4 Snack Countdown to the Superbowl
The Superbowl is a big event around the Choosy Beggars household, though perhaps not for universal reasons. Tina’s usual reaction to a football game on the television is usually to find something, anywhere, at all, to do rather than have to watch it — though she may pause to ask if Tom Brady is playing, and if so, to vituperatively curse his name before leaving the room.
I love the heck out the game, for reasons going long back and are as sentimental as they are anything; Tina loves the heck out of the opportunity for a very specialized meal, that most delicious and indulgent and blood-thickening. Football Food is practically a food group on its own, an amazing combination of cheeses, meats, deep frying and — I guess — vegetables.
Previously, we’ve committed ourselves to fully supporting the Biggest of the Big games, with Superbowl menus that were enough to satisfy even the hardest core fans. This year, we plan on taking it one step further, by putting together recipes to carry you all the way through the playoffs… which, oddly enough, start tomorrow with the Wild Card games.
So, to keep you from going hungry through those first games of the post-season, we bring back four of our favorite football classics, to sustain you through the grueling action:
Wings, beer and football are the kind of unholy trinity that leads to heartburn and hangovers, but only because they are so, so good together. These dispense entirely with the myth that baked wings can be crispy, and dive completely into joyful, sticky medium heat.
Easy to make, and even easier to eat for the fact that they are (slightly) healthier than their deep-fried counterparts. Why, after a basket you’ll feel like you could run out on that football field yourself.
Another baked alternative to a pub standard, oven-prepared jalapeno poppers may not have the nuclear heat of the deep-fried offering, but they’re certainly not short on flavor.
What if you could make sure that every jalapeno popper you’ve ever eaten had more cheese and tasted more like a pepper than a bee sting — but then they also all got wrapped in bacon?
This dream can be yours, and if you happen to be around a grill, then you can add the miracle of smoke to the equation for something altogether sublime.
What’s that, you say? You’re not sure that words like “sublime” are entirely appropriate to watching football? That just means you haven’t tried them yet.
Surely we’ve all had this problem: You’re sitting down to a gigantic Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, and then suddenly you’re called away to rescue a schoolbus full of heart surgeons who’ve become stuck on the way to a cardiac arrest convention. If only you could bring the deliciousness with you!
But then: What if all the melty cheese, crisp peppers, garlicky mushrooms and tender beef was in a palm-sized bun, ready for you wherever you go? What if the portion sizes were such that you could eat them and eat them, without any regard for your physical capacity?
Ah, your prayers have been answered. Never again must heroic efforts or trips to the beer fridge interrupt your enjoyment of all the good things in life.
And speaking of convenience, here we present the nuclear option of casual foods. The Late Night Cheeseburger Dip combines an entire meal’s worth of other items — beef, cheese, vegetables, ketchup and even beer — into a single dip.
Sharing this with a group is only recommended if you’ve set aside some of it for yourself ahead of time. Rich, cheezy, gooey and delicious, this is a dip that will likely not make it through the first half — and if someone else beats you to the bottom of the bowl, they might not either.
Football and snacking are two great traditions that go great together, and we plan to keep the legacy going all the way through to the Superbowl. But in the meantime, feel free to get acquainted with these favorites of ours. There isn’t one that we haven’t enjoyed several times, and you can feel sure we’ll be doing so again soon!