Super Bowl Snacks
Here's another reason to cook:
I always loved a spicy feta cheese dip that Whole Foods made. It had a pale orange color, an appealing grainy texture, a salty feta personality and just enough heat. This dip was perfect with spears of raw celery or wedges of those little seedless Persian cucumbers. But then the dip disappeared. I finally pestered a store manager enough that she contacted her regional managers to confirm that Whole Foods no longer made it.
I was temporarily crushed until I realized that I could probably make it myself if my taste memory would just hold steady through some kitchen experimentation. I researched other feta dip recipes, did some trial and error, and think I've come up with a reproduction that may be even better than the Whole Foods original. I've added a link to the recipe below.
And just in time for the Super Bowl. I'm actually not much of a football fan but I got a bit of playoff fever when one of my hometown teams was in the finals. And now my love of New Orleans is keeping me interested.
How can you think about the Super Bowl without thinking about snack food? I've been polling my friends who are passionate about game watching, about their favorite game watching food. And their answers have been full of old favorites: nachos, beer, chicken wings and more beer.
So I set myself the goal of coming up with alternatives to nachos and a healthier but still flavorful version of Buffalo chicken wings. To be a snack food it needs to be easy to eat with your hands, not too messy, and something that goes with beer. Plus, The Game takes place right through dinnertime so maybe folks would like something meaningful to eat, served at room temperature, that doesn't distract from the TV watching, or keep the cook in the kitchen.
So if The Game is in your cooking plans for this weekend, here are some snack and supper suggestions (we've added links to recipes for most of them):
- Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip
- Hummus (my friend Arthur White's recipe for the best hummus I've ever tasted)
- Baked Potato Chips
- A big bowl of pistachio nuts with a side dish for the shells.
- Baked Spicy Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
- Pop your own organic popcorn instead of making the microwave stuff. Drizzle it with a little truffle oil instead of melted butter.
- Sliced Steak Salad
- Cheese board with a basket of crackers, bagel chips and lightly toasted thin slices of baguette.
- Plate of dried fruit like apricots and dates and unsalted almonds.
- Pork Ribs
- Couscous Salad with Chopped Vegetables
- Turkey chili. If you a have a slow cooker, this is a great time to use it both to cook the chili and also keep it warm throughout the game without over-cooking it.
- Jalapeño cornbread squares.
- Cold Sesame Noodles. I've always loved Martha Stewart's recipe that uses spaghetti and a spicy peanut butter sauce. We've added a link to it below.
- A pan of apple crisp with vanilla ice cream in the freezer.
- Store or bakery-bought brownies cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Enjoy the game and the eating. And for all my friends in New Orleans: Go Saints!