A part of me thinks that half the excitement over the Super Bowl every year is due, in part, to the parties people throw! Think about it…no more tailgating for college football, too cold for outdoor barbecues, resolve for your New Year’s resolutions wearing thin…it’s a (7-layer) recipe for a calorie-laden, cheese-covered, deep-fried blowout, complete with beverages aplenty! The all-day media build-up to the actual game affords you plenty of time to fire up the grill, lay out all the fixins, and maybe have a couple of your favorite friends over for some pregame festivities before the rest of the crowd (i.e., free loaders who drink all your beer) shows up.
This year’s Super Bowl features a spectacular cast of…ahem, characters. From Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s Deflate Gate quotes that will live forever in infamy, to Marshawn “I’m-Just-Here-So-I-Don’t-Get-Fined” Lynch’s middle finger to the NFL at Media Day, to the ever-unpredictable-but-never-boring-to-watch Richard Sherman, Super Bowl XLIX promises to be an entertaining event…even if you don’t really care about football.
So with that in mind, join me as we serve up our culinary interpretations of the coaches and athletes taking center stage in this long-revered sports tradition, Watch Like a Girl style!
Appetizer a la Tom Brady: Well, no Super Bowl party or tailgate would be complete without a hot, salty tray of balls—sausage balls, meatballs, even rum balls for dessert—whatever strikes your fancy. They are easy to make, easy to handle, and always a crowd pleaser. (C’mon, y’all knew that one was coming. It was just too easy.)
*Here’s a pretty traditional recipe for sausage balls: http://sneakyspoons.com/2013/03/sausage-balls.html. You can always spice them up with different flavors…add some garlic, cayenne, or even some basil. Tom seems to know lots about ball preference, so he might could help you out if you’re having trouble.
*And for those who want a completely decadent ball, whip up these rum balls from http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/12/23/rum-balls-%E2%80%94-so-easy-so-pretty-so-delicious/. So easy, so pretty, so delicious.
A Multidimensional Dip, a la Richard Sherman: I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Super Bowl party where some variation of 7-layer dip hasn’t showed up…it’s kinda like, love it or hate it, it’s popular and never boring and has a little something for everyone. Maybe some parts of it aren’t your favorite—some people don’t love the spice, others aren’t big on the bitter or savory bits—but, when you take a big scoop of it, all the parts together work to make a really tasty treat. Or, you scrape out the part you don’t like. Or you just can’t stand it and you avoid it all together. Sounds a lot like a certain Seattle cornerback…
*Here’s a recipe for a tasty 7-layer dip: http://www.livingeventfully.com/2010/09/seven-layers-of-satisfaction.html
Queso (Marshawn Lynch style, aka a crockpot of melted Velveeta): There are about a jillion ways to vary this football party staple…adding diced tomatoes, any myriad of spices (cumin, chili powder, Julio’s seasoning, garlic), herbs, meat, sausage…the possibilities are truly endless and can be tailored to your taste. Unless you’re sick and tired of people telling you how they want their queso. And how you should make it. And what you should put it in. And getting fined when you don’t talk to—umm, I mean, when you don’t make the queso the way everyone says you should. Just put your cheese in a Crockpot, let it melt, and bring it. People will eat it. They’ll put it on their other food. They’ll whisper behind their hands about how bland and boring it is, but that won’t stop it being from devoured by your guests. And you’ll definitely stick it to the man. Much like Marshawn’s teammates say about him…melted cheese isn’t really the bad guy here. It just does it’s own thing, but really, everyone loves it except the snobby food critics.
*If you don’t really want to stick it to the man, or you’d like to make a queso that actually tastes decent, here’s a recipe…http://beyerbeware.net/2013/10/hunk-meat-monday-crock-pot-sausage-queso-dip.html.
*And if meat isn’t your thing, this one is a tasty alternative: http://www.littlehouseliving.com/homemade-queso-dip.html#_a5y_p=1156334)
Speaking of sticking it to “the man”…
The Bargain Shelf cheese plate, a la Roger Goodell: It’s inevitable…there’s always that one jerk who shows up to the party late, bearing a tray (which MIGHT serve 4 people) of cheap cheese and crackers that they obviously picked up from the token Super Bowl display at the supermarket an hour after everyone had picked it completely to pieces. And then proceeds to drink half your booze, tell other guests their business, and generally make everyone angry and uncomfortable. I hate that guy.
(I don’t feel like this one really needs an explanation, but just in case…DON’T bring the bargain shelf cheese plate. Or the tray of dried out veggies and off-brand imitation Ranch dressing.)
*Here’s a great recipe for a homemade zucchini hummus that’s amazing and only requires a blender! How easy is that?! http://www.paleocupboard.com/zucchini-hummus.html
Homemade Pizza a la Bill Belichick: I think a pizza is a winner, no matter how you slice it (see what I did there?). The great thing about making a pizza is that you can keep changing it up! Everyone can bring their own flavor to it…different sauces, different cheese, any topping you can imagine…and chances are, the combo that one person likes is probably the grossest thing in the world to someone else (honestly, to this day, I have NEVER understood the appeal of Canadian bacon, much less adding pineapple…seriously, I think that combo was the result of a lost bet), but I digress. Whatever mess you throw together on there that suits you, it WORKS. Even if you keep changing it up. You move things around, change things up, but always go back to the basics to build on. Belichick is headed back to the Super Bowl for the 6th time. Love him or hate him, people, whatever hot mess he throws together keeps getting it done.
Gronk want ribs: It’s hard to imagine a truly epic Super Bowl spread without some sort of meat slathered in sauce to round it out. A good old-fashioned go-to to make sure you’re filled up. But sometimes the ribs get a bad rap. They’re messy, hard to handle, and require a lot of work for a little bit of meat. And everytime you pick one up and make a mess, you tell yourself, “I’m not eating these anymore, they’re just not worth it.” But you do. Because they are. And for all the work that goes into getting them just right, you put up with the mess because THEY ARE JUST THAT GOOD. Much like the prolific tight end who has a notorious reputation as a party animal (check out his party bus’s Twitter account here). Yeah, the guy’s obnoxious (and frankly, kind of hilarious) off the field…but that doesn’t stop him from DOMINATING his game on the field. Hey, I don’t come to where you work and knock the corn dog outta your hand…so pick that big piece of meat out from between your teeth and get over yourself.
*Here’s a recipe for ribs in the slow cooker…leave the mess and the work for those other chumps!
Well, hope you’ve enjoyed our Super Bowl feast…as always, all in good fun and hopefully makes you laugh. Look for a post coming soon on Super Bowl beverages with some special cocktail creations from our friend Sarah at http://pickledcapers.com/!
PLEASE comment and tell us what you’re having, where you’re watching, send us pics of your creations, tell us your interpretations for your food as football player, and as always, let us know how you #watchlikeagirl!!
~Audrey & Cassie