Easy Super Bowl recipes was the topic of my Standard-Examiner column this week, and probably most of the country’s food columns. After all, the Super Bowl is supposed to be the second-biggest eating day of the year, next to Thanksgiving. But I happen to consider Sunday my day of rest, so sorry, I’m not one to do an elegant, picture-perfect Thanksgiving-type dinner. And who expects you to? Most Super Bowl buffets end up being a casual mash-up of party-hearty fare, with guests bringing a variety of goodies to share.
I honestly think guests would be just fine if you blitzed the frozen-food aisle for chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, tater tots, taquitos, etc., add a pot of chili or tortilla chips and salsa, and called it good. If you’re a Patriots fan, New England clam chowder would be a loyal choice. Since salmon is a biggie in Seattle, you could do salmon chowder. (I have recipes for both in my “Soup’s On!” cookbook, and I’ll be sharing those recipes in a future post.)
If you’re taking food to someone else’s party, here are options that transport well.
I took a Crock-Pot of Hula Meatballs to a party for this year’s new college football championship game, which could be considered a dress rehearsal for Super Bowl hosts. Since most of them were gone by half-time, I think they went over well.
You just buy frozen bite-size meatballs, added some onion, bell pepper, pineapple preserves, and let the slow-cooker works its magic for a few hours. Warning: Don’t buy Italian-style meatballs, as the Italian seasonings will clash with the sweet-and-sour flavor.
Although the cupcake craze has died down, they are still popular for parties. They are easy to transport, and they have built-in portion control. They look good on the buffet table, and they’re easy to eat while balancing a plate on your lap. It’s pretty simple to frost them with chocolate frosting and use white icing to give them a football appearance.
SLOW-COOKER HULA MEATBALLS
2 chopped onions
7 to 8 cups bite-size frozen homestyle meatballs (about 70-80 meatballs)
2 chopped bell peppers (red or green, or both)
1 18-ounce jar pineapple preserves, or apricot-pineapple preserves
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Spray the bottom of a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the chopped onions evenly on the bottom of the pot. Top with the meatballs. Spread the bell peppers across the top of the meatballs. Pour the preserves over the top of the peppers. Add the garlic powder, soy sauce, water, and vinegar. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low 5-7 hours. Stir all the ingredients to mix the flavors.
Blend the pineapple juice and cornstarch together in the glass measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir well. Microwave another 20 seconds, or until juice mixture is thickened. Stir this mixture into the hot meatballs, and mix well. With the lid off, cook an additional 15-20 minutes so the sauce thickens. Makes about 70-80 meatballs.
— Valerie Phillips
1 package of cake mix, chocolate or yellow preferred
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil
20 cupcake liners
1 canister chocolate frosting
1 cup white icing (either homemade or from a decorator tube)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the cake mix with the water, oil, and eggs until smooth. Place the cupcake liners in muffin tins for support. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full of batter. Bake at 325 for 19-23 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
Cool, then frost with chocolate frosting. Place the white frosting in a zip-top plastic bag, and cut a hole in one corner of the bag. Squeeze the frosting from the bag to pipe a football motif on each cupcake.
— Valerie Phillips