It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, and that means it’s time to get your game-day menu dialed. Football is pretty much a religion in our house, and so the Super Bowl always means lots of friends, fun, and of course, food.
It’s a day that traditionally has tons of very heavy and unhealthy foods, so I always try and come up with a menu that is still festive and snack-oriented, but has a healthier spin to it. I wanted to share with you guys some of my favorite game day recipes, and what is on my menu this year …
To keep things on-theme, I have two recipes that look like footballs and are always a big hit …
2 pounds good-quality, lean ground-beef or lamb
2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (divided)
2 cups bulgur wheat (trigo para quibe), dry
2 large eggs beaten
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced (divided)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
Pour the bulgur wheat into a large mixing bowl. Pour 2 cups of room-temperature water over it. Let stand for approximately 45 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (divided) in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the 1.5 pound of ground meat, half of the chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until the meat loses all traces of pinkness and the mixture moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in half of the parsley. Reserve.
In the mixing bowl, add the remaining half pound of ground meat to the bulgur wheat and beaten eggs. Stir in the remaining parsley and chopped garlic, the mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with hands until you have a mass. The mixture should be very homogeneous, so be sure to mix very well.
Remove approximately 3 tablespoons of the meat-bulgur mix from the mixing bowl and roll into a ball shape in your hands. Cup the ball in the palm of one hand, and with the other, form a pocket in it. Fill the pocket with the cooked ground meat, then close the pocket over this mixture. Reform into a football shape in your hand. Place the completed kibbeh on a cookie sheet, then continue this process until you have used all of the mixture. Reserve. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep frying pan until it is hot but not smoking. Fry the kibbehs a few at a time (don’t overcrowd the fryer) until they are dark brown and crisp on the outside. Remove to a cookie sheet lined with paper towel, to drain excess oil. Continue until all the kibbehs have been fried.
Using a plastic bag, add about 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Cut a very small corner off the bag, approximately one-eight of an inch. Gently squeeze bag and pipe mayonnaise onto kibbehs to make “football laces.”
Serve immediately, with lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce or hot sauce!
Mini Buffalo Chicken Balls or Footballs
• 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter
• 1/3 cup Frank's RedHot Sauce or any other favorite hot sauce as spicy or mild as you like.
• 1 pound ground chicken preferably thigh meat
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 celery stalk minced
• 3/4 cup bread crumbs
• 1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
4. Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 -inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Chill the meat mixture for one hour. Makes it easier to roll the meatballs or form into footballs. Place the balls or formed footballs on parchment covered baking sheet.
5. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through.
6. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
7. *You can use your favorite dipping sauce and to make the strings on the football, you can use any white color dressing you already have in your refrigerator. I added the dressing into a zip lock bag and snipped a small corner off to pipe the lines on the football.
8. Serve with extra hot sauce or blue cheese.
Inspired by Epicurious
Next up, Burger Bites. They are small, packed with flavor, and I have eliminated the bun.
Yields: 20 bites
1 lb of ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
20 pieces of cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese sliced into 1 inch squares
4 pieces of bacon cooked (do not overcook)
10 grape tomatoes cut in half
20 slivers of jalapeno or pickle if desired
Break each piece of cooked bacon into 5 pieces. This will give you enough bacon for each burger bite.
Combine ground beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Shape all 20 pieces at once into round patties about 1″ in diameter, making sure to flatten so the burger bite will be able to stand on a tray. Set aside.
Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and place all burger bites into pan at the same time.
Brown for about 3-4 minutes and flip each burger bites. Top with the square pieces of cheese and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
If the cheese is not melting, cover the pan for about a minute and remove cover.
Remove burger bites from pan and plate on serving dish.
Top each bite with a small piece of bacon, a sliver of pepper or pickle, half of grape tomato and then slide the skewer in the middle of the tomato to secure.
Serve and enjoy
Next are these Buffalo Chicken Dippers …. They are not the healthiest dish I have ever made. BUT, they are a healthier alternative to deep fried wings, and are sure to be devoured by your guests.
Buffalo Chicken Dippers
• 12 wooden skewers
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1/3 cup hot sauce divided (Or your favorite based on your desired heat level)
• 1 pound chicken tenders cut into strips
• 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
• 1/2 cup fat-free blue cheese dressing or your favorite blue cheese dressing
• 4 carrots cut into sticks
• 4 celery stalks cut into sticks
1. Soak skewers in water 15 minutes.
2. Heat broiler; line broiler pan with aluminum foil.
3. In a bowl, stir cornstarch into 1 tablespoon hot sauce until smooth; stir in remaining hot sauce.
4. Add chicken; toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 – 60 minutes.
5. Thread chicken lengthwise on skewers; reserve remaining hot sauce mixture.
6. Place chicken in pan so skewers hang off edge; cover exposed sticks with aluminum foil.
7. Broil 4 minutes. Turn chicken; brush with remaining sauce.
8. Broil until chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
9. In another bowl, combine blue cheese and dressing.
10. Serve chicken with celery sticks and blue cheese dipping sauce.
Inspired by Epicurious
Next up are my Roasted Chicken Butter Lettuce Wraps which are equally healthy and delicious!
