Sliders or mini burgers are perfect for football’s biggest game, or anytime you want a flavorful, but not too hefty portion. I love the big juicy flavor of the spicy skirt steak but definitely want to save room for dessert.

My Devil’s food cake is luscious and rich. The recipe is a perfect example of chemistry. There are no eggs in the recipe. The cake gets its leavening from the reaction of the cocoa powder and baking soda reacting with the vinegar. The reaction causes carbon dioxide to puff up the cake while it bakes. The vinegar flavor cooks out and the result is a light and delicate cake. Be sure to use the best cocoa powder you can. I use Valrhona which is dark and deeply cocoa flavored.

Finally, I have a beer cocktail that will make your afternoon fly by. My Butter-Beer Cocktail is rich and sinfully delicious. 

Serves 4

2 large (about 1 pound each) sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

2 cloves garlic, minced finely

1 small red onion, diced

1 pound skirt steak, thawed and patted dry at room temperature and cut into 4 ounce pieces

Canola oil (about 3 tablespoons)

(For the Steak and Potato Rub)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

3 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon salt free onion powder

2 teaspoons salt free garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all of the above ingredients together in a small bowl. Store at room temperature, covered, and away from direct light for up to 3 months.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until they are just barely cooked through and can be pierced with a paring knife. Cool completely.
  2. Preheat the skillet to high. Rub the Steak on both sides with ½ of the steak rub. Season with salt. Lightly rub the grill grates with an oil soaked cloth. Place the meat on the grill or preheated sauté pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the meat on each side for about 8-10 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove the meat and allow it to rest lightly tented with foil for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the potatoes into 1 ½ inch thick lengthwise batons. Toss the potato pieces with the minced garlic and onion, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and 2 tablespoons of canola oil.
  4.  Place the potatoes parchment lined baking sheet or preheated grill. Cook on each side until browned and blistered before turning or they will stick. Serve immediately.
  5. Slice the meat on the bias, place on a platter and serve with Blistered Sweet Potato Fries.

Chef Laura’s Devil’s Food Cake

2 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup neutral flavored oil-such as canola

3 ½ cups cake flour

¾ cup best quality cocoa powder (I prefer Valrhona)

1-teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 ¾ cups water

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and the oil until combined.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. In a large measuring cup combine the eater, vinegar and vanilla extract.
  4. On low speed alternately add a third each of dry and wet ingredients to the sugar mixture, beating after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat until all traces of flour are mixed into the batter; do not over beat, or the cake may become tough.
  5. Pour the batter immediately into the prepared cake pans and bake the layers until they lightly spring back-about 25 minutes.
  6. Transfer the cake pans to a cooling rack and let the layers cool completely to room temperature in the pans.

Honey Icing for Devil’s Food Cake

6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a large and heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until the mixture reaches 110 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour evenly over your cake or dip cupcakes into the icing. Let dry before serving

Butter-Beer Cocktail

6 ounces of dark beer or your favorite Stout such as Guinness

2 ounces DeKuyper Butterscotch Liqueur

1. Pour the Guinness into a glass and drizzle the butterscotch liqueur into the beer. Enjoy!

Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here.
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