Enjoy the Super Bowl with tasty party food

Make a meal of appetizers while celebrating the NFL’s biggest night on Sunday, Feb. 2

The teams have been decided — the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

Even though the Green Bay Packers aren’t in the game, there are plenty of reasons to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2.

To begin with, there are all the new commercials being broadcast during the game. And, perhaps more importantly, there’s all the food that comes with watching the Super Bowl.

Now, is the time to think about the menu for your Super Bowl party.

In keeping with the teams, you could serve barbecue for Kansas City and a seafood dish, perhaps cioppino, for San Francisco.

Of course, you can’t go wrong with traditional favorites such as chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, chili, pizza or a hearty stew.

For a variation on the traditional, make some sliders instead of offering full-sized sandwiches or make a huge sandwich that you cut into pieces for serving.

Instead of burgers, try miniature meatball sandwiches.

Make your own potato chips, but instead of the traditional thin chip, create a more robust snack with thick-cut potatoes. A hot oven will help crisp them on the outside while retaining a soft interior.

You can also try different dips or salsas to go with your chips.  

And don’t forget to incorporate the team colors in your tablescape. This year that’s easy since both teams wear red and gold, although the shades vary.

Whatever you do, have fun. After all, the Super Bowl is a chance to serve party foods with a special flair.

Following are some football favorite recipes from www.foodnetwork.com.



Ranch Chicken Taquitos

For chicken:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small onion, sliced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Juice of 1 lime
For sour cream ranch dip:
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 clove garlic, grated
Dash hot sauce
Pinch kosher salt
For taquitos:
Vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups grated Colby-Jack cheese
18 small corn tortillas

    For the chicken, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken one to two minutes per side, until browned well, then set aside.
    Add garlic and onions to the skillet and cook briefly. Add chile powder, cumin, salt, tomato sauce, 2/3 cup water and seared chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 12 to 15 minutes, until sauce has reduced by about half.
    For the dip, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, cilantro, dill, chile powder, garlic, hot sauce and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Once the sauce is reduced, place chicken on a cutting board and, using 2 forks, shred it. Return chicken to the skillet and toss to coat thoroughly. Stir in lime juice and adjust the seasoning as needed. Set aside and allow to cool 10 to 12 minutes.
    Fill a large Dutch oven halfway with vegetable oil and heat to 375 degrees.
    Mix the cooled chicken with the Colby Jack cheese. Divide mixture among the tortillas, then roll tortillas tightly, securing them with a toothpick.
    Place taquitos into the hot oil in batches of eight to 10 and fry two to three minutes, until golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining taquitos. Remove toothpicks and serve with dip.



Buffalo Chicken Wellington

One 17.3-ounce box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup hot sauce, plus more
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 cooked breaded chicken cutlets
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 pound part-skim mozzarella, cut into eight slices
1 large egg, beaten
Ranch dressing
Carrot and celery sticks

    Place one sheet puff pastry on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, then top with the second sheet. Roll into a 17-by-13-inch rectangle.
    Combine hot sauce and butter in a small bowl and brush both sides of the chicken cutlets with the sauce. Set aside.
    Brush puff pastry with the remaining sauce, leaving a one-inch border along one long side and both short sides. Sprinkle blue cheese over the sauce, then top with four slices of mozzarella, shingling them if necessary to fit. Top with three cutlets. Repeat with the remaining mozzarella and cutlets.
    Brush the plain pastry borders with the beaten egg. Fold the long side without the egg wash over, followed by the short sides, then the other long side. Turn so the pastry is seam-side down, then brush with remaining egg. Cut three three-inch-long vents with a sharp knife on top.
    Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 425-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until crisp and deep golden brown.
    Serve with ranch dressing, carrot and celery sticks, and more hot sauce.



