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Poker Food & Recipes

Yeah, like I'm Martha Stewart! Did you really think that I was going to slave over a hot stove all day for you? The food for my poker nights consists of peanuts, pretzels, and make-your-own-sandwiches. My biggest claim to fame is that I offer not one, but three different types of prepared mustard!

Traditional poker food would include a first course of peanuts and pretzels. This is almost a must and no poker host would be caught dead without them! These appetizers should be made available throughout the entire evening and you should also supply water, pop, and coffee to wash them down. Poker main courses usually consist of something like sandwiches, pizza, chili, stew, baked beans, ribs, hamburgers or hot dogs. It's almost impossible for the host to get away from the game so it is best to have something that is pre-cooked or easily and quickly prepared. Buffet style or anything make-your-own is good since it frees up the host from many responsibilities. Make-your-own sandwiches, subs, or tacos usually work out very well. Pot luck is for schmucks - we're men, we're playing poker, please don't expect me to bring a tuna casserole!

Any food that the host does not have to handle is an added bonus. Avoid touching raw meats or serving food that is easily contaminated. Beware of condiments like mayonnaise that may be past it's prime. Don't let food sit out for long periods, and keep it refrigerated until it is served. Any food that your guests do not have to handle is also a bonus - you don't want greasy fingers all over your $15 deck of plastic playing cards. Sure, you can wash your cards after the game, but do you really want Sam licking hot sauce off his fingers just before he picks up his hole cards? You also don't want your poker table to be stained by soiled hands so stay away from things like fried chicken.

There is probably no more traditional poker meal than ... the sandwich. The sandwich was invented by The Earl of Sandwich who was sitting at a gaming table wishing that he could eat while gambling. He asked for some meat between a couple slices of bread and the sandwich was born!

Here is what I offer my poker guests ...

3 lbs pastrami
2 lbs smoked turkey
5 loaves light rye bread
3 different mustards, mayo, butter, cheese, leaf lettuce
Soda pop & coffee

Everything, especially the bread, must be very fresh. Other than washing the lettuce, there is no cooking or preparation required. I throw everything on a table and let everyone make their own sandwiches. It's amazing how many married men appreciate a fresh deli-style sandwich!

Little Mexico Hot Sauce Dip

Courtesy of vidjoe in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

2 - 14.5 can Stewed Tomatoes skinless
1 - Tsp White Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Med Onion
1/2 Jar Jalapenos (about 7 oz.) no juice
1/2 Tbsp garlic

Blend in blender till like apple sauce.

Pigs in a Blanket

Courtesy of Royal Sampler in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

Crescent Dinner Rolls or Biscuit Dough
Fully cooked cocktail wieners (Lil' Smokies, regular or cheese filled)
Cheese cut in to small strips
Corn meal
Assorted sauces - Ketchup, BBQ, Mustards, etc

Heat oven to 375�F. Grease cookie sheet.
Unroll dough; separate into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle into 3 smaller triangles. When using biscuits, cut each biscuit in to thirds and flatten into strips.
Place 1 wiener and piece of cheese on shortest side of each triangle; roll up to opposite point. Place, point side down, on greased cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with corn meal.
Bake at 375�F. for 11 to 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.
Serve with Assorted sauces.


Courtesy of catmanducmu in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

1 14.5 can peeled tomatoes (with liquid)
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 jalapeno (remove seeds for less spicy)
1/4 cup diced red onions
1 red pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 clove garlic (or to taste) 1 clove makes it very garlicky
salt & pepper to taste

Coarsely mix onion, jalapeno and garlic in blender
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to proper texture (5 seconds?)
Let sit for at least 20 minutes, better if it sits for a day or two

Nacho Dip

Courtesy of bigbadwoof in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

1 package of cream cheese
1 small container of sour cream
1 jar of salsa
1 cup of pitted and chopped olives
1 diced onion
1 diced tomato
Shredded cheese (cheddar is what I use but mix it up if you want different flavours)

Soften cream cheese and combine with sour cream until smooth in a casserole dish, even out covering bottom of dish. Place in fridge to cool and set, at least a couple of hours. Evenly spread the salsa, onion, olives, tomatoes the onion, olives and tomato aren't necessary but I like them) on top of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Grab some nacho chips and dig in!

Poker Chip Killbassie

Courtesy of fuglyguy in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

Slice up 3-5 lbs killbassie; or slice thick chunks if pressed for time.
1 onion
3 green peppers
4 12oz bottles bbq sauce

Mix it up in a croc-pot on high for 2-hours before the game starts then put on low. Slice up 6 mini-sub rolls (fresh) and put out in a bowl next to the pot. Styrofoam bowls seem to work better than paper plates as far as spills. Cost is less than $15 depending on # of players 8-16 I usually have. 30-40 minutes to prepare.

Baked Potato Skins

Courtesy of (Mrs.) Made in Detroit in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

Here's my recipe for Bite sized loaded bake potato skins. They're easy to make and taste great!!! You'll need the following.....

