No Steelers? No problem, Super Bowl Sunday is all about the food
When you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Super Bowl LIII is all about wings — and chips and dips, pizzas and guacamole — but not so much about football, at least not this year.
So while New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams fans will be cheering for their teams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta on Feb. 3, many of us will be enjoying the football fare of the day from our cozy living rooms, or in some cases, our man caves.
Chances are that many Super Bowl spreads will include chicken wings.
Wings are king
According to the National Chicken Council, a trade association that compiles an annual Chicken Wing Report, 1.38 billion wings will be devoured during this year’s game day weekend, about 27 million more wings than last year, or an increase of about 2 percent.
Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for pizza restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association. Sources also say that next to Thanksgiving, Americans eat more on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.
It’s also one of the single-largest retail sales days for supermarket snack sales, according to Frito-Lay, one of the country’s top snacks producers. The company released results of its inaugural U.S. Snack Index, a poll asking consumers what they plan to snack on at Super Bowl gatherings.
Among Frito-Lay’s findings:
• Most viewers – some 80 percent of Americans – will have potato chips or tortilla chips and nine out of 10 viewers plan to have at least one snack during the game.
• Spicy and cheesy snacks are the preferences of younger consumers, while others opt for the classics. Nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials selected cheesy snacks as a top pick and spicy snacks fared best with these age groups.
• Salsa was the overall top dip choice. But according to chip preference, French onion dip was the most popular dip for potato chips, while both salsa and guacamole were favored for tortilla chip dipping.
Here are some quick and easy recipes for making Super Bowl Sunday a winner, no matter which team takes home the Lombardi Trophy.
The National Chicken Council offers a sweet alternative to classic wings with this recipe that can be prepared a few days before the Big Game:
Ginger-Orange Glazed Chicken Wings
Serves 6, as an appetizer
2 pounds chicken wings, about 24
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, undiluted
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, slivered
In a large plastic, resealable bag, place orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, Hoisin sauce, canola oil, ginger and garlic. Seal and shake to mix. Add chicken wings, seal and shake to coat evenly. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spread wings on foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until brown and shiny.
Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with scallions.
Here’s a quick way to dress up everyday kettle-cooked potato chips:
Blue Cheese Potato Chips
Prep/Total Time: 15 minutes, makes 10 servings
1 package, 8-1/2 ounces, kettle-cooked potato chips
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Preheat broiler. In a 15x10x1-inch baking pan, arrange potato chips in an even layer. Top with remaining ingredients.
Broil 4-5 inches from heat until cheese begins to melt, 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
This easy-to-make spread calls for a layer of ground toasted walnuts and sour cream stitching to complete the look.
Creamy Garlic and Herb Football Spread
Prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes 10-12 servings
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley and dill
1 small clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnut halves, very finely chopped
Assorted crackers, for serving
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly beat in the heavy cream. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Beat in the herbs, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Line a medium strainer about 7 1/2 inches in diameter with a few layers of cheesecloth, letting the ends hang over the edges of the strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the strainer and fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the top. Gently flatten with your hands and shape into an oval football. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth up and twist until tight, trying to keep the oval shape of the spread. Place the strainer and bowl in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
To serve, unwrap the spread and invert onto a serving dish so the rounded side is facing up. Use the cheesecloth to gently reshape the oval and taper the ends to look like a football, then discard the cheesecloth and any liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
Put the walnuts in a medium skillet set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until they are toasted, about 5 minutes; watch carefully so that they do not burn. Remove from the heat and cool. Sprinkle and press the nuts into the spread so it is covered. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons sour cream in a small resealable plastic bag and snip about 1/8 inch off the end of one corner. Pipe the sour cream over the spread to create the laces of a football. Serve with assorted crackers.
Kickoff Pepper Dip
Prep time: 30 minutes
4 large red, green, yellow, or orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut up
1 small onion, cut up
1/4 cup water
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise dressing or light salad dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil or cooking oil
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
Few dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
3 small red, yellow, orange, and/or green sweet peppers, tops and seeds removed (optional)
1/4 cup assorted vegetable dippers (such as baby carrots, sliced zucchini and/or celery sticks) and/or breadsticks
In a blender or large food processor, combine about one-third of the cut up sweet peppers, onion and water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add the remaining cut up peppers; cover and blend until smooth.
Place pureed vegetable mixture in a fine sieve; press mixture gently to drain off excess liquid. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise dressing, lemon juice, oil, horseradish, salt, and hot pepper sauce. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in pureed vegetable mixture. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.
If desired, spoon dip into the sweet pepper shells. Serve with vegetable dippers and/or breadsticks.
Sweet Potato Skins with Guacamole
Top crispy sweet potato skins with guacamole for a healthy take on classic potato skins in this easy crowd-pleasing recipe.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Recipe By: Devon O’Brien
4 small sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Guacamole and toppings
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons minced red onion
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Tightly wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until very tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Carefully unwrap and set aside to cool.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a ¼-inch border (save the scooped-out flesh for another use). Place the sweet potato halves skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until browned and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
Cut each skin in half widthwise and return to the baking sheet, skin-side down. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon Cheddar. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the guacamole: Mash avocado in a medium bowl. Stir in lime juice, garlic and salt.
Top each sweet potato skin with guacamole, tomato, onion and cilantro, if desired.
This quick and easy dessert from BonAppetit.com is the perfect fourth-quarter treat.
Makes 16 Servings
16 assorted graham crackers (regular, cinnamon, honey or chocolate), broken in half crosswise
8 ounces assorted chocolate (milk, dark or semisweet), broken into 1/2 ounce squares
1 cup strawberries, hulled, sliced
1 cup unsalted, roasted sliced almonds
1 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange 16 graham cracker halves in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, placing abou 1/2 inch apart. Set 1 marshmallow in the center of each cracker and bake until marshmallows are lightly golden on top and puffed, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately top each with 1 chocolate square. Let sit 5 minutes to allow chocolate to melt slightly.
Transfer s’mores to a platter and serve with strawberries, almonds, coconut, and remaining graham cracker halves alongside.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.