pot of chili

Image via Wikipedia

My brothers and sisters would probably laugh at me writing about football. But I guess since this is a food blog, they may let me get away with it. Any sport is especially fun if you have a favorite and/or just cheer for your home town. For me, I have many home towns and teams (Minnesota, New Jersey=Philly/NYC, Boston, CT=NYC).

Today’s play-off game – I don’t have any strong favorite. So far a good game today. My son and I picked Pittsburg.. Why not – good team, although the Ravens have my favorite color (BLUE), just had to go with Pittsburg. Tomorrow’s game will be difficult to choose. I used to live in Boston and was there when Tom Brady won is first Superbowl. Experienced the parade – what a great day for Boston. However, now live in CT so do I go for the Jets? Tuff call. The Patriots are reminding me of the Yankees.. too much is too much. Time for someone else to win. And no matter what I will always take the Red Sox over the Yankees… I know I just switched sports – but had to get that dig in. Not too long until spring training.

Now on to the fun stuff FOOD – and what play-off or Superbowl party would be complete without it? None. Granted the attention will be on the big screen but that doesn’t mean we can’t spend a few minutes in the kitchen to make something memorable. Below is a long list of ideas for food anyone can serve or bring to that up and coming Superbowl party.

I also want to apologize in advance to those vegans, vegetarians and diet conscious people. This is a full flavor and fat post with most entries geared around the game food. You can tone some of them down to suit your needs, but the intent is to offer Superbowl type fun food. I want to keep this somewhat simple, so I will include links to other entries I posted as well as links for recipes from a reliable source, most likely off the Food Network. There are some chefs out there that continually put out great food and recipes such as Alton Brown and Emeril. If it fits for this, I will add the links instead of writing a new recipe. If wrote all for this post, I wouldn’t be done in time for the Superbowl!

So, we have a 6 categories to meet for any successful sports related party. GRILLED – check; HOT and SPICY – check; FRIED/BREADED – check; SLOW COOKED goodness – check; CRUNCHY – Check. I am listing the ideas with links first, before I go into the written recipes.

Appetizer Ideas, some expected and some not so expected. This is a good place to start to kick off any party.

DIPS This post lists many options for dips, black bean and corn salsa, Taco Dip (its is very good and a great crowd pleaser), hummus, and many others. In addition to the post on Dips – I also posted a few others:
Feta Dip
Garlic and Artichoke Spread

Risotto Balls – Creamy, Yummy Risotto shaped into bite sized appetizers, fried and passed around for enjoyment.

Tartare – Not something you typically find at a Superbowl party, but is a big hit and provides something fresh to the palate

Hot Smoked Salmon Canapes – This is very good way to eat salmon. I love the spoked flavor.

Crab Cakes – Crab cakes with a nice Wasabi Aioli (Mayo mixed with Dijon and Wasabi) is hard to pass up.

Jalapeno Poppers: I found two that looked good – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fried-kicked-up-jalapeno-poppers-recipe/index.html and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-live/joes-screaming-stuffed-jalapeno-poppers-recipe/index.html

My “South of the Boarder” post lists a full array for a Mexican themed menu. Any of the recipes in this post can be used for Jalapeno Poppers, Tacos, Nachos, Dips, Quesadillas, etc. To make the Nachos, heat the oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet; spread out a single layer of chips. Top this layer with shredded chicken/pork, Beef, Shrimp, or refried beans. Top with shredded cheese. Build the next layer of chips, then top this layer with fresh chopped veggies, salsa, black olives, jalapenos, etc. then with more cheese. Put a last layer of chips, more cheese then bake until the cheese is melted. Serve with Sour Cream, Guacamole, more Salsa. Enjoy!

Hot Wings: I handed this one-off to Alton Brown: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/good-eats/buffalo-wings-recipe/index.html At the bottom if this recipe is also a link to a Spicy Fried Chicken Bites that looked good and may be a little cleaner than Hot Wings when eating at a party http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/brian-boitano/spicy-fried-chicken-bites-with-derby-dip-recipe/index.htmlrecipe.