Loaded Potato Skin Dip

2 strips bacon
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cloves garlic, smashed
3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sour cream
Potato chips
Assorted vegetables such as bell pepper strips and celery sticks

    Cook bacon in a medium skillet set over medium heat about eight minutes, until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
    Place 2/3 cup oil and garlic into the skillet with the bacon drippings. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook about seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden. Set aside to cool.
    Peel potatoes and slice potato skins into very thin strips. The thinner the strips, the crispier they will be. Toss strips with 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and remaining oil. Spread in an even layer on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes in a 375-degree oven, stirring once, until golden and crispy.
    Cut peeled potatoes into one-inch chunks and put in a saucepan. Cover with cold water by about two inches, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Press potatoes through a ricer or mash with a potato masher until smooth.
    Pour oil and garlic mixture into the bowl of a food processor and puree. Add potatoes, vinegar, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste and pulse until just creamy and combined. Do not over process or the potatoes will become gluey. Add as much as three tablespoons more water if necessary so the dip is soft and spreadable. Season with additional salt and pepper.
    Transfer dip to a shallow serving bowl. Crumble bacon and sprinkle it over the dip along with the crispy potato skins and scallions.
    Top with sour cream and serve warm or at room temperature with potato chips and cut up vegetables for dipping.


Supreme Pizza Dip

4 ounces pepperoni
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 whole clove
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 baguette, ends trimmed, sliced diagonally into 24 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces mozzarella, diced

    Dice three ounces pepperoni. Thinly slice the remaining pepperoni and set it aside as a garnish.
    Heat a medium cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium heat until hot. Add  diced pepperoni and cook four to five minutes, stirring, until crisp. Add onions, bell pepper, minced garlic, oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Continue to cook about five minutes, stirring, until the onions are very tender and lightly browned. Stir in the tomato paste and cook about one minute, stirring, the vegetables are coated and it smells lightly toasted. Stir in tomatoes with their juice. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in olives and Parmesan and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
    Toss baguette slices with oil and spread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 425-degree oven seven to nine minutes, until lightly toasted and crisp. Rub slices with the whole garlic clove and set aside to cool.
    Scatter the mozzarella and sliced pepperoni over the dip in the skillet, then broil two to three minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve the dip warm with garlic toast on the side.


Charred Tomatillo Margarita Salsa

6 tomatillos, husks removed and halved
2 poblano chiles, halved and seeded
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tequila
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Juice of 1 lime
Tortilla chips, for serving

    Place tomatillos, poblanos and scallions on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil about five minutes per side, turning once, until well charred. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the poblanos.
    Place charred vegetables in a food processor with the tequila, chili powder, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Pulse until smooth but still slightly chunky. Place in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour or overnight. Serve with tortilla chips.



Warren’s Chicken Bites

8 chicken tenders or breast cutlets, flattened and cut in half
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
16 slices bacon

    Top each piece of chicken with one teaspoon cream cheese and 1/4 teaspoon chopped jalapeno. Roll each filling-covered chicken piece and wrap with one slice bacon, securing with a toothpick. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.



Sweet and Spicy Asian Dipping Sauce With Sesame Scallion Flatbread and Shrimp

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 red Fresno chile or jalapeno, half minced and half thinly sliced
3 teaspoons toasted dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 pound prepared pizza dough, room temperature
All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound peeled, cooked shrimp

    Stir together the chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, minced chile, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Pour into a small serving bowl and top with sliced chile. Set aside.
    Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Cook about three minutes, stirring, until toasted. Transfer to a small bowl. Add scallions and remaining sesame oil and set aside.
    Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle with scallion mixture and salt. Fold in half, then press the halves together with fingers. Roll the dough out again until 1/8-inch thick.
    Cut dough into six equal pieces, then stretch and roll each piece until very thin, pinching the edges together to keep the filling from spilling out. When dough is thin enough, you should be able to see the filling through the dough. The pieces should be roughly eight inches in diameter.
    Heat 1/2 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. When very hot, add a piece of dough and cook about two minutes per side, turning once, until puffed and cooked through with some charred spots. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, adding more oil as needed and reducing heat if the dough starts to burn before it cooks through.
    Cut the flatbreads into pieces and serve with dip and cooked shrimp.



