Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Night Out at the Roller Derby

So the Hawaii Five-0 episode was “Na Ki'i” (Dolls), but what interested me more was that it had this central theme roller derby.  Of course for the guys was a good thing you all got to see Catherine looking better than ever. Given the interesting venue, of course Detective Williams gave us some insight.  It had me thinking about the game in general, it's history, and being who I am the history of the good old concession stands that go along with it.

First the roller derby is played by two five member teams, that are roller skating in the same direction around a track. This is contact play consists of a series of short match-ups, or what they call jams.  This is when the jammer, or scoring player, takes out members of the other team. 

This is where is may seem a bit confusing, since both teams are playing both offense and defense at the same time, as they help their own jammer while reaping havoc with the opposing team.   At this point not sure if football is slightly less confusing?

Funny this is this sport has been around since the 1930's, with credit going to Seltzer and  Runyon are credited with the rudimentary sport to its initial competitive form. 

Now it was back in the 1940's the sport took off in over 50 cities, and seen by over over 5 million people.  As like wrestling   In the ensuing decades, however, it predominantly became noted more for theatrics than athletics.  

Though the shift now has been more towards the sports and entertainment.  The player's colorful alter egos and their unique uniforms remained, with the scripted theatrics pretty much abandoned.   

Of course if you are going to enjoy some time out you are going to need to eat, right?  There is so many for any patron to choose, which concession stands they are going to purchase their tasty delight.  So when did the concession stand start?

These stands were not originally run by the movie, but rather most of the time sold by outside people or even actual movie patrons themselves.   Though not really thrilled with the idea with food being consumed within their walls.  Money being the great motivator, the Depression moved in, and movie theaters saw an opportunity to make more money, so the in house concession stand was born.

As the 1930's moved into full swing, concession stands became a movie theater were a main fixture.   Then as WWII caused sugar shortages, which affected candy, popcorn became a more popular food choice.   A funny statistic was noted in the late 1940's into the early 1950's even with a slowing in ticket sales concession sales were up, goes to show, people love to eat.  

Now there are so many types of foods served at a concession stand, though you can get quite a bit of junk you can get some high end food as well.  But the staples you can find are usually french fries, ice cream, popcorn, pizza, hot dogs, soft drinks, candy, snow cones, cotton candy, and pretzels.  

I hope you liked this little walk through history, it was kind of interesting for me.  I hope you enjoy my take on concession food for home.  Whether you try them with your next sporting event, or when you re-watch this episode of H50, hope hope you enjoy.

Cath is smiling cause she is sending the boys out for food.

Cheese and Bacon Fries

1-32 oz package French Fries
1- 15 oz can nacho cheese sauce
6 slices bacon
½ cup green onions, sliced
creamy ranch dressing

  1.  Heat a large fry pan to medium low heat. Add bacon strips and cook turning once until crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Once bacon has cooled crumble it into bits.
  2. Cook the French fries in the deep fryer or bake in the oven according to package directions. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a small sauce pan heat nacho cheese sauce until heated through. Divide fries evenly and place onto individual plates for serving. Top with nacho cheese sauce, creamy ranch dressing, crumbled bacon, and green onions.

Thin-Crust Pizza with Onions, Mushrooms, 
and Ricotta

Olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 large flour tortillas 
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese 
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
6 cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.   
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften. Add a pinch of sugar and the balsamic vinegar, cook for a few more minutes until the onions are thoroughly softened and translucent. Remove from heat. 
  3. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Place a tortilla on each baking sheet and brush each with olive oil. 
  4. Sprinkle each tortilla with half a cup of shredded Asiago cheese. Add bits of ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup for each tortilla. Sprinkle with mushrooms and with the slightly caramelized onions. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. 
  5. Place the baking sheets in the oven. Bake until the crust is crisp and brown all over, the time varies, depending on the oven, start with 10 minutes and check, rotating the sheets to ensure even baking. 
  6. Cut with a pizza cutter or a knife.

Buttery Soft Pretzels

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
5 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

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