Although this spread was made for a party over the holidays, you can really make it for ANY party, like, maybe a party on February 5? If you catch my drift... But really, it doesn't have to be a party. Though it does work well because most of these recipes are from the "Game Day" section in The Seasoned Life by Ayesha Curry.
While we could've just made a salad for the greens, we opted to go for the Roasted Broccolini that I've made in the past. Check out that post here.
GAME DAY CHILI + CAST-IRON CORNBREAD
First, let's start with the Game Day Chili and Cast-Iron Cornbread, both easy and of course, goes hand-in-hand. Ayesha (and I) used ground lamb for the chili, but if lamb isn't your thing, you can certainly substitute it with a ground meat of your choice. Initially, we wanted to half this recipe because there was only five of us and it is supposed to serve 8–10 (and them some). However, we decided to just go for it because what am I going to do with all these half cans of beans? This chili was hearty and yummy, so the more, the merrier!
To be honest, I'm not crazy cornbread. BUT, I think that mostly has to do with not eating, well, good cornbread. And this one? Totally good! I love that it is moist (and if you're giving me a crazy eye like what cornbread isn't moist... I'm telling you, it's not easy to find good cornbread!). It was so good that I went ahead and made another one for my leftovers. Obviously, it would've been too much cornbread, so the rest were given away to colleagues.
DEVILED EGGS WITH BROWN SUGAR BACON
Ah, deviled eggs. This is another dish that I'm particularly picky about — it better be darn good! While this one wasn't particularly my favorite ever, the brown sugar bacon REALLY puts it over the top. And oh my, the bacon is a story for another post, but trust — it is freakin' delicious.
PORK CHOP AND APPLES
I made 1.5x the original recipe to ensure that we all had at least one pork chop, and not much more than that because of how much food we knew were going to make. The recipe calls for one pink lady apple for each pork chop, but you can probably make it with one less apple. Otherwise, you may end up with tons of leftover apples like we did! While I'm not sure what friends did with theirs, we did briefly think of the idea of eating it with ice cream because they are seasoned with cinnamon and caramelized with pure maple syrup, which sounds like a perfect match.
THE BEST MAC AND CHEESE
Oh, the mac and cheese. Ayesha said she "always serve [the] pork chops with The Best Mac and Cheese. Always. It just makes sense to go all-out Southern with this one." So, was it the best mac and cheese? The verdict is still out. We believe when we were making it, there a misstep or two because the inside came out rather dry and not cheesy. We have a feeling it might've been a timing issue when we were making it. Either way, I'm going to give this recipe another whirl and will report back!