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On Balance with Adam Richman

On Balance with Adam Richman

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Adam Richman shares a classic Wisconsin recipe for the Taste of the NFL

Adam Richman has traveled around the U.S. in search of the ultimate food indulgence. The culinary traveler, TV personality, cook and author has found a few recipes that would be perfect on the ultimate game day menu. This classic Wisconsin recipe will definitely wow guests at the big game party.

As the countdown to Super Bowl LIII reaches its end, Taste of the NFL is tempting food and football fans with some delicious suggestions for that big game menu. This year, FoodSided is working with Taste of the NFL and its chef partners, like Adam Richman, to raise awareness for its Kick Hunger Challenge. Throughout the year, the program has raised &ldquoin excess of $26 million to food banks and nonprofit organizations in the 32 NFL cities.&rdquo

When it comes to finding the perfect game day recipe, everyone has a definite opinion. Some people want food that doesn&rsquot require a fork or knife. Other people want to create a food spread that references the teams in the final game. And, other people just want to serve food that they love.

In conjunction with Taste of the NFL, I had the opportunity to chat with Adam Richman, one of the program&rsquos chef partners. Many people might recall Richman from his many food and travel shows. He has conquered some of the most challenging foods through his travels. More importantly, he knows great game day food.

In trying to narrow down the many options for that perfect game day spread, I asked Richman a few questions about his favorite game day foods, favorite recipes and any food superstitions that he might have. Below is a transcript of that conversation.

Cristine Struble: Do you have a favorite recipe that is always on your game day menu?

Adam Richman: Without question, my guacamole. My trick is using quality ingredients, mashing the avocado with your hands so it is a little bit chunky, and using Sriracha in it!

CS: Are there any foods that you should avoid on a game day menu?

AR: Anything that really requires forks and knives &ndash I feel handheld is the way to go. People can hold a drink in one hand and food in the other. You also end up making a whole lot less waste.

CS: What do you recommend if everyone at your party is following a different &ldquoplan&rdquo of eating (i.e. keto, whole30, etc)? Are their recipes that can adapt to different plans?

AR: A taco bar! There are enough marinades on the market that are compliant with Paleo, Whole 30, Keto and so on. I would recommend making marinated meats, and then having corn and flour tortillas available, as well as green cabbage leaves to make into wraps. Most of the fillings are just vegetables, and salsa is generally accepted on all plans.

CS: Do you think that certain recipes could be good luck for your team?

AR: You know I&rsquom a Dolphins fan, right? If there were any good luck recipes I would have been making them for the past 30 years! I&rsquom superstitious but I&rsquom not stupid.

CS: Should your game day menu follow a specific theme (style of food, ingredients, cuisine, etc)?

AR think comfort food is the way to go. Something with big flavors is important, but you don&rsquot want to do heavy spice as people will be drinking. Depending upon the outcome of the game, their insides may be churning already! Things like wings, chips and dip, or even a big party sub are always welcome because people know what the flavors are before they pop the food in their mouth.

CS: With Super Bowl LIII being in Atlanta, does that location influence the recipes that you want to serve on game day?

AR: Well I used to live in that wonderful city for almost seven years, and know the recipes and the flavors of Atlanta pretty well. I think it&rsquos fun if you do something that represents each team or for the city itself. If the Saints are playing, po’ boys or jambalaya might be fun to serve. So in this case, maybe peach glazed barbecue wings or even a peach cobbler for dessert might be a fun homage to ATL!

More from Food &amp Sports

Personally, my belief is that Wisconsin brat is legendary. Enjoying a brat at Lambeau field is a foodie and football fan&rsquos dream. Although I love the one at Curly&rsquos Pub, I still dream of the brat, smothered in caramelized onions and bacon served on pretzel bun, that I had at a game many years ago. We called it the bun of awesomeness and that bite made the price for club level tickets all the more worth it.

This recipe by Adam Richman is reminiscent of that bun of awesomeness. Cooking a brat in beer really boosts the brat&rsquos flavor. You don&rsquot have to use a really expensive beer either. A can of PBR or even Bud Light is fine. You don&rsquot have to dump out your favorite nano-brews limited edition IPA.

