It's my favorite time of year: football season. Tailgating, Super Bowl parties, eating food with your fingers. How can life get any better? For me, it is all about the food, game and friends. Whether you are into sports or not, everybody can come together over football food. So, I will give you my recipe for success in the art of creating food fit for football!
I personally like to have a wide assortment of food when I host a football party. I like to have some things that people can just snack on, some things that are a little more filling, and of course some things that are a little sweet. The number one question I hear from hosts is, “What if they don’t like it?” As a chef, I’ve learned not to take it personally. You can't please everybody all of the time. First and foremost, if you like it, chances are everyone else will. That's why I recommend having an assortment, because even if someone doesn't like one dish, the probability that they won't like all of the food is very unlikely. So what kind of assortment am I talking about? Well, I like to break things up into categories:
- Bready items
- Fried foods
A couple of years ago for Super Bowl Sunday, I hosted about 10-12 people and had a blast creating food that the whole gang could enjoy. I used the formula above and made a couple of things from each category. The result was a big hit.
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Homemade Pita Crisps
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Guacamole with Tortilla Chips
- 7 Layer Dip with Corn Chips
- Italian Sausage and Cheese Empanadas
- Thai Chili and Sriracha Wings
- Chili with Cornbread
- Chocolate Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting
Now I know what you are thinking: that seems like a lot of food. The best part about hosting a party is having leftovers for the rest of the week! Another plus to this menu is the fact that all of these items can be made in advance and are excellent reheated. That way, you don't have to slave away in the kitchen and miss the big game! I guarantee that you will score a touchdown with two of my favorite recipes I have listed below for you to try.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
3 Tablespoons butter
½ white onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 box frozen spinach
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon cayenne
8oz. cream cheese
8oz. sour cream
2 oz mayonnaise
10 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
3oz. grated Parmesan cheese
Sweat the onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add the artichokes and spinach. Once combined, add the spices and cook for 2 minutes until aromatic. Then add the cream cheese, the sour cream, mayo, Parmesan, and half of the mozzarella. Put the dip into a baking dish and top with the rest of the mozzarella. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with pita, pita chips, tortilla chips, or even fresh veggies!
Thai Chili and Sriracha Wings
2 pounds jumbo chicken wings, dredged in flour
1 bottle Mai Ploy sweet chili sauce
2- 3 oz sriracha (depending on how spicy you like your wings)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Zest and juice of one lime
Season the chicken wings and dredge in flour. In a mixing bowl ,combine the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust according to your personal preference. Fry the chicken wings in canola oil that is 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Don't worry if they are not completely done. Take the wings and toss them in the sauce. Once coated put the wings on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 more minutes. Once out of the oven, toss in the remaining sauce and enjoy.
If you would like to learn more about finger foods and appetizers, I suggest you try The Chopping Block's Tapas Party hands-on cooking class, where you will learn to make Empanadas and other great items for your next football get together! If you have questions on how I made the other items on my menu just ask! I’m always here to help. So, are you ready for some football?