"When Vince Wilfork is your husband—he’s a big guy—this is our 13th season and you end up with a lot of guys in your house that eat a lot," says Bianca Wilfork. That "a lot of guys," of course, are the nose tackle's fellow members of the Houston Texans. Mrs. Wilfork says that she's had no choice but to become skilled at cooking in bulk. "The thing I’m most known for is being able to cook a lot of food and not being in the kitchen all day either," she adds.
She was a star contributor last year to the first edition of the Houston Texans Cookbook. This year, with a second edition, she's sharing even more recipes, along with those of other wives and significant others of team members and coaches. The daughter of a Cuban father and Italian mother, Wilfork is focused on building big flavor with simple preparations. Her recipes in the new book include nachos, steak-and-cheese sandwiches and Cuban ropa vieja, as well as the Caribbean-style baked chicken below.
Wilfork says she began cooking when she was growing up, in the role of caretaker to her younger brother and sister. She's always been focused on adding distinct flavors to her recipes, but says that the internet has afforded her a whole new line-up of recipes to cook for her husband and three kids. With volume in mind, her favorite places to buy food are Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club. At the first, she's thrilled to buy packages of six dozen eggs at once—a necessity when making mass quantities of the other recipe included below, a breakfast pastry. The Breakfast Bundle has become something of a signature for the experienced home cook since Wilfork's husband and JJ Watt discussed the recipe on an episode of HBO series Hard Knocks. "Everyone was instant messaging me about it," she remembers. "It's a fan favorite." Perhaps it will be for your family, too.
Recipe: Caribbean-Style Baked Chicken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 pound bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks (with skins)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix oil and dry seasonings together. Rub mixture under chicken skin and on top. Place seasoned chicken in glass baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake an additional 30 minutes. To finish, place under broiler to crisp, watching closely not to burn.
Recipe: Breakfast Bundle
- 1 package bacon
- 16 ounces sweet Italian sausage
- 1/2 pound honey maple ham, shaved thin and chopped
- 10 eggs
- splash of milk
- garlic salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
- coconut oil (or nonstick agent of your choice)
- 2 packages crescent roll dough
- American cheese
- Preheat oven according to crescent roll dough package directions. Cook bacon, drain, and chop into pieces. Remove grease from pan but don’t rinse bacon drippings. Brown sausage in same pan. Drain cooked sausage on paper towels. Next, heat ham in pan.
- In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, garlic salt, and black pepper. Add meats and mix well. Coat a sauté pan with coconut oil and begin to cook egg mixture. Turn heat off when egg mixture is almost done. (Don’t overcook, as the eggs will continue to cook in the oven.) Add cheese to pan and cover to melt cheese.
- Place dough lengthwise on a baking sheet or pan. Spoon egg mixture onto center of dough. Cut -inch-wide strips into the sides of the dough (the shorter sides of the rectangle); leave about an inch of dough surrounding egg mixture. Bring the pieces of sliced dough over the eggs to create a crisscross pattern, tucking the ends under the mixture so contents cannot come out. Bake according to instructions or until crust is brown.