Fang Food: New York Mets edition

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This week, I'm going to share a food with you that might not spring to mind as a sports food. But, according to the all-knowing Elders of the Internet, it actually does have a connection...

New York, New York! So many possible choice for this Mecca of the culinary world! But why would I go with something obvious? Something people would expect? I mean, in this space, we've already done pizza. We've already done a couple hotdogs. I considered figuring out how to make shawarma as a nod to The Avengers, but I wasn't sure if enough people would actually get the reference, nor could I even make a vague connection to sports. Also, it's more of a Middle-Eastern food than a New York food, So I decided to go with New York-style cheesecake. You see the connection to sports, right?

The Scouting Report:

Cheesecake is hands down one of my favorite desserts out there. A creamy, luxurious filling, a crisp, not-too-thick graham cracker crust, topped with countless possible additions, it's just... Wow. It's also been around for a long time. I mean, I really long time. One early reference was by Cato the Elder, a Roman statesmen, around 160 B. C. However, it dates back even further, and this is where the sports connection kicks in. Cheesecake was actually in fact first fed to the athletes of the original Olympics Games in Greece as far back 776 B. C. almost three thousand years ago. So here's what I propose. Starting next season, the Dbacks should start selling cheesecake with some sort of Southwestern flair to them as a concession at Chase. As far as I can tell, no other ballpark does that. It would be unique. Hit me up, Derek Hall. Let's make this happen.

Below is one of my favorite cheesecake recipes. I'll admit, I haven't had a chance to make it for a while, but it never gets old.

The Recipe:

Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients:

1 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus additional 1 tablespoon melted butter for greasing pan
2 1/2 Lb. cream cheese, cut into rough 1-inch chunks and left to stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
6 large eggs

Directions:

  1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in medium bowl; add 5 tablespoons melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened. Brush bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan with most of remaining melted butter, making sure to leave enough to brush pan in step 3. Empty the crumbs into the pan and press evenly into pan bottom. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, about 13 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while making filling.
  2. For the cheesecake filling: Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed to break it up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of the bowl with rubber spatula; add salt and about half of sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; beat in remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl the bowl again, and add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add yolks, then beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add whole eggs two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, and scraping bowl between additions.
  3. Brush sides of the springform pan with remaining melted butter. Set the pan on rimmed baking sheet (This will catch any spills if the pan leaks, making for much easier clean up). Pour filling into cooled crust and bake 10 minutes; without opening oven door, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of cheesecake registers about 150 degrees, about 11/2 hours. Transfer cake to wire rack and cool 5 minutes; run paring knife between cake and side of the pan. Cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)
  4. To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving plate. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Personally, I'd go with a basic topping of just some sliced strawberries, coated in sugar, and left in the fridge to sweeten and get juicy overnight. Put a few slices over the top, and enjoy! As I said in the scouting report, though, there are a ton of toppings you could go with out there, so experiment a little, and maybe share your favorites in the comments!

By consuming them, we absorb their strengths. It's just like cannibalism. Only with a lower chance of contracting a horrible brain disease. ~ Jim McLennan Join Blake, (imstillhungry95) and Patrick (Turambar) as we explore the food and drink of our opponents throughout the season. Find us on Facebook, email us at fangfood@gmail.com, or check out our past articles!!

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