Make us your home page

From the food editor: Quick ideas for your Super Bowl spread

There are certain national events and holidays we celebrate where food easily upstages what's really going on. Your love of football may be greater than mine, but I think we can all agree that without a mighty spread full of hearty finger foods, Super Bowl Sunday wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

This week's 5 Ideas feature is dedicated to different ways to cook and sauce a Super Bowl staple: chicken wings. But if you need more ideas for noshables to make this weekend, here are a couple of easy-to-prepare options. (And one that's a bit more involved for this week's recipe suggestion.)

Assemble a guacamole station: Make the classic party dip fresh at home by peeling, pitting then mashing two avocados in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix. To take things up to another level, set out guac accompaniments in small bowls — like deseeded and finely chopped jalapeno, chopped red and white onion, and tomatoes — so your guests can customize their own dip. Serve with a large bowl of tortilla chips.

Pizza caprese bites: Give a nod to the host city with pizza topped with California olives and olive oil, and made into smaller pies for easier eating. Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons each olive oil and balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup chopped fresh basil. Add 1 cup halved grape tomatoes and toss to coat with the oil. Roll a pound of prepared pizza dough out, then cut into 16 pieces and stretch each one into a small circle. Spread a couple tablespoons of the tomato mixture evenly across pizza dough and top with some shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with halved California olives, season with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Repeat with remaining dough circles. (You might need to cook the mini-pizzas in batches.) Bake for 10 minutes, then check them. If not cooked, continue cooking until crust is golden brown.

Make a snack mix: Your guests won't be able to stop popping this mix by the handful. To make, preheat your oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 6 cups Rice Chex cereal, 1 cup roasted and salted cashews, 1 cup roasted and salted pistachios, 1 cup roasted and salted almonds, 1 ½ cups sesame sticks and 1 ½ cups mini pretzels. In a small saucepan, combine 1 stick unsalted butter, ¼ cup maple syrup, 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (optional) and Sriracha hot sauce to taste. Whisk until everything has dissolved, then season with salt and pepper. Pour over snack mix in bowl, and toss gently to coat. Spread the mix out on 2 to 3 large baking sheets and bake for 35 minutes, stirring often, until mostly dry. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally, then serve. Recipe from Food and Wine.

Contact Michelle Stark at [email protected] or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17 on Twitter.



Quick Three-Bean Chili


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch strips
  • 1 onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped cilantro and sour cream, for serving


  1. In a medium soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the bacon, onion, jalapenos and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the onion is softened and the bacon fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer the chili over moderately low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with cilantro and sour cream. Serves 4.
Source: Food and Wine


From the food editor: Quick ideas for your Super Bowl spread 02/01/16 [Last modified: Monday, February 1, 2016 2:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Fast-paced 'Seven Brides' is pure entertainment at Show Palace


    Try not to blink if you go see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, playing through Nov. 12 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. If you close your eyes even for a second, you may miss something terrific in this fast-paced, lively and delightfully entertaining show.

    "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" opens Oct. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. [The LightBox]
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 17


    Insane Clown Posse: The hip-hop duo is known for their supernatural and horror themed lyrics. 6 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central Avenue North, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 895-3045.

    The Insane Clown Posse attends the 2003 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 10, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14th annual ceremony airs live tonight on FOX 8:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
  3. Restaurant review: Noble Crust's second location is a boon to booming Wesley Chapel

    Food & Dining


    Wesley Chapel is said to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country, due to the perfect cocktail of available and affordable land, broad but upwardly mobile demographics and easy access to other parts of Tampa Bay. And while malls and brick-and-mortar retail centers have taken a big hit in …

    The pizzas could use some refining at this location. Crusts struggled to stay crisp under toppings that were too heavy.
  4. This recipe for Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash is perfect for Meatless Monday


    This meal is so healthy, I am not even sure how it's so delicious. It's a perfect plate for Meatless Monday: filling yet fun, with "meatballs" made out of crushed nuts and strands of spaghetti squash. The whole thing freezes surprisingly well, too, just note that the squash will be a little watery upon defrost.

    Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash. Photos by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.
  5. Reviews: Beck's 'Colors,' St. Vincent's 'Masseduction' thrive in vibrant, alternative pop worlds

    Music & Concerts

    Flash back, if you will, to Aug. 25, 2015, and one of the more unusual stops on Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour. That night in Los Angeles, Swift brought out guests St. Vincent and Beck to perform the latter's single Dreams.

    St. Vincent attends the Special Escape Room Experience created by Spotify for St Vincent and their biggest fans to celebrate forthcoming album "Masseduction" on Oct. 4 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify)