassle free party for you. If you can make it all ahead of time, keep them warm. keep all the accoutrements next to the chafing dish – the rolls, the buns, the ketchup and mustard, all the great stuff.”
McDermott on the set of Raechal vs. Guy. (Food Network)
Keep your dips looking good.
“Dips are great. Onion dip, hummus, guacamole, and salsas. I don’t really think there’s anything that’s truly hands-free as far as dips go. You always want to refill the dip and fluff up the chips and add more chips because it starts to look a little anemic after a while and picked over,” he advises. “You don’t want to be eating something that looks picked over so it’s always nice to refresh.”
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
“I just got a smoker so I’m going to smoke a pork shoulder for sandwiches, for chili fries, chili dogs, for chili period. I make a chili I call the Gourmet Dad’s Tres Carnes Chili Fantistico,” says McDrmott. (See recipe below.) “It’s three types of shredded meat in a bean chili – pork belly, pork shoulder, and beef shoulder. It’s really good.”
The party mistake you don’t want to make.
“Getting too drunk and streaking. That’s never good.”
Above all else, remember these three game day necessities.
“Good food, good friends, and more food.”
And Tori, if you’re listening: Get in the kitchen!
“I really encourage her to cook. She’s a great cook. She’s a bit of a whirling dervish in the kitchen, but she’s a great cook,” McDermott says of his wife. “For a while I was like, ‘Why aren’t you cooking?’ And she was like ‘I’m intimated to cook around you.’ And I was like, ‘Please, you could make me anything. At the end of the day it’s about connecting with people. I told her, ‘If you made me macaroni and sliced dogs, I would love that because you made it for me.’” Aww!
The next episode of “Rachael and Guy’s Celebrity Cook-Off” airs Super Bowl Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network.
The Gourmet Dad’s Tres Carnes Chili Fantastico
1 pound pork shoulder
1 pound beef shoulder
1 pound pork belly
1 large onion
8 cloves of garlic. 3 whole, 5 minced
2 roasted jalapeno's quartered lengthwise. Remove seeds from all but one piece
1 large red pepper
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup of ancho chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 bottles dark beer
1 28oz can of plum tomatoes, hand crushed. Do not drain
1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
2 15oz cans of kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 3/4 cup beef stock
4 ripe avocados pitted and scraped
1 15oz jar of Mexican creme
1 roasted jalapeno
2 limes juiced
1 lime zest
1 bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1. Trim excess fat off of all the meat, and cut into large cubes. In a pressure cooker heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the cubed pork shoulder in the pot, and brown on all sides. Remove; add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat and place cubed pork belly in pot, and brown on all sides. Repeat with cubed beef shoulder. Return all meat to the pressure cooker, and add 2 dark beer, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 onion quartered and the jalapeno's. Put lid on pressure cooker, and cook for 45 minutes.
2. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add chopped onions and 5 cloves of minced garlic. Cook until translucent, no browning. Deglaze pot with 1 bottle of dark beer, then add crushed tomatoes, beef stock, chili powders, oregano, paprika, cumin, tomato paste, cocoa powder, sugar, good pinch of salt, good pinch of pepper, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
3. After 45 minutes, remove meat from pressure cooker and place on a clean surface or large sheet pan. Be careful opening the pressure cooker, it's not the kinda facial you get at the spa. With 2 forks shred all the meat. Remove the onion, garlic, and jalapeno from the pressure cooker, and chop them all together and add to pot. Once you're done shredding, place all the meat into your chili pot and simmer for 2 hours, partially covered. If the chili needs more liquid, add the liquid from the pressure cooker.
1. Place jalapeno on a skewer or fork, and roast right over the gas flame, or under your broiler. Cut in half and remove the seeds. In a blender or food processor, add your avocado, creme, lime-juice, lime zest, roasted jalapeno and a good handful of cilantro. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking. You can also add more lime juice if desired.
**Serve chili with a generous dollop of creme. Enjoy.
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