1 bag of Small redskin potatoes
1 can of bacon bits
1 bag of cheese (your choice)
Sour Cream
Olive Oil
Oven (LOL)

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut small redskin potatoes in half, Dip them in olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. remove) Let them cool for 2 minutes, then take a spoon and scoop out the middle (like coring a melon). Fill with cheese, bacon, chives or what ever you like. Then place in oven again on same temp for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove again and let stand for 1 minute. Great with sour cream! In all it takes about 10 to 12 minutes for prep and cook time. Enjoy!!!! Mrs. M.I.D.

Sloppy Joe's

Courtesy of MargieB in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

Big package of ground chuck. 2 1/2 - 3 pounds
Add onion and green pepper while cooking meat
You can do this the night before

2 packages sloppy joe mix (read the package)
1 lg tomato paste

Throw it all in the crock pot and make them wait for it! LOL

MargieB's Nuts

Courtesy of MargieB in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

1 package of cashews
1 can honey roasted peanuts
1 lg bag of m & m's
toss together in a bowl with a spoon

I have little bowls but Dixie cups would be fine since they drink the stuff anyway...keeps their fingers clean. LOL


Courtesy of bigpokerfanatic in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

2 packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 package of taco cheese
1 bag of lettuce
1 tomato
1 jar of Paul Newman's Salsa - mild, medium, or hot

Let the cream cheese come to room temperature, add cream cheese and salsa to a bowl and use a mixer to blend until well mixed. Spread mix into a dish, top with cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and serve with tortilla chips.

Hot Wing Dip

Courtesy of Wedge Rock in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

2 8 oz. bars of cream cheese at room temperature
2 cans (10-12 oz. each) of chicken breast
3/4 cup Franks Original hot sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese

Spray a 13 x 9" pan with Pam. Cut up the cream cheese and drop it around the pan as evenly as possible. Drain the chicken and put in a saucepan with the hot sauce. Break up the chicken with a fork, stir until well mixed, and heat over medium heat until warm. Spread over the cream cheese. Pour ranch dressing over all. If you aren't going to serve it now, chill.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Take out and stir until all is thoroughly mixed together. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake until melted.
Serve with Fritos or crackers.

I'm warning you now...go easy on the ranch and cream cheese... It's better if its not overly creamy.

Habanero Popcorn

Courtesy of ChrisChips10 in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

Soup pot
Habanero piece as big as your pinky fingertip. (a man's would be the best gauge)
Mince Habanero
Put small amount of oil in the pot.
Add Habanero
Heat until Habanero stops spitting
Add popcorn one layer deep in pot.
Eat, no salt, no butter.

Swedish Meatballs

Courtesy of Lethall12 in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

1- 2.5 lb bag of Italian style Meatballs (frozen bag, I nuke them for a couple of minutes prior so it does not take as long in the crock pot).
2- Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1- Cup of Sour Cream
1- Teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1- dash of Tabasco, I like it little more hot so I put a little more in
1/4 cup of Milk

Mix all the other items minus the Meatballs, then put meatballs in the crock pot, then put the completed sauce over the top and stir it up. Put the Crock pot on High for 2 hours, stir periodically and when they are hot all the way through, switch to low.

Philly Cheese Steak Dip

Courtesy of Foxual in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

-one package of steak-ums or similar thin sliced steak product
-one large diced green pepper
-one large diced onion
-2 jars salsa con queso

Just heat up the steak-ums, peppers, and onions together in a skillet until warm and the onions start to brown, add the salsa con queso, and dump into a bowl. Easy, easy, easy.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Courtesy of brianb10 in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums

1 5-7lb pork shoulder roast bone in or out. Bone in is cheaper - .99/lb at my local grocery store
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bottle favorite BBQ sauce

Trim some but not all the fat from the roast. Season w/ salt and pepper and place into your crock pot. You'll need one of the larger oval crock pots, the old circular ones probably won't be big enough. Stir together the water, vinegar, Worcestershire and cumin. Pour mixture over the roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. To be honest low and slow all day long makes for a better roast and its easier to shred.

When roast is done, pour out the cooking liquid, leaving meat in the crock pot. Using two forks shred the meat and remove the bone if you bought a bone in roast. It should fall apart as soon as you touch it which is a good sign you cooked it long enough. Stir in the BBQ sauce (as much as you would like). Cover and heat for another 30-45 minutes. Serve on the buns with additional sauce if folks want.

Jalape�o Poppers

Courtesy of TK in the Food Ideas thread of the HPT Forums

1 bag of frozen whole Jalape�os (I grow my own and freeze them in the fall just before the first freeze) or 30 fresh Jalape�os
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1-2 lb of bacon, slice pieces large enough to wrap around jalape�o.

Slice Jalape�os in half lengthwise and remove seeds and stems.

Fill cavity with cream cheese, wrap with bacon pieces and pin with tooth picks.

Place on broiler pan and broil for 15-20. Keep an eye on these. You want the bacon to be crispy and the cheese to be melted.

Jalape�o Duck Poppers

Courtesy of TK in the Food Ideas thread of the HPT Forums

1 Bag Frozen Jalape�o Peppers or 30 Fresh Jalape�os
1 1/2 Duck Breasts
1-2lb Bacon

Slice Jalape�os in half lengthwise and remove seeds and stems.

