Well, Brunonia, here we are again on Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you are the type to cry overgame-winning field goals or just relish the opportunity to watch the most expensive ads on television, one thing brings us all together: food. The first Sunday of every year promises truckloads of buffalo wings, greasy pizza, and an ocean of beer. While all these things are blessed fixtures on the game-day menu, why not take matters into your own hands? It’s not too late to whip something up for your viewing party. Here are some ideas.
Bacon-wrapped jalapeños will make you everyone’s best friend. Slice jalapeños lengthwise and clean out the seeds and membranes (best if you do this with disposable gloves or even Ziploc bags over your hands, as the spiciness can burn your fingers). Fill each half with cream cheese, wrap a slice of bacon around to make a beautiful porcine chrysalis, and stick a toothpick in to hold it together. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until the bacon makes you want to marry it. Thanks to Pioneer Woman for this one.
Make your own guacamole. Duh. Pit and peel some ripe avocados, then mash them with green onion, chopped cherry tomatoes, and a healthy squeeze of lime juice to brighten it all up. Mince some jalapeño if you want some extra heat on this cold, cold night. Fresh corn’s not a bad idea either.
Rooting for Green Bay, home of the cheeseheads? You’re in luck, as there is no shortage of cheese on the Super Bowl. Show your support by grilling quesadillas for your crew or making an occasional cheese dip. Mix together chopped white cheddar with walnuts, green onions, a dash of cayenne pepper, and just enough mayonnaise to act as a binder. Or, go high-brow with a concoction of blue cheese and caramelized shallots.
Repping Pittsburgh? A quick Google search for Pittsburgh food specialties didn’t yield much, but here’s a fun fact: Heinz ketchup originated in the Steelers’ hometown. Enter pigs in a blanket: like Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World, they are unoriginal but always a welcome presence. Wrap sausage — I vote in favor of the Italian variety, which is spunkier than the customary baby hot dog — in crescent roll dough, bake, and serve with a gleaming bowl of America’s favorite ketchup.
Jambalaya. Free now of my denial that the Saints didn’t make it past the playoffs, I can nonetheless say that jambalaya is an underrated game-day mainstay. Email me if you want a lesson on how to make it from scratch, but for now, grab a box of good old Zatarain’s mix and use your discretion for add-ins. Chicken and andouille sausage are safe bets.