Poker night is a popular social activity around the world, with the card game bringing people together on a regular basis.
But to level up your planned poker night, it can be a good idea to rustle up some food to help the players stay concentrated while they are at the table.
Here are some suggestions of delicious recipes to try out at your next poker night.
Philly Cheesesteak Nachos
Nachos are arguably the perfect food for poker night. They are quick and easy to rustle up and can be picked at by players throughout the evening, whenever they get a little peckish.
The food at your poker night does not have to be up to the same standard as if you were throwing a fancy dinner party. The food is not the main event – playing card games is. The food should be more of an addition, rather than something that can act as too much of a distraction from deciding whether to call or fold.
But to upgrade standard nachos to something that will have your pals talking about your poker night for weeks, if not months, why not throw in something extra to level it up?
To turn nachos into Philly Cheesesteak nachos does not take that much extra effort, but it is well worth your time. Simply cook up some shaved rib-eye with diced onion in a skillet, then add the mixture, as well as cheese and sliced jalapenos, to the nachos just before serving.
Feel free to throw in some canned refried beans as well – check out our top recommendations.
Preparation time should be 20 minutes at the most, but remember to check whether or not any of your guests at poker night are vegan or vegetarian before adding meat to their nachos.
Nuts make ideal poker night food as they can be enjoyed throughout the evening. So why not try making caramelized cashews the next time your buddies are coming over?
Making these is easy. Just take about 10 ounces of unsalted natural cashews – or more if you have a lot of people coming for poker night. You will want to preheat your oven to 350°F before getting started with the rest of the preparation.
The mixture you will cook the cashews in contains cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, fine sea salt and pure maple syrup. If you can get it, use Grade B maple syrup in this recipe.
Toss the cashews together with the other ingredients in a bowl, then when it is all mixed up together spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Cook until the nuts are golden brown – this should take about 20 minutes – and stir through the mixture a couple of times during the cooking process.
Caramelized cashews can be made in advance and stored in airtight containers to lock in the flavours ahead of poker night. A quick and easy way to make some snacks for the evening.
If you are looking for something filling for your poker night recipes, try making beef pasties.
For the crust of the pasties, you will need unbleached all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, salt, solid vegetable shortening, ice water and chilled unsalted butter.
Use this mixture to make dough, which should be made into balls and then chilled for up to a day before it is ready to make the pasties.
For the beef, we recommend using skirt steak but you can swap this for an alternative if you really wish. You will also need olive oil, a couple of large onions, dried thyme, salt, dry white wine, a large egg white and the secret ingredient – coarsely crumbled Stilton blue cheese.
Start by sauteing the onions in a skillet, then add wine, thyme and salt when they are brown. This can be done in advance, along with the crust preparation, ready for poker night.
Ahead of your guests arriving, roll out the dough into discs and cover them in the onion mixture. Add beef strips on top, sprinkle with salt and add the cheese on to the surface. Brush the edges of the dough with some egg white, then fold it over the mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes and leave around 10 minutes for the beef pasties to be cool enough to eat. Voila!