Stock the fridge with beer and load up on buffalo sauce — it’s playoff season, and the Eagles' four-game winning streak means it’s time to party.

After pulling off a nail-biting win last weekend against the Chicago Bears, the Birds head to New Orleans this Sunday to face the Saints in what’s hopefully a game of redemption. The last time the two teams met, the Saints clinched a 48-to-7 victory, meaning this time around, the Underdogs are more than hungry for a win.

Kickoff time is 4:40 p.m. Start planning your Game Day menu now to ensure you have a delicious spread ready in time to watch Nick Foles lead the way to victory. Need some ideas? We have a menu of Philly- and New Orleans-inspired recipes below. Come game time, it doesn’t matter whether you reach for the soft-pretzel sandwich or a bowl of gumbo — either will feel great to devour while watching the Saints lose their shot at Super Bowl LIII.

The Taste of Philly

Mini Reuben Pretzel Sandwich

Yields 20 sandwiches


For the pretzels:

  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsps. light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup 110°F water
  • 6 tbsps. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 tsp. coarse salt
  • Olive oil, for greasing the bowl
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

For the cheese filling:

  • 4-oz. block of Gruyère 
  • 4 oz. corned beef
  • ¼ cup Russian dressing (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup chopped sauerkraut,  well drained

For the Russian dressing:

  • 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise or eggless mayonnaise substitute
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish


For the pretzels:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the warm water and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, the flour, and the 2 teaspoons salt and mix to incorporate. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it forms a ball, 2 to 3 minutes. Grease a large bowl with olive oil, place the dough ball in the bowl, and turn it to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2. Punch down the dough and portion into 1-ounce balls (you should have 20). Roll into ropes, then twist into pretzel shapes. (Alternatively, shape into rolls; see Note.) Cover the pretzels with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. In a large pot over high heat, bring 6 cups water and the baking soda to a simmer. Working in batches, carefully drop the pretzels (or rolls) in the water and simmer for 15 to 30 seconds, or until they float. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared sheet. Brush lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with salt. Bake for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just beginning to color. Brush quickly with some of the remaining melted butter and return to the oven to bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and brush once more with butter after baking. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Remove the pretzels and set aside to cool, about 20 minutes. Reline the baking sheet with fresh parchment

For the cheese:

1. Slice the Gruyère and the corned beef into 40 squares each to fit the pretzels and set aside. When the pretzels have cooled, split them in half. Spread each half with Russian dressing and assemble into sandwiches with 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of corned beef, and a pinch of sauerkraut. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and warm in the oven just long enough to heat through and melt the cheese, 2 to 3 minutes.

For the Russian dressing:

1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish and stir to blend. Refrigerate until ready to use.

— From Peter Callahan’s “Party Food.” Clarkson Potter (2017)

Philly Cheesesteak Queso

Yields 8 servings


  • 3 tbsps. canola oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • One 12-ounce rib eye steak, frozen for 30 minutes and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 lb. white American cheese, coarsely shredded (4 cups)
  • ½ pound provolone,  coarsely shredded (2 cups)
  • 2 hoagie rolls, sliced crosswise and lightly toasted


1. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the bell peppers and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pepper mixture to a small bowl.

2. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining tablespoon of canola oil in it. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Add the steak and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the steak to a small bowl.

3. Wipe out the skillet, add the half-and-half, and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat. Whisk in both cheeses in small handfuls until completely melted and the queso is very smooth, about 5 minutes. Top the queso with the steak and pepper mixture. Keep warm over very low heat and serve immediately with the toasted hoagie roll slices.

— From Food and Wine

Roasted Buffalo Chicken Wings

Roasted Buffalo Chicken Wings.
Mark Bittman / Romulo Yanes
Roasted Buffalo Chicken Wings.

Yields 20 sandwiches


  • 1 cup yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tsps. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-4 tbsps. hot sauce
  • 4 tbsps. (½ stick) butter, melted
  • 2 tbsps. wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 3 lbs. chicken wings
  • 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 8-12 celery stalks, cut into sticks


1. Heat the oven to 400°F. To make the dressing, whisk together the yogurt, blue cheese, and lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Refrigerate it while you make the wings or for up to a few hours. Combine the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl.

