Philadelphia-inspired Super Bowl food ideas from some of the city's top chefs

Devising a Philadelphia-style pizza to celebrate the Eagles in the Super Bowl was no problem for pie master Joe Beddia once he eliminated the competition. In a mental review of the game-day snacks that best capture the spirit of the city’s sports fans, he quickly crossed out cheesesteaks, soft pretzels — “I’m not going to put a soft pretzel on a pizza,” he said — and roast pork.

That left hoagies. Hoagie pizza, to be exact.

Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Pizza master Joe Beddia creates his hoagie-style pizza.

“This was really my only option,”  Beddia said of his creation, a cheese pie with red onions in the sauce, baked to crisp perfection in the oven at his Girard Avenue pizzeria, then layered with thin slices of Mortadella, arugula, and pickled chili peppers.

The pizza can be assembled for Super Bowl party guests after the pie comes out of the oven, with slices of meat draped gently over the top, dressed with greens and peppers, then garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh grated cheese. Home chefs can use the dough and sauce recipes from Beddia’s cookbook, Pizza Camp, or take shortcuts using premade dough and sauce.

Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Pizza master Joe Beddia works the dough as he prepares his hoagie pizza.

Originally from Lancaster, Beddia grew up watching Philly sports, but he acknowledges it’s rare for him to catch a game these days. Sunday, of course, is another story.

“The last game was so overwhelming,” he said. “I don’t know what to expect now.”

Everyone has his own idea of the perfect game-day food. Eagles defensive end Chris Long likes macaroni and cheese; defensive tackle Beau Allen goes for bacon-wrapped hot dogs; wide receiver Alshon Jeffery likes to dig into steak, rice, and vegetables. This year, local fans and chefs are infusing Super Bowl food with some extra Philly pride.

For Justin Swain, chef at the Southern-influenced Rex 1516, burgers are essential. He crafted the Fry Eagles Fry, a mammoth two-patty burger with shredded lettuce and fries piled on a sesame bun, topped with a tangy pimento cheese sauce. The sauce color brings to mind the Whiz one might order wit a cheesesteak, but it’s richer, spicier, and it oozes down the side of the burger with each bite.

His tips for setting up a premier burger bar for friends and Super Bowl parties: offer several kinds of patties, including veggie and turkey. Set out raw, sautéed, and crispy onions, as well as tomatoes, pickles, sliced jalapeños, pickled tomatoes, and lettuce in both shredded and leaf form.

“I wanted to have as much green on the table as possible,” he said of this year’s Super Bowl party. He suggested putting out a variety of buns, a plate of thick-cut bacon, a few types of cheese, and as many condiments as possible.

Camera icon YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Items for a build-your-own burger bar for Super Bowl guests at Rex 1516.

To catch a buzz from something stronger than beer, the folks at local small-batch company Dad’s Hat Whiskey and its distillery, Mountain Laurel Spirits, crafted a Fly Eagles Fly cocktail. Made with Dad’s Hat rye whiskey and orange bitters, it’s tinged green with Chartreuse liqueur. Garnished with lime, the Fly Eagles Fly has hints of citrus and sweetness that contrast with the spices in the rye.

Camera icon JOHN COOPER
A Fly Eagles Fly cocktail, made with whiskey and green Chartreuse.

At P Square Lounge, the patio in the back of Macaroni’s restaurant in the Northeast, Birds fans pack the bar every Sunday and order plates of wings that are infused with Italian flavors instead of drenched in Buffalo or barbecue sauce. The wings are roasted with a sweet-sour agrodolce sauce and hot cherry peppers that add heat, then served with a cooling mousse made from Gorgonzola, not blue cheese.

Camera icon JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
Signature Italian-style wings at the P Squared lounge on Bustleton Avenue.

“Everyone does a Buffalo wing,” said Davide Primavera, who owns P Square with his brother Gianni. “We wanted something more authentic.”

Chef-owner Josh Lawler has been serving one of his tailgate standbys to his customers at the Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Horsham for years. The Veterans Stadium roast pork sandwich was inspired by the one Lawler made in January 2003, when the Eagles faced Tampa Bay in an NFC championship game that was the last football match played at the city’s former stadium.

Camera icon SYDNEY SCHAEFER / Staff Photographer
Chef Josh Lawler of the Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Horsham sticks a toothpick in a finished Veterans Stadium roast pork sandwich.

The flavors are simple, classic, and pure Philly: pork shoulder roasted with rosemary, garlic, lemon, and chili flakes and then braised. Slices of the meat are piled on soft white kaiser rolls with braised broccoli rabe, garlic, and slices of sharp provolone cheese, then topped with roasted long hots.

Camera icon SYDNEY SCHAEFER / Staff Photographer
A Veterans Stadium roast pork sandwich with braised greens and provolone from Farm & Fisherman in Horsham.

“We spent the whole day in the parking lot, eating those sandwiches,” Lawler said. Later, once kickoff approached, they wrapped up a few more and smuggled them into the stadium to eat inside.

Was Lawler worried about jinxing the game by making a meal that had accompanied 2003’s loss?

“No, because it was such a great day,” he said. “I think this is the year to go all-out. With food, with everything.”


Fly Eagles Fly Cocktail

Makes 1 drink.

Fly Eagles Fly cocktail, made with Green Chartreuse.

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania rye whiskey

1 ounce green Chartreuse

4 dashes orange bitters

Lime peel, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine whiskey, Chartreuse, and bitters.
  2. Stir with ice and strain into a second glass.
  3. Garnish with lime.

