Recipes to make your Draft Night party delicious

Steak, shrimp, sausage; football favorite recipes

CLEVELAND - Draft Night is almost upon us, and for Cleveland Browns fans, Draft Night is like our Super Bowl (But, not for long, because like all Browns fans, I believe this year will be THE year.)  Because the night will be celebrated by football fans all around northern Ohio, we’ve put together a menu just for the occasion.

There’s a lot of speculation that Johnny Manziel is on the Browns’ radar in the first round.  He could be Cleveland’s quarterback of the future if he’s selected.  And, let’s face it, the kid’s got the “it” factor.  So do these aptly named “Johnny Cakes."  Just like Manziel, they come with a zing!  And just like Johnny, this recipe comes from Texas, too.

Jalapeno Johnny Cakes With Salsa and Sour Cream

2 cups corn meal

2 cups water

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup pickled jalapenos, sliced and seeded

1 cup salsa

1 cup sour cream

½ cup sliced black olives (optional)

½ cup bacon, crumbled (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add cornmeal and milk and stir well.  Allow mixture to thicken.  Remove from heat and allow to cool until warm.  Add shredded cheese and jalapenos to cornmeal mixture.  Grease a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drop tablespoon sized portions of the cornmeal mixture into the hot skillet.  Cook until golden brown, then flip and repeat on other side.  Remove cakes to a plate.  Serve with sour cream, salsa, black olives, and crumbled bacon.

Many draft prognosticators think the Browns will take top rated wide receiver, Sammy Watkins with their first pick in the draft.  He would be a force teamed up with Josh Gordon and would turn the Browns into a juggernaut on offense.  Sammy’s already on the record as saying his favorite food is shrimp.  We think he’d like this recipe.

Spicy Citrus Thai Shrimp

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup flour

1 cup bread crumbs

 2 eggs, beaten

2 green onions, chopped both white and green sections

1 cup sweet Thai chili dipping sauce

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (optional)

cooking oil for deep frying

Heat oil in deep fryer or deep skillet to 350 degrees.  Combine Thai dipping sauce, fish sauce, orange juice, and lime juice in a large bowl. Dredge the shrimp in flour, dip in egg, then dip in bread crumbs to coat.  Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown. Toss fried shrimp with Thai chili sauce/citrus juice mixture.  Garnish with green onion and serve.

For a lot of people, football in northeast Ohio means sausage and beer.  This recipe combines both and is sure to please.

Beer Braised Sausage

2 pounds of your favorite smoked European style sausage like Slovene, Slovak, Polish, Bratwurst or Hungarian

24 ounces lager or pilsner beer

½ cup brown mustard

¼ cup brown sugar

1 cup onion, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat oil in a large pot.  Saute onions in oil until translucent.  Add sausage and cook until browned.  Mix beer, mustard, and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Pour beer mixture over sausages in pot.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow sausages to braise until cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Serve on their own or on a sub roll for a tasty sandwich.

You can bet Cleveland’s own Donte Whitner will be watching closely what happens during the draft.  The Glenville and Ohio State alum is making his homecoming this season after signing with the Browns.  Donte’s favorite food is lasagna, the way his mom makes it; light on the cheese, heavy on the meat.  While we’ll never match Mrs. Whitner’s recipe, we think Donte might still approve of this one.

Draft Day Lasagna

1 pound dried, packaged lasagna

1 pound ground beef

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

3 cups tomato sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup onion, chopped

¼ cup green onion, chopped

1 tablespoon dried oregano

¼ cup ricotta cheese

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup grated parmesan or aged provolone

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook lasagna as instructed on package, set aside.  Combine the ricotta with the beaten egg and set aside.  Coat a large baking pan with one tablespoon of olive oil.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet.  Sauté the onion, green pepper, and garlic until soft.  Add the ground beef and Italian sausage and cook until browned.  Add the tomato sauce to the meat mixture and combine well.  Ladle some of the meat mixture into the baking pan.  Place a layer of lasagna noodles on top the sauce in the pan.  Add another layer of sauce, then another layer of noodles.  Then add the ricotta/egg mixture and spread it well to coat the pasta.  Add more meat sauce, then cover with another layer of pasta.  Add any remaining meat sauce to the top of the lasagna and sprinkle with the grated parmesan or provolone.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes longer.  Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

You can follow all of the draft action on and NewsChannel 5.  Our man in command

on Draft Night will be Sports Director Andy Baskin.  Andy says when he’s watching football he loves wings, queso and chips, and something you might not find on a lot of game day/Draft Night menus:  Steak Bruschetta.  Andy fell in love with this hearty appetizer while dining out here in the Cleveland area.  Here’s our take.  It involves some extra time because the beef needs to marinate, but it’s well worth it.  And, just like Andy, we think you’ll fall in love with it, too.

Steak Bruschetta

2 pounds flank steak

1 cup red wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon red onion, minced

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup white onion, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese

2 tablespoons capers, chopped

2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

1 loaf of high quality French or Italian bread, cut into slices

Combine red wine, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, red onion, rosemary, cayenne, and thyme in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Place flank steak in a shallow pan.  Pour the wine mixture over the flank steak.  Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least four hours, though overnight would be better.  After beef has marinated, turn on broiler.  While the oven comes to temperature, melt butter in a large skillet.  Add white onion and allow the onions to caramelize.  Set aside caramelized onions.  Brush each slice of bread with olive oil.  Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and place under broiler for one minute to brown.  Remove bread and set aside.  Place flank steak on a broiler pan and place under broiler for  four minutes until browned.  Flip and broil the other side for four minutes.  Remove from broiler and allow to rest for eight minutes.  Thinly slice the steak against the grain.  Place slices of toasted bread on a cookie sheet.  Portion steak on slices of toasted bread.  Top with caramelized onions and bleu cheese.  Place cookie sheet under the broiler and allow bruschetta to cook until cheese begins to melt.  Remove from broiler, garnish with chopped capers and roasted red peppers.  Serve while hot.

While you’re enjoying your Draft Night party and all of these recipes, be sure to follow all of the night’s events here on and NewsChannel5.  We’ll have constant draft updates immediately as they happen.

Print this article Back to Top