Feeding the football fans
Lauren Toyota/Wikimedia Commons
Cauliflower florets (right) can be used as a type of meatless hot wings. They are not just for vegetarians; everyone should at least give them a try.
I might as well admit up front that I am not a football fan, but many (most?) people are pretty loyal to their favorite teams.
Maybe I just wasn’t exposed to sports very much when growing up, except in high school. But no matter; I am more than happy to do what I can to help all those football fans make the most of their game-watching events.
One of those events is coming up on Sunday, Feb. 2, when millions will be watching the 54th Super Bowl, to be played in Miami, Florida. All that cheering will require the fans to be well fed, and that’s where I am able to do my part.
It’s never too soon to start planning a menu for the big day, and as usual, I hope you will find something here you would like to serve to your guests, or take to a potluck.
Buffalo cauliflower wings
1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
4 tablespoons melted butter
Ranch dressing, for serving
Celery sticks, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. To make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk flour, milk and garlic powder until combined. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until batter is smooth.
3. Dredge cauliflower in batter until evenly coated. Shake off any excess batter and place each piece of cauliflower on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until cauliflower is crispy and golden around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
4. To make buffalo sauce: In a large bowl, whisk hot sauce and melted butter together. Toss the pieces of baked cauliflower in sauce before serving. Note: To serve a crispier snack, after tossing in sauce, place the cauliflower pieces back on the baking sheets and place under the broiler. Watching carefully, broil until the sauce is sticky and caramelized. Serve with ranch dressing and celery sticks, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Spinach artichoke bagels
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped artichoke hearts (marinated or plain canned ones)
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bagels, halved, toasted or untoasted
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, 2/3 cups mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
2. Place bagels cut side up on prepared baking sheet and spread each with spinach and artichoke mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven until bagels are heated through and cheeses are melted, about 10 to 12 minutes. If desired, you can broil them a bit too, but watch carefully.
3. Garnish the bagels with additional parsley and red pepper flakes just before serving. Makes 2 to 4 servings.
Hammy cheesy pinwheels
1 tube (8-oz.) crescent roll dough
1/2 pound deli sliced ham
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent dough and separate the sheet into rectangles. Pinch the perforations to seal. Spread mustard onto each rectangle. Top with sliced ham and cheese. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle and pinch edges to seal. Cut each roll into 5 or 6 slices and place cut side up in the prepared baking pan.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Brush over pinwheels, then sprinkle poppy seeds on top. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the rolls are golden. Makes 6 servings.
Chili dog cups
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (with 8 biscuits)
Cooking spray, for pan
1 can of your favorite chili (or equal amount homemade)
8 hot dogs, sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg, whisked
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chives, as garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 muffin pans with the cooking spray.
2. Carefully slice biscuits in half and press into the muffin pan. Spoon heaping tablespoons of chili into each muffin cup and top with 4 to 5 slices of hot dog. Finish with a sprinkling of shredded Cheddar cheese over the hot dog slices.
3. Brush overhanging biscuit dough with the whisked egg and bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Before serving, top each with onion and chives. Makes 16 cups.