While I hadn&rsquot tried this style of slaw on a brat previously, the flavor combination is complex. The acid balances the richness of the brat. It definitely will surprise your guests for Super Bowl LIII.

Adam Richman’s Milwaukee Beer Braised Bratwurst Sandwich with
Pittsburgh Style Slaw
photo provided by Taste of the NFL

Adam Richman and Taste of the NFL graciously provided his recipe for Milwaukee Beer Braised Bratwurst Sandwich with Pittsburgh Style Slaw.

Milwaukee Beer Braised Bratwurst Sandwich with Pittsburgh Style Slaw
By Adam Richman
Courtesy of Straight Up Tasty, Clarkson Potter 2015
Image courtesy of Evan Sung, 2015

In Green Bay&rsquos Lambeau Field stadium, there is a restaurant called Curly&rsquos Pub, named for the great Packers coach Curly Lambeau. Tailgating culture is extremely strong in the great state of Wisconsin, and the sovereign meat product of a Wisconsin tailgate is the bratwurst. At Curly&rsquos Pub I saw the brats braised slowly with beer and onions, which added a depth of sweetness and flavor. The slaw is inspired by the great Primanti Bros. restaurant in Pittsburgh. Slaw appears on all their sandwiches (along with French fries, of course). It&rsquos got a wonderful bracing acidity and is more of an Italian salad than your traditional mayonnaise based picnic slaw.

&bull1 pound green cabbage, shredded
&bull¼ cup sugar
&bull½ tablespoon kosher salt
&bull¼ teaspoon celery seed
&bull¼ cup vegetable oil
&bull¼ cup apple cider vinegar
&bullFreshly ground black pepper to taste
&bull4 bratwurst links
&bull1 onion, sliced
&bull2 12 ounce bottles of beer
&bull4 hoagie rolls, toasted
&bullSpicy mustard to taste (optional)

1. Combine the cabbage, sugar, salt, and celery seed in a colander set over a bowl. Let stand for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours to let the cabbage fully wilt and release its juices
2. Transfer the wilted cabbage to a clean bowl (discard any remaining liquid). Add the oil and vinegar and toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste.
3. Put the brats and the onion in a large Dutch oven and cover with the beer. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the brats are fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
4.Stuff the toasted rolls with the brats and onions. Top with the cabbage slaw and some spicy mustard, if using, and serve.
On the Grill
1. Put the brats and the onion in a large pot and cover with the beer. Place directly on the grill, over high heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove brats from the beer and onion bath and place directly on the grill, grilling until full cooked.
TIP: If you prefer to keep the sausage moist and juicy, transfer the brats from the pot to a cast iron pan on the grill and cook until fully cooked.

I would like to Adam Richman for taking the time to do this interview and share his recipe. Also, I would like to thank Taste of the NFL for facilitating this opportunity.

To learn more about the Kick Hunger Challenge or to donate to the cause, please visit

Is your Super Bowl LIII menu set? Will this favorite Wisconsin recipe make the final cut?

Adam Richman caused some serious outrage on the internet

In 2014, it seemed as though Adam Richman was on the cusp of proving he wasn't just a one-trick pony. He was still riding high from Man v. Food, and the Travel Channel had another show in the works with him. But his career was postponed, reported The Guardian, after an Instagram post went terribly wrong.

After the end of Man v. Food, Richman became determined to get healthier. He posted a photo of himself on Instagram, noting that he was going to need to alter the suit he purchased a year before. He also added a "#thinspiration" hashtag, and that's when things went sideways.

Commenters immediately called him out on the use of the hashtag, noting that it was popularly used to glorify an unhealthy and extreme weight loss — not celebrate healthy goals.

It's also worth noting that this wasn't just a case of the internet overreacting, as the internet is prone to do. Social media platforms including Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest had all banned use of #thinspiration a few years prior, says Time, along with other hashtags that promote self-harm and eating disorders. Groups like the National Eating Disorder Association have spoken about how damaging the idea and images can be, and Richman acknowledged none of it in his post with the forbidden hashtag.

Where is Adam Richman now?

