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Sunday Night Special: Superbowl Snacks

Cinci_chili Though sometimes I’m tempted to go a little overboard with ingredients and preparations, I decided that highbrow was no way to go on Superbowl Sunday. It’s just wrong, and with thirty or so guests (of varying acquaintance levels) crammed into a not large living room (and Rich who annually takes over our tiny kitchen with his big production Cincinnati chili), it’s also impractical. Crowd pleasing is wiser than challenging or exquisite. Originally, I wanted to only make Kraft recipes but I couldn’t bring myself to put Miracle Whip in a pecan-crusted cheesy football.

Buffalo_wingsJames manned the deep-fryer and made classic buffalo wings followed by a few batches of fried chicken as the evening wound down. We were thankful for the chocolate mousse cake brought from Bay Ridge’s Aunt Butchies. But I cracked it out a bit late, after people started leaving, and now I have nearly half the cake in the refrigerator (I thought my 2007 plan to slowly lose half a pound a week would be ridiculously easy, yet last week I gained weight. Why can some people peacefully coexist with baked goods and fried food while others lose their shit?).

Bacon_datesI’ve wanted to make some version of bacon-wrapped dates for a while (ruamki too, but no one will eat chicken livers) but it’s not the type of thing you whip up for yourself. There appears to be an east west debate over this snack: A.O.C.’s version with parmesan or Red Cat’s take with a goat cheese and almond stuffing. The goat cheese sounded messier to prep so I went the hard cheese route but substituted manchego and used fresh jumbo dates from Sahadi’s that you could eat like candy (I totally don’t understand date haters—they’re definitely my favorite dried fruit). I also picked up a half pint of hummus and baba ganouj. Sure, I've made both from scratch before and considered doing so this Sunday along with some salsa, but really, during tv watching events involving lots of alcohol it's not worth the effort. Plus, Sahadi's versions are better than my homemade style, and tomatoes aren't in season, anyway.

QuesadillasAt least one meatless dish seemed in order since I was expecting around five vegetarians. Keeping with the simple, non-fancy theme, I went with monterey jack and corn quesadillas. A little boring and inoffensive, though I spruced them up with a quick side dip using sour cream, lime juice and a chopped chipotle. Easy.

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