Sweet Potato Tots

1/2 pound medium sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork
Cooking spray
4 cups finely crushed sweet potato chips
1/4 cup grated onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Sriracha

    Bake the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes, until tender. Let cool completely.
    Peel sweet potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and mash. Stir in 1-1/2 cups crushed chips, onion, butter and egg. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then stir to combine.
    Spread remaining crushed chips in a shallow dish. Scoop about one tablespoon sweet potato mixture into your hands and shape into a one-inch-long cylinder. Repeat to make about 36 cylinders.
    Roll cylinders in the crushed chips to coat all sides, then arrange on a baking sheet that’s been coated with cooking spray.   Spray cylinders, then bake about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until crisp and golden. Season with salt.
    Mix mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl. Serve on the side for dipping.



Mozzarella Sticks

1-1/2 cups Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1-1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 16-ounce blocks pasteurized mozzarella, cut into 4-by-1/2-inch sticks
4 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups marinara sauce
For marinara sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 32-ounce  cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

    Stir bread crumbs, 1 cup Parmesan and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Dip cheese in the eggs, coating completely, and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat cheese in the bread crumb mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Place  cheese sticks on a baking sheet. Repeat dipping process to coat a second time. Cover and freeze until frozen.
    To make marinara, heat oil in a large casserole pot over a medium-high heat. Add  onions and garlic and saute about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Saute about 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer, uncovered, about one hour over low heat until the sauce thickens. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.
    Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, fry cheese sticks about one minute per side, until golden brown. Transfer to plates, sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve with some of the marinara sauce, warmed.


Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro Lime Sour Cream

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3/4 cup corn kernels
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Four 10-inch burrito-size flour tortillas
16 ounces refried black beans
1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
For lime-cilantro sour cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
Pinch salt

    In a small bowl, mix sour cream, chopped cilantro and lime until combined. Season, to taste, with salt, if needed. Set aside.
    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute red pepper and onion about five minutes, until soft. Add corn, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to incorporate, then saute three minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add cilantro.
    Preheat a long, two-burner cast iron griddle or a large saute pan over medium heat. Lay two tortillas on a work surface and spread each evenly with refried beans. Place tortillas, bean side up, on the griddle. Sprinkle onion-red pepper mixture evenly over the top of each, then sprinkle evenly with cheese. Cover with another tortilla that’s been coated with refried beans and cook four minutes, until cheese melts. Flip quesadillas to toast the other side.
    Slice each quesadilla into eight wedges, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime-cilantro sour cream.



Meatball-Stuffed Football Bread

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds ground beef
6 cups marinara sauce
Nonstick cooking spray
2 22-ounce packages prepared pizza dough, room temperature
2 cups shredded mozzarella
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Whisk together garlic, milk, parsley, Parmesan, crushed red pepper, two eggs, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Add beef and use your hands to mix until well combined.
    Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto two baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper. Use slightly damp hands to roll the mounds into balls. Bake in a 350-degree oven about 20 minutes, until just browned and almost cooked through.
    Bring the marinara to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, bring to a simmer and cook seven to eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are just cooked through.  
    Discard the parchment from the baking sheets and wipe one baking sheet clean. Coat the back of the baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread one package dough into a 15-by-12-inch rectangle on the baking sheet. Draw the outline of a football in the dough, about 1 inch wide and 15 inches long. Place half of the meatballs inside of the football shape. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meatballs and remaining mozzarella.
    On a lightly greased surface, spread remaining package of dough into a rectangle big enough to cover the meatballs. Place dough on top of the meatballs and press the dough together around the meatballs. Cut out the football shape, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Reserve the scraps. Tuck and tightly secure the edges underneath the dough to prevent cheese from leaking out.
    Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush the top of the football with the egg wash.
    Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate. Using the scraps, roll out two 12-inch-long ropes. Gently roll the strips in the sesame seeds to coat. Press ropes on the sides of the football, widthwise so they are about nine inches apart.
    Roll out one nine-inch-long rope and then roll in the sesame seeds. Place the rope lengthwise between the two other ropes. Roll out three 3-inch-long ropes then roll them in the sesame seeds. Place the ropes equidistance on top of the nine-inch rope to create the laces.
    Mix butter and garlic salt and brush the entire football. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until dough is deep golden brown and completely cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes and serve with remaining marinara sauce.





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