Basketball is a great sport for watching with friends, accompanied by good food and beers. But what is the ideal food to enjoy with the NBA? It has to be something that’s easy to eat with your fingers, but also very tasty when washed down with a beer. And because basketball is non-stop action, you need to be able to pick the food up without looking away from the TV screen! Here are a couple of ideas for you to try out at home.
When you cook these slow braised ginger pork ribs and present them at your next gathering your friends will look to you as a god. And how about following that up with some basketball-themed ginger biscuits for desert? You could make them look like mini basketballs or if you’re really adventurous ice your favourite team’s logo on top! These are both simple things to make but need to be prepared a little before-hand, as the cooking time is a few hours.
Slam-dunkingly delicious pork ribs
- Pork Ribs (As many as you think you and your friends can eat!)
- Ginger, very thinly sliced (enough to put a thin slice on each rib)
- 4/5 Cloves of garlic crushed
- Red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Slice the ribs into strips of about 4/5 inches in length. Don’t cut the individual ribs, this will be done at the end. If you cut them individually now they will shrink too much while cooking. Make a rub with the paprika, sugar, salt, pepper and thyme and smother it all over the pork ribs. If the measurements aren’t enough, just add more in the same proportions. Every inch of rib should be smothered in the rub. Leave the ribs in the fridge overnight or for at least three hours before cooking.
Get a large oven proof tray that can hold all your ribs and heat some oil in it on the stove. Sear the ribs until they have some nice brown colouring on both sides. At this point you can start adding more flavour.
Add the chili flakes, fennel seeds, garlic, and ginger and have it all sizzling away nicely. Pour in a big splash of red wine vinegar and as much honey as you desire. Three or four large spoonfuls should suffice. Cook all this on a medium heat for around five minutes and keep everything moving so nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock to the mix and taste the liquid. Decide now whether you need to add anything more. If you are happy with the taste, it is time for the oven.
The oven should be preheated to around 180C. Put the tray straight in and leave it cooking for an hour. After an hour, turn the ribs over. Cook for another half-hour and turn. Again, cook for half-an-hour then turn. You will be tempted to pick a bit off and nibble at this point. Feel free. During this slow cooking process, why not place a bet on the outcome of the match to make it even more exciting? After around two hours of cooking the ribs are ready but if you want them to be even more succulent you can cook for another 30 minutes.
Take the ribs out of the oven and put them on a bread board. Cut the individual ribs. They will pull apart very easily. Put them on a plate and let your friends fight over them.
- 6oz self-raising flour
- 4oz soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 2oz butter
- 1 heaped tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. golden syrup
- 1 egg
Place all the ingredients apart from the egg in a large mixing bowl. Start mixing these ingredients together.
Beat the egg in a separate jug and add it slowly to the mixing bowl, stirring as you go. The mixture will start to become stiff.
Once you have a doughy consistency roll in your hands and place on a floured bread board. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the mixture flat.
Take a circular cookie cutter and cut the individual biscuits. This recipe should yield around 12 biscuits. Obviously if you want more, increase the ingredients proportionately.
Preheat the oven to 180C and bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes until golden. You will see they are the same colour as basketballs. Take them off the baking tray and leave to cool down on a cooling rack.
When the biscuits have cooled down it is time to decorate them with your preferred basketball-themed design. This could be the logo of your favourite team or you could simply add lines to make them look like miniature basketballs. Using small icing tubes, carefully pipe out the icing in the design you want. This may take a bit of practice, so on your first attempt at making these biscuits it may be a wise idea to make extra.
Put them on a large plate and present to your friends. Cue the looks of absolute astonishment at your work.
So there you have a couple of great recipes to wow your friends with at your next basketball gathering. And they are not difficult to make at all, as long as you do a little bit of preparation. These are great foods for just picking away at, between watching the game and conversation. And of course drinking beer. Other great ideas for this kind of party could include chicken wings, or spring rolls.
You don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy these sporty party foods either. If you are having friends over to watch another sport, like rugby for example, just shape the biscuits into miniature rugby balls instead! Let your creative side take over and there is a world of tasty opportunities awaiting you.