Inn the Kitchen will bring you a drink and a meal to pair with some of the biggest wrestling events of the year. Check in before each show for some DIY delicious ideas.
It’s time for WrestleMania and that means it is time to eat, drink, and yell at the TV.
Like last year, WrestleMania will be split across two nights: Saturday, April 10th and Sunday, April 11th. This means that we will have twice as many days for watching grapple sports, stuffing our gourds, and posting about it. That also means that unlike WrestleMania 35, we will not have to sit through an 8 hour show that features a lengthy ad for Miz and Mrs. (?), another ad for the following year’s WrestleMania (??), and a 3 minute dance break (???????), all well after the sixth hour of the show. Even reminiscing is exhausting.
Now, let’s focus on our plates. We are going to make beef and bean dip and classic daiquiris. If you are vegetarian or vegan, or if you don’t drink alcohol, that’s okay! There is a lot of flexibility to these items.
For the beef and bean dip (serves 4-8):
- 2 lbs (1 kg) of ground beef (or a vegetarian equivalent)
- 1/2 yellow onion or one bunch of green onions
- 1 can of beans (pinto, dark red, or black)
- 1 can (or tube) of tomato paste
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. garlic poweder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- Choice toppings (like olives, sour cream, onions, jalapenos)
For the daiquiris (per serving):
- 2 oz. (60 mL) white rum
- 1 oz. (30 mL) lime juice
- 1/2 oz. (15 mL) simple syrup
Since we are cooking for two days it would be wise to plan on something that reheats well, so you can make this dip ahead and take some out each day, make it before night 1 and take it out again night 2, or wait for a long advertisement for Stephanie and Triple H’s new TV show and cook it then to kill time. It doesn’t take too long, which also makes it a good dish if you have kids, needy pets, or need to spend the rest of the day being perplexed by the Peacock app like the hominids of 2001: A Space Odyssey poring over the monolith.
A daiquiri is something that takes many forms, many of which are frozen drinks served at restaurants that while usually tasty, are too sweet to enjoy the individual components. What we are doing is going for something closer to the original version: a slightly sweetened lime and rum cocktail, perfect for pairing with endless animated pirate ships flashing across your television screen. For an added touch, shout “Arrrr” at the screen when the 24/7 Champion shows up.
I suggest starting your time in the kitchen with the drink. A daiquiri can be made sweeter, but traditionally is fairly balanced and is a nice before-dinner apéritif. Plus, it is fun to sip a drink while cooking! There’s a very easy ratio to remember for a lot of mixed citrus drinks, and that’s two/one/one-half: two parts alcohol, one part juice, and one half part sweetener. For most, ounces will do well to make one perfect sized drink, but keep the ratio in mind and you can scale this up or down to make drinks for friends.
As you get ready, think about the amount of effort you want to put into these. If possible, use fresh limes instead of bottled juice, and use simple syrup instead of sugar. It takes about 5 minutes to make simple syrup and it lasts forever and will mix incredibly easily. To make some, heat 2 cups of sugar and one cup of water on the stove until the water boils, dissolving the sugar. Make sure it is cool before you try to put it in your cocktail. We want these drinks Glacier and not Kane.
For the daiquiri, pour two ounces (60 mL) of white rum, one ounce (30 mL) of lime juice, and one-half ounce (15 mL) of simple syrup into a shaker. Top it with ice, shake it, and pour into a glass. This would typically be served in a chilled martini glass, but you are watching WrestleMania so no one can stop you from pouring your daiquiri into a tumbler and topping it with ice. This is your day and you’re going to need as many good vibes as possible by the time you’re watching Shane McMahon and Braun Stroman wrestle. Try mixing and matching different liquors (gin, vodka), juices (orange, lemon), and sweeteners (brown sugar simple syrup, maple syrup) in the same ratio. You’re the real Big Dog and the bar is your yard. If you do not drink alcohol, you’re going to mix the same amount of lime and simple syrup together anyway, then pour a seltzer over it and top with some ice. If you don’t use the whole can then slam that baby down like you’re Stone Cold Sober Steve Austin and gimme a hell yeah!
Drink in hand, let’s move to the stovetop. You will want to set aside about 20-40 minutes, depending on how quickly you move and how many times you stop to sip your daiquiri. We are making beef and bean dip, which I usually just call chili dip, because I am ‘The Boss’ in my kitchen. Some people will get mad at that title because it has beans in it so “it isn’t chili,” but like with naming your pets and children the law has no domain here. You can call it taco dip, or just bean dip, or you can make up a cute name for WrestleMania like The Beef Incarnate or Nobody’s Ready for This Dip.
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and then dice some onions. I used green onions (the white ends), but I have also used regular old yellow onions and it is very good either way. The green onions will give you a nice topping later because you can slice some of the greens for fresh and crunchy contrast. One bunch of green onions will be good, or one half of a medium yellow onion. Throw them into a pan (something heavy on the bottom is preferable) with 2 lbs. (about 1 kg) of ground beef and cook on medium-high heat. You can start customizing right away: I haven’t tried chorizo instead of beef but you might want to. If you desire something leaner, use ground turkey (throw a touch of olive oil in the pan to help cook the onion). If Daniel Bryan will be coming over either before or after his match, you might want to use something like Beyond Beef or another vegetarian alternative like a mix of other beans. Don’t forget to be considerate of your guests when choosing a cheese as well!
While your meat browns (approximately ten minutes), grab your cream cheese and spread it across the bottom of an oven safe dish that is large enough to hold your ingredients. Feel free to season the cream cheese with any of the spices we are going to add into our beef, or you can leave it as is.
When the beef is most of the way done, throw in your seasoning. If you want a good shortcut, grab a packet of taco seasoning and chuck that in. Otherwise give it a good mix of cumin (around 2 teaspoons), cayenne (1/4 teaspoon for mild, 1/2 for medium, or a full spoon for something spicier), paprika (if you use hot paprika be careful of your cayenne input, but about a teaspoon will do), and garlic powder (1 teaspoon). You’re also going to want salt and pepper, and then perhaps any of the following: onion powder, dried basil or cilantro, chili powder, or a can of green chiles. I tried to stay simple, because there is wrestling to watch and I want time to make a second daiquiri while this is in the oven. Add the seasoning and 4-6 oz. (about 110-170 grams) of tomato paste. You can skip this, but it gives a good flavor and makes the dip a bit less crumbly. Fresh or canned diced tomatoes are also very good, or you can throw them on top when you’re done.
After you huck in your seasoning and tomato, add one can (or an equivalent) of beans. I like pinto or dark red beans. Black beans or a can of refried beans are also good. If you use refried and are going with a vegetarian version of the dip be sure to check the ingredients. Hand mash (with a masher, spoon, or with your actual human hands) the beans partially. I like mine about halfway between whole beans and refried beans.
Stir it all thoroughly until the beef is completely cooked, taste it, add salt if needed, and then throw it on top of your cream cheese. Top it with shredded cheese (I like Colby-Jack, but it’s your choice) and throw it in the oven until the cheese is completely melted (5-10 minutes depending on the dimensions of the pan).
When it is done, start eating! Or, you can top it with some cool ingredients for nice contrast: diced jalapenos, green onion, black or green olives, sour cream, fresh cilantro, or a hot sauce. It will be good, I promise, and if anyone doesn’t like it just say it’s only bad in kayfabe and don’t explain further. Serve it with tortilla chips (restaurant style or try making your own!), eat it with a spoon, or level up and dip some Ritz crackers in there. For night 2, microwave another bowl or throw the leftovers back in the oven one more time.
Enjoy the shows!