THE GAME: Patriots vs Texans
When I get an idea in my head to make something, I tend to get a little carried away. If two condiments are good, four are twice as good, right? If you can insert potato chips into a sandwich, well... why the hell not?
It doesn't always work out, but at least it's always fun. So when I spotted a new flavor of Kettle Chips called "Korean BBQ," my mind went to work.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
The local butcher has quite a few flavors of marinated chicken breasts. For this sandwich, only the Korean would do. I sliced the breast in half and cooked it in the cast iron pan.
The potato chips were okay, not great. The dominant flavor was salt, not Korean BBQ, but that's not exactly shocking. I layered several chips on the bottom half of a telera roll.
As I mentioned, the chicken was already marinating in a Korean sauce, so I applied this Korean BBQ sauce during the last two minutes of cooking, just enough to glaze the breast. (BTW, when the label says this is spicy, it's not kidding around.)
Dave's Gourmet Korean Food makes a "spicy chop veggie" that is basically a spicy, vegan cole slaw, full of cabbage, carrots, jalapenos, and a spicy dressing. It is fantastic. Once I placed the chicken on top of the chips, I added a heaping spoonful of the veggies.
And of course we couldn't stop there. Gochujang is a fermented Korean paste of red chilis, soybeans, and some other stuff. It's a bit harsh when eaten as is, but when mixed with mayo, it's a damn good sauce for dipping or topping. The latter of which I did here, before adding a sprig of cilantro and then eating the entire thing in what seemed like 30 seconds (but was probably more like... well, 45 seconds).
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- Houston is getting 17 points at kickoff... and I still don't think they'll cover. (For those of you who are not NFL fans, that's the largest point spread in a playoff game in 22 years.)
- I got a kick out of Jim Nantz stating that if you're a Texans fan, the opening kickoff "is a big area of concern." Dude, if you're a Texans fan, everything is a big area of concern tonight.
- Instead of going for it on 4th-and-3, Houston chose to settle for a field goal on their first sustained drive. If they want to have any chance of winning this game, they have to be aggressive and take chances. They cannot win with conservative playcalling.
- Hey, waddaya know? New England returned the next kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Houston is now down by 11, which is exactly what they deserve.
- Tom Brady threw an ultra-rare interception, Houston got the ball at New England's 27-yard-line.. and kicked another field goal on 4th-and-2. How do they even walk with balls that big?
- Houston recovers a fumble at the New England 12-yard line. Crazy. Maybe they should just kick a field goal on 1st down? I mean, why wait?
- Wow, Houston scored a touchdown. (Of course, even after having recovered two turnovers and scoring three times... they're still losing.)
- That was a hell of a series by Houston at the end of the first half to hold New England to a field goal.
- Houston just had their longest play of the game: 17 yards. I wonder if they can stay close if New England stops turning the ball over.
- New England goes on a 9-play, 90-yard drive in which Tom Brady looked like he was playing a video game on the easiest setting. He completed 6 passes and I'm not sure a Houston defender was within three yards of the receiver on any of them - including the touchdown.
- I will never get tired of watching Tom Brady whine to the refs. Has any team ever gotten more lucky breaks year in and year out than the Patriots? They aren't playing Oakland because Derek Carr broke his leg. They're playing Houston, who is without J.J. Watt. Cheer up a little, Tom.
- Will Fuller dropped a touchdown pass on 3rd-and-8 that would have made things much more interesting.
- Brady just threw his second interception of the game. Jesus, he only had two INTs in the regular season.
- Of course, Houston settled for their third field goal of the game. Yawn.
- Will Fuller just called for a fair catch when there was nobody within 15 yards of him. Not his best game.
- "I can't believe Brock Osweiler just threw a terrible interception," said nobody ever.
- He did it again, although the game was pretty much over by that point. $72 million doesn't buy what it used to, and that's a shame, because Houston has lots of talent. It's just not at QB.
- New England wins by 18 and covers the spread.
- Houston made it seem closer than expected for three quarters by kicking field goals, but that's a double-edged sword: Those field goals ensured that they wouldn't win. They were never going to beat New England in Foxboro with only one touchdown and a bunch of field goals.
- The Patriots were sloppy for most of the game and they still won by 18. I don't know if that's more a condemnation of Houston or an indication of just how good New England is. I suspect more of the latter.