Roasted Chicken Butter Lettuce Wraps
1 Head of Butter Lettuce hearts (small)
1 Avocado (sliced)
1 Orange (sliced)
½ cup roast chicken (shredded) – Make your life easier, use store bought.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 bunch of basil, plus 1 basil leaf (chopped)
1 teaspoon cilantro chopped
Pinch of salt
Drizzle of honey
Combine all above ingredients and refrigerate.
In a small bowl combine:
1 jalapeno sliced
1 radish sliced thin
Juice of one lime
Let the jalapeno and radish soak for about 15 minutes
Take one lettuce leaf placing it in front of you with the rib of lettuce faced horizontally.
Place one basil leaf in center of lettuce leaf, add desired amount of filling and then top filling with alternating one slice jalapeno, then one slice of radish, then another slice of jalapeno and then one slice of radish. Drizzle a touch of balsamic reduced or glazed balsamic on top.
Roll-up lettuce leaf and secure with toothpick if desired.
And if you’re into the lettuce wraps in general (like I am), then you should also try these …
Spicy Port Butter Lettuce Wraps
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chopped jalapeños
2 tsp of lemon grass (sliced)
1.15 lb ground pork natural
2 pinches of salt
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1tsp chopped mint
1 large garlic fine chopped
Chili sauce (to taste and optional)
Over medium high heat and the sesame oil in a skillet, sauté the lemon grass then add the jalapeño.
Add the ground pork and salt and cook into fully cooked please be careful to not overcook as the meat will get dry.
Once fully cooked removed from the heat let it cool off
Once cooled, place cooked pork in a mixing bowl and add lime juice, cilantro, mint and garlic. Toss to combine and let the flavors meld for a bit, 10 – 15 minutes.
Ok...if you like herby flavors then you are done! Just taste it and see if you would like more salt of any extra items!
But if you like spicy please add chili sauce to the mixture slowly to taste it really brings out the flavors better and adds the spicy kick in an Asian way.
Arrange your plate with the butter lettuce around and place a nice bowl with the filling in the middle!
One of my other go-to game day favorites is this Beet Hummus.
Makes about 4 cups
1 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 medium beets cooled cooked – (Wrap beets in foil and cook at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until tender).
Water for blending
In food processor combine ingredients adding one beet at a time to get to the beet taste desired. Puree until creamy. If too thick, add a little water to get to desired consistency.
Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with sliced almonds, feta cheese, thinly sliced scallions, and sliced radishes. Or if you don’t have that handy, just use a pretty basil garnish.
For some southern cooking, you have to try this dish …
Ms. Clara’s New Orleans Red Beans and Rice
1 lb of Dried Red Beans (soaked overnight)
3 Quarts of Water
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
*1 green pepper seeded and chopped
*1 medium onion diced
*4 stalks of celery chopped
2 Tablespoons of Salt
1 or 2 Tablespoons of ground black pepper (Depending on your taste)
2 Tablespoons of Creole Seasoning
*To save a little time, in the produce section, you can purchase a container of combined diced onions, peppers, and celery.
1 pound organic smoked turkey sausage cut into bite sized pieces (smoked sausage is cooked)
Rice (Cooking time 30 minutes)
2 cups of water
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 cup uncooked white rice
Pick over red beans, place into a large bowl, and pour in enough water to cover by several inches. Soak red beans overnight.
In a large soup pot, add the oil, garlic, green pepper, onion, celery. Sauté for a few minutes.
Drain and rinse red beans, add them to the soup pot with the vegetables and cover with 3 quarts of water and cook over medium to low heat.
Season pot with salt, black pepper, and Creole seasoning.
Reduce heat to low and cook until beans are tender, about 4 hours.
When beans are tender add the smoked turkey sausage that has been cut into bit size pieces to the soup pot. Stir to combine and let the flavors come together over low heat for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cooking Tip - Very important to note that red beans are supposed to have a thicker liquid they are not watery like the other beans so if your water starts to run low just add amount of water slowly so it doesn’t create the consistency of a soup, these are very creamy beans.
For the rice - You will need about 30 minutes to prep the rice.
Place 2 cups water and butter into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Stir in 1 cup of uncooked white rice and bring back to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and slowly simmer until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with fork.
Serve red beans over cooked rice.
And last but not least, this Herbed Feta Dip is delicious … To keep it a little bit healthier, I like to serve it with vegetables.
Herbed Feta Dip
• 6 ounces feta
• 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill plus torn sprigs for serving
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Olive oil – For drizzle
1. Blend feta and a splash of water (I used about 1/8 cup) in a food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in parsley, mint, and chopped dill; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and top with dill sprigs.
2. Serve with cut vegetables, tortilla or pita chips.
Inspired by Epicurious
I hope you guys enjoy, and have a great Super Bowl Sunday!