Jamaican Meat Patties – This too I am passing off to another source as I have not made them before. But make great finger food.http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/jamaican-meat-patties-recipe/index.html.

Empanadas: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/lamb-curry-empanadas-recipe/index.html

Stout Marinated Steak Tipshttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/stout-marinated-steak-tips-recipe/index.html

Chili – Where do I begin? There are so many recipes out there and people are very particular. Get started early in the day, as the longer it cooks the better the flavor. Don’t forget the diced onions, scallions, sour cream and cheese for toppings. You can find the type of Chili that suites your tastes at this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipe-collections/chili/index.html

Pulled Pork – This is a two-day event. I say event – because it takes that much time and when you taste the final dish – you will feel like you just ate the best thing on earth. This is pretty close to how I make it – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/carolina-style-pulled-pork-sandwiches-recipe2/index.html

Now on to the section with my recipes. Please enjoy them!


With the exception of the Hero below, all I can say is Puff Pastry, Puff Pastry, Puff Pastry.. Sure you can use Phylo dough, but nothing really beats that buttery flaky crust of puff pastry.. It’s like a croissant with yummy goodness inside. I have made it from scratch, flour, yeast and melt in your mouth butta. If they did not offer it in the store – I would spend the time to make it any day. Phylo is thinner and requires a little more effort to assemble, and yes you would need to add butta. You can go any route you wish – but I vote puff pastry which you can find in the freezer section of your grocery store (next to the Phylo). I recommend you buy it the day before, put it in the fridge over night so you can handle it easier. You can also use pizza dough to save some calories.

Dog rolls – Call them what you will – but they are great and will vanish before you know it.

Beer here is important. I use a good German beer like Becks. Not lite beer – beer. You will need a few bottles between the kraut and the brats. This is real Minnesota German goodness. If your budget does not afford it, go with what you have. The beer you chose will impart flavor into the dish. Go for what you like and are comfortable with.

Make the sauerkraut the day before. I say this as the longer it simmers/braises the better. You really cannot go wrong with this. But start the day before. It will last and boy oh boy does it taste good.

4 cups Boars head sauerkraut. I don’t normally plug a brand, but for this I will. It’s the right ingredient.
4 Pieces of uncooked bacon (fat fully intact); diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 can beef stock
1 bottle of German beer
Fresh ground pepper
Salt if needed to taste

  1. Place the chopped bacon in a deep sided pan. Saute until just cooked.
  2. Add the Garlic and pepper, saute for 1 minute stirring constantly to avoid the burn
  3. Add the sauerkraut. Stir every 30 seconds for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the Stock, and beer and simmer partially covered (allow the steam to escape) for about 2 hours over low heat.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  6. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone, or drain so when you assemble, it won’t be soggy.

Taste again, Oh and one more time. Isn’t it good?


  1. Boil the Brats in the beer (you can also add some water) until the brats are done (about 20 minutes).
  2. Heat a saute pan on med-high, then put the sausage in and saute on each side to give a little color and concentrate the flavor.
  3. Remove when all sides have a nice brown line. Let cool.
  4. While the Brats cool. Cut the puff pastry into squares large enough to cover the Brat, but not too large where it will be all breading. I would say a 4×5 section would be about right. But cut one and try it out to be sure you have the sizing down.
  5. Making the roll: Smear some ground country mustard down the middle of the pastry, place the sauerkraut down the middle on top of the mustard, then place the brat on top. Fold the pastry over the brat, seal the ends and the seem to completely enclose the sausage.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until the pastry is a nice golden brown on the outside.
  7. Cut into 3rds or 4ths and serve with extra mustard on the side.

