For the Super Bowl, it’s Taco Sunday

Chef BrettOur Town Eats

It’s that time of the year – a time that I loathe in every sense of the word: The End of Football Season.

I will have just a spot of sadness every weekend after this one until the SEC returns for the 2021 season.

While it’s not SEC football, the Super Bowl arguably showcases some of the most talented football players on the planet. It’s all on the line: Four quarters to prove they are the best.

Having grown up in Knoxville and bleeding orange since birth, I appreciate the game. I love the competition and strategy. I love that these professional athletes have a need to compete at the highest level. For the Super Bowl players, all the work and effort they have poured into the sport since they were kids gets put on display for a mere 99.9 million people, plus the online watchers!

Hosting sports events at your home is a very good excuse for a party – especially in the South. I have been removed from the South for a decade, so I am qualified to tell you: No one does it like we do. It’s an honor, an experience, a way to show off that signature cocktail, favorite food or new big screen television.

So let’s get started with some game day foods! I am keeping the prep simple and choosing a main dish that allows you to keep the “sides” simple as well – chips, salsa, guacamole, veggie trays and barbecue cocktail wieners (A must, right?). You will shine with your main dish: Steak Tacos

Steak tacos can be made with an inexpensive cut of steak like flank or skirt. Offer your guests a “build-your-own bar with both flour and corn tortillas, shredded iceberg lettuce, fresh cilantro, my homemade hot sauce, grated cotija cheese and lime crema. Don’t give them an alternative to the crema and cheese. Cotija and lime crema are your “wow” factors. They’ll thank you later.

Here’s the cooking process:

Whip up the marinade as directed in the recipe. Make sure your steak marinates for at least 3 hours.

When ready to cook, discard the marinade.

You can cook your steak on an open-flame grill or pan-sear it in a cast iron pan.  Either way, you want to get a hard sear on the outside.

If you pan sear the steak:

  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When the oil begins to slightly smoke, gently place the steak in the pan. Let it sit for a minute to get a hard sear.
  • Turn steak over, and continue cooking until internal temp reaches 115-degrees F or to whatever your preference. Remember to let steak rest for 5 minutes after removing from heat.
  • Slice the steak against the grain so that it will be less chewy.

I hope you enjoy your last football game day until September. Happy creating!

Steak Marinade

Brett Hot Sauce

Lime Crema

Brett Gardner Howell grew up in Knoxville and now lives in Seattle with his wife, Olivia, and two children. He has been an Executive Chef for the better part of his career and continues to work in culinary arts across the country. Email comments and suggestions to


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