After exiting the iconic eating show, Richman has been on the hunt to find the next magical food formula. Needless to say, he's yet to repeat the same success.

The year after the original Man v. Food ended, Richman hosted the first and only series of "Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America", a show which delivered exactly what it says on the tin.

Despite an interesting premise and host of popular guest stars, including the late great Anthony Bourdain, the show never made it past season one.

Other hosting gigs have included the Travel Channel's Fandemonium, as well as a judge on the British series "BBQ Champ" alongside Mylene Klass.

It's safe to say that Richman is still struggling to recapture the magic of Man v Food.

The Man v. Food icon adopted a vegan diet after leaving the show (Credit: Food Network)

Secret Eats with Adam Richman

Adam Richman travels to Johannesburg, South Africa, to sample the city's off-menu eats, including a bacon-wrapped sandwich stuffed with four kinds of cheese, succulent braised lamb shank, a Mediterranean kofta wrap and a decadent chocolate doughnut sundae.

Cashew 'Cue

Adam Richman's on the hunt for secret restaurants and off-menu dishes in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, including a hidden bowl of pho, off-menu cashew smoked ribs, a secret soul music burger and a hidden garden restaurant in the middle of the city.

Wok It Out

Adam Richman is on the hunt for secret eats in Hong Kong, including a giant off-menu tomahawk steak at a hard-to-spot pub and wings at a speakeasy hidden inside a stamp shop.

Searching for Satay

Adam Richman seeks out secret eats in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, including satay found off the beaten path, a spicy burger with black buns and a nature hike that leads to the best grilled seafood in the city.

Polish Pizza Puzzle

Adam Richman finds secret eats in Warsaw, Poland, including a Polish spin on Neapolitan pizza, an off-menu version of a classic Polish street food, and a homestyle restaurant hidden inside an apartment building.

Under the Radar Rome

Adam Richman travels to Rome to uncover the city's culinary secrets, including a unique take on Cacio e Pepe at a restaurant located in a castle-walled city and traditional porchetta in limited supply.

Adam Richman

Right before Thanksgiving, I got to attend a delicious food and wine pairing event at The Daily Meal Test Kitchen in NYC hosted by Alamos Wines & TV Host & Author Adam Richman.

It was a delicious evening filled with recipes from his new cookbook, Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels. The book includes a wide array of recipes from his travels and family favorites. There are over 100 recipes including the Hangover Egg Sammy, Cornmeal Fried Oyster Club on Weck, Easy Sushi and even his Mom’s Spinach Pie.

And the photos of different state magnets inside the book are actual magnets that he’s collected from his travels that live on his refrigerator at home.

He talked about how important it is to make wine accessible and to be bold with pairings. I loved his attitude toward wine. When he was talking about tasting, he said, “It’s whatever you taste. If you taste blueberry Pop-Tart, then you taste blueberry Pop-Tart. That’s fine, because that’s how your palette works.” I think a lot of people get intimidated by wine, and you don’t need to be!

It was nice to enjoy dishes that had wine in them as well as paired alongside.

Every dish was incredible – I couldn’t pick a favorite! I really enjoyed the bold flavors that were on each plate. He also said that any recipe he creates is a jumping off point, and encouraged people to make them their own.

Since Thanksgiving was coming up, we chatted about different turkey preparation methods, and his advice was, “Once you go spatch, you never go back!”

We also had a good laugh because Led Zeppelin was playing all evening, “as John Bonham intended” – ha!

My husband and I got to spend a lot of time chatting with Adam throughout the evening. When he found out I lived in Wisconsin for several years, he recognized the suburb I lived in and even rattled off several of his favorite local food spots in the area (many that were hidden gems that I hadn’t heard of and now want to go back to try!). This guy really knows his food!

Big Flavors: How did you get into cooking?

Adam: I would have to say a large part of what got me into cooking has to be the fact that I was raised by great cooks and around great cooking at home. And because my parents, aunts and grandparents were very culinary curious and adventurous – as much as bearers of traditional recipes from years gone by, I was exposed to a lot of techniques and a lot of tastes.

Plus, watching cooking shows while growing up really influenced me as well.

Big Flavors: What’s your favorite comfort food?