Options: top with swiss cheese or any of your favorite cheeses. You can also add caramelized onions.
Use Italian sausage & caramelized Peppers
All beef Hot Dog and Mustard
Pepperoni (or any italian sausage sliced), Mozzarella (or provolone), and Sauce

Ruben Ring

Ellen – this is for you!

Make the Sauerkraut as described above. It really is good this way. If you must (to keep it kosher), omit the bacon and saute the garlic in about 2 TBS olive oil. Proceed with the rest. OR you can chopped the corned beef or pastrami and add it to the saute to impart that flavor to the sauerkraut. It will actually make assembling easier as well.

I can say make the corned beef or pastrami, but I would be amiss as I have not made it before. So I say buy it at the deli. Have it sliced thin to make rolling the rolls easier. Or if you are going to chop it to add to the sauerkraut – who cares how they slice it. ; )

You will also need some thinly sliced Swiss Cheese. About 1/2 pound.

Thousand Island dressing is easy – Buy it or make it as described below:
1 Cup of Mayo (you can use light may if you wish)
1 Cup Sweet (or dill) relish, drained ( you can reduce this if you wish… but I am a pickle fanatic and I like more)
3/4 Cup ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS sugar
You can thin with milk or cream if you wish

Mix all and taste. Adjust if needed.

  1. Take the puff pastry, keep it in tact. Cut in half lengthwise. Join the pastry to make a long row of dough.
  2. Smear that thousand island goodness down the middle. Up to you how much you want to use. I would add more than less, because that is my favorite part.
  3. Place the slices of swiss cheese on top of the dressing down the middle.
  4. Add the wonderful filling of sauerkraut and corned beef/pastrami to cover the cheese. Roll it up. Seal the seam. Form into a ring – or just leave as a log.
  5. Bake at 375 until the puff pastry is nice and golden brown on the outside.

Slice or place out on a cutting board. Yum.

Big Hero

Who doesn’t like a big hero.. Arnold comes to mind and is my favorite. ; ) I grew up in the 80s so I have a few more that I can mention.. I would be at fault if i didn’t mention Sylvester (loved the new movie) and Van Damme (yes I am sick of seeing him doing splits too), and many more. I love the Weekend dude that makes comments on Van Damme’s movies. “Wham, Bamm, thank you Van Damme”. Classic.

So in this instance, I am talking about the sandwich. However would open my doors to any of the men I mentioned above. They have aged well. I am a woman – but I love me some action movies and appreciate all that hard work going into the stunts. ; )

Onto the sandwich. You really can’t go wrong here. Go to the deli counter and buy a pound each of your favorite meats. Some suggestions are:
Roast beef
Don’t forget the fresh sliced Provolone!

Take a long loaf of Italian bread (or two). Cut it in half. I know this sounds wrong, but trust me. Scoop out some of the inner bread from the loaf. This will allow you to really stack in the filling.

Filling Options:
Shredded lettuce (sliced iceberg lettuce)
Cheese (Provolone, american, cheddar, swiss – your choice or combo)
Tomatoes, thinly sliced
Cucumbers, thinly sliced
Onions, thinly sliced
Pickles (cause I love them and no sandwich is complete with out them in my mind)
Roasted red peppers
Peppers, thinly sliced

Seasoning (drizzle over the toppings
Oil (extra virgin) and Red Wine Vinegar (Or Italian dressing)
Salt and pepper

If you don’t like the oil and vinegar, you can use your favorite mayo or mustard.

Replace the top part, smoosh down, and place on a platter with a knife or slice into 1.5 inch portions. You can make it a hot hoagie by placing in the oven at 350 for about 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese starts to melt. This does not work well if you are using fresh veggies like cucumbers and lettuce.