2. If the wings are not already divided into two pieces, cut them apart through the center of the joint with a chef’s knife or poultry shears. If the pointed tips are still attached to the lower sections, remove them to save for stock or discard.

3. Put the chicken wings in a large roasting pan, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread them out in a single layer. Put the pan in the oven and roast, undisturbed, until the bottom is coated with fat and the wings are beginning to brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Brush the wings with some of the drippings, then carefully spoon out as much of the liquid as possible. If the wings are still sticking to the bottom of the pan, return them to the oven until they release easily, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

4. Turn the wings over, brush again with drippings, then spoon off any excess fat. Return the wings to the oven until browned and they again release easily, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Raise the oven temperate to 450°F. Spoon off fat for the last time. Drizzle the wings with the hot sauce mixture and toss to coat. Spread them out in a single layer and return them to the oven. Cook, tossing once or twice, until crisp all over, 5 or 10 more minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with the celery and blue cheese dressing.

— From “How to Cook Everything: The Basics" by Mark Bittman. Wiley (2012)

The Taste of the Big Easy

Muffuletta Salad

Muffuletta Salad from "Gumbo Love."
Angie Mosier
Muffuletta Salad from "Gumbo Love."

Serves 6 to 8


  • ½ lb. hard salami, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • ½ lb. ham, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 7-oz. dry Italian sausage, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • ½ lb. provolone,  chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted Spanish olives
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 16-oz. jar giardiniera mix, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

— From “Gumbo Love,” by Lucy Buffett. Grand Central Life & Style (2017)

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and sausage gumbo from "Chasing the Gator."
Denny Culbert
Chicken and sausage gumbo from "Chasing the Gator."

Serves 4


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 12-oz. bottle amber-style beer
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • rice, for serving
  • sliced green onions, for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the chicken thighs with 2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and roast for 20 minutes, or until the skin is lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Don’t throw that fat away; it’s going in the gumbo later.

2. In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, make a dark roux. Stir together the oil and flour. Then stir and stir and stir for about 45 minutes. Once the roux is the color of milk chocolate, add the trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery, and stir once every 5 seconds for about a minute until the vegetables begin to soften and caramelize. After a minute, add the garlic and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

3. Deglaze the Dutch oven with the beer, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon until all the browned bits are released. Stir constantly until it returns to a simmer. Add the stock and continue stirring. Add the cayenne and remaining teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Add the reserved chicken thighs (skin, bones, everything) and their fat, and the sausage. Bring back to a bare simmer, being careful not to let it boil and not to let the roux scorch. Reduce heat to lowest setting on your stove, cover, and simmer for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, scraping the bottom each time. The gumbo will thicken. Do not skim the fat off the top.

4. Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.

— From “Chasing the Gator,” by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole. Little, Brown (2018)

Carnival King Cake

Makes 16 servings


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 package (2½ tsp.) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 whole almond
  • 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tbsp. water, for brushing
  • Purple, green, and yellow decorating sugars, for garnish


1. In a food processor, combine the sugar and lemon zest and process for 15 seconds to blend. Add the flour, salt, and yeast and process for another 15 seconds. Cut the butter into 12 pieces and distribute evenly around the bowl, pushing them down into the flour mixture. Pulse about 15 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. In a large measuring pitcher or bowl with a spout, whisk together milk and eggs. With the food processor running, pour the egg mixture through the feed tube and process for 30-40 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. The dough should be very soft and sticky.

3. Scrape the dough into a large bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight. It will stiffen as it chills to the consistency of dense cookie dough.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working quickly before the dough warms and begins to soften, place it on the parchment and use your hands to mold it into an oblong ring about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Using damp hands, pat the ring smooth. Push the almond into the underside of the dough to conceal it. Cover the dough ring loosely with another sheet of parchment. Set the pan aside in a warm draft-free place and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 3 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the surface of the dough gently and evenly with the egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle generously with the decorating sugars, alternating wide stripes of purple, green, and yellow.

6. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes.

7. Transfer cake to a serving plate and serve warm or at room temperature. Cut on the diagonal into thin slices. By tradition, the person who “gets the baby” (the almond) must provide the cake for the next party.

— From “Williams-Sonoma New Orleans,” by Constance Snow. Oxmoor House (2005)