As I returned to the frozen tundra of New Jersey (just kidding it is 55 degrees in February – that’s a heat wave), I gave some thought to what other gastronomic delights will accompany the “red hot chicken balls” from last Tuesday’s post on our Super Bowl menu. While the typical fare of potato chips (always wavy) and dip and tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole are always on hand, we like to round out the menu with a few memorable snacks and a few more substantial options as well that can certainly classify as dinner.
To satisfy the Tex-Mex craving try this Black Bean Dip from my sister-in-law!
2 cans unseasoned black beans (rinsed)
1 can shoepeg corn (rinsed)
1 red or yellow bell pepper or a combination of both, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro (adjust amount to personal preference), chopped
1/4 – 1/2 jar pickled jalapenos, chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Approx. 1 jar of salsa (mild, medium or hot)
Olive oil to coat
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients except oil. After mixing use the oil to coat the mixture. Tastes best when you make it the night before. *** BONUS, she always makes me an extra container to stash away for myself. IF you have leftovers, top off grilled chicken for a weekday dinner or add some romaine lettuce and shredded cheddar for a healthy lunch (or dinner) salad. Delicious!
My Brother-in-Law is in charge of Sausage Balls. These Jimmy Dean ones are his go to recipe. They are really easy to make and will have your guests asking for them time and time again, like every holiday or family get together!
This artery clogging Cheddar Crab Dip is an old family favorite from my childhood when my parents would entertain and can be made and kept warm in a fondue pot (mom had the avocado green one but mine is modern stainless) or a small crockpot. So delicious with pita chips, bagel chips or crackers.
Just melt 1/2 stick of butter, add 1/2 block of sharp cheddar cheese shredded and mix until smooth. Add 7 ounces of rinsed crab meat (cooked or canned). Serve warm.
A block of cream cheese smothered in some Homemade Habanero Jelly is also a great cracker topper. My husband uses this recipe with our summer bumper crop and we can it so we can enjoy it all year round. The bell peppers add a sweetness to it without making it fruity.
Pulled Pork is always a crowd pleaser and we have a new smoker to put to good use! I usually make a crockpot recipe that can be found here, but if you have a smoker, this recipe from Amazing Ribs is the one we will be using! As an alternative to coleslaw (I’m one of those folks that doesn’t like to leave mayonnaise out for very long, this Napa Salad is a wonderful alternative.
1 head Napa Chinese Cabbage, sliced thin or 1 head regular cabbage
4 Tblsp. butter
4 green onions, diced (I use a few extra)
2 packages plain unflavored ramen noodles (crumbled)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 ounces slivered almonds
Sauté everything but the cabbage until brown. Cool and drain on paper towels. Mix with cabbage.
1 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
Combine in jar and shake. Toss with cabbage mixture before serving. Depending on how you like it you may have extra dressing. It makes a lot!
What about a nice pot full of Meatballs and Sausage? A basket full of rolls and some sliced mozzarella and you’ve got the perfect make your own hot sub station. I typically do one large crockpot full for a crowd of 20. Every Italian grandmother does it differently, but mine taught me to mix my meatballs like this:
2 lbs meatloaf mix (ground pork, veal and beef)
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. ginger
Seasoned bread crumbs
By hand mix the meat, seasoning and egg together adding a sprinkling of bread crumbs as you go along till well combined and able to form balls without being too wet or two dry. Roll the meat mixture into balls that are approximately an inch and 1/2 in diameter in the palms of your hand. Be careful not to over mix or pack the meat too densely. You want them to have pocket of juicy goodness on the inside.
Brown the meatballs over medium heat with just a little bit of olive oil, but do not cook them all the way through. you want them to still be raw in the middle. Add them to the crock pot and move on to the sausage again browning the outsides of the sausages but not cooking them through. I then cut them to match the size if the meatballs- sweet sausage into chucks straight and hot sausage on an angle – before adding them to the crockpot.
With all the meat in I add two large cans of crushed San Marizano tomatoes, four cloves of garlic crushed, a healthy sprinkling of Italian herbs (maybe two tablespoons), some onion powder (about a tablespoon or add a quarter to a half a cup of fresh onion that has been finely diced) and a bit more ginger (about one teaspoon). Gently stir the ingredients together and cook on high for 4 hours.
Add a green salad and/or some roasted veggies and you win the coin toss!
All that’s left would be desert. Have your guests bring them and if you’re the guest, brownies are usually a good choice. Try quartering the sheet and topping each quarter differently. Orange and blue sprinkles for the Broncos, blue and white sprinkles for the Panthers, some chopped walnuts and a plain quarter for the purists in the group.
So that about wraps up all four quarters of Super Bowl food for us! Hope you enjoy the game! I’m working on my touchdown dance! Go Broncos!!!!!!!