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.