biggest religious holidays in America, it has often been
noted, are Christmas, Easter and the Super Bowl.
brings us together like Super Bowl Sunday. It is a day when
we all unite in peace and harmony to enjoy a single event
together. Republicans sit down with Democrats, dog lovers
with cat lovers, criminals with cops, all connected in a
shared appreciation of extraordinary athletes performing
physical feats no mere mortal would even attempt.
people living in a city that just lost its NFL team will
watch the game, though probably fewer than before.
with most religious holidays, food plays an important part
of our national celebration. Oceans of Velveeta are poured
over mounds of tortilla chips, pots of chili are carefully
stirred and millions of chicken wings are sacrificed to the
gods of the Super Bowl in the sky.
this year, itís time for something better than that. This
is the year to rise above nachos, to soar beyond buffalo
wings. This is the year to make your Super Bowl snacks
not talking about anything too fancy here, just notable. And
snacks I have in mind are easy to make ó and one of them
is ridiculously easy. Each can be eaten with your fingers,
which is perhaps the most important aspect of party food.
They donít cost much, they arenít annoyingly good for
you (though they arenít notably awful for you, either)
and, most important of all, they go well with beer and
start with the ridiculously easy one. It was created by Joe
Edwards of the Peacock Loop Diner in the Delmar Loop, and it
may be the most perfect snack ever.
start with a Triscuit. You add a squirt of spray cheese.
Yes, spray cheese. Then you top it with a pimento-stuffed
it. And while the very thought of it is certain to make you
smile, what comes as a surprise is the fact that it is also
not kidding. The brininess of the olive makes it just the
right foil for the spray cheese, and it all tastes
exponentially better when sitting atop a Triscuit.
my friend Steve who used to work in marketing at Kraft would
very much like you to know that spray cheese is sold under
the brand name Easy Cheese and is not to be confused with
Cheez Whiz, which is a spreadable cheese sauce that comes in
as easy is a dish that I am calling Deconstructed Guacamole.
Essentially, itís guacamole without the effort of smashing
the avocado. You cut a baguette into thin slices, toast it
and rub the toast with a clove of garlic to get a warm hint
of garlic flavor.
you simply add a thin slice of avocado, a small mound of
minced sweet onion and half of a grape or cherry tomato.
What you get when you bite it is the pure taste of avocado
with a few complementary flavors mixed in.
I was playing with traditional snacks, I thought I would up
take deviled eggs and up the ante a little by adding
I am not the first to have this idea; at this point, I
believe that everything that could possibly have sriracha
mixed into it already has had it mixed, along with some
things that couldnít.
decided to keep the non-sriracha part very simple, so as not
to have too many flavors compete. I mixed the hard-boiled
yolks with just mayonnaise and a splash of lemon juice, and
then I added a very small amount of sriracha, one teaspoon
for six eggs.
want the sriracha to dominate the flavor, I wanted it to
blend in and be a subtle part of the whole. I also know that
some people cannot eat food that is hot, and the minimal
amount of sriracha made it enjoyable for all. If you want
yours hotter and spicier, by all means add more sriracha.
up was one of my favorite vegetable dips, though it can also
be used on sandwiches or salads or as a dressing for cold
mayonnaise comes from the indispensable
"Frog/Commissary Cookbook," and I love it for
crudites because it is so startlingly full of harmoniously
bold flavors. You begin with mayonnaise ó ordinarily I
make my own mayonnaise for this recipe but here I just went
ahead with the stuff in the jar ó and blend in garlic,
anchovies, capers and olives.
salty, but itís just the right amount of salty. Serve it
as a dip and your vegetables have never tasted so good.
made a favorite recipe from a 1967 Betty Crocker cookbook;
we serve it at almost every party. Itís called Mushrooms
Royale ó of course itís called Mushrooms Royale, itís
from a 1967 Betty Crocker cookbook ó and it is stuffed
mushrooms that are simply wonderful.
stuff the mushroom caps with chopped up mushroom stems,
bread crumbs and spices, plus butter. Itís a lot of
butter, admittedly, which may be why these snacks are always
the first to go at any party.
last snack I made was probably the favorite with all of my
testers. Itís homemade caramel popcorn, and it required
the most effort to make. First you have to pop the popcorn,
then you make the caramel sauce, which is surprisingly easy.
