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The Cookstr 10: Ten Recipes for the Super Bowl

February 15, 2011

If you’re having people over for the Super Bowl this Sunday, then you’d best be thinking about the snacks. Clearly, one can go the route of ordering in a huge sandwich or a few pizzas. And clearly no one would complain. But you’re reading this newsletter, which means you’re entertaining the notion of something a little different, a little more fun, and a little more homemade.

Tiffany Collins' Meatball Panini

We’ve not been shy in acknowledging that for the Cookstr gang, the best part of communal sports-watching is the food: planning the menu, cooking the food, and eating. And this year, instead of the big bowl of chili or the huge pot of soup or lasagna, we are feeling the snacks. Not fussy little tidbits–that would be ridiculous–but hearty, zesty, spicy, satisfying, Hail Mary snacks; those handheld foods that add up to a meal, and don’t make the cook crazy. You will not be piping crème fraiche on canapes this weekend, that’s for sure.

Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner's Pizzette

Hut, hut, hike.

1. George Geary’s Hummus for a Crowd. Hummus is not only one of the most well-liked dips around, but also one the most nutritious. It’s packed with protein and fiber from the chickpeas, and doesn’t rely on calorie- and fat-rich dairy products for texture or flavor. In our minds, that means we can eat a few extra fried chicken wings (see below).

2. Rick Rodgers’ Baked Potato Chips. Homemade potato chips? You big show-off, you. But in fact these are made in the oven, saving you both splattering grease and hands-on time. You can make these up to 6 hours in advance–just crank out the trays while you are getting the rest of the food ready.

3. Art Smith’s Asian Chicken Wrap with Hoisin Sauce. A sandwich is the perfect anchor to a snack-oriented Super Bowl menu…but it doesn’t have to be just any sandwich. This warm wrap is filled with the tantalizing flavors of moo shu chicken, and encased in a flour tortilla.

4. Tiffany Collins’ Sliced Meatball Panini. OMG. Meatballs are sliced and pressed with mozzarella and provolone, which melt into the marinara sauce, and a classic sub turns into a perfect panini.

5. Penelope Casas’ Fried Beer-Marinated Chicken Wings with Salsa Brava. You’ll need to marinate these wings a day ahead of time and pay attention while they are frying, but they are worth every bit of effort. If you are familiar with patatas bravas, the classic Spanish tapas dish consisting of fried potatoes topped with a smoky, spicy sauce, then you’ll recognize the salsa brava in this recipe, and be delighted by this inspired combo.

6. Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner’s Pizzette. You can make these mini party pizzas ahead of time (even freezing them if you want), or enlist your guests to help put them together just before the kick off, picking and choosing their favorite toppings. Plus, the pizza dough can be made well in advance.

7. Barbara Scott-Goodman’s Chicken, Cheese, and Black Bean Nachos. Nachos are the Miss Popularity of munchies: they’re the opposite of snobby, go well with beer, are meant to be shared, and are totally cheesy (in the best possible way). This one is top of our list for this coming Sunday.

8. Rachel Allen’s Quesadillas. Quesadillas never fail to be a home-run (we reserve the right to use seasonally inappropriate sports metaphors) at any gathering. What’s even more appealing is how easy it is to make a bunch of different kinds, such as plain cheese, chicken and cheese, or with a handful of spinach, and also offer up different topping options so your guests can customize their ideal quesadilla.

9. Amanda Stine and Mary Garland’s Baby Back Ribs with Ancho Honey Barbecue Sauce. A platter of slathered sticky-sweet baby back ribs will disappear faster than a receiver with a defensive back on his tail (aren’t you impressed by our football knowledge? We had to ask someone to approve this…). These ribs first get a rub, then a long cooking in a low-temp oven, and then they are sauced up and baked some more so that a luscious glaze forms. You can’t have too many of these (or too many napkins).

10. Kate Zuckerman’s Oatmeal Cookies with Golden Raisins and Milk Chocolate Chips. Your guests will certainly appreciate something sweet somewhere in the 3rd or 4th quarter, and this is no time for trifle or baked Alaska. Cookies or brownies are your best bet, because, with any luck, at this point no one will want to take their eyes off the TV, so a handheld dessert is the way to go. Chewy-crispy oatmeal cookies, in this case studded with milk chocolate and golden raisins, are an excellent choice.

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