Looking for a how-to guide for throwing your very own Breeder’s Cup watch party? You’re in the right place. With horse racing’s world championships happening at Santa Anita Park outside of Los Angeles, Calif., you’ll be able to bring all the excitement into your very own living room as you tune into NBC Sports Network with your friends to watch the 2013 Breeder’s Cup! Continue reading for our guide on how to throw a stellar party. We’ve got you covered for all your party needs, from decorating tips to delicious recipes, so that you will be throwing the party of the weekend.
Mark your calendar for November 1 and 2 and get ready to celebrate!
Cali-Style Fish Tacos
In the spirit of Southern California, fish tacos are a fresh take on the classic taco. Either prepare these for guests or create a “taco station” where guests can create their own unique taco combination. Either way, these tacos are sure to be a hit.
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1/4 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, one-half minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound tilapia fillets (or other firm white fish), cut into 16 equal strips
- 8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
- Pico de gallo
- Corn Salsa
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
In a large bowl, combine sour cream and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss cabbage, scallions, and minced jalapeno with remaining sour-cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil and remaining jalapeno half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches (starting with larger pieces), cook fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard jalapeno.
Warm tortillas according to package instructions.
To make tacos, fill tortillas with slaw, fish, pico de gallo, corn salsa and fresh cilantro leaves. Drizzle with reserved sour-cream mixture. Serve immediately.
Bobby Flay’s Blue Cheese and Bacon Sliders
While Bobby Flay is definitely the king of burgers, he is also a huge horse racing fan. In honor of the Breeder’s Cup, what’s better than Bobby Flay inspired Blue Cheese Bacon Sliders?
For the Burgers:
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles (recommended: Treasure Cave)
- 1/4 cup real bacon pieces (recommended: Hormel)
- 1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning (recommended: McCormick Grill Mates)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 onion rolls, toasted
- Lettuce, tomato, onion
In a mixing bowl, stir to combine ground beef, 1/3 cup bleu cheese crumbles, bacon pieces, and steak seasoning. Wet your hands to prevent sticking and shape into 4 patties slightly larger than the buns. Cover with plastic and set aside in refrigerator.
Set up grill for direct cooking over high heat. Brush and oil grate before cooking. Salt and pepper burgers and place on hot grill. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Serve hot on toasted onion roll. Spread with bleu cheese butter, lettuce, tomato, onion, and sliced avocado, if using.
INDOOR: Follow instructions for preparing burgers. Preheat broiler. Place burgers on wire rack over foil lined baking sheet or broiler pan. Broil 6 inches from heat source for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium.
Other Food Ideas:
- Dip Station: Guacamole, salsas, queso, hummus, etc.
- Cheese plate
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Caprese Sald
- Panini Station
- Fresh green salad
- Chicken and vegetable skewers
- Breeder’s “Cup-cakes”
- Assorted pastries: macaroons, petit fours, from your local bakery
The list goes on, and it all depends how adventurous you’re feeling.
Down the Stretch - Official Breeder’s Cup Drink
- 1/2 part blue curaçao
- 1 part lemon lime soda
- 1 part cranberry juice
- 1 part sweet and sour mix
Mix all ingredients in a cup and enjoy!
Other drinks to serve:
- Old Fashioned
- Mint Julep (it’s a horse racing classic)
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Champagne (because popping a bottle of bubbly is the ultimate way to celebrate a victory)
The start of any epic party begins with a great invitation. While the casual Facebook invite may suffice, there’s something to be said for putting in the effort to create a unique invite. Paperless Post (http://www.paperlesspost.com/) offers endless design opportunities for creating online invitations that maintain the charm and nostalgia of an old-fashioned paper invite. Many of the invite designs are also free, which is a major plus.
For the Breeder’s Cup it’s all about the purple and gold. Stock up on everything from purple table clothes, napkins, plates—you name it and I’m sure the local party center has it. You can even order some official Breeder’s Cup party cups here.
Why not get in the spirit of things by inviting guests to wear a hat. Whether an elaborate fascinator or a fedora, wearing a hat is one of the most quintessential parts about going to the races and one of the few sporting events in America where getting dressed up for the event is a vital and celebrated part of the day. So offer a prize for the best hat—whether that means craziest hat or most beautiful hat is up to you!
Breeder’s Cup Pool
While gambling online allows you to really get into the game, you can also have your own pool. Just write the name of each horse in the race and allow each party-goer to draw out their own horse to cheer to victory. You can either have every person put in an amount of money so that the winner takes all or you can get creative with your prize. Maybe winner takes a celebratory shot, or has to finish their drink by the next race. Anything works as long as everyone is having fun.
Let us know your Breeder’s Cup watch party ideas and remember to tag your photos on Instagram and Twitter with hashtag #BC13 to connect with fans around the world!