February 02, 2013

Superbowl Snack Ideas

A few Superbowls ago I made this legendary greek dip that was devoured in about two minutes by hungry football watchers. I love layered dips piled high with vegetables, cheese and toppings. This one had a layer of hummus, tzatziki, feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, green onions, olives and some parsley. Legend-ary.

I remember one Superbowl Sunday I was working at the campus pub serving wings and beer to football watchers and I ended up taking home quite a few take-out containers of leftover deep-fried goodies, as well as a large Budweiser hoodie (it has become the perfect boyfriend sweater). Not that I am remotely interested in football. I have tried to understand the game, I really have. But when it comes to the food side of celebrations, even if they are sports related, I can always get excited about that.

Greek Layered Dip

Just like football, I like spinach dip, deep-fried bites and wings just as much as the next person, but that much cheese, batter and salt is hard to handle even on the best of days. Eating a whole dish of greek layered dip probably isn't a great idea either. If you're looking for some alternatives for Superbowl snacks or really aren't that into celebrating football and need traditional fare, I have a few ideas:


If your friends are of the sophisticated set--or would rather cheer for Martha Stewart than the 49ers--try some smoked salmon dip made with cream cheese, smoked salmon and herbs. I used greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise for this recipe. Sausage rolls are also super easy to make if you have some frozen puff pastry lying around.


Sausage Rolls

Or perhaps a fine charcuterie plate with cured meats, cheeses, olives, dips and crostinis?


As a wise woman once said, "Ain't nobody got time for that." I'm barely making it through the winter here. I would much rather "work on my night cheese" Liz Lemon-style and have a simple meal and a few easy homemade dips, such as tzatziki, hummus and guacamole.



The National Pecan Shellers Association (c/o The Kellen Company) sent me a few "Heart Healthy Recipes for Superbowl." Try any of these pecan-inspired recipes, including Crab Tacos with Corn, Pecan and Avocado, Pecan Pesto Pizza and Lemon-Pecan Linguine. They have all sorts of ideas for incorporating pecans into snacks that are a little nicer on the waist--and heart apparently. These Turkey Pecan Enchiladas and Pecan Orange Slaw were also on the list.


The recipe for Oven Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken fingers caught my eye. I decided to use fish instead and use the same recipe instead of chicken then realized they had recipes for Pecan-Crusted fish on their website afterwards. Oh well, you can't go wrong with breading made with nuts, herbs, spices that is baked in the oven.

Oven Baked Pecan-Crustd Chicken/Fish Fingers (for one)

1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fish/chicken filet
*Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp dried thyme

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. In a food processor, combine pecans, bread crumbs and spice seasoning mix. Pulse for 1 minute to combine.
3. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, olive oil and remaining spice mix.
4. Dip the fish and/or chicken into the egg mixture, then the pecan mixture.
5. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake, turning once, about 15-20 minutes.


I served the fish with some Tabouleh couscous salad and homemade tzatziki. All I did for the tzatziki was add lemon juice, dill, chopped cucumber and garlic to plain Greek yoghurt. I would say these recipes are quite "heart healthy" as well.


And in case I'll be wanting to snack later on, a baguette, crackers or chips with homemade dips can usually be devoured to distract myself from actually understanding the rules of football.

Guacamole and bread

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