For those of you new to this thread/idea - each week I try to come up with a dish that goes perfect with the team we're playing against. Orginally this was developed to offer some alternatives to Pizza and Burgers that become tiresome as the season wears on.

I've been offering Food for Thought since the beginning of the season when the Steelers beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. And it's because they won a Super Bowl that year I've continued to write this post. So in reality it's Superstition.....but I'd prefer we think of it as Tradition!!

For our first Pre-Season game we take on the New York Giants --- and since New York is home to some of the best Italian food in the world I thought I'd work up an Italian inspired appetizer -- great for football watching and still appropriate late summer eats!

Shark Bite Bruscetta


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 sourdough baguette, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 (4 ounce) package semi-soft cheese with garlic and herbs (such as Alouette)

Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, and garlic in a bowl. Stir in the chopped tomatoes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover; place in the refrigerator to marinate for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the bread slices in a single layer on a large baking pan.
Bake in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack.
When the bread is cool, spread the semi-soft cheese evenly over each slice. Using a slotted spoon, spoon some of the tomato mixture over each slice.

I'm dedicating these eats to Shamarko Thomas -- with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu as instructors he's learning from two of the best!

Okay make that THREE of the Best!