Adam: I’m a pretty big fan of the well-executed plate of nachos. But I would have to say tater tots, really properly done French fries, or the drumettes from Buffalo wings when they are on the well-done side. Especially the Bayou hot wings (“bayou hot boy”) wings from New Orleans, which are pretty hard to beat. Honorable mention to the greatest macaroni and cheese I have ever eaten, from Slows BBQ in Detroit, Michigan.

Big Flavors: How do you get inspiration for new recipes?

Adam: Everywhere! And that’s not a cop-out answer. Sometimes I will read a recipe and it will inspire me to play with a certain ingredient, or a certain flavor combination. Sometimes I will have something at a fine dining restaurant, but want to do a much more everyman kind of approach to it. Or, maybe I will drink a certain wine and eat a certain condiment at the same meal and the combination of them is something jarring and awesome that I’d like to play with. Sometimes I’m just going to the market and seeing what’s fresh. I kind of like to think of myself as a little bit of a mix-master. DJ TASTYFRESH!

Big Flavors: If you were to give home cooks a culinary challenge to get them to think outside of their comfort zone, what would it be?

Adam: For many people, it would be to buy your ingredients from the “ethnic aisle” in the grocery store! I think trying a cultural cuisine you’ve never approached before, or perhaps trying to attempt making an “ethnic” dish that you order in restaurants, but never dream of making yourself. For example, Pad Thai, paella, Cuban sandwiches, even something like a simple eggroll or curry.

Another fun thing would be to take one of your regular recipes, and try it on different proteins, or a different bunch of seasonal ingredients. You have a great recipe for New York Strip, why not try it with elk? Goat? Bison? That shrimp scampi you make? Why not try it with grilled squid, scallops, even chunks of seabass? Instead of collard greens, experiment with Swiss chard or rainbow chard, even kale or mustard greens. And I highly recommend playing with condiments that have a different language on the labels.

Big Flavors: What are 3 of your must have ingredients that you always keep at home in your kitchen?

Big Flavors:At the wine pairing event that we attended, you challenged us to take your recipes and make them our own. I’m accepting your challenge and plan to do a spin on your (crazy delicious) Malbec Burgers – I’m planning to make Persian Malbec Lamb Burgers with Mast-o-Khiar and Pomegranate Tomato Jam. I’m half Persian and love that flavor profile, and I think it would work so beautifully with both the Malbec and Red Blend incorporated into the recipe components. What do you think of my take, and which wine would you drink with it?

Adam: I think that is fantastic! I recently returned from a trip to South Africa, and in the Ilovo neighborhood of Johannesburg, there is a Jewish family owned eatery that combines Middle-Eastern and European Jewish traditional recipes. That was the first time I really had a chance to try both pomegranate vinegar and pomegranate molasses, especially in the context of grilled meat. My initial thinking was that it would be somewhat cloyingly sweet, but it had a great sharp bite and almost a citric acid type of sourness. Right away, I think it’s brilliant to do that with the lamb which will bring that buttery, rich gaminess to the table.

Not going to lie, I had to Google “Mast-o-Khiar.” But, When I saw what it was, I was like, “Oh! It’s like Haydari, Raita, Tzatziki, Cacik…” Such a great condiment! And again, lovely with grilled lamb.

I would definitely go with the Alamos Malbec, for sure. For balance, I might add some kind of pimenton, chili, ajvar or something with a bit of punch in the savory/spicy direction. That could be a little bit of red pepper flake into the burger itself, a dusting before putting the top bun on, or even a quick spread of sambal or sriracha on the bottom bun.

It would be cool to see one element deviate from the traditional Persian flavor profile. Heck, throw on a few pickled jalapeños! Gotta be similar to Persian tursu, right?

It’s all about balance. But if it tastes good, there is no right or wrong!

I’m not much a fan of selfies, but when your husband and Adam Richman are in the same room, selfie you must (just like last year!).

Thanks again to Alamos Wines, The Daily Meal & Adam Richman for the delicious evening. Great food, great wine and great conversation – the perfect way to spend an evening in New York City!