Cube Duck Breasts in to 1" cubes.

Place one cube of duck in cavity of jalape�o, wrap with bacon piece and pin with toothpick.

Grill over medium heat for 10-15 mins. Careful, bacon grease creates some great flare ups. Just ask the hair on my hand.

Hint: Soak toothpicks in water for 30 mins before creating and grilling. Will keep the toothpicks from burning.

Jerk Pork Tenderloin slices (wrapped in lettuce with cilantro)

Courtesy of R-Ho in the Food Ideas thread of the HPT Forums

Buy a whole pork tenderloin 2-pack weighing about 5 pounds, from Costco, at $2.79 a pound.

Marinade it using the recipe on this link: // but we are not going to make chicken, we're going to make pork, and we're going to broil not grill, but grill if you want.

Make these shortcuts/changes to the marinade recipe:
- Don't bother to chop the scallions (green onions); just cut them in pieces that fit into the food processor. You don't even need to cut off the roots.
- Use 4 or 5 habaneros, not the lame 2 that the recipe suggests. You don't need to mince them, just cut off the tops, split them in half, and remove the pith and seeds. Put the cleaned halves into the processor.
- You can throw the garlic cloves in the processor whole; there's no need to chop them.
- Squeeze the juice of a whole lime into the recipe, don't bother measuring.
- Should be able to make the marinade in about 15 minutes.

Cut your tenderloins into 1/2 inch slices. Put the slices in a gallon ziploc bag or two and add the marinade. Squeeze the bag to mix the marinade around. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours and then cook the pork pieces under the broiler. Lots of liquid is released so use a broiler rack or similar that drains to a lower pan. Cook for a few minutes, turning once or twice, don't overcook, the pieces do not need to be browned very much. You will need to broil in two batches, they take up a lot of room.

Wash the leaves of two heads of green or red leaf lettuce, or Boston lettuce. After the pork is cooked, have the guests wrap a pork slice in a piece of fresh lettuce along with some fresh cilantro leaves. Serving is not messy because the pork ends up fairly dry on the outside. With the cilantro, your guests will be torn as to whether it is Thai or Jerk, but will beg for the recipe either way.

Cost: Pork $14, Lettuce, $3, Scallions $1, Limes $1, Cilantro and Habaneros $1. Total $20. Serves eight to ten as a light entree.

Hanky Panky

Courtesy of LabRat in the Food Ideas thread of the HPT Forums

1 lb ground beef
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 brick Velveeta cheese
Garlic Powder
Loaf or two of little rye appetizer bread.

Brown ground beef and sausage in skillet. Drain.

Stir in cubed Velveeta and sprinkle in garlic powder and thyme to taste. Cook until cheese is melted.

Lay out rye bread on baking sheet and top with a spoonful of mixture on each piece.

Bake 10 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Nice thing about it is it's a greasy food, but the grease stays on the food, not your chips and cards.

Fajita Taco's

Courtesy of brianb10 in the Food Ideas thread of the HPT Forums

5-6 pork shoulder roast or "Boston Butt"
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder (I use a 50/50 mix of hot and mild)
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt (I prefer Kosher, if using table cut this in half)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons Oregano (if you can find it use Mexican oregano, if not regular is fine)
1 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt, if that's all you have omit the salt from above)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (again not garlic salt, fresh garlic will be fine as well)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can adjust depending on how hot you like it,)
1/4 - 1/2 cup water

Place pork in crock pot, fat side up. Mix all remaining ingredients except water in a bowl and pour over top of the pork. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water to almost submerge pork (about 3/4 of the way up). Cook on low 8-10 hours.

When done, remove pork to a cutting board. It well be very tender and will probably fall apart when you touch it. Remove the bone if you bought a bone in cut (cheaper). Using two forks, shred the meat removing the large fat pieces that should be on top. You can drain the liquid from the crock pot and de-fat it (like you would do for Au Jus on a roast beef) or you can leave it in (I leave as is). Place the meat back in the crock pot with as much of the liquid as you would like. I prefer to keep all the liquid in there and let it simmer in the juice. Leave the crock pot on warm.

Set up a taco bar with tortillas, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsas, whatever you like. Let folks make their own tacos.

Sounds messy I know but I don't allow eating at the tables, we always come upstairs and eat during the breaks. These went over very well on Saturday, one guy ate 8 tacos he liked them so much.

PS - you could also just use a commercial fajita seasoning blend if you don't have all the individual seasonings or want to make it even easier. Use one that you like and just mix with the vinegar and water.


Courtesy of pathand in the Food Ideas thread of the HPT Forums

Ritz crackers
tomato paste
leaf oregano
pepperoni slices
sharp cheddar cheese
parmesean cheese
olive oil

Spread tomato paste on crackers. Sprinkle with oregano. Top with 2 slices pepperoni and 1 slice of cheese. Sprinkle with parmesean and olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes. Watch them disappear.

Poker Food Links

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Please contact me to add your poker recipe to this page. You can also post your poker food recipe in the Poker Night Food thread of the HPT Forums.

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