Super Bowl options range from finger food to light bites

February 10, 2023

Between the nonstop television advertisements and the grocery store displays, it is practically impossible to ignore that the annual Super Bowl game will be played Sunday, Feb. 12. Whether you plan to park yourself on a barstool at your favorite watering hole to watch on the big screen or you’re hosting a party at home, I’ll predict that salty snacks and a few beers are likely on the menu.

For those of you who have invited friends and family, keep in mind that although the game doesn’t start until 6:30 p.m., the pregame shows begin at lunchtime and run until kickoff. Whether you’re interested in the players, the big scores, the halftime show or the commercials, it can be a busy few hours. To help you plan for an event at home, I’ve collected a few suggestions for nibbles you might want to consider offering your guests.

The first consideration is to honor the hometowns of each of the teams: Philadelphia and Kansas City. Since there are likely to be more Eagles fans reading this, we will quickly cover the traditional KC foods, the first of which is “burnt ends.” This term describes the burned edges of a smoked brisket. Locally, you can get them at Bethany Blues, and online there are a number of vendors who will ship them.

Next is the Kansas City strip steak, a bone-in cut from the larger side of the beef loin with a thick fat rim. Another KC favorite is cheesy corn, sometimes called cheesy corn bake or corn casserole, a side dish found on the menu at most barbecue restaurants in town. The final dish on the list is chicken spiedini, which is reported to have been invented in 1989. Marinated chicken pieces are coated in breadcrumbs, skewered, baked or grilled and served in a buttery lemon sauce.

Turning to Philadelphia, the items on the favorite foods list will be familiar to those of us in Sussex County, as there are many restaurants and takeout shops selling Philly foods, starting with the soft pretzel. The ideal pretzel will be firm, with an almost crunchy crust on the outside and soft in the middle. They’re twisted into the familiar shape which makes them ideal for drenching in dipping sauces like mustard, honey mustard and cheesy varieties.

You are probably expecting me to go directly to the cheesesteak, but an even more beloved dish in the city is the roast pork sandwich. A sesame seed roll is stuffed with shredded, oven-roasted pork shoulder, provolone cheese and garlicky broccoli rabe. Rumor has it, the best place to enjoy this dish is John’s Roast Pork, which won a James Beard Award for its version.

We all have strong opinions about which sandwich shop makes the best cheesesteak as well as the best combination of ingredients to assemble on the torpedo-shaped roll. I love onions on mine and when I make these at home, I mix the grilled meat together with a blend of mustard, ketchup and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Many purists insist on Cheez Whiz, while others prefer smoky provolone; my only requirement is that the cheese is melted into the meat.

For dessert, you can feature an Italian favorite such as cannoli from Touch of Italy or one of the sweet treats from Tastykake, like the Butterscotch Krimpets found in our local supermarket chains. At our quite quiet Super Bowl viewing party, the two of us will have some of the finger foods seen in the photo: pinwheels, tacos and salty olives. If you purchase snacks in advance, you may want to hide them until Sunday. In my case, the white cheddar popcorn and sea-salt pistachios just didn’t stick around long enough. Here are some recipe ideas for your Super Bowl celebration, no matter which team you favor for the win.

Chicken Spiedini

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
2 t pepper, divided
1 t salt, divided
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C dry white wine
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T parsley
1 T garlic powder
1/2 C Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 C panko bread crumbs
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C melted butter

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Sprinkler with 1/2 t pepper and 1/4 t salt. Add olive oil and wine; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour. In a small bowl, combine remaining pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, both types of bread crumbs and cheese; set aside. Once the chicken has been marinated, add bread crumb mixture to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Heat grill to medium-high. Thread chicken pieces on skewers and cook until done, about 5 minutes per side. While chicken cooks, combine lemon and melted butter. Serve skewers drizzled with butter sauce.

Stuffed Phyllo Cups

mini phyllo (filo) cups
1 T olive oil
1/2 C minced onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 C dry red wine
1 T minced parsley
1/8 t nutmeg
1 t grated lemon zest
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Arrange phyllo cups on a serving platter; set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium. Add the minced onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the meat to the skillet and cook until no longer pink, stirring constantly to crumble it. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through. Spoon the meat mixture into the phyllo cups and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Party Pinwheels

4 large soft tortillas
1 lb thin-sliced Black Forest ham
1 lb sliced Provolone cheese
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T mayonnaise

Combine mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl; set aside. Place the tortillas on a flat surface and spread with mustard mixture. Distribute the ham and cheese slices onto the tortillas. Roll tightly and secure with toothpicks. Cut into 1-inch pieces to serve.


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