You can find all things Alamos on their website, Facebook, and Instagram. You can follow Adam and his culinary travels on his website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Stay tuned tomorrow to get the recipe for my Persian take on Adam’s Malbec Burger. I’ll also be making his recipe in my tiny kitchen soon, so be on the lookout for that as well.


For the tomato soup:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large baking dish, place the plum tomatoes.

Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Roast until the tomatoes are soft, 25-30 minutes.

In a large stockpot set over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the roasted tomatoes with their juices, the canned tomatoes with their juices, and the stock. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer the soup for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and use a handheld blender to purée the soup until it’s as smooth or as chunky as you prefer. If you don’t have a handheld blender, you can use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes, or you can crush them against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.

For the grilled cheese dumplings:

Make 6 sandwiches with 1 slice of cheese between slices of the white bread.

Cut off the crusts and cut each sandwich into quarters. Crimp the edges of the bread together with a fork to make little packets that enclose the cheese. You should have 24 cheese dumplings.

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of the butter.

Working in batches and adding more butter as needed, grill the cheese dumplings until they are browned and toasted, like little grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Recipe adapted from Adam Richman for Mike's Hard Lemonade

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes, plus resting time

Total Time: 1 hour, plus resting time


1 tablespoon chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed


1. Light a grill, or alternatively preheat the oven to 425º. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, chili powder, cumin and pepper, and whisk until smooth.

2. Lay the chicken on a clean cutting board, then season with salt and rub the dry rub over the entire chicken, inside and out.

3. Open the Mike's Hard Lemonade and either pour out or drink about 2 tablespoons. Place the peppercorns, garlic and bay leaf into the can. Pick up the chicken and put the cavity over the can and slide the bird down onto it.

4. Carefully line the grill with aluminum foil and place the chicken on top, using the can to stand it up. Alternatively, place it on a foil-lined sheet tray and bake in the oven.

5. Cook until the chicken reads 165º on a thermometer, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before carving and serving.

Smoked paprika onion rings


3 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion), peeled
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 TBS sweet smoked paprika
Vegetable or peanut oil, for deep frying
Kosher salt to taste


1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the onions into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Separate the rounds into rings.

2. Place the flour, beaten eggs, and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Mix a tablespoon of paprika in each bowl.

3. Dredge the onion rings first in the flour, then in the eggs, and finally in the panko. Place the dredged rings on a baking sheet and allow the coating to set for 10 minutes.

4. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, bring about 4 inches of oil to 365 degrees (use a deep-frying or candy thermometer to check the temperature).

5. Line a separate baking sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, fry the onion rings until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. When done, the rings should float to the surface of the oil. Transfer each batch of fried rings to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt.

6. Keep the finished onion rings warm under layers of paper towels as you cook the remaining batches. Serve hot.

Adam Richman’s Chimichurri Skirt Steak Recipe Is an ‘Homage to One of the Great Meals I Had in Argentina’

Adam Richman made his mark with Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, in which he took on eating challenges at restaurants across the country.

Restaurant-Quality Super Bowl Sunday Recipes

The TV host, 44, drew on his love of food and travel for his 2015 cookbook Straight Up Tasty, and here shares “an homage to one of the great meals I had in Argentina,” he says. “The chimichurri cuts through the richness of the beef beautifully.”

For a drink pairing, Richman suggests his favorite Argentinian Malbec from Alamos Wines: “It brings out flavors in the meat you never knew were there.”

Valentine’s Day Recipes From Chef Couples

1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp diced red onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 lb skirt steak
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil

Stars Share Their Favorite Recipes for Smoothies and Juices

1. For the chimichurri, add the first nine ingredients to a food processor. Blend for 1 minute, until all ingredients are combined.
2. Season meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Preheat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until drops of water skitter across the surface.
3. When skillet is hot, add the olive oil, and sear the steak on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. (Lay the steak down in oil facing away from you, otherwise you run the risk of a dangerous oil splatter.) If the pan is hot enough, the searing will bring the internal temperature of the steak to the right place without additional cooking. But if slicing into the meat reveals it’s not done to your liking, place the pan in the oven at 350° for a few minutes, until desired doneness is achieved.
4. Serve hot with a side of black beans and the chimichurri.

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