Easy appetizers for your football party spread
(NewsNation Now) — NewsNation’s Alex Caprariello had a really tough job: He had to taste some of the amazing and varied food options available in and around SoFi Stadium, from the iconic Randy’s Donuts to tons of ribs going over wood fire at Woody’s Barbecue.
Inside the stadium, things are just as interesting with hand-breaded chicken tenders, “Tsunami Tots” with eel sauce and pizza shipped in from Italy. Even the hot dogs are carefully curated, with stadium chefs taking two years to choose from among 80 options.
Are you hosting the Super Bowl party at your house this year? Looking for some easy but awesome recipes that will make your party the one everyone talks about for the next few years? We’ve got you covered!
These recipes are easy enough for a rookie cook, and don’t require much in the way of specialized tools.
This first recipe is a cinch to make, and it’s easily scalable if you want to make a load of them. Tweak the seasoning to your own liking. Personally, I like a healthy dose of Cajun blackened seasoning to give them some real kick.
Loaded Bacon Bites
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1 ½ -8-ounce packages of cream cheese softened
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped chives
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 18 pretzel sticks
- 1. Cook bacon until crispy and drain on a paper towel. Chop into fine pieces and set aside.
- 2. In a mixing bowl, stir together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- 3. Using a 1-inch scoop, form into 18 balls and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- 4. In a small bowl stir together bacon, chives and pecans.
- 5. Roll each ball in the mixture and insert a pretzel stick.
This next one is one of those dips that’s got a bit of everything in it, and thus will appeal to just about everyone. Serve it in a small slow cooker to stay warm, or a warmed stoneware crock.
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened.
- 1 package ranch dressing mix.
- 1 (3-ounce) bag of bacon bits.
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded.
- 16 ounces sour cream.
- Scallions or parsley for topping
Best tool: 1-quart baking dish
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- 2. With a handheld or stand mixer add your cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing mix and bacon bits into your bowl.
- 3. Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated and the texture is creamy.
- 4. Now place your mix into your dish and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
- 5. Top with chopped scallions or parsley and serve immediately with tortilla chips or bread cubes.
Mongo’s Beer Cheese
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup Shiner Bock beer or similar (When measuring beer, be sure to let the head settle before getting your final measurement.)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 12 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (Shred it yourself. Do NOT use bagged cheese.)
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until for 1 minutes
- Slowly whisk in the beer, then the milk. Continue whisking until mixture thickens. Add mustard and Worcestershire and whisk until well combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese, a handful at a time, whisking between each addition. If the mixture cools too much to melt the cheese, briefly put it back over the heat, then remove and continue adding cheese.
- This will hold fine on a back burner on very low with a lid on. Be sure to stir occasionally and take it off the heat if it bubbles at all. Better: Put it in a small warmer/slow cooker for service.
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge and reheated or served cold.
HOT TIP: I made this for my wife and myself, and we ate less than half the total. Three days later, I made some elbow macaroni, stirred in the cheese dip, put it in a greased 8×8 pan, topped it with panko bread crumbs and made some mind-blowing mac and cheese.
What to do when you really want to do something with egg roll wrappers, but the Eagles are playing? Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, of course! NOTE: These are made with Cheez Whiz, as is tradition in much of Philly. It also is more or less the only way it would come together properly.
Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 8 ounces deli roast beef (get it sliced thin), minced
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 jar Cheez Whiz
- 10 egg roll wrappers
- 1 beaten egg
- Oil for frying
- In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion and cook until onion begins to brown and pepper is softened. Add meat and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in garlic powder and seasoned salt and remove from from heat.
- Transfer hot meat mixture to a heatproof bowl and add 1/2 cup of Cheez Whiz. Stir well until Whiz is thoroughly incorporated. Mixture should be held together well. If more Whiz is required, add a heaping tablespoon at a time, stirring between each addition.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure all the mixture cools evenly.
- Lay one egg roll wrapper out on a cutting board and put a heaping tablespoon of the cheese/meat mixture in the middle. Fold and roll the egg roll as shown in the attached photos, brushing beaten egg on the last open edge to seal. Repeat with remaining rolls. NOTE: You may end up with a dozen rolls, you may end up with 8. It depends on the size of the veggies, how much Whiz you add and whether you deli clerk measured 8 ounces properly.
- Set rolls on a rack to dry while you heat the frying oil in a large, heavy pot to 350 degrees F. Using a spider (basket tool), add egg rolls one at a time to the oil. Be sure not to crowd the pot. Cook 3-4 minutes, until wrappers are browned and crispy. Drain on a rack. Serve with horseradish dip or au jus if you want to get fancy. Enjoy!
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This last one hearkens back to the ’50s, when it was one of the must-have noshes at any upscale cocktail party. Dates were considered “exotic,” of course this is also the time when adding the merest hint of cayenne pepper to a bowl of mac and cheese made it “Mexican.” Still, they’re darned tasty and easy to make!
Bacon Wrapped Dates
- 35-40 pitted dates
- 40-50 salted, roasted almonds
- 2 pounds bacon, slices cut in half
- 35-40 toothpicks
- 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- 2. Stuff each date with 1-2 almonds.
- 3. Wrap each stuffed date with a half piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
- 4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then turn over and continue to bake another 10-15 minutes until the bacon is crisp. You may need more time depending on your oven.
You can serve hot or at room temperature.
Hopefully, at least one of these will find its way to your Super Bowl snack table!