-- Dad's Hat whiskey


Pimento "Cheez Whiz" Sauce

Makes about 3 quarts

A Fry Eagles Fry burger topped with pimento cheese sauce.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds soft white cheddar cheese, shredded

4 ounces cream cheese, cubed

32 ounces milk

4 ounces pickled hot cherry peppers, seeded and finely minced

1 tablespoon minced onion

2 ounces Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch dry mustard

1 tablespoon hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring milk to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Add peppers, onion, Worcestershire, spices, and hot sauce and whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. Add cheeses a little at a time, making sure they melt before adding more.
  4. Keep warm in slow-cooker or fondue pot while serving.

-- Chef Justin Swain of Rex 1516

53 calories, 2 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 112 mg sodium, 1 g sugar


Veterans Stadium Roast Pork

Makes 8 sandwiches

A Veteran’s Stadium roast pork sandwich with braised greens and provolone from Farm and Fisherman restaurant in Horsham, Pa.

INGREDIENTS

½ bunch rosemary, stems removed

1 bunch parsley

16 garlic cloves

1¼ cup olive oil

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon chili flakes

1 3- to 4-pound pork shoulder, boneless, butterflied

Chicken stock

1 bunch broccoli rabe

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 slices aged provolone

8 Conshohocken Italian bakery kaiser rolls

8 long hot peppers

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a blender, combine rosemary, parsley, 8 garlic cloves, 1 cup olive oil, lemon zest, and chili flakes. Blend until smooth.
  2. Spread herb mixture on butterflied pork shoulder. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Roll and tie the roast with butcher’s twine.
  3. In a Dutch oven, sear the roast on all sides over high heat.
  4. Add enough chicken stock to half cover the roast. Cover with parchment paper.
  5. Braise in a 325 degree oven for 2 to 2½ hours until tender but not falling apart.
  6. Chill pork overnight in the braising liquid.
  7. Remove twine and cut roast into ¼-inch thick slices. Reserve some braising liquid.
  8. Sauté pork over medium-high heat in a little of the braising liquid to warm it through.
  9. Using a separate pan, sauté broccoli rabe with 8 sliced garlic cloves in olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Slice rolls in half and warm in the oven.
  11. In another pan, sauté long hot peppers until soft and lightly browned.
  12. After rolls have been removed from the oven, turn the broiler on high.
  13. Smash a roasted garlic clove on the inside of each roll and place pork, broccoli rabe, and provolone on each one.
  14. Broil in the oven for about 2 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  15. Cover with the other half of roll, and top each sandwich with a roasted long hot pepper. Serve warm.

-- Josh Lawler of the Farm & Fisherman Tavern

768 calories, 32 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 24 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 77 mg cholesterol, 393 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar


Roasted rosemary wings with cherry pepper agrodolce and Gorgonzola mousse

Makes about 20 wings

Italian-style wings are shown at P Squared lounge on Bustleton Ave.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds chicken wings

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning

4 to 5 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 quart cherry peppers, in brine

1 cup brown sugar

1½ cup honey

3 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Salt for seasoning

8 ounces gorgonzola dolce cheese

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

½ cup heavy cream

Fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. For the agrodolce: Heat olive oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook gently until golden brown. Add cherry peppers, brown sugar, and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until sugar and honey has dissolved and slightly thickened.
  3. Pulse sauce with a hand blender or in a food processor. The sauce should not be fully blended, and you should see pieces of pepper throughout. Add parsley and salt to taste.
  4. For the wings: Combine garlic powder, paprika, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons black pepper and rosemary and set aside in separate bowl.
  5. Set a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water. Making sure not to crowd wings, and cooking in batches if necessary, and steam chicken for about 10 minutes.
  6. Pat wings dry when finished steaming and toss with olive oil. Coat generously with seasoning mixture.
  7. Roast wings for 10 to 12 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Toss with agrodolce sauce.
  8. For the mousse: In a mixer or food processor, mix the Gorgonzola and mascarpone until fully combined.
  9. In a bowl, beat heavy cream with whisk or hand mixer until it has stiff peaks. Fold the cheese mixture into the whipped cream. Season with salt, pepper and thyme and serve alongside wings.

-- From Matthew Brakoniecki of P Square Lounge

Per serving: 423 calories, 19 g protein, 75 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 404 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 35 g sugar


Hoagie Pizza

Makes one 16-inch pizza

Pizza master Joe Beddia creates his hoagie-style pizza.

INGREDIENTS

1 one-pound ball of pizza dough, store-bought or homemade

Approximately ¾ cup tomato sauce, store-bought or homemade

1 small red onion, sliced thin

4 ounces shredded whole-milk low-moisture mozzarella cheese

4 ounces whole-milk fresh mozzarella cheese

6 thin slices Mortadella

2 cups arugula

Pickled serrano chilies

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated aged cheese, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place pizza stone on low oven rack and preheat oven to 500 to 550 degrees for an hour before baking.
  2. Place room-temperature dough on floured counter and form a 16-inch disk, pressing down with floured fingers.
  3. Flour a pizza peel, making sure it's coated evenly, then lift dough and transfer it gently to the pizza peel.
  4. Take approximately ¾ cup of sauce and spread it over the dough to the edges.
  5. When dough is evenly coated, add shredded cheese and then whole milk mozzarella, placing it on the pie in small clumps. Coat pizza evenly, being careful not to crowd the center.
  6. Add sliced onion.
  7. Take peel and place pizza on stone at a downward angle, touching the tip of the peel to the back of the stone and then sliding the pizza onto the stone.
  8. Bake pizza for eight to 10 minutes, looking for the cheese to color and the crust to turn dark brown.
  9. When finished, slide the peel under the pie and remove it from oven, then transfer it to a cutting board or aluminum tray.
  10. Arrange Mortadella over pizza. Top with arugula, grated cheese, and as many chilies as desired.
  11. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

-- Joe Beddia

359 calories, 21 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 27 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 48 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar