Is pizza the best snack for a home poker game?
If you want to host a poker home game with friends and make an impression, it’s essential to make sure everyone is comfortable around the poker table as well as suitably watered and fed. One of the main reasons why home poker game hosts become regulars is for their varied selection of food and beverages.
Although poker games in a land-based casino are a little more formal, home games allow you to let loose a little and have fun with it. Most poker players would say that dishes and bites that allow you to nibble with one hand are ideal, allowing you to continue playing your poker hand with the other. If you’re planning on offering and serving food during a home game, here are some fun recipe ideas that your pals can snack on without slowing the game down too much.
Steak and mushroom Reubens
Who doesn’t like a melt-in-the-mouth steak sandwich? These moreish Reubens are ideal to pick up and eat with one hand while the action unfolds around you. You’ll need the following ingredients before you get started:
- Olive oil
- Flank steak
- Large shiitake mushrooms
- Seeded rye bread
- Thousand Island dressing
- Sliced Gruyere cheese
These sandwiches should take no longer than half-an-hour to prepare, so you could get them ready before your pals arrive or during a mid-game interval. Get your skillet to a high temperature and start cooking your flank steak pieces, ensuring both sides are well seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook the steak until it’s medium-rare, which will take at least a few minutes for either side.
Remove the steak from the skillet and set aside to rest, before adding the mushrooms. After around two minutes, remove the mushrooms from the skillet and begin slicing your steak on the diagonal. Layer each sandwich with steak, mushroom, sauerkraut and top it with a slice of Gruyere cheese. Cook the bottom of the sandwiches on the skillet until firm and golden to help melt the cheese.
Vegetable spring rolls
Homemade spring rolls look simple, but they do require a little effort to get right. Don’t be fooled by the long list of ingredients as it all comes together pretty quickly:
- Vermicelli rice noodles
- Rice wine
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Spring roll sheets
Start by soaking your vermicelli noodles in pre-boiled water. Heat your sesame oil in a wok and fry up the sliced carrot, cabbage and beansprouts. Stir in the sliced ginger and garlic until soft, before adding the rice wine, soy sauce and coriander. Once stir-fried, remove from the wok to a bowl, being careful to remove excess moisture that could spoil the spring rolls.
Lay out one sheet of spring roll pastry on a diagonal, so that one corner of the pastry is facing you. Put one tablespoon of your spring roll mixture on the corner and start to roll the sheet diagonally so that it tightly holds the filling. Fold in the edges from each side and brush the pastry with a mixture of cornflour and water. Serve with some sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Homemade falafel and hummus
Tasty bite-size balls of homemade falafel are a great poker night treat, particularly for vegetarians that enjoy wholesome foods that boost wellbeing. They’re quick and fun to make, providing you have the right ingredients:
- Can of chickpeas
- Chopped onion
- Garlic pepper
- Ground cumin
- Baking powder
- Vegetable oil
Get a food blender and add the chickpeas, chopped onion, three tablespoons of flour, garlic pepper, cumin, baking powder and salt. Mix this all together in your processor, along with the fresh parsley, until it is thoroughly blended. Then roll out falafel balls using one tablespoon of mixture at a time, before coating each ball in flour.
Make sure your pan has at least a depth of half-an-inch of hot oil before frying the falafel balls in batches until golden brown and crispy, before serving with a fresh, cool hummus dip.
Two-meat meatballs in a moreish BBQ sauce
Most meat-eaters will appreciate a good meatball, especially if they can eat it from a cocktail stick while they play their poker hand. To make a few dozen two-meat (pork and beef) meatballs, you’ll need the following:
- One egg
- A quarter of a cup of oats
- 1lb of ground beef
- 1lb of ground pork
- A quarter of a cup of parmesan cheese
- A splash of hot sauce
- A splash of Tabasco sauce
- Your choice of barbecue sauce
Combine the hot and Tabasco sauces with the ground meats, egg, oats and parmesan cheese into one deep bowl. Massage the ingredients together and start to make meatball-sized balls. Sear the individual meatballs in a pan until cooked through.
Once all meatballs are seared and cooked through, top them with your favorite barbecue sauce and cook in an oven for another 15 minutes on a medium-to-low heat. Of course, if you’re worried about the meatballs and their sauce being too messy and ruining your poker table or cards, you can always play poker online together instead. You could each bring a laptop or tablet round and join the same cash game table or tournament.
Pizza Margherita with cherry tomatoes
Thin slices of Margherita pizza, topped with cherry tomatoes that are bursting with sweet flavour. Does any snack scream “poker night” more than this? Get the following ingredients in before you make a start:
- Tube of pizza dough
- Cherry tomatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Crushed red pepper
- Fennel seeds
- Mozzarella (diced)
- Fresh basil
Preheat your oven to around 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In the meantime, roll out your pizza dough onto a large sheet of baking parchment. Fold over the edge of your pizza dough to make a border/crust. Heat a pan with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper. Saute the tomatoes until charred.
Transfer the tomatoes to a mixing bowl with the garlic, fennel and crushed red pepper. Mix gently, being sure to leave chunks of the cherry tomatoes intact. Add in the cubed mozzarella and chopped fresh basil. Sprinkle your desired cheese onto the pizza dough first before dolloping even amounts of the tomato mixture across the pizza. Bake until golden crisp – usually 25+ minutes.
If your poker pals would also appreciate sweet treats to have with one hand at the table, our peanut butter chocolate bars will have them eating out of the palm of your hand. Hosting an awesome poker home game doesn’t need to be complicated. With good drinks, good music, good company and particularly good food you can leave your friends focusing more on how delicious your snacks are rather than how good your poker hands are!