But then you have to bake the caramel-covered popcorn for an
hour, stirring it every 15 minutes.
well worth the time and effort. It is so astoundingly
delicious, if you set it down at kickoff your guests may
gobble it down before the first series is over.
About 1 1/2 cups
tablespoon lemon juice
dashes Tabasco sauce
teaspoon minced garlic
ounce (1/2 can) anchovies, drained and finely chopped
tablespoons small capers, drained
tablespoons pitted and finely chopped Greek or French olives
together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with
cruditťs. May be stored in refrigerator for several days.
serving: 71 calories; 8 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 4 mg
cholesterol; no protein; no carbohydrate; no sugar; no
fiber; 121 mg sodium; 3 mg calcium.
from "The Frog/Commissary Cookbook," by Steven
Poses, Anne Clark and Becky Roller
cup plus 1 tablespoon good-quality mayonnaise
teaspoon lemon juice
teaspoon sriracha sauce
onion or chives for garnish, optional
Peel eggs and slice in half. Remove yolks and place in a
small bowl. Add salt to the yolks and thoroughly mash with a
fork. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and sriracha, and stir to
blend completely. Spoon or pipe mixture back into the yolk
cavity of the eggs.
desired, garnish yolk with 1/2 chive or thin slice of the
green part of a green onion.
serving: 228 calories; 22 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 194 mg
cholesterol; 6 g protein; 1 g carbohydrate; 1 g sugar; no
fiber; 221 mg sodium; 25 mg calcium.
by Daniel Neman
About 24 servings
pounds (24 ounces) medium mushrooms
tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
cup finely chopped green pepper
cup finely chopped onion
cups soft bread crumbs, see note
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
To make soft bread crumbs, place bread in a blender and whir
until it becomes crumbs. For this recipe, use white bread.
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.
Thoroughly wash, trim and dry mushrooms. Remove stems;
finely chop enough stems to measure 1/3 cup. Melt 3
tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Add chopped mushroom stems, green pepper and onion,
and sautť until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat;
stir in bread crumbs, salt, thyme, turmeric and pepper.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a shallow baking dish.
Fill mushroom caps with stuffing mixture; place mushrooms
filled-side-up in baking dish and bake 15 minutes.
oven to broil or 550 degrees. Broil mushrooms 3 to 4 inches
from heat for 2 minutes. Serve hot.
serving: 32 calories; 2 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 5 mg
cholesterol; 1 g protein; 3 g carbohydrate; no sugar; no
fiber; 63 mg sodium; 6 mg calcium.
from "Betty Crockerís Hostess Cookbook."
FAMILY GOURMET BAKED CARAMEL POPCORN
cups popped popcorn
cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
brown sugar, firmly packed
cup light or dark corn syrup
teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Coat the bottom and sides of a
large pot or Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Place
popped popcorn in the pot.
a small, heavy pan over medium heat, melt the butter; stir
in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Raise temperature to
medium high and heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to boil without stirring for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla. Slowly
pour over popped popcorn, mixing well. Bake 1 hour, stirring
every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Break
apart and store in tightly covered container.
serving (based on 4): 385 calories; 30 g fat; 16 g saturated
fat; 61 mg cholesterol; 2 g protein; 28 g carbohydrate; 14 g
sugar; 2 g fiber; 395 mg sodium; 21 mg calcium.
from Jolly Time
avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 8 slices
tablespoons minced sweet onion
grape tomatoes, halved
Slice baguette on the diagonal into 8 thin slices. Toast.
the garlic in half and rub the cut end on top of each piece
of toast. Place a slice of avocado on each piece and salt to
taste. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of minced sweet onion in a mound
in the middle, and top with a tomato half.
serving: 60 calories; 3 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; no protein; 9 g carbohydrate; no sugar; 4 g
fiber; 422 mg sodium; 5 mg calcium.
by Daniel Neman
tablespoon sharp cheddar Easy Cheese spray cheese
large pimento-stuffed olive
cheese onto cracker. Place olive on top.
serving: 51 calories; 3 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 3 mg
cholesterol; 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrate; 1 g sugar; 1 g
fiber; 204 mg sodium; 51 mg calcium.
by Joe Edwards, Peacock Loop Diner