If its your turn to host this year’s Super Bowl party and you are put in charge of feeding a roomful of rowdy hungry men and women, then we are here to help. There is no need to dread the beer-stained, jersey-clad throng on their holiest of holidays. Simply prepare an assortment of finger foods to keep the football fans satisfied throughout the entire game. And don’t worry about creating a 3-course menu; chips and dip should do the trick. Here are six recipes for simple finger foods that your guests will love.
1. Potato Skins
6 small to medium sized russet baking potatoes (total 3 pounds)
Canola oil or grapeseed oil
Freshly ground pepper
6 strips of bacon
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions, thinly sliced, including the greens of the onions
Directions: Scrub the potatoes clean then bake the potatoes using your favorite method, either oven or microwave. If using an oven, rub with olive oil and bake in a 400F oven for about an hour until the potatoes are cooked through and give a little when pressed.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Cut in half horizontally. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the insides, reserving the scooped potatoes for another use, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of potato on the skin.
Increase the heat of the oven to 450F. Brush or rub grapeseed oil or canola oil (or another high smoke point oil) all over the potato skins, outside and in. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking rack in a roasting pan (don’t use a cookie sheet, it will warp; use a roasting pan or broiler pan that can take the heat). Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the skins over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
Arrange the potato skins skin-side down on the roasting pan or rack. Sprinkle the insides with freshly ground black pepper, cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon. Return to the oven. Broil for an additional 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate. Add a dollop of sour cream to each skin, sprinkle with green onions.
Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
2. Shrimp-Jalapeno Poppers”
32 uncooked large shrimp (about 1 lb.), peeled, deveined
1/3 cup zesty Italian dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) sharp cheddar cheese
10 slices bacon, each cut into 3 pieces
4 fresh jalapeno peppers, each cut into 8 slices
Directions: Combine shrimp and dressing. Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, mix sour cream and cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat grill to medium heat. Place crackers in single layer in disposable foil pan. Cut cheese into 16 slices, then cut each slice diagonally in half. Place on crackers; cover with foil.
Drain shrimp; discard marinade. Wrap each shrimp with piece of bacon; thread onto skewers. Grill 10 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning frequently. Meanwhile, place covered foil pan with crackers on grill grate; grill 2 min. Remove from grill. Let stand, covered, 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted.
Remove shrimp from skewers; place on crackers. Top with sour cream mixture and peppers.
3. Sausage, Arugula and Piquillo Pepper Sandwiches
1/2 cup finely chopped green olives
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ciabatta or other rolls about the length of sausages, split
4 bratwurst, andouille, or other flavorful, fully cooked sausages, split
1/2 cup bottledpiquillo peppers or roasted red peppers, drained and cut into
2 cups baby arugula
Directions: Combine olives and oil, then spread on bottom halves of rolls. Heat a grill pan or large heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until hot, then heat sausages until hot, about 8 minutes.
Make sandwiches on rolls with peppers, sausages, and arugula. Cut in half.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon drained capers
8 ounces fresh crabmeat, picked over
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Purchased baked pita chips
Directions: Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Stir in crabmeat, celery, 3 tablespoons chopped chives, and lemon juice. Season with pepper. Do ahead:Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
Transfer remoulade to serving bowl; surround with pita chips. Garnish with additional chives and serve.
5. Salad On a Stick
2 carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
1 cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 head iceburg lettuce, cut into 2 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
Blue cheese dressing, for serving
Directions: Thread the carrots, cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes onto 4 long wooden skewers, alternating vegetables. Refrigerate; serve with the dressing.
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 to 1 cup chopped green onion (to taste)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sour cream (optional)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup, 4 ounces), softened to the point of slightly melted
1 to 2 loaves of French or Italian bread
Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and the green onion. Stir in the mayonnaise and sour cream. In a separate small bowl blend the butter and garlic until smooth. Add the butter mixture to the cheese mixture.
Preheat broiler. Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally, lay crust side down. Spread cheese mixture over the bread. Place under the broiler until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from broiler and let sit for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice the bread with a bread knife. Serve.
Makes 30 to 40 slices.