Sunday, January 25, 2009

Superbowl Snacks

01/21/08 Cook’s Corner Betty Kaiser Football fans all over the U.S.A. are looking forward to watching the 2009 Super Bowl on Feb.1 in Tampa Bay Florida. They are also looking forward to eating their way through the entire game as they sit in front of large and small screen television screens, Snack foods tend to be traditional high fat goodies that fill us up and out. What to do? Well, I wish that I had an answer but I don’t. Are there acceptable alternatives to chips, pizza, chili dogs and beer for those who traditionally nosh on them during games? Probably not. Men and women’s appetites are different. The intricacies of a cucumber sandwich and the adorable shapes of tea sandwich breads may fascinate us ladies but football games call for something more substantial. I can guarantee you that the guys are usually hankering for a main course — something to go with their carrot and celery sticks and Ranch dressing. So, here’s a mix of ideas to hopefully please everyone. Most of them are oldies but goodies. All of them have been stolen from other cooks. When it comes to appetizers I don’t have an original bone in my body. Now folks, remember: think simple. Dole out the work. Don’t do it all yourself. Appetizers are tedious at best. Pre-assembled veggie trays from the market are a great time saver. Peanut butter filled pretzels are really yummy and all you have to do is open the bag! You get the idea. Mix the homemade with the packaged. Guests will think you’re a genius. Finally, a word about the alligator wings recipe. I have had this recipe forever. BUT did you know that you could actually buy the real deal alligator “wings”? Yep. I found a place online (Cajun Ed’s) that sells the front legs of the gators marinated. You defrost them overnight and bake them at 165° F. until tender. They also sell “Turducken” a boneless duck and chicken separated by cornbread and pork stuffing. Really! I kid you not! But I digress. Back to real life and more mundane eating tips. Here’s a semi-healthy Super Bowl appetizer menu to enjoy.
Super Bowl Snacks Pretzels Peanuts Vegetable tray with Ranch dressing Bruschetta Primavera Hot Alligator Wings Chili ‘n Cheese Rollups Taco Dip
Bruschetta Primavera
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry) 2 large cloves garlic, minced 12 slices crusty bread, 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil In a small bowl stir together tomatoes, parsley, basil and ½ the garlic with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Stir the remaining garlic into olive oil. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven, turning often until the bread is golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove and immediately brush one side of each slice with garlic oil. Top each slice with 1 tablespoon of tomato mixture and place on platter. Serve immediately. Bread will soften if allowed to stand but still be tasty.
Hot Alligator Wings Serves 8-10 (maybe!)
50 chicken wings Seasoned salt 2 cubes margarine 3 cloves pressed garlic 2 tablespoons sweet basil 1 tablespoon tarragon 112-ounce jar Frank’s Red Hot cayenne pepper sauce (Durkee) 6 ounces beer (to thin sauce if needed) 16 ounce bottle Ranch dressing Preheat oven to 350° F. Sprinkle wings with seasoning salt. Bake on cookie sheet in single layers in oven 15-20 min. When done, remove and drain on paper towels. Melt margarine and add garlic, basil, tarragon and hot sauce. Heat sauce and add cooked chicken wings. Cook and stir frequently 7-10 minutes or until wings are hot and well coated. Use beer to thin if sauce becomes too thick. Serve on platter with side dish of Ranch dressing to cool things down!
Hilton Head Culinary Health Taco Dip
8 ounces light cream cheese 32 ounces 1% cottage cheese 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese 8 ounces Mild or hot taco sauce 3 cups Shredded ice berg lettuce 6 each Roma tomatoes, diced 2 each Green onions, top and bottom, diced, 1 tablespoon Cilantro, fresh, chopped In food processor, puree cream cheese and cottage cheese and spread cream mixture on large platter. Top with taco sauce Then layer lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Serve with baked corn tortilla chips or baked pita chips. Serves 8.
Chile ‘n Cheese Roll-Ups Makes 48 appetizers
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoon ranch salad dressing mix 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles ½ cup green onions, sliced ½ cup ripe olives, pitted, chopped 4 (6-inch) flour tortillas Blend cheeses, chiles, onions and olives in bowl. Spread ½ cup cheese mixture on each tortilla. Roll up jelly-roll fashion. Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour. To serve, cut each roll into 12 (½ inch thick) slices. Serve with salsa. Note: These keep well. Make ahead! Double or triple recipe as needed. The preparation process will go faster if you use larger tortillas.
Keep it simple and keep it seasonal! Betty Kaiser’s Cook’s Corner is dedicated to sharing a variety of recipes that are delicious, family oriented and easy to prepare. Contact her via email:

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