Great 2 – 3 bite satisfaction. The recipe below is for Beef with Blue Cheese slider. There are as many recipes for sliders as for Chili, but this one below is full of flavor, fast and easy to make. (for more slider recipes http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-burgers-1-10/index.html)

INGREDIENTS (should make about 10 – 12)

1 LB ground beef about 85% fat. For burgers, you want some fat to keep them nice and juicy
1 LB Meatloaf Mix found in the same section as the ground beef It typically consists of (ground pork, ground veal, ground beef)
1/2 small onion, grated. Keep that juice. This is actually a time where prepping an onion can be done in the food processor.
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 package slider sized hamburger buns

  1. Mix all ingredients (except the blue cheese) together by hand. Don’t over mix just until all ingredients are incorporated. Break off a tsp sized part, heat in the microwave for about 15 – 20 seconds. Taste it. If you need more salt, go ahead and adjust your seasoning now.
  2. Form into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Then press your finger to create an opening for the blue cheese. Put in the blue cheese, then close the hole. Press down lightly to form the patty. It should be about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. You can make the patties in advance up to this point. Stack on a tray with plastic wrap in between the layers and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.
  4. When ready – heat up that grill and grill on both sides for about 3 minutes per side. Slice the buns and grill for a minute or two to become a nice toasty brown.
  5. When the burgers are done, put them on the buns and serve with toppings:

Optional toppings:
Caramelized Onions
Tomato Slices
Garlic Mayo
Blue Cheese Dressing/Spread
Tapenade Spread (mix with mayo to give it a creamy feel)

Skewers – Chicken & Garlic

Here is a link to kabob recipes – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-kebabs/index.html

Chicken & Garlic:
10 cloves of garlic, smashed
6 Sprigs of Cilantro
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1/4 cup oil
Salt and pepper
1 package of chicken tenders (about 6)
12 skewers soaked in water for 1 – 2 hours.

  1. Cut the chicken tenders in 1/2. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap, and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. Pound out until thin.
  2. Add the marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag or container large enough to hold the chicken and marinade. I prefer the ziplock as the marinade will coat all the chicken better.
  3. Mix the marinade up to combine the ingredients. Add the chicken. If using the ziplock bag, press all the air out of the bag and then seal it. Squish all the liquid around to coat all the chicken.
  4. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or better over night. Flip the bag a couple of times to re-distribute the marinade ingredients.
  5. When you are done marinating the chicken, thread the skewer through the chicken length-wise.
  6. Place on a hot grill about 2 minutes on each side depending on how thin you pounded it out.

Discard the marinade.

Pulled Pork – This is a two-day event. I say event – because it takes that much time and when you taste the final dish – you will feel like you just ate the best thing on earth. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/carolina-style-pulled-pork-sandwiches-recipe2/index.html


Meatballs are always a welcome addition to any part. Please they can be made in advance, frozen and reheated the day of. If you like them, they are great to have on hand in the freezer for quick dinners during the week. Kids LOVE them. There are so many varieties – I listed a few different recipes below to change it up from the standard Italian meatball with sauce.

Sweet Chili Asian Meatballs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/brianna-jenkins/sweet-chili-asian-meatballs-recipe/index.html
Polpettini: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/polpettini-recipe/index.html

Loaded Lamb Meatball Hoagie: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aaron-mccargo-jr/loaded-lamb-meatball-hoagie-recipe/index.html
Spicy Shrimp and Pork Meatballs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spicy-shrimp-and-pork-meatballs-with-rujak-sauce-recipe/index.html
Spicy Cocktail Meatballs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chic-easy/spicy-cocktail-meatballs-recipe/index.html
Swedish Meatballs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/swedish-meatballs-recipe/index.html
Shangai Meatballs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/shanghai-meatballs-recipe/index.html

Ok – I think that is all I can fit today. There are so many other ideas for food. but hopefully this post will give you new ideas to add to your party list. I think I covered the basics and then added food for thought.

Enjoy the game and the excuse to eat those food items you stay away from most of the year. Happy Cooking!


About culinaryease

I am a single mother who loves cooking and providing tips, techniques, to get everyone out of the takeout lane and into the kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s