Get a Taste of the NFL: New York Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Apple

01/29/2014 at 04:16 PM ET

Pillsbury unveiled its Ultimate Snackadium at Taste of the NFL
G. Newman Lowrance/AP

Ready to kick hunger?

There are hundreds of star-studded parties taking place all over New York in the week leading up to Super Bowl, but the Taste of the NFL gala promises to be one of the most delicious — and generous.

The annual food and wine “party with a purpose” — which takes place in Brooklyn the night before the Super Bowl — will not only nourish well-heeled football fans (and celebrities like Ted AllenDavid Spade and Gayle King), but will also raises money for Feeding America-affiliated food banks. To make the event extra enticing, top chefs from each NFL city — including John Howie from Seattle and Troy Guard from Denver — will each serve a signature dish alongside a current or alumni NFL player in 35 interactive gourmet stations. And, let’s not forget about the giant, edible stadium made from classic football snacks!

Naturally, since this year’s Super Bowl is all about an empire state of mind, a special Taste of NY section features local food stars, like James Briscione, a champion on the Food Network’s Chopped and director of culinary development at The Institute of Culinary Education, cooking up football-friendly fare.

Briscione developed the dish showcased at the event, a twist on the classic reuben sandwich with duck pastrami (cured, spice crusted and slow smoked), cheddar, rye, apples and whiskey-mustard, “as a way highlight all the great regional product we have here in NY,” he tells PEOPLE. Delicious duck from Hudson Valley, New York State cheddar, whiskey made just outside the city, and yummy apples from upstate all celebrate the area’s fresh offerings. “But then of course I have to look at everything through the lens of the boy that grew up down South, hence a kick of Tabasco,” the Pensacola, Fla. native adds.

For a savory Super Bowl snack, Briscione shares a similarly “I love New York” themed grilled cheese recipe that’s easy to make (you won’t have to ferment your own ‘kraut for two weeks, like he’s planning!). “We really felt like the apples, ‘kraut and bacon captured the spirit of the dish but was something that the average cook could whip at home whether they were in New York or Nebraska,” Briscione says. “And who doesn’t love an excuse to make a bacon sandwich?”

Feeling magnanimous now? Make extra.

James Briscione Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
James Briscione

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon, Apple, Cheddar and Sauerkraut
Serves 8

12 slices thick cut bacon
1 cup sauerkraut
2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
¼ cup cream cheese
1-2 tsp. hot sauce (like Tabasco)
8 slices hearty rye or whole grain bread
Butter, softened as needed
1 apple, sliced

1. Crisp the bacon slices in a large sauté pan. Set the bacon aside on paper towels to drain. Pour off all but approximately 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat. Add the sauerkraut to the pan and sauté briefly in the bacon fat. Drain the sauerkraut on the paper towels with the bacon.

2. In a bowl combine the grated cheese, cream cheese and Tabasco. Mix well with a spoon or spatula until smooth.

3. Butter one side of each of the slices of bread and place them on a clean cutting board, buttered side down. Spread the cheddar mixture on the other side of the bread.

4. Layer the sandwiches, first with sauerkraut, then bacon and sliced apples. Close the sandwiches so the buttered sides are facing out on both sides. Press the sandwiches lightly to help them stick.

5. Griddle the sandwiches in a cast iron or non-stick pan over low heat. Cook until golden brown on each side. Set the griddled sandwiches aside to cool slightly before cutting. Cut sandwiches in quarters to serve.

—Brooke Showell

FILED UNDER: Food , Recipes , Sandwiches , Super Bowl

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Charli on

Grilled cheese with saukeraut? No thanks, I will pass.

Janice Tham on