Saturday, February 4, 2012

the best thing about the super bowl (no, it's not the commercials)

I couldn't care less about professional football, but I love the Super Bowl. Any event that requires that you have a drink in hand and consume copious amounts of chips and dip gets an A+ in my book. 

But what to make? In my opinion, this is one of the only times during the year when it's perfectly acceptable to throw together sour cream and Lipton onion soup mix and call it an appetizer. But why would you want to do that, when there are so many other options out there? Well, maybe you're having 20 people over to your house and you just don't feel like whipping up a dish with the same number of ingredients as there will be guests.

So, I've come up with a few suggestions depending on your level of commitment and concern for nutrition. I'm dividing these recipes into "classy" and "trashy". This might sound a bit elitist, but honestly I would be happy eating any of the dishes from either category. I'm a little embarrassed that I like some of the trashy recipes, but hey, everyone (okay, almost everyone) wants that kind of food every once in awhile.

"classy" recipes:
apps: 
hot buttered soft pretzels: I've always wanted to make soft pretzels, and King Arthur Flour's recipes consistently deliver.  
yoghurt-spinach dip, 'borani esfanaaj', in the persian manner:  this wins the prize for the longest name. (food52)
spicy maple cashew popcorn:  I like to add bacon to this, and you can substitute whatever nut you have on hand. (Cooking Light)

mains:
"real" texas chili con carne:  I'm not even a big chili fan, but this looks fantastic. (Serious Eats)
caramelized pork banh mi:  an amazingly flavorful sandwich that's worth the prep.

desserts:
jacques torres' chocolate chip cookies:  my roommate made these once, and they were the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever tasted. (Martha Stewart)
the baked brownie:  probably my favorite brownie recipe, by the famed Brooklyn bakery. (Brown Eyed Baker)

"trashy" recipes:
apps:
sausage balls:  I loved these as a kid, which may help explain my childhood physique. (Paula Deen)
ranch oyster crackers:  a family friend used to make these for Christmas gifts, and they are addictive. (allrecipes.com)
italian sausage and cheese dip:  "the ultimate Super Bowl dip"? We shall see. (Better Recipes)

mains:
mexican chicken casserole: starts with a layer of crushed doritos. Enough said. (jam hands)
party ham sandwiches: if you've ever been to a tailgate in the South, you've had these. Don't let the ingredient list throw you--they are delicious. (Southern Living)

desserts:
homemade kit kat bars:  I have yet to try these, but they're on my list. (Serious Eats)
compost cookies:  these straddle the trashy/classy line, as the recipe is from Momofuku Milk Bar, but the ingredient list includes 1 1/2 c of snack foods (I use potato chips and pretzels). (